MR JAMES GRAEME
GENERAL OF SCOTLAND
OF BLACK PATE
BARON OF INCHBRAKIE
son of Black Pate and Jean Drummond may be said to have founded a family as he purchased "Newtoun" from his cousin, Sir George
Oliphant; it will be seen on referring to Sketch VIII, that Marion Graeme, daughter of Patrick, the third baron, had been
married in 1607 to Sir James Oliphant of Newton. This lady was aunt to Black Pate, and her children and grandchildren, cousins
to Black Pate and his children. Sasines are dated to James Graeme, June 1691 and October 1692 of these lands, and they are
therein styled the lands of "Newtoun and Pypertown", with the salmon fishing upon the water of Darie, with seat and burial-place
in the kirk of Forgandenny proceeding on Charter, granted by Sir George Oliphant of Newton; in the sketch of Bishop George
was related the "bigging" of that same seat by Sir James Oliphant and his lady!
later the lands of Dumbulls in the same parish of Forgandenny, October 1705, were granted to the Solicitor-General by sassine
of the Earl of Wigtoun, who had previously obtained them from Sir James Campbell of Aberruchill. In 1695 we also find James
Graeme drawing a small income off the lands of Pitencleroch, Chalmerstrathie and Pernie, belonging to Inchbrakie. He was the
only one of Black Pate’s sons who had himself entered in the Herald Office as bearing a Coat.
Or, three roses
second and first gules and on a chief sable, as many escalopes of the first. Crest, a hand issuing out of a cloud reaching
to a garland, all proper. Motto, Numen and Omnia. Obtained in 1688.
It will be observed
James Graeme omitted the wall his father had taken for his new Grant and the motto and crest were both altered, for difference,
the latter having the addition of issuing from a cloud.
A letter to
Mr Gavine Drummond, Muthil, dated from St Andrews where Mr James Graeme is studying for the law in 1664, informs us that one
of the Drummonds has committed a son to the young lawyer’s care; the letter is from James Graeme reporting his pupil’s
To His much
– at Muthill
At St Andrews
13th December 1664
Sir, I have
had but a short tryall of your sonne; and therefore it might justly be concluded rashness and imprudence in me to be confident
in my promises or opinion of him. But from the small experience I have I fear not to engage my credite that your sonne shall
make such good progress in his studies as you and his other dear relations may reap exceeding great satisfaction. You may
likewise be persuaded that I will not neglect his instructions on the great principles of religion and righteousness, and
I hope the success shall be answerable to the endeavours of Sir
Mr Graeme married
previously to 1669, Miss Ann or Agnes Drummond; she may have been the youngest daughter of the family of Drummond of Strageath
and Kildees, descended from the House of Stobhall, as the names of Gavin and Agnes or Ann are peculiar to that branch.
On the 25th
July 1669, their eldest son John’s birth is registered the witnesses are Walter Ogilvie, James Curvie, John Syor –
late Baillies of Edinburgh – also Mr Robert Hamilton, Clerk of Session; James Hamilton and H. Stuart, merchants.
In 1674 James
Graeme was entered on the Roll of Advocates, and from this date his talents pushed him rapidly to the head of his profession.
Sir John Lauder,
afterwards Lord of Session, called Lord Fountainhall, gives much interesting information of James Graeme of Newton’s
public career in his diaries. He mentions that "on the 15th December 1681 Mr James Graeme, advocate, is one of
Lord Argyll’s eight."
19th 1685, he is advocate for the Duchess of Lauderdale.
On January 29th
1686, the Town Council of Edinburgh "name and adjoyne" Mr James Graeme, advocate, to be their Assessor.
On the 15th
February 1686, the Duke of Monmouth is forfeited and condemned; the King gave his Duchess the option either to go with her
children to Scotland, and be present at the trial, or send a commission to lawyers; the Duchess chose the latter alternative,
naming Mr James Graeme, Mr Thomas Learmouth, and Lauder of Fountainhall for her lawyers.
September 1686, James Graeme’s cousin, General Lord Strathallan, is sent as the King’s Commission to receive indemnity
from those who had joined with Argyll, or to exempt those he saw fit. James Graeme, advocate, and Mr James Hay, Writer to
the Signet, accompany him, and Lord Strathallan holds his court at Inveraray.
have been given of the work committed to James Graeme, both by public and private indiciduals, showing he was a man of considerable
note in his profession, and by 1687 it is scarcely a surprise that he has reached one of the pinnacles of the law and is made
"Sole Solicitor to his Majesty," and he was admitted and sworn but "only de fideli." Here ends Sir John Lauder’s (Lord
Fountainhall) notices, and we next find –
son to the Laird of Inchbrakie, admitted as Solicitor General 1688; he took not the oaths to King William."
James Graeme’s mind may be in his public career, he knows his private opinion, and is independent enough not to forswear
it. If they choose to accept him as Solicitor-General "de fidele" well and good, he will accept it, and he faithful to his
appointment, but take the oath of allegiance to an alien, he will not while King James II lived. He alone has his allegiance
as his subject.
salary amounts to 300 pounds sterling for dispatches, and, adds Lord Fountainhall, "all he gets in advance is 200 pounds in
It was after
this, in 1691, Mr Graeme acquired the estate of "Newtoun," in the parish of Forgandenny, Perthshire. His services in the legal
profession were filling his purse, and, like every one of his generation, he bought land.
In 1704 the
Solicitor-General defends Mr Archibald Graham, late Bishop of the Isles, who with others is sued as creditor of George Dundas,
a merchant of Leith. The case of the creditors lies in the defence of James Graeme, who is Commissioner for Perth at this
In 1707 he defends
Muirhead of Bredisholme against Rose Muirhead, and signs a petition for James Hamilton of Gilkerscleugh, a minor.
The same year
his fourth son, David, marries Miss Moray of Abercairny, and no further record of the Solicitor- General’s career reaches
A very well
drawn-out tree of his branch of the family is extant, and proved of considerable service a century later when Inchbrakie in
1770 was served heir to Montrose.
John, his eldest
son, was "served heir to his deceist father" in 1737. If that was theyear of his death, James Graeme was about eighty-eight
years old, and a little further it is shown all his children lived to be old people. This branch of the Graeme’s show
great longevity; John, his eldest son, is at the age of sixty-eight served heir to his father in 1737, who has died at the
ripe age of at least 88 years; the end of this sketch shows many of his children lived to a great age.
and Miss Drummond
Graeme’s children were six in number:1.John,
The eldest John
(as already mentioned) was born in 1669, from which date I have found no record until 1737, when we find his father has died,
granting the lands of Newton and Western Dumbulls to him as his eldest lawful son.
had apparently omitted to make a will; in the deposition made by him on 27th December 1737 after the "heirs of
the body" of John, these are granted successively to James, William, and David Graeme, and their heirs, which all failing,
to his own nearest heirs whatsoever. In this sassine, in which no mention of the mother of his children is made, is also included
an annual rent proceeding from 1000 pounds due by Robert Stewart of Inner Dunnine. The document is presented and signed by
J. Graeme (of Damside?) the first two initials form a monogram, a very common occurrence in the signatures of the House of
his fourth son, acts procurator.
The next entry
of John is 1744-1747, during which years he disposed the lands of Newton to Mr James Moray of Abercairny. The second retour
also included that to his eldest sister Margaret, who had died unmarried (after February 1774) her sister Elizabeth’s
death is recorded on 31st of May 1774 and like her sister she was unmarried; this is all we learn of the Solicitor-General’s
daughters, who were both elderly women at their deaths. Miss Elizabeth must, indeed, have been a great age.
John was 78
years old when he sold Newton to Abercairny for 42,000 merks. Newton passed into the hands of the Oliphants of Condie in 1701.
Of his brothers
James and William we find no records. Some divisions of property were taking place during the above years, for on enquiry
into the records of David, the youngest son of the Solicitor General, we find that he also was obtaining Sasine of lands on
27th February 1744, and in it is styled David Graeme, brother german to John, Margaret and Elizabeth Graeme.
By 1747 David
obtains a charter of the lands of Abernute and Pitskindie, purchased from his brother-in-law Mr James Moray of Abercairny.
Abernute lies in the Carse of Gowrie. Many years previous to this date, David had married Miss Elizabeth Moray of Abercairny;
her father Mr William Moray, was a grandson of Black Pate, so was her husband, David Graeme of Abernute. The date of the marriage
is stated to be 1707, in the sasine of 1744, and their house was in Marlin’s Wynd, Edinburgh.
baptisms of their children are taken from the registers of Old St Paul’s Edinburgh.
James, a son
of Mr David Graeme, Advocate, and Murray, daughter of Abercairnie, the sponsors were Lady Balgowan, Sir William Nairn of Dunisinnan
and David Graeme of Orchill; those present were Messrs William Graeme, Adam Mercer and their wives; Lady Murray and Dor Dundas,
Jan. 31, 1737. On July 22, 1739 in Marlins Wynd a daughter Christian is baptized, Lady Betty Montgomery, Mrs Reggie Graeme
and Adam Mercer were sponsors.
Ann has for her sponsors on November 24th 1740, Mrs Margaret and Elizabeth Graeme (these were her father’s
sisters) "and the Bd.Mr Thomas Drummond; Lady Balgowan, Mrs P. Graeme and Adam Mercer." The last three are stated to be present.
The day after
Christmas, 1741, a daughter Mary is baptized, and Lady Dowager of Nairn (the is the second baroness) is sponsor with the Ladie
of logie Almond and Lady Mary Drummond, the latter being unable to be present is represented by Mrs Margaret Graeme –
Lady Maxwell was present – this entry ends with a curious statement, "N.B. – Mrs Graeme was abroad and coccated
the day before."
By 1744 the
son James baptized on Jan 31 in 1737 must be dead, for again Mr David Graeme, Advocate, has a son James baptized in Marlin’s
Wynd, Lady Moncrieff is godmother, Mr Brice "and I" sponsors for Abercairny and Newton (these two last were his grandfather
Moray and his uncle).
shorter than the rest end this list of these great-grandchildren of Black Pate; these are Charlotte, 6th July 1746,
and a son John baptized in Marlin’s Wynd, 3rd October 1747; Mrs Elizabeth Graeme, John Rattray, and David
Carmichael are sponsors.
name appears in Milner’s list as advocate, 25th February 1727. He acted for Patrick, eighth Laird, in the
service to Montrose of 1770, when he produced the family tree drawn up by his father, the Solicitor General, whose handwriting
on it he swore to, and also that it was produced from the charter chest of his late father.
Mr David Graeme
of Abernute or Abernyte, died in 1785 when about 85years old leaving by his wife, Elizabeth Moray of Abercairny, a son John,
three daughters survived, Elizabeth, Christian and Grizel (or Grace) Graeme; two of these were born after the children mentioned
in the above baptisms.