6th Great Baron
(son of Black
Pate 5TH Baron)
has been alluded to in the sketch of that valiant adherent of the King of the Great Marquis, his father Black Pate, and it
was mentioned that George appeared either from force of circumstances, or inclination, to have adopted a different line politically
from that of his father and brothers.
He went to Edinburgh
early in life and engaged with several other young men of his rank and age in the profession of a merchant. At this period
in Edinburgh were to be found cadets of the principal families in many offices of the merchant princes of the day, especially
in those of the Goldsmiths, and in the lists of other Guelds there might be read the names of many of the noblesse. It is
quite probable that if George did not lean towards the life of a soldier, or that his sympathies leant towards the Covenanters,
that he would choose this career. In 1662 we find several "gentlemen" called on to pay an indemnity for the "King’s
Pardon". In Edinburgh "George Graham", merchant, pays "600 punds" and in Perthshire Oliphant of Gask "6000 punds" to reinstate
themselves as loyal men. In the account of the second Obsequisies of Montrose given in Wishart held on 11 May 1661 it states,
"the great mourning Banner carried by George Graham of Inchbrakie younger, whose youthhead only excused him from running the
risks of his father." George was certainly very young at the time of the Montrose troubles.
is that George’s future father-in-law was a wealthy merchant, and the year after George Graeme paid his indemnity to
the King, Patrick Nicholl "Merchant Burgess" of Edinburgh becomes the owner in June 1663 of the Barony of Royston, lying within
two or three miles of Edinburgh; and five years later Patrick Nicholl now styled "of Royston" purchases on September 29th, 1668, the lands of Easter Grantown, lying contiguous to his first purchase 3¼ miles N.N.W. of
Edinburgh and 1½ miles from Newhaven.
The family of
Patrick Nicholl consisted of two daughters who ultimately divided his various lands between them as heirs portioners; Margaret
became the wife of George Graeme, "fiar" of Inchbrakie, and their marriage is registered on the 16th
At the time
of this marriage with the co-heiress of Patrick Nicholl, Black Pate makes a settlement on his son George "and his spouse",
of several of the large Aberuthven farms; we find Beldhill and Strathie Chalmer are specially mentioned, while Margaret Nicholl
is to receive an annual rental off the lands of Inchbrakie. George Graeme at Patrick Nicholl’s decease (1676) is granted
a charter of the lands of Granton, they having belonged to Patrick Nicholl for life, and "to his lawful daughter Margaret
Nicholl in fee her aires and assignees therein specified". Ultimately, in 1685, when our sixth baron was spending his money
royally, and bit by bit the old Barony of Inchbrakie was being mortgaged to one person and another, Royston and Granton had
to be sold, and George Graeme finds a purchaser for them in George Viscount Tarbet. Amongst other lands mentioned is that
specially of Easter Grantoun and Granton Manor, and burn, as being "included in the Barony of Royston".
King James VII
ratifies this charter to George Viscount Tarbet, Lord MacLeod and Castleham, Lord Clerk Register, and to his spouse Anna Sinclair,
the dove cots, coal heughs and quarries are all alluded to. We leave that old Grantoun Manor House was sometimes called Royston
Castle, and "now Carolina Park". In 1851 a drawing of the old gateway shows it was then standing, but the edifice was
'a foofless ruin.'
to this period in 1671 we find matters very prosperous with George ; instead of parting with his lands he is adding to them
; no doubt his success is aided by his being son-in-law to the wealthy Patrick Nicholl and husband of his daughter and co-heiress.
So George Graeme " fiar " of Inchbrakie enforces some claims he has on the purse of Lord Mordington and obtains sasine on
precept from Chancery of the lands of Mordington and other lands in the Sheriffdome of Berwick' in September 1671.
By this date
their eldest son Patrick, the future seventh laird, had been born ; George Graeme and his wife lived principally in Edinburgh
and at Royston, and in 1673 a second son, George, appears on the scene; this boy's baptism is celebrated in Edinburgh and
is marked by the attendance as witnesses of some of George Graeme's relations, John, Earl of Atholl, at this time Lord Privy
Seal and suitor in the name of his son, for George Graeme 's little first cousin, the future Baroness Nairne in her own right,
heads the list.
The baby's uncle,
Lord Nairne, himself is present with Sir John Drummond of Logie, Lieutenant-General Sir William Drummond, afterwards Lord
Strathallan, and Sir Alexander Keith of Ludquhairn, George Graeme's cousin through his aunt Annas, as well as through his
grandmother (who was a daughter of that house, and that of the Earl Marischal of Scotland), wife of the fourth Baron of Inchbrakie;
the list is brought to a close by the name of Sir John Moncrieff of that Ilk, and we see George Graeme's relations and friends
have forgiven (if they had ever objected to) his money-making pursuits, and the neutral part he took in the affairs of the
kingdom. This gathering must have been graced by the presence of their respective ladies, and we can picture the little daughter
of Charlotte de Tremonille and the Earl of Derby, now grown into a stately Countess, the Earl of Atholl's wife; then George's
sister Lady Nairne, with the lines of her three years' imprisonment for loyalty still marking in some degree her face, while
adding character to it. Sir William Drummond's wife, Miss Johnstone of Warristoun, mother of the second Viscount of Strathallan,
might complete the group of ladies. Sir John Moncrieff the eminent physician was there probably in his professional role,
as having ushered the baby into the world, and the scene must have been a happy one to the young mother, who could not foresee
the tiny stranger a gallant rider in Lord Carmichael's regiment of Dragoons!
George was acting
godfather at this time to the offspring of many companions; a wealthy man in his position has many calls of the kind which
seem to have met with a cheery response. Patrick Smyth, Advocate of (a blank), and his wife, Lilias Aitken, have already
had a son Patrick, 1670, to whom Robert, Lord Nairne, has acted sponsor, and in 1672 they call another gathering to witness
to the birth of their little girl called Lilias; Archibald, Lord Rutherford, George Graeme of Inchbrakie, James Edmonston,
James Scott and James Stangfield, the two latter designated merchants, are present with Mr Archibald Turner the minister.
Again in June
1673, he is present when Mr James Graham "Writter," and his wife, Margaret Henderson, baptize their son James; his colleagues
on this occasion being George Dollas, "Writter to H.M. Signet," Mr Nathaine Fyffe, Advocate, and Mr Patrick Smith, Advocate.
reckless expenditure was beginning to draw its net closely round him, and heavy troubles were on the horizon; for a moment
Inchbrakie and Aberuthven lands hung in the balance; neither a faithful husband or a careful father for the future of his
children, George Graeme was destined to be the laird of whom we have little that is worthy to record. A reckless man, he lavished
his wealth and the lands his wife brought him, as well as those that his father Black Pate had preserved (in spite of the
losses his devotion to the early Stuart kings had caused), George cared for none of these things ; he borrowed and spent as
he liked, and ran deeper each year into debt. He pledged some of the best parts of the Aberuthven property which he " sold
wadset and disponed to Robert Swinton, Maltman at Leith, and his heirs, 1675, these lands were those of "Beldhill, alias Pernie,"
and thus for a space of fifty years they passed from the owners of Inchbrakie ; during that time they were owned in succession
by five groups of owners, as will be related in the history of George's eldest son and heir who finally redeemed them from
David Graeme of Pitcairns and his wife Beatrice of Orchill.
About this period,
1773-1775, Inchbrakie also for about a year passed nominally from George (1773-1775), who had got into hot water with his
brother-in-law Sir Robert Moray of Abercairny for not paying his wife Annas’ jointure. Annas Graeme or Moray was the
daughter of Black Pate, and it will be remembered that she was dowered handsomely at the time of her marriage by the annual
interest of a bond granted by her father, and her uncle, David Lord Maddertie. In this and the following century it became
the common practice owing to the impossibility of containing ready money for lands to be granted to sons and other persons
by owners, on condition that they took up certain bonds on cautions due by the granter.
An example of
this is given in the sketch of Orchill, where it is shown that David Graeme of Pitcairns became owner of Orchill by marriage
with its heiress, and also by redeeming large bonds due by her father and uncle. Another is the one previously mentioned and
more detailed further on, where the charters of Beldhill or Pernie lands are tossed from hand to hand until recovered again
by the Inchbrakie of the day. And this matter between George Graeme and Robert moray of Abercairny was another of the same
kind, the bond which granted her dower had been due by her father to Lord Maddertie, who "out of the love and favor he bore
his grand-daughter Annas, made a gift to her of its annual interest as her portion on her first marriage to Smythe of Rapness:
this portion was also assigned to her second husband Sir Robert Moray, and George being owner now (1674) of those lands which
are burdened with the interest is bound to pay the dower; this he has failed to do. Sir Robert Moray of Abercairny in July
1674 summoned him to pay the money due with expenses. George, heedless of his obligations continues his extravagant career,
shoes his riding horses with silver and proceeds to ride to – the loss of his lands! Sir Robert issues a pound of horning,
and if in fifteen days the money is not paid, both the principal and interest the lands of George Graeme will be seized.
is carried out, for one record states Sir Robert "owned" Inchbrakie, but in the next year, 1675, there is dated a full receipt
and discharge, signed by Sir Robert Moray to George Graeme, for the whole sum (notwithstanding the horning mentioned) and
George is reinstated in those lands.
The money borrowed
in 1675 from Swinton, which I have mentioned was probably for payment to Sir Robert.
In 1676 he and
his wife are living at their Perthshire estates, for that year on July 1st a child is born
to them, and again in October 1678 a daughter named Amelia to "George Graeme of Inchbrakie and Lady Margaret Nicholl his spouse."
In 1683 George
is engaged in various business transactions, mostly connected with the lands; various renunciations occur of debts on smaller
or larger portions of them, either to or from George and following the usual custom he gives a charter of lands of Strathiechalmer,
Strathie-bonar, a third part of the lands of Strathiebyreis, Smiddyhaugh, and lands of Beldhill, and Pyrnie within the Barony
of Kincardine to his eldest son Patrick. It is in this year also that a sasine to young Patrick mentions the niece of his
mother; her father, Patrick Nicholl of Royston is dead, and young Patrick has sasine on lands of Hunting Tower with his cousin
Isobel Rochheid only child of the late Patrick Nicholl’s other daughter, and her husband Robert Rochheid, merchant burgess
of Edinburgh. The death occurring in 1687 of Black Pate his father, George Graeme enters into the possession of the whole
of the Barony of Inchbrakie. A full service as heir not only to his father, but to his great grandfather took place.
A large gathering
of officials met on the 3rd June 1687, at Perth, a "Jury of Magistrates" as it was called,
under the Presidency of Mr Nathaniell Fyffe,Advocate (fourteen years since he and the new laird had been godfathers together!)
and swore on their honor and truth that they hereby do shew that George Graeme, now of Inchbrakie, is served heir to his great-grandfather
Patrick Graeme (this Patrick was third baron) in all the lands of the Barony of Invermay, lying by the water of the Earn the
Landis of Kier and Little Cardene, and that the said Patrick Graeme had been installed in that Barony by consent of John Duke
of Atholl, Lord of Invermay, on payment of an annual fee of 2 pounds Scots on 8th October 1604.
attest that the said George Graeme is the lawful and nearest heir to the said Patrick
Graeme of Inchbrakie.
The jury who sign are:
Viccecomitatus, Patrick Oliphant of Bacheltoune, Patrick Murray of Keillour, Patrick Anderson of Tullielum, Magistruim, Robert
Murray, junr of Livelands, Alex. Blair of Corbs, John Stewart (late Baillie of Perth), George Blair (late Baillie of Perth),
.Patrick Davidson, Merchant, do, Thomas Blair de Pockmilne, Davidson Monteath, late Dean of Guild,
lately Dean Sartorum, Matthew Gibson, Polentarium ibed, James Oliphant and John Amot, Writers.
prove his succession to the lands of Inchbrakie and Pittencleroch, the lands of Bulland with houses in the town and seats
in the Kirk of Foullis, but most of the lands of Aberuthven George has sold and mortgaged to James Graeme, Laird of Orchill,
from whom his son, the seventh Laird Patrick will redeem them.
In 1690 George
borrows from his tailor in Perth, Adam Christie, a burgess, 120 pounds, on the other hand in 1692, the much honoured George
Graeme of Inchbrakie lends Sir George Oliphant money.
In 1691, Mr
William Cunningham of Coull has the factorship of Inchbrakie lands; as has been explained, a great part of these lands had
been settled on Patrick, our sixth baron’s eldest son, and at this period he is married and living at Ryecroft, one
of the Graeme’s residences on the Aberuthven property, he signs a receipt for the factorship, for the years 1686 to
1689, which is witnessed by his father George and his younger brother also a George, at this time a young officer of Carmichael’s
During the latter
years of this century and beginning of the next, little meets the eye with regard to our great baron with one exception; he
appears to be settling down now, tacks of various lands to his tenants; hornings on some of them for their rents are what
we principally come across; in all these he signs with the diphthong spelling, notwithstanding that in all public documents,
registers, etc., he and his children are styled Graham, as Sir Robert Moray of Abercairny is persistently written Murray!
In 1693 he gives
a bond for over 135 pounds to John Thriepland, merchant, late bailie, burgess of Perth; Robert Graham after of Damside, and
Town Clerk of Perth is a witness.
In 1600 the
exception occurred; sorrow much have fallen on George Graeme, for there is great trouble concerning a duel between Patrick
Graeme his eldest son and the young Master of Rollo; the story is told in Sketch XVIII. (from the date of its occurrence),
George was destined to lose his son from Scotland, and it is not likely they met again, for the Rollos’ sorrow was deep
and sore, and it took the form of enforcing to the utmost the rigours of the law, which meant extradition to the young Laird
of Inchbrakie; it was ignored after a little, but for some years a very quiet life (if he was in the country) was the fate
of young Patrick Graeme.
A curious feature
of the day in trying to encourage education is shown about 1697. A certain schoolmaster in the parish of Foulis at that period
failed in receiving his full annual fee between the years 1697 and 1700, when he retired; from a claim he made no less than
thirty years afterwards, it appears that in the latter half of the seventeenth century the heritors, ministers and elders
of Foulis parish, for encouraging the "commons" to put their children the more frequently to school, did make an Act, appointing
the payment for each child per quarter to be only half a merk so long as he was learning to read English, and because this
was too small a sum to requite the schoolmaster, they appointed twenty merks to be paid yearly to him out of the box; besides
what he received there from as Precentor and Session Clerk, which sometimes six pounds and finally 4 pounds 10s yearly as
the old session books show.
had been schoolmaster at Foulis from 1692 to 1700, but for the last three years the twenty merks from the box has never reached
his hands, about which time (1697) the deceased Mr William Hepburn had been admitted minister there.
It is 32 years
(being 1732) since the money was due, and if the sum was now paid with interest he would be content; the great dearth and
famine that waged in the land at the time of his domission until now, has prevented hitherto his applying for it; he now however
"expects Justice after so long patience," and to ensure it he observes that the two old Session books (which with great pains
and trouble he had recovered from the Highlands "where for many years they had been carried away and absconded") he will still
detain until he has been paid those sixty merks! Mr A Drummond is a man of patient endurance and we should like to know whether
he obtained the money.
The above is
from a document amongst the Inchbrakie family papers, their lands in Foulis making the lairds heritors, but no solution of
the case is given.
From the document,
however, we learn two things; firstly, that in the latter end of the seventeenth century the landed proprietors were awakening
to the blessing of education for the masses, and that the heritors of Foulis parish in particular did all that was in their
power to encourage it; amongst them was George Graeme, sixth Laird of Inchbrakie. Secondly, we learn that during the latter
years of his life and afterwards, the misery of dearth and famine was added to the desolation, which surrounded in 1715 the
first struggle to reinstate King James II in his kingdom!
In 1704, for
the first and last time, we find George Graeme of Inchbrakie Commissioner with his neighbours for Perthshire, and his last
act previous to his death is to give a tack of the Bishop’s old lands of Myreside in 1706 to a tenant, Thomas Gall by
Then comes the
end; he dies in July 1706; from his will he was apparently living at Ryecroft, or with his daughter Mrs Graeme of Pitcairns,
for he dies in the parish of Auchterarder; his wife had predeceased him. A certain Mr Archibald Drummond gives up the will;
whether this is the gentleman of the Session books, or a surgeon, is not very clear; we incline to the latter view, as he
gives up the will, being principal creditor, and among the debts is one to him of 420 pounds, expended by the said Mr A. Drummond
to doctors and "chirurgeons" and others for medicines and attendants on the defunct, during the time of his illness, and upon
his funeral expenses.
appears also to have either been a collector of bills and bonds or to have obtained them from other people in payment for
his services; such would most likely be the case had he been a doctor. His claim against George amounts to over a thousand
pounds, on bills due to James Graeme of Orchill, Mr James Murray at Williamstoune and William Cunningham of Coul, all of whom
have placed their bills at one period of another in the hands of Mr Archibald Drummond.
The will gives
a long inventory, minutely and carefully valued by no less than at least seven various merchants, tradesmen and artisans:
Horses are valued
at £28 each
A large oval
folding table £24
A resting chair
covered in carpet back, head and feet
11 Russian leather
chairs at £11
5 larger ones
at £3 a piece (£15)
1 fine cabinet
1 chest of drawers
1 chess and
checker board £6
1 lint wheel
1 board over
the mort chess £9
1 down bed "very light"
possessions are many things not easy to explain; for instance,
"a leaf of the
of a seringe,"
"a stone borrow"
"a large chimney
and a little chimney,"
"a nanse coal
bedstead with iron rods,"
"a lamp for
kindling a fire,"
is a long one, and full of articles of luxury for those days:
four or five handsome beds, all with red, blue or green hangings;
silver plates, dishes,
broth plates and askalls (?)
Like many wils
compiled by creditors, all mention of wife or friends is omitted, while the inventory of "gier" enters into great detail.
In the records
of the Lyon Court in Edinburgh, which (through the courtesy of the Lyon and the Lyon Clerk) I was permitted to see, is the
"birth Brieve" and the "Funeral Escutcheon" of the sixth baron; these are in MSS, and state descent, and were prepared with
the object of painting the hatchments formerly affixed to the house on a birth or death of a member of families of importance.
These hatchments were painted with the family arms, and were in constant use at this period; it was a very important ceremonial,
the heralds assembling at the house of the deceased and superintending the erection of the escutcheon.
I have given
an example in Sketch XV., where the one drawn up for Annas (George’s sister), Mrs Moray of Abercairny, is depicted.
It is misleading in one or two particulars, but it was the most correct one of the Graeme of Inchbrakie in the Lyon office.
Unfortunately neither the
escutcheons or the brieves can be depended on. They appear to have been drawn up by underlings, rather than by the Lyon King
at Arms. In many the spelling is to illiterate and in some the genealogy most misleading, otherwise they would be proofs of
descent; as it is they all require confirmation.