and Daughters of the Eighth Great Baron of Inchbrakie and Aberuthven and Margaret Oliphant of Gask, his Wife
OF these the
eldest, George, succeeded his father; Patrick entered the army; Laurence became a sailor, serving in the naval actions under
Lord Rodney. Of the three daughters the eldest AEmelia, married twice, first to Mr Campbell of Monzie, secondly to Mr
William Graeme of Orchill; Margaret, who did not marry; and the youngest, Louisa, married Colonel Stewart of Fincastle.
sketch has given the parents' anxiety regarding the fate of the two younger sons, and now briefly we will rehearse the course
of events which befell them.
born at Inchbrakie on 17th February 1755; his grand-mother,AEmelia Nairne, leaving her exiled husband Oliphant of Gask, to
be with her daughter on the occasion of his birth; his other grandmother, Mrs George Graeme of Inchbrakie is near them and
rejoicing in the happiness of her son.
his younger brothers and sisters are entered in the Registers of both Crieff and Muthill; thus we read at Crieff on 17th February
1755 of Patrick's birth, and in the Muthill Register, the same is dated 20th February 1755.
I think this
may be accounted for by the fact of there not being an Episcopalian clergyman at Crieff, and that the one at Muthill performed
the baptismal ceremony.
and youth passed quickly in the happy family lifeat Inchbrakie; he was educated for the army and joined the 42nd Regiment,
probably obtaining his uncle John's commission in it.
For the origin
of this regiment, commonly known as the "Black Watch," we must retrace our steps to the year 1653. Montrose was dead;
Charles II. in exile, but still the Royalist troops were using every cover they could to make the lives of Cromwell's troops
under General Monck a burden.
The Battle of
Aberfoyle occurred in 1653, and after it the Royalist troops lingered in the woods of the Glasshard, and hurried their enemies
from its shelter.
The Earl of
Menteith who, whatever may have been his convictions, was now under the bidding of General Monck, was ordered by the latter
to cut down the Glasshard woods and raise a body of men to guard the passes of Monteith and Aberfoyle. This order was
given by the Earl to Graham of Duchray to be achieved.
forty-two Grahams from his own lands, and placed them as desired. The men were known in the district as the "Forty twa,"
and were never disbanded, but formed the nucleus of what is now the famous 42nd Highlanders, the "Black Watch," familiarly
known as the "Forty twa." Mr P. Dun states the original order signed by General Monck is amongst the Menteith papers
the 1st Battalion, December 1772, and was Lieutenant September 1775. At twenty-one years of age he was under fire and did
not escape; he was wounded on the 16th of November 1776, when Fort Washington was taken; he obtained his Captaincy in 1778.
We learn that year from the letter of the Duke of Montrose, that his Grace is using his interest for Patrick's eldest brother
(George, the future and ninth laird), and has taken the occasion to mention the services of both Patrick and Laurence.
and their own wish to continue on active service was granted, and the same year, Patrick, home from the American War, is arranging
his departure for India, where he is to command the 2nd Battalion of the 42nd. Outfit and many expenses require ready
money; he gives a bond to his second sister Margaret for 700 pounds sterling, to be repaid in yearly instalments of 100 pounds.
He is staying
at Orchill with his eldest sister AEmelia, Mrs Graeme of Orchill, and Margaret is there also. The document shows that
the Laird of Inchbrakie had paid £700 for his son Patrick's commission to a Captaincy in the 42nd, and by this repayment of
the sum to Margaret, a certain sum is settled on her; the paper is duly stamped and signed at Orchill on the 3rd December
1778. Patrick, like his great-grandfather the seventh baron, has a very remarkable signature; he also forms a monogram
in the initial letter, making the P of Patrick act as P. G.
In 1780 another
step is bought, his majority, for he gives his father and William Graeme of Orchill a letter showing that they have relieved
James Graeme, younger, of Garvock, of a bond for £600 sterling, and that he intends paying it off in annual payments of £50.
He signs it Patrick Graham (!) Major of the 2nd Battalion Royal Highland Regiment. His agent, Mr Anderson of London,
receives an order to pay these sums annually from his pay, and the letter shows that Patrick is now quartered at Fort George;
those enormous barracks must have been comparatively new, and we hope filled and more cheerful quarters than reported at present!
One more Christmas and New Year at home; the last! and, then farewells to each and all the neighbours, cousins, friends, rich
and poor alike.
on board a transport with the 2nd Battalion of the 42nd which he commands, granted the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel, whilst
out of England. Many a ride must Patrick have taken to bid his adieus gaily to those he loved; the cousins at
Gask are blossoming into girlhood; Caroline (the songstress of Scotland, just fifteen) chaffed by her cousins for her verses,
would shake her sunny curls and smile good-bye, perhaps to write a farewell ode to his departure, and shed, who knows, a tear
of regret in secret.
He has all the
friends in London to see, the kindly clan of Drummond, who bid him God-speed with many a promise of help and future interest
on his behalf.
And so both
the sons have left their native soil, never to return, and the sun shines less brightly to Margaret Oliphant ever after, as
she sits dreaming under the Inchbrakie beech trees of her absent boys that summer, though letters come from both.
date from the Cape Verde Islands; they have been sharply engaged by the French; his letter tells its own story:
St Iago, one of the Cape Verde Islands.
this to be in readiness to dispatch the first opportunity. To begin with, I ought to have dated my letter in Prya (?)
Bay where I now write on board the Three Sisters transport. Our Regiment, with a few ships of war, first anchored before
the Isle of May, with an intention of watering more expiditiously, but found the water so difficult to be had and in general
so bad, that it was thought proper our detachment should join the fleet in this Bay, which happened very luckily, The Whole
Fleet being attacked the morning after our arrival by five Line of Battle French Ships, bound with Convoy, it is said, for
the Mauritius with several thousand troops on Board, Stores, etc. I rather presume the above Fleet is destined to try
and counteract our expedition. It is now confidently said we are bound for the Cape of Good Hope. Be that as it may,
two 74 and three 64 French Gun Ships having (?) determinedly engaged our Fleet laying at anchor, guarded by one 74, one 64,
three 50 and three Frigates, some of which from being moored could not bring their guns to bear upon the enemi without doing
Damage to our own Fleet. A few of the Transports suffered a good deal as to Officers and men. After an hour and quarter's
engagement the French were repulsed, and one of their principal ships totally disabled and otherwise much damaged; some Prisoners
say that the whole French Fleet suffered very much. Two of our Ships, an India-man and Transport Victualler, having
had there cables cut by Cannon Shote, dropped out to sea and were taken by the French in their retreat; but afterwards
retaken by Commander Johnstone, who, the instant his Fleet could gett ready, slipt there cables and persued the French.
But unluckily the Monnmouth and Isis were so disabled they could not keep in the Line by which means the Commandore being
so far astern, lost sight of the French in the night. This last is only report, and may not be so. The French
Officer that was sent on board to Man the East Indiaman behaved very ill, having carried a Pistole on board in his hand and
inviting the Ladys on Board, five in number, to see him dance a hornpipe, after having performed he presented his pistole
to each of the ladys' breasts, then demanding their watches, rings, etc., which were given him, upon which he returned to
his own ship, leaving the party to take charge of the Indiaman. It was disagreable enough to the Transports, the balls
flying about our rigging and we not having it in our power to do any good. There was only one shot struck the Transport,
though a number went amongst the rigging of the Vessel without doing any damage. You will see all particulars in the
Gazette. I am sorry to inform you that there was a fever broke out amongst the soldiers and sailors on board the ship; there
has two fine lads died of it. Poor Cameron is recovering, Cleghorn still in danger. All the Officers well. I have
not been near so much distressed with sea sickness as formerly, though verry Bad. The Commodore and General pay great attention
to our little Fleet and Armie. The Commodore did this Ship the honor of a visit, and has prepossessed us all very much
in his favour from his affability and attention to everything regarding the Officers and Soldiers. We have had a fine
passage thus far. The crew of the Infernal, a fine Ship, has retaken and brought her into this Bay, she was taken by
the French the day of the action?but the two French Officers disputing which should have the Command, agreed to go on board
the Commander's Ship to decide the matter. When our English boys thought proper to secure the French sailors on board,
which they effected. I only draw Captain's pay from 24th of March.
respects to Mrs Campbell and be so good as let her know I shall write her once we come to the place of our destination, as
likewise to my Orchill friends.
is to sail this afternoon, Sunday, 29th of April. Duty to my Aunts, best and most affectionate wishes attend my Brothers
and Sisters. Perhaps you know in Britain where we are bound for by this time, if so, do write me and believe that
I ever remain, with most unfeigned affection, Dear Parents,
dutiful Son and loving Servant,
I dont give
you a description of the Island, as you will see a pretty exact one in Guthrie or Salmond's Geography; the Green Monkers are
very tame, not at all vicious. That being a good remark, I will stop.
It was a full
stop for ever! Patrick died soon after, exhausted by sea sickness, his strength failed to conquer the fever and other
ailments which supervened, and though he was moved to a larger and more commodious vessel, the East Indiaman Latham, he survived
only a few days. When the French were repulsed and their principal vessels disabled, one or two of our own ships were
held by them for a short time, during which the French officer played a most ungallant part, as related in Patrick's letter.
These vessels were soon after recaptured by Commander Johnstone.
to sea-sickness proves other voyages, of which the records have not been traced.
On June 1st,
1784, his father receives an affidavit to settle his late son's affairs. Captain Lindsay, late Captain and Paymaster of 2nd
Battalion of 42nd, has arrived from India, bringing with him the only accounts received from the regiment since it left Spithead
three years ago. It is hoped there will be prize money for the Dutch Indiaman; General Meadows has taken up the matter
and is carrying on a law suit for the army, as the India Ships' Company are also claiming.
This prize money
of Sadhana Bay ultimately was obtained; it amounted to £70,000 of Bullion, and Patrick Graeme's share of it, less charges,
amounts to something over £250, which was all his family received as an equivalent to the £1300 spent on his commissions.
The dates of
his commissions in the 42nd are:
Graeme to be Captain, October 1778.
Graeme, 42nd Regiment, 1st Battalion, to be Major of 2nd Battalion, April 1780.
To be Lieutenant-Colonel
East Indies only, Patrick Grxme, 42nd, 1782.
The fate of
Patrick's youngest brother Laurence was equally sad for the parents. Born on the 4th June 1758, the Muthill register
states he was baptised on June 5th.
He must have
been commissioned to the Royal Navy very early and have made several voyages before we read his first letter home, for he
was appointed to the Hornet 22nd December 1779 as lieutenant, until Christmas Day 1780.
To H.M. ship
Sandwich as Lieutenant, 27th December 1780 to February 21st, 1781.
And given command
of the Sylph just before he writes home on February 10th, 1781.
the Inchbrakie Graemes have not kept many letters written to them; it is rather from those in the possession of their friends
that we learn their history.
the country about the same period as his brother Patrick, early in the year of 1781. He writes in June following a short
letter to his mother; there has been much fighting, and Sir George Rodney is hard pressed for want of ships; he himself is
in command of H.M. sloop Sylph.
I am happy
in finding you have received one of my letters, by receiving one last night from Margerit which I can not possible answer;
at present Tobago is lost, and I am afraid more will go if they do not send out more Ships, the French fleet is at present
much superior to the English in numbers.
I have had
an action with two French men and have thrashed them as Britains always do.
letters inclosed to Messrs Moads, Downing Street, Westminster, as he is my Agent.
Commander of his Majesty's Ship
Sylph to the care of Mr Carr,
The next epistle
speaks of a letter (never received) and of bad luck which has attended the commander of the Sylp; the little fleet is captured
and Laurence is in low spirits. His sister Louisa has evidently requested that he should have his likeness taken; probably
her father's miniature has excited her admiration; the young sailor has lost his heart to the Henry Drummonds, and wishes
to hear his mother extol the charms of Henry Drummond's wife, the Lady Elizabeth.
22nd April 1782.
I had the
pleasure of receiving yours of the 5th of Sept. where my dear Sister Louisa likewise favoured me and I ashure you gives me
no small pleasure in the prettiness of her stile, it wants nothing but a little more yuce. I am sorry it is out of my
power to grant her request as there is no artist of that kind in this Country.
you in February of my misfortunes which perhaps you have not received, and indeed if you have it was a very indistinckt one,
I most therefore inform you again that I was taken at Demerary by a French Squadron commanded by Count Tissant who had three
Frigates, two of 40 guns, one of twenty-four, two brigs, one of twenty-four 12 pounders, the other, six twenty-four pounders,
and a mortar of thirteen inches, one Cutter of 29 pounders, and two Transports with 600 soldiers, the force on our side might
have been easily conquered with one half the force of the enemy. If you will alow that we had force; for the Sylph and
Barbrack were the only vessels that deserved the name of Men of War, of course you may easily suppose we fell a sacrifice
to such a great superiority. I would have been in England before now had not Sir George Rodney wished me to stay in
hopes of exchanging me. This misfortune is particularly hard upon me as in all probability had it not happened I should
have had the command of a line of Battleship before this, and as to money I seem to have no better luck, the taking of Demerary
is at least six hundred pounds out of my pocket, you may suppose the loss of my ship no triffel, and the loss at St Kitts,
double boath. They have only to take Antigua and then I am complitt. But I hope we are going to have better luck.
so good as to make an excuse to Peggy and Luisa for not answering their letters, tho' I cannot pled the want of time, yet
I may that of spirits. I am very happy to find that Mr Henry Drummond has not forsaken Scotland. Were you not
in raptures with them. I have just received a letter from Mrs R. Drummond of God knows how many pages, she writes the
best letter of any woman I know or man either. This letter I intended to have sent you from Barbadoes but no pacquet
coming in I have no opportunity. I am now off Antigua in the Le Fortune in search of Sir George who has had an action
with the French fleet and at present is supposed to have gone to Jamaica where I intend to follow him.
His next and
last letter, 18th July 1782, consists of half a dozen lines, telling of his appointment as Post-Captain to the French prize
Ville de Paris, the largest man-of-war afloat, commanded by the Comte de Grasse and captured by Sir George Rodney, who for
this received his peerage.
found Sir George since he last wrote; Rodney had (almost at the instant Laurence was writing his last letter) come up with
the French fleet, and after eleven hours' hard fighting completely mastered it on April 12th, 1782.
The prizes were
all safely towed into Jamaica Harbour, May 5th, with the exception of the Caesar, which was burnt, causing great loss of life,
the night of the action.
was given command of the Ville de Paris. The ship was riddled with bullets (H.M.S. Formidable alone had fired eighty
broadsides) and set out for home with a regiment 1000 strong on board. She encountered rough weather and foundered.
A sailor was examined by Sir Thomas Pye on 26th March 1783; he stated he was the sole survivor of the Ville de Paris, being
also one of her crew; he was on deck when she foundered and clung to a spar (great part of the time insensible). He
had seen the Glorieux founder the previous day he was picked up by a Danish ship and left at Havre where they sent him into
hospital, and treated him humanely. The Commandant of Police there received instructions to send him home by a Russian
ship, whose master confirmed Wilson's statement.
1782 (July) the late admiral of the enemy's fleet, the Comte de Grasse, had been sent to England on board the Sandwich commanded
by Sir Peter Parker;
attention was paid to the Count by the nobility and gentry," and on 8th August he attended a drawing-room at St James' and
had audience of His Majesty; he left for France on the 12th en route to Brest for his trial. It was not till 1783 was
well advanced that all hopes of Laurie were given up at Inchbrakie.
On 27th February
1783, their uncle Laurence of Gask writing to the old Lady of Strowan, now a widow and still in France, mentions there is
still some faint hopes of Laurie, "as it is said Lord Keppell told severall that the Ville de Paris and Glorieux were
both safe in a neutral port, George wrote he was well not long ago from Gibralta."
year Laurence's agent renders the accounts from the year 1779 of his pay, etc., so all hopes of bright young Laurie Graeme
being saved from the wreck are at an end.
AEMELIA, MRS CAMPBELL OF MONZIE AND MRS WILLIAM GRAEME OF ORCHILL.
their first child born just two years after their wedding on July 13th, 1750; Mrs Oliphant of Gask was with her daughter
at the time and after she has returned to France, the young mother talks of "your little one a Boking sturdy active munkey
. . ." who "will run like any-thing" when her "long cot " is held up the little legs run so fast and so "purpose like."
Eight years later, she writes again to her mother of her namesake Aemelia, as playing and diverting the whole house and being
much admired by visitors.
On the 22nd
January 1777, James Campbell of Monzie married her at Inchbrakie; just 175 years previously a daughter of Inchbrakie
had been Mr Campbell's ancestress!
Lord Monzie, was a famous lawyer and a person of great importance in the matter of the Gask Trust, for his son Patrick (the
bridegroom's father) had been one of the "Trust" purchasers of Gask, and many allusions took place in the family letters about
Lord Monzie's seizure in the fifties, when the purchase of Gask was contemplated; and the next letter speaks of his state
of health. The writer is possibly Mr James Graham, a famous surgeon at the sign of the Mortar and Pestle in Portland
Street, London. He was a great friend to the Oliphants and he is writing to Lady Gask.
. . I have seen Lord Glenorchy often about your affairs, he seems very angry at the disappointment he has met with from Mr
West, and in such a passion that he will not truckle to one who has used him ill. However, last night I wished so much
that he promised he would take all opportunity of being in his way and ask in a peremtory way the meaning of this ill usage,
which is now all I could obtain . . . an unlucky accident happened this morning to retard business at all offices and meetings
in publick places for sometime, to witt the Death of the Prince of Wales who expered this morning about one of the clock,
he had had an inflamation of his lungs for five days at the end of the third day they thought him better, he slept eight hours
and had no pain next morning, he spat up some matter and they were in hopes as he was cheerful and eased of his pains he would
do well, but alas to the great grieff of the nation a new ulcer broke last night and choked him instantly, as the King is
old every-body dreads a Regent, the young Prince George but just going thirteen so this day is full of consternation.
Poor Lord Monzie is positive not to go to Bath, as I earnestlie prest him to do, but purposes going to Dunse this summer.
I am afraid as he does not come this way, all is over, for I meant the journey to do him good. My complements to all
friends with you, and believe me always
21st March 1751.
But all this
had happened a long time ago. Gask was once more in possession of the rightful owner the Jacobite Laird; it is Lord
Monzie's grandson James who marries Aemelia Graeme. They were husband and wife just four months and twenty-six days;
his death appears in the obituary of the Scots Magazine. "17th June 1777, at Monzie, Perthshire, James Campbell of Monzie,
A short and
bare record, we can add no detail to it.
year has intervened, a further notice occurs, September 24, 1778, at Inchbrakie, Perthshire, William Graeme Esq. Advocate,
younger of Orchill, to Mrs Campbell, widow of James Campbell, Esq., of Monzie, and daughter of Patrick Graeme, Esq., of Inchbrakie.
For the rest
of her married life and its story we refer the reader to the Sketch of Orchill. Many children, girls and boys both,
were born to William Graeme and his wife. Old David Graeme of Orchill dies the April following the marriage; it
must be remembered that his wife, the Honble. Louisa Nairne was Margaret's aunt, so that she and her husband were really first
cousins. We fear her life was not a very happy one. Mr Graeme was not likely to make his wife a happy woman, she had
frequent cause for jealousy, and their children died almost as quickly as they came, and finally Orchill fell once again to
an heiress. We know of no picture of Aemelia Graeme unless it be an unnamed portrait at Gask, among the Orchill pictures
of a lady in a blue costume and beaver hat seated with her flute in her hand, and music on the ground, a handsome woman with
powdered hair, as was the fashion of the day.
was painted by Raeburn and hangs at Gask also. He and Niel Gow were boon companions, and Orchill re-echoed often to
the wails of the former's violin, while composing his various reels and strathspeys and Highland measures.
of Inchbrakie," a lament, was composed to Mrs William Graeme's brother Patrick, who died on his way to India in command of
the 2nd Battalion of the 42nd.
Mr William Gra'me's
violin, with which he often accompanied Niel Gow, is still preserved .
We have now
come to Margaret Graeme, the second daughter of the eighth Great Baron, and namesake of her mother, Margaret Oliphant of Gask;
this lady never married, but remained to brighten her widowed father's home when all others had left it. Born at Inchbrakie
on the 22nd July 1756, it is many years ere anything special tells us of her life, then we find her visiting her married sister
at Orchill and assisting her brother in the purchase of his Company, 1778.
A great point
in Mr William Grame's favour should not be omitted his unbounded hospitality, whatever may have been his views of a husband's
duties, that of separating his wife from her near relations was not one in his opinion, and his doors were ever open to them.
stayed almost as much at Orchill as at Inchbrakie before her mother's death, and it was during one of these visits that Niel
Gow composed his charming strathspey to her.
docketed in her handwriting show she was often a visitor of the Charter Chest for her father. The many family losses
Margaret endured during her life would fall more keenly on her than on the married sisters and brother who were absent;
those two years of deep anxiety for her brothers Patrick and Laurence were shared with her father and mother; she was the
sister to comfort Mrs Campbell of Monzie in the first flush of sorrow for the loss of her bridegroom, and to rejoice with
her when again a bride. She had borne the trial of her mother's death, and would take much burden and thought on herself,
when her younger sister Louisa married Robert Stewart of Fincastle in 1792.
In 1796 her
father died; she writes just before his death to an old family friend, Mr Rutherford of Balwhandie, their lawyer in Perth,
who has sent a present of fish, and a messenger to enquire for the laird, now seventy-nine years of age.
I this day
before dinner received the three fine fish from you and in the name of my father and aunts return you kind thanks, I would
before now write but my close attendance on my father prevented me. He has suffered very very much since I wrote you
last, we never thought he would see this day. This day eight days alarming symptoms appeared at three in the morning,
upon which I sent an express for my brother and Mrs Graham, in two hours after she came and is still here, my brother came
next day when all the distressing symptoms returning . . . which continued three days and nights very violent, but at last
went off and he is now so low that it is out of our power to know what to think but would fain have a dawn of hope.
and aunts join me in kind compts to you and Miss Ker and I remain with much regard
3 Feb. 1796.
We see by this
that Miss Annie and Jean Grxme are still living at
The eighth Great
Baron was dying, and a few more days see the close of his life.
Though her brother
George makes her welcome to remain on, Margaret wisely refuses. Writing Mr Rutherford in May she mentions she has decided
not to remain at Inchbrakie, though her two aunts intend to accept their nephew's kind offer.
In 1798 she
dates again from her old home, she has the charge of the Charter Chest for George, tenth laird, who is on service and married;
his duties prevent his residence at Inchbrakie as yet, and he only pays flying visits to his home.
In 1799 we find
it is Miss Anne Graeme the aunt, and not the sister, who now takes out the papers from the Charter Chest, and Margaret lives
probably between Fincastle and Orchill.
Her only niece
at Orchill had married as time went on and is heiress of Orchill; she married Mr Gillespie the famous architect of many of
the houses in Perthshire, and Margaret finds her home with them.
Her death occurs
while with Mr and Mrs Gillespie Graeme at 7 p.m. on Friday, 12th November 1819, at fifty-four years of age; a kindly worded
letter from Mr Gillespie conveys the last accounts to her brother, Colonel Graeme, now settled at Inchbrakie.
has been for some days much worse than her usual, and her complaint begins to wear an alarming appearance, the Dr. says, etc.,
etc., etc., and unless she gets speedy releif it cannot be expected she can hold out long. You may rest assured that
nothing on our part shall be wanting to alleviate her sufferings. She appears not to feel pain but continues in a state of
stupor. I'll write you again next post. Mrs G. who is much affected unites with me in kind regards to you, Mrs
Graeme and Miss Graeme.
Seven o'clock P.M.
has just told me that he does not think Miss Graeme can put off beyond this night. I think, therefore, you should come
to town with as little delay as possible.
the last sentence your sister has breathed her last.
of Inchbrakie, Crieff.
A letter from
her brother-in-law, Colonel Stewart, written at the same date, says:
Decr. 7th, 1819.
I have received
your letter of the 23rd ultima. . . . Mrs Stewart and I most sincerely condole with you and family for the loss of our late
amiable sister; she had suffered much distress . . . for many years past with great resignation; it must, however,
be gratifying to her friends that she went off so easily at last. It will afford as much pleasure to hear that your
sons were all well when you last heard. My son Patrick is gone to Dunse in Berwickshire for the purpose of improving
himself in agriculture. Winter commenced here very early and of late very boisterous weather, but we are lucky provided with
farm store to meet it. Mrs Stewart and Gilbert join me in kind and best compliments to you, Mrs Graeme and Miss Graeme.
I am, my
Humble St. and Brother,
To Colonel Graeme of Inchbrakie.
DAUGHTER LOUISA, MRS STEWART OF ORCHILL
MARIA HENRIETTA GRAEME the
youngest child of Patrick Graeme and
his wife Margaret Oliphant of Gask was born at Inchbrakie 30th November 1760. From her nephew’s lips we have heard that she grew into a remarkably
beautiful woman, and was the toast of the country; at the "Perth Hunt" balls and large gatherings, it was then the custom
to name some specially selected beauty when drinking the health of the ladies. This was still kept up at the Perth Hunt balls,
where it is the custom to give the bride of the previous year as the toast.
with a great charm of manner, Louisa Graeme won her way to all hearts, and was a universal favourite. It was, however, 1792
before any of her admirers finally won her. There was a strong attachment to her on the part of a distant cousin, Captain
the Honble. George Elphinstone, a descendant of the Keiths (through Lady Mary, the sister of the last Earl Marischal). He
was afterwards George, Viscount Keith, Admiral of the Red. Whether Louisa did not return it and wished to disgust her admirer,
or whether an access of exuberance overcame her and she determined to have a frolic and show her powers of horsemanship on
any animal, it is hard to say, but when Captain Elphinstone made one of his many calls at Inchbrakie, he found the beauty
seated on a large pig which she was riding round the Court. This, it was said, prevented the matter going any further.
have been very attractive at this period, she was in her eighteenth year, and Captain Elphinstone had just been sent home
with dispatches from Admiral Arbuthnot after the actions at Charlestown in 1777. He was returned M.P. for Dumbartonshire,
and went to sea again in 1780.
Captain Graeme, R.N. writes in "Memoirs of Early Naval Life" that when entering the Service, George Elphinstone now Lord Keith,
Vice Admiral, desired that little Alex. Graeme be sent to him at Plymouth where the Admiral was stationed in command of the
Channel Fleet (1812) a married man with grown up children. On young Graeme being introduced into his presence at his morning
levee with all the captains of the Channel Squadron round him, Lord Keith patted the little fellow on the head (Alex. Graeme
was barely thirteen) and asked him how his aunt Mrs Stewart of Fincastle was? The boy was rather bewildered by the question
relating to an aunt of whom he saw least, especially at the moment when his head was most full of Aunt Margaret and his parents!
It was to Louisa
Graeme in 1783 that Lady Elizabeth Drummond wrote her sympathy in that terrible time of suspense to the Inchbrakie family.
2 February 1783
happy to hear by yours that you had received some hopes after the agent’s letter. I hope that as the date of Col. Fullerton’s
letter was so late as June last that you will hear good accounts of the Major, but alas, what a cruel state of suspense to
be in. I trouble you with this to beg you will write to me if you hear any further accounts as we are very anxious and it
I hear anything from London that can give you the least confort depend on my letting you know immediately. I heard from Maggie
last post, but in my answer did not say a word of having heard from you as you wrote to me you had not acquaint your sister
Mrs Graham with the last accounts. My mother and Willie Drummond join me in kind compt to all at Inchbrakie, believe me ever
my dear Louisa.
to Miss Louise Graeme, Inchbrakie.
in the letter by Lady Elizabeth to Margaret at Orchill points to the fact that Mrs William Graeme was in delicate health at
the time, and that as much suspense as possible was being saved her.
In 1792 Louisa
Graeme has made up her mind to leave her home and her choice has fallen on Robert Stewart, younger of Fincastle, the scion
of another Jacobite House!
on the northern side of one of the most lovely rivers in Scotland, the Rummel, which rushes headlong between the fairy outline
of their silver birches, or pauses placidly smiling and reflecting their graces in its translucent pools.
of Bonskeid (an even lovelier spot), were adjacent to it and not more than a few miles off was Faskally, where her first cousin
Mrs Robertson was living; (she was daughter to the Patrick Graeme who had charge of Inchbrakie during the 1745). Very likely
Louisa visited and met her husband there. Bonskeid House (the old House) used to stand on the brow of the hill; it was burnt
down about the 1745 and the owner Alexander Stewart, then a mere child, and his sister were sheltered with the relations the
Stewartsat Fincastle. Alexander Stewart was not rich enough to rebuild his house; he studied for the medical profession and
was one of the first to lessen the scourge of smallpox by inoculation.
settled in Perth, and in 1799 married Mary Anne Mary Oliphant, the daughter of the younger Jacobite Laird of Gask and the
elder sister of Caroline Lady Nairne.
now Mrs Stewart, would welcome Mary her first cousin (who was rather in disgrace with her family for marrying a poor man,
dependent on his profession) at Fincastle House, and we who know well the lovely beauties of Bonskeid, can fancy the Oliphant
bride’s growing love for her husband’ estate.
Ten years after
Mary Oliphant’s marriage the house of Bonskeid was built under the following circumstances. Lady Bath and her husband
Sir James Poulteney were traveling in Scotland, and the former lost her heart to the beauties of Bonskeid. Dr Stewart went
to see them at Blair Castle wher they were visiting; a lease of Bonskeid was granted them. Lady Bath who erected a tent to
watch the building, died soon after the house was commenced; Sir James then altered the arrangements, building a small house
on the place where Lady Bath had gazed at the view with such delight; the home had just been furnished when Sir James also
died, and Dr Stewart became the owner of the residence.
died however in Perth at their house in the Watergate, on 19th June 1819; the morning of her
death the painting of the new house at Bonskeid arrived; it was placed where she could see it.
Her only daughter
Miss Stewart succeeded to theproperty and she married Glas Sandeman, Esq, of Springland near Perth, and the present owner
of lovely Bonskeid is her great grandson.
cousin of Louise Graeme’s married Stewart of Dalguise. The old baronial house of Dalguise still stands above the banks
of Tay. She was Gask’s second daughter and a warm attachment existed between her and Louisa Graeme. Mrs Stewart of Dalguise
named her only daughter "Henrietta Maria" after Mrs Stewart of Fincastle.
lived to a great age and the writer remembers meeting her at Gask when in her ninety-sixth year, so that two namesakes of
Louisa Graeme met in 1892 (just one hundred years after her marriage), Miss Henrietta Maria Stewart, her goddaughter, and
Louisa Grace Graeme her grandniece.
But to return
to Louisa Graeme herself. The Scots Magazine records the marriage in 1792 at Inchbrakie. Captain Robert Stewart, junior, fo
Fincastle, of the 61st Regiment, to Miss Louisa Maria Henrietta Graeme, third daughter of Patrick
Graeme, Esq of Inchbrakie.
of one of her wedding presents has come down to her descendants with the mirror now in possession of her grandnieces.
Mr Moray of
Abercairny presented Louisa Graeme with a brougham and fine pair of horses; this courtly gentleman was not unmindful of his
young cousin’s beauty (he was in the third degree, being greatgrandson of Annas Graeme, Black Pate’s daughter);
in the front of the brougham he placed a very beautiful mirro with gilt columns, so that the fair bride might never enter
a house without her toilette becomingly arranged.
afterwards became Colonel. His family and that of bonskeid had frequently intermarried, and both were descended from the royal
house of Bruce.
A copy of the
old royal tree of Scotland hangs in the Perth Museum and at the top of one of its branches can be seen the names of Louisa
Graeme of Inchbrakie and her husband Colonel Robert Stewart of Fincastle. On 14th September
1793 their son and heir Gilbert is born; Orchill opens wide its hospitable doors and her eldest sister receives the young
mother from her Highland home for the occasion.
In 1794 another
boy, Patrick, came; he went in after life to America where he married and had issue; he seems to have kept up little or no
correspondence with his country.
child was a daughter, Susan Anne. She married Hon. Duncan Stewart Robertson (member of Council) of Friendship, Jamaica and
Carron Vale, Stirlingshire.
of Louisa and Colonel Stewart of Fincastle were born.
Duncan Stewart Robertson of Carron Vale married 18th September 1844 Harriet, daughter of Donald
Ogilvy of Clova and granddaughter of the seventh Earl of Airlie; she died in 1849 and her husband Duncan, in 1856, leaving
an only daughter, Miss Julia Ogilvy Robertson of Carron Vale.
grandson of the Stewarts of Fincastle and only male issue of the family of Fincastle, James Robertson, entered the army in
1841, joining the 31st Regiment.
There is no
scion of Inchbrakie of whom that old house may be prouder than of this officer. Capable as well as gallant, he served with
the 61st through the great Sikh War; out of thirty officers the regiment had ten killed and
fifteen wounded in six weeks.
From India he
went on to the Crimea and was present at both attacks on the Redan.
On peace being
declared, Captain James Robertson was sent to Ireland, commissioned to raise two battalions of military train here; he was
promoted to his majority and given command of the 2nd Battalion.
The Indian Mutiny
having broken out, he and his battalion were sent to the front, and on arrival at Calcutta the Commander-in-chief recommended
that they should be formed into a regiment of light cavalry.
Robertson’s men were picked volunteers from cavalry regiments, and he led them through the Capture and Relief of Lucknow
and through many minor engagements; he commanded the cavalry force (three regiments) under Sir James Outram, and at last succumbed
to sunstroke for which he was invalided home with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, he had been third Senior Captain eleven
For two years
Colonel Robertson suffered from the effects of his Indian campaign, and then rejoined his regiment.
In 1870 he sold
out, having held the rank of full Colonel for the last seven years of his service.
and gallantry met with its reward. For the Sikh War he received a medal and three clasps. For the Redan a medal and clasp
with the Turkish medal.
To these succeeded
his majority, and command of a regiment of light cavalry in the Indian Mutiny, followed by the command of the cavalry force
under Sir James Outram and Sir Edward Lugard, for which he was presented with the Order of Companion of the Bath, made a full
Colonel and given a medal and clasp; thus, in nineteen years after joining and when forty years of age, he had served through
three important campaigns and attained the rank of a full Colonel!
That was a record
worthy indeed of a descendant of Black Pate of Inchbrakie.
married on his return from active service Miss Churchill, daughter of John Churchill esq, of the family of the Duke of Marlborough.
Miss Churchill’s grandfather was the incumbent of the parish church at Esher and often had the honour of leading our
beloved Queen Victoria by the hand when a tiny child. Both Miss Churchill’s great grandfathers served in the Royal Navy.
In spite of
the disparity of age, there was a strong friendship between young James Robertson and his cousin George Graeme, the tenth
Laird of Inchbrakie, at whose marriage Colonel Robertson was best man.
In January 1882,
when the house of Inchbrakier was dismantled, he bought the old charter chest of the family which had so long contained the
witch’s relic and deposited it in the Museum of Art, Edinburgh, where he states that it will be safe for all time.
In 1837 a letter
from her nephew George, then younger of Inchbrakie, to his father the ninth laird, written from Edinburgh, states he has been
down to Portobello to see his Aunt Louisa, Mrs Stewart of Fincastle. Miss Paterson (her companion) greeted the proposal that
Mrs Stewart should go down to Inchbrakie on a visit to her brother with a very long face, but he "was agreeably surprised
on going upstairs to find the old lady in high spirits and delighted at the proposal, her only objection being the trouble
it caused". George Graeme soon overruled this and once more Louisa Graeme visited the scenes of her childhood in her 77th year; age had not diminished her bright spirit and active mind.
At the end of
the year 1841, in the 81st year of her age, Louisa Graeme of Inchbrakie and Stewart of Fincastle
was laid to rest. She died near Edinburgh, and was interred behind the Episcopal Church at Portobello in an enclosed grave;
a marble slab marks the spot.