A Book of the Graemes


Title Page
Preface (v)
Sketch of Graeme Decent Through the Noble House of Montrose (xvii)
Images to Sketch of Grame Decent
Sketch I Patrick Graeme, 1st Great Baron of Inchbrakie and Aberruthven (1)
Sketch II The Younger Children and Widow of Patrick, the First Great Baron of Inchbrakie (6)
Sketch III Robert Graeme, Archdeacon of Ross, Younger Son of the First Great Baron (10)
Sketch IV George Graeme, 2nd Baron of Inchbrakie (19)
Sketch V Widow and Children of George Graeme (27)
Sketch VI George Graeme, Bishop of Orkney, Retland and Dunblane (35)
Images to Sketch VI
Sketch VII Patrick Graeme, Third Baron of Inchbrakie (66)
Sketch VIII Widow and Younger Children of Patrick Graeme (90)
Images to Sketch VIII
Sketch IX George Graeme, Fourth Baron of Inchbrakie (104)
Images to Sketch IX
Sketch X The Younger Children of George and Marget Keith, his Wife (118)
Sketch XI Patrick V of Inchbrakie 'Black Pate' (134)
Images to Sketch XI
Sketch XII Col Patrick Graeme of the Town Guard and his Family (186)
Images to Sketch XII
Sketch XIII John Graeme, Postmaster General (216)
Sketch XIV James Graeme, Solicitor General (223)
Sketch XV Daughters of Black Pate (230)
Images to Sketch XV
Sketch XVI George Graeme, 6th Baron of Inchbrakie (248)
Sketch XVII Younger Son & Daughters of George Graeme (259)
Sketch XVIII Patrick Graeme, 7th Baron of Inchbrakie (262)
Images to Sketch XVIII
Sketch XIX George Graeme, 8th in-line, son of Patrick (276)
Sketch XX Patrick Graeme, 8th Baron of Inchbrakie (284)
Images to Sketch XX
Sketch XXI Younger Sons and Daughters of the 8th Baron (317)
Images to Sketch XXI
Sketch XXII George Graeme, 9th Baron of Inchbrakie (340)
Sketch XXIII Patrick and Younger Sons and Daughter of George Graeme, 9th of Inchbrakie (360)
Images to Sketch XXIII
Sketch XXIV George Drummond Graeme 10th of Inchbrakie and Patrick Graeme 11th (395)
Images to Sketch XXIV
Sketch XXV The Witch's Relic (406)
Images to Sketch XXV
Sketch XXVI Graemes of Monzie, Pitcairns & Buchlyvie (413)
Sketch XXVII The Graemes of Orchill (432)
Images to Sketch XXVII
Sketch XXVIII The Graemes of Gorthie and Braco (454)
Images to Sketch XXVIII
Sketch XXIX The Graemes of Graemeshall in Orkney (497)
Sketch XXX The House of Graham and Watt of Breckness and Orkney (513)
Sketch XXXI Kathrine Graeme, Daughter of George, Bishop of Dunblane (524)
Sketch XXXII Graemes of Drynie (540)
Images to Sketch XXXII
Sketch XXXIII Graeme of Damside and Graeme of Duchray (547)
Sketch XXXIV The Graemes of Garvock (557)
Sketch XXXV The Graemes of Balgowan (572)
Images to Sketch XXXV
Sketch XXXVI Grames, Greymes, Grahams of Callendar; Aberuthven, Kernock, Kinross Cossington (592)
Sketch XXXVII Grahams of Airth & Graham-Stirling of Strowan (604)
Sketch XXXVIII The Graemes of Fintry, Claverhouse, Duntrune and other Cadets (616)
Images to Sketch XXXVIII
Appendix I
Appendix II
Appendix III
Appendix IV
Appendix V
Appendix VI
Index A
Index B
Index C
Index D, E & F
Index G
Index H
Index I, J, K & L
Index M & N
Index O, P, Q & R
Index S
Index T, U, V, W & Y

Sketch XXII


Ninth Great Baron of Inchbrakie and Aberuthven

Tenth in Descent from the  First Earl of Montrose

1795 – 1844

Born on 23rd May 1753, George Graeme first saw the light in the latter half of a century, the earlier part of which had been rent by Scotland’s loyal, though vain, efforts to place the royal race (of Stuart), beloved of that nation, on the throne. The country was now settling down to try and regain something of what it had lost from an agricultural view.

What had gone in the best of its valour and blood was never to be replaced, and would surely recur, for as long as life and war continue, so long will a valiant race send forth the best of its sons to meet them.

As far as the efforts on the land of Inchbrakie went, they were a failure for the future welfare of the house. In the sketch of Patrick, the eighth laird, one of his letters show he is hard at work on various plantings, and the formation of a "Water Meadow," which resulted in early crops of hay, which meant a second to follow, and advanced agricultural movement of 1750. George Graeme followed his father’s lead and was known as the Laird of Inchbrakie who had sown gold in his trench ploughing, and who reaped silver.

With regard to military service, he personally did not grudge to give of his best, but as his sons grew to man’s estate, he sent them one by one to Liverpool, where, during his early service in the north of England, and while holding the appointment of Colonel of the Perthshire Fencibles later on, he had formed friendships with various of the merchant princes of that city.

One by one the boys laid down the pen, rose from the desks and buckled on their swords; their forefathers had heard too often and too long the clash of steel and the sound of pipes screaming the "Blar Allt" to permit them to respond to the wish of their father that his sons should follow the example of some of the best blood in the country, and exchange the scabbard for the quill.

George Graeme began his military career when just twenty years of age. Like his father he joins the Dutch Brigade. His commission bears the "Het" Regiment (eighth?) Scots Brigade, Lt. General Mackay, Colonel Majoribanks. Two years later he was admitted supernumerary to the regiment under Colonel Riddle, and the following autumn, on the 27th August 1775, he is commissioned to the regiment under Major-General Houston, commanded by Vandrig Murdoch Mackenzie.

The Dutch service had no attraction for George Graeme; there was little active service to be attained, and beyond its being an excellent school for the training of young officers, little advantage was to be gained from that now forlorn brigade, and in December 1777 George obtained a commission in the 72nd Foot (Manchester Volunteers) commanded by Colonel Charles Mawhood. This was the period during which he formed the ties of what was to become a lasting friendship with the Sandbachs and Shands of Liverpool. On the war breaking out with France and Spain he went to Gibraltar on active service. That fortress was held under siege from the autumn of 1779 by the combined fleets of Spain and France.

An officer thus describes the effect in September 1781 of the continual bombardment for twenty-three months: "Our town is totally destroyed; even the very grass grows in the streets, as all the army and the inhabitants live in tents and caverns on the rocks, and are not safe even there, being continually annoyed by mortars and gunboats. However on the 9th June we had the satisfaction to see the enemy’s magazine blow up in the camp of St Roque, whereby above 5000 shells exploded in the air, and a great number of barrels of gunpowder which killed and wounded a great many.

"They still, however, keep up the blockade, intercepting every vessel that comes in."

The writer gives a list of the amount of ammunitionExpended by the defending garrison and the enemy.

Barrels of Powder 1900

Round Shot 8796

Shells 22397

Grape 1358 etc. etc.

During all those months the garrison held out bravely. In September 1780 George Graeme was gazetted Captain in the 72nd, now commanded by Colonel Charles Ross.

General Elliot, who is the Governor, writes in 1781 also, reporting the above loss of the enemy’s magazine. He states that on calm nights the gun and mortar boats repeat their nightly visits which do little harm beyond "depriving the troops of their natural rest, which is no great evil in this climate, as evidently appears by the health of the garrison."

By September 1782 affairs were working to a crisis. General Elliot saw his opportunity and took it. A combination of the land forces with those of the sea after severe and continuous fighting, brought the matter to a close. Early in 1783 the Articles of Peace were signed.

On 23rd April 1783 The Right Honble. Sir George A. Elliot, K.C.B. delivered the thanks of both Houses of Parliament to the garrison at Gibraltar for their services during a defence of over two years.

During those two years George had served as Captain in the 72nd and was wounded while (under very heavy fire from the whole of the enemies’ gun and mortar batteries) he, as Captain of the main guard, saved a thousand casks of flour on which the garrison food depended.

These casks were stored in a building which had been set on fire by the explosion of shell, and George Graeme’s duty was to save as much of it as he and his guard could manage; it was no easy task as the building was not only under the enemies’ fire but the burning rafters rapidly brought down the roof which continually fell in on the men, while accomplishing their task.

George Graeme returned home to find he was the only son left to his parents of the group of three handsome boys who had started in life a few years previously, both his younger brothers having died in their service to the country.

Towards the close of the year 1785 he loses his mother, Margaret Oliphant of Gask, and his engagement to Miss Oliphant of Condie takes place.

The Oliphants of Condie had purchased part of the estate known by that name from Mr Colville, the first husband of Lilias Graeme of Inchbrakie during the earliest years of the seventeenth centure; at that period the other portion of the estate "Newtoun" of Condie was held by Sir James Oliphant and another daughter of the House of Inchbrakie, Margaret, the niece of Lilias. This was the portion where the mansion house stood. It had been built about 1545 by William, brother of the third Lord Oliphant. This William of Newton had married Margaret, daughter of and heiress of Oliphant of Berridale.

The Laurence Oliphant who bought Condie in 1601 from William Colville of Condie and Lilias Graeme (of Inchbrakie) his wife, was the son of Alexander Oliphant who was Albany Herald in 1563, and who married Janet Oliphant. Thus the first Oliphant of Condie was grandson of William of Berridale, younger son of the third Lord Oliphant, as stated by a deed in the Condie Charter Chest.

Laurence, the first Oliphant of Condie, is described as servitor to Mr William Oliphant, which would show he was a kinsman and probably in the office of the King’s Advocate in 1631 when the discharge is signed. Laurence married a daughter of the House of Tullibardine, Miss Murray; by 1643 Laurence Oliphant the first of Condie is dead. Mercer’s Chronicle says, Laurence Oliphant of Condie "depairtet this lyffe in Edinburgh and bureit in the kirk of Forteviot upon 16 Feby, 1643.  This interesting old record would confirm the fact that there was no mansion at this date on the portion of Condie then owned by Laurence Oliphant. His will passed over his eldest son to some extent in consequence of his displeasure at his marriage; his second son became of Rossie, and Isabella, a daughter of that house marries Graeme of Orchill, and was the mother of the heiress, Beatrice Graeme of Orchill.

Rossie is represented this day by the heir of the late Mr T.L. Oliphant of Rossie-Orchill, who after the sale of his estate settled at St Andrews. The names of his two sons who took so prominent a part in the defence of the British Legation at Pekin, when besieged by the Boxers in 1901 will always be honoured by their kinfolk and friends, the one for the heroism which gave his life in the defence of his fellow-countrymen, and the other for publishing the Diary which told the details of so interesting an anxious a period.

To return to the Oliphants of Condie, the second son having been accounted for, we find the third son of the first Laurence of Condie marries Elspeth, daughter of Sir Henry Stirling of Ardoch, and the fourth becomes ancestor of the Oliphants of Kinneder, in Fife.

Laurence Oliphant’s eldest son, who annoyed his father by marrying Marion, only child of Sir John Blackadder of Tullilian, was passed over in the succession, to what purpose does not appear, as he is styled second of Condie in the genealogy. His son Laurence, third of Condie, married Helen, sister of Sir James Wemyss of Bogie, and leaving several children, was in turn succeeded by the fourth Laurence of Condie who married Jeanette, daughter of Meldrum of Lethers, of Aberdeenshire. He died soon after his marriage, leaving a young widow; she married for the second time one of the Drummonds styled of Invermay, who left to her son, Laurence Oliphant, fifth of Condie, a considerable fortune.

Laurence Oliphant, fifth of Condie, married Isobel Elgine; in 1743 she signs a receipt to Laurence of Gask which describes her as "relict of the umquhile Laurence Oliphant of Condie". Laurence "now of Condie" is alluded to, and James Oliphant (Gask) witnesses it.

Laurence Oliphant, sixth of Condie, married Lilias Oliphant, daughter of James, sixth of Gask; their marriage contract is dated 21st August 1718, in it the bridegroom is styled Laurence Oliphant of Condie, not yet infeft and seated in the lands of the deceist Laurence Oliphant his father, to whom the contract obliged him at once to retour himself as heir. Three of the witnesses are: James Graeme of Newton, Anthony Murray of Dollerie, William Murray of Ochtertyre, younger.

It was the sixth Laurence of Condie who came to the assistance of "Mr Whytt" his brother-in-law, the Jacobite Laird of Gask, and with Inchbrakie, Lawers, and Orchill formed the "Gask Trust", of which the "Concerts" were held at Inchbrakie, where Amelia Nairne, "Mr Whytt’s" wife, was arranging matters; Laurence of Condie is given authority to buy it when the Barons of Exchequer put it up for sale on 16th Feb. 1754.

The children of the sixth Laird of Condie, the seventh laird of Gask (the elder Jacobite) and the tenth laird of Garvock, were all first cousins to each other, for Catherine Oliphant of Gask, sister of Mrs Oliphant of Condie, married Robert Graeme of Garvock, the Jacobite "Glaud" : they included the seventh Laurence of Condie; James the eleventh of Garvock and his brother Robert; Laurence Oliphant, the younger Jacobite laird of Gask, with his sister Margaret, "Leddy Inchbrakie" and many others.

Newton passed from the hands of the outlawed James Oliphant (who committed the terrible crime of stabbing his mother in a fit of passion and had fled from the country) into the hands of his kinsman James Graeme the Solicitor General, son of Black Pate of Inchbrakie, who obtained sasine of Newton in 1691-92. His son sold these lands in 1744 to James Moray of Abercairny; they were held by Abercairny for a very short period, for in 1750, Lawrence the sixth of Condie buys them and incorporates them with that estate, of which they now become part, the house called Newton now designated Condie.

In 1753 Jacobite "Glaud" of Garvock is apprehended, and writes urgently to Oliphant of Condie; the letter runs as follows:

"I am just now at your house on my way to Perth with a party I hope so soon as this comes to hand you will see to come and meet me and send a message to Abercarnie and ane other to  Balgowan and beg they will come into Perth and Do what they can to get me put at Liberty.

I need say no more just but I am your most Humble"

Srt Robert Graeme.


NS 15 March 1753

"I have the Serveants consent to stay at this place till you come so heast. To the Laird of Condie make heast."

The Laird of Condie was possible residing at Gask with his wife Lilias; by 1759 he is dead and his son Laurence succeeds as seventh laird; he seeks his wife (1759) across the Strath at Dollerie, and married Grizel, the daughter of Anthony Murray of Dollerie, descended from the House of Murray of Tullibardine, the first Anthony of "Dullerie" as it was then called, obtaining his lands, circa 1490, from his father, second Murray of Ochtertyre.

The Seventh laird’s life ended in a most untimely matter; the river May was in flood, and he was drowned while riding across it. His two elder sons by Miss Murray of Dollerie died while young; Ebenezer succeeded, and Margaret, became the wife of the ninth of Inchbrakie (the subjects of the present sketch); we cannot leave this brief record of the Oliphants without a few words carrying them on to the present time. Mrs Graeme’s sisters Lilias, Grace and Helen all died unmarried, the latter in 1845.

EBENEZER, EIGHTH OF CONDIE had issue by his wife Mary (whom he married in 1790) daughter of Sir Wm. Stirling of Ardoch.

Laurence, who succeeded: his second son William who was born in 1792, was in the H.E.I.C’s Artillery; he never married and had the reputation of being shy and reserved; the Journals of Grace Graeme of Inchbrakie give a very pleasant description of him. Grace was his first cousin and was an acknowledged beauty, clever too, an artist of some talent,and a great favourite in society.

Anthony, his third son, became Chief Justice of Ceylon and was knighted in 1840. Sir Anthony married Maria, daughter of Colonel Campbell; their only son Laurence, or Lawrie, as he was called in his family, showed great mental powers during the early years of his life; a diplomatist, a clever satirist, a brilliant author, he has left behind him books as varied and diverse in style and subject as his career was in its many changes and occupations. The reader must be referred to his memoirs for particulars of his career.

James, the fourth son of Ebenezer, eighth of Condie, was Lieutenant Colonel of Madras Engineers and a director of the Honble. E.I. Company. He married Miss Maidment in 1823 and had three sons and two daughters, the eldest son being James Erskine Oliphant, born 1826, of the Bombay Civil Service, he also married twice; his first wife was Margaret, daughter of General Robert Alexander. The present Mrs Erskine Oliphant is Jane Lloyd, daughter of Maurice Cooke Collis, D.D., of Castle Cooke, County Cork. Colonel James Oliphant’s second son William, Gen. Maj.R.E. served in the punjaub campaign of 1848-49, including siege and capture of Mooltan, surrender of force and garrison and battle of Gujerat; medal with two clasps. He married Miss Chapman, daughter of John Chapman Esq, Whitby, Yorkshire.

For the rest of Lieutenant-Colonel James Oliphant’s very numerous family by his second wife, we must refer those interest to Burke’s "Landed Gentry", where a very full and excellent account is given of the younger branches.

Colonel James Oliphant held an important post as private secretary to his Highness the Maharajah Dhuleep Singh, which duty he carried out in a manner so satisfactory to the Government, that it was years after in a measure transferred to a son of his second marriage, Mr Arthur Craigie Oliphant, who previously had been given the post of private secretary to the H.H. the Nizam’s minister.

Colonel Oliphant was a well-known resident in Wimbledon, and resided for many years at Elvedon, Suffolk, with the Maharajah. He died at Worlington Hall, Suffolk.

To Thomas, the fifth son of Ebenezer Oliphant, some of the earliest information is due, as he drew up a family pedigree; he had exceptional musical talents and many of his compositions were accepted by the Madrigal Society of London.

Ebenezer, the eighth laird of Condie, died in 1807, his son Laurence, ninth of Condie, was born in 1791; his first wife, Miss Ross of Rossie Castle in Forfar, died without issue. His second wife was the widow of Samuel Barrett Esq. Her two children, Samuel Barrett and Henrietta, found a happy home at Condie, for Laurence, the ninth laird, was a second father to them. I well remember as a child hearing my mother and "Sam" Barrett, a very handsome old man with great charm of manner, conversing, and recalling many happy memories of Condie in the old days.

Laurence, the ninth laird, was well noted for his warm hospitality and kindly heart. He and my father were first cousins and were like brothers, and Laurence Graeme and his wife ever found the doors of Condie open when they returned on leave from his various appointments in the West Indies.

Mrs Laurence Graeme was a great friend during their husband’s life of both the last Mrs Oliphants of Condie (Mrs Barrett and Miss Oliphant of Rossie), though after their respective widowhoods, their lives drifted apart. Many a happy hour, when a tiny child, was spent by me at the home of my grandmother before the death of Condie’s eighth laird, who died in 1862. By his third wife, Marianne Oliphant of Rossie, he had several children. Their eldest daughter married Thomas Walker, Esq., of Marnby Hall, Yorkshire; their youngest, Susan, married in 1894 J. Maitland Thomson of the Whim (son of the late owner of the Balgowan Estate.) Their only son, Laurence James, succeeded as ninth laird; he was born in 1846, joined the Grenadier Guards, which regiment he afterwards commanded, and married in 1878, the Honourable Mary Gerard, daughter of Robert Lord Gerard.

Major General Oliphant was C.V.O. in 1902 and M.V.O., fourth clasp, in 1897. He served in the Soudan campaign in 1885, late Colonel commanding Grenadier Guards; afterwards commanded a brigade at Aldershot. Held a command in South Africa, and on return was given the command of the Home District. In 1903 his name appeared in the New Year Honours List as having obtained a C.B.

He has three children: Laurence Henry, born 1879; Francis, born 1883; and a daughter Helen.

A small room in Condie House was known as the Ghost Room, it was said to be haunted by a lady who carried her head under her arm and went by the appellation of Lady Green Sleeves. In 1864 when the house was being altered, some workmen found in the wall of that room a small skull, which from its size belonged to a woman; the family were absent and the men sang psalms round it, and without waiting for further orders built up the skull again in the place where they had found it. In 1866 the house of Condie was burnt to the ground!

The house of Condie was formerly known as Newton. It was there Marian Graeme of Inchbrakie had been stabbed and died. Is it possible that her spirit haunted the room where the crime was committed? It is a curious coincidence that the name Lady Green Sleeves is associated with the Condie or Newton Ghost, for from time immemorial that has been the spirit which walked at Kincardine and Inchbrakie when sorrow impended!

The lands of Condie was afterwards sold, but General Oliphant retained the "Path of Condie", the oldest bit of property bought from the Colvilles, and thus retains the appellation of Oliphant of Condie.

We now take up the thread of our sketch at the engagement of George Graeme and his bride Margaret Oliphant, daughter of the sixth laird of Condie. The marriage took place in 1786. A very voluminous contract is drawn up between Captain George Graeme and Margaret Oliphant; the latter’s father is dead, and her "brother German," Ebenezer, acts for her. The contract is signed at Dollerie, where Margaret’s first cousin is laird; numbers of witnesses attest it.

Laurence Oliphant of Gask (the bridegroom’s uncle) William Graeme of Orchill (Inchbrakie’s brother-in-law), Captain Robert Drummond of Lintibert, Sir William Stirling of Ardoch (a brother-in-law of Condie and Curator for the Bride) and of course Anthony Murray; Ebenezer Oliphant of Condie, and the bride and bridegroom, besides Patrick Graeme, Laird of Inchbrakie.

A goodly gathering met that third of May at the old house of Dollerie to wish the bride god speed; she is in her twenty fifth year, having been born at Newton in the Parish of Longforgan, on November 22nd 1760, the bridegroom is eight years older.

Three years later they are staying in Perth where their eldest son is born on 9th June 1789. He is named Patrick in obedience to the unwritten decree for the heir’s Christian name, but the succession is once again to be broken, this time by the death of a soldier boy.

In 1793 orders are issued by Government to raise seven regiments of Fencibles in North Britain, and by May the following year, George Graeme is captain in the regiment he has assisted to raise, and which is commanded by Charles Moray of Abercairny. Perthshire raised two troops of this cavalry which were under Abercairny’s command; by some error, when the men were enlisted, it was not fully explained to them that the pay of 1 shilling a day would partly be paid in kind; this misunderstanding led to what might have a very serious mutiny, had not Graeme of Inchbrakie used stern measures to quell it; hearing rumours of discontent, he decided to explain matters clearly, and accordingly at evening parade he read a statement to the troops; 6d a day was the cash paid. Grass money and other allowances amounted to the 1 s. promised.

The men were greatly disappointed, and one named Marshall, more insubordinate than the others, informed their captain in offensive language that he for one would not submit to it. George Graeme, who with the Quarter-Master was the only officer present, instantly ordered two corporals to arrest the offender, which caused a rush to be made from the ranks. However, discipline prevailed after a few moments, and the men reformed into line, were marched up and down the Inch by the Quarter Master while George Graeme rode to Perth Barracks and brought out a detachment of the 4th Dragoons, ordering the whole of his Fencibles under arrest. The ringleaders were detained, and the rest dismissed for the night. Abercairny and the other officers were summoned by express and Marshall was ordered 700 lashes but was respited, as, though he ran away on seeing the Dragoons, he surrendered to his officers next day, and the matter ended in smoke, thanks to Inchbrakie’s promptitude, who was made a Burgess of the City of Perth the same year on the 17th June.

While her husband is engaged at Perth with his military duties, Mrs Graeme visits at Orchill her sister-in-law, Aemilia, and Mr William Graeme, and on the 5th May 1794, there is born a daughter, the bright, witty Grace Graeme of Inchbrakie, who in after years is toasted as the "Fair Maid of Craig Rossie!"

A friendly letter from George Graeme to Mr Rutherford, his man of business in Perth, is dated from Aberdeen, where he is quartered in September 1795, sending messages from Mrs Graeme and Patrick, the eight year old son and heir.

In October he receives orders to move his troop south; letters show that, on 17th October, beyond knowing they are to be reviewed, he has no information of his destination, but will sent his "equipage" as soon as possible to Perth, and on 12th November he and his family are settled at Stirling Castle, where they remain till June 1796. Meantime, as we know, early in the spring of that year, his father Patrick died, and in February Colonel Graeme and his wife are summoned hastily from Stirling by express to attend his father’s deathbed. George Graeme can only be spared from his command for a short time; his wife remains to comfort poor Margaret Graeme for the loss of her father, but soon rejoins her husband at Stirling, where on 17th April 1796, their second son, George Drummond, afterwards the heir to Inchbrakie and Aberuthven, is born.

Meanwhile, the correspondence shows that Margaret’s brother entrusts much of the management and arrangements of his estates to his sister, who superintends the removal and replacement of documents from and to the charter chest. Margaret Graeme is an exact lady and very businesslike; numerous papers show these visits to the charter chest are all witnessed by the estate bailiff or the man of business. By August the Graemes have moved to Musselburgh, and one of George Graeme’s letters to his lawyer states, that their late landlady in the castle yard at Stirling merits a tenant being put in.

Leaving his old aunts at Inchbrakie with his sister Margaret, Colonel Graeme in October quits Scotland for the north of England to take up a command in the County Durham.

Wherever George Graeme was quartered he seems to have won universal respect and esteem; Perth, Brechin, Aberdeen and Stirling, all in turn present him with the freedom of their respective cities, and, added to his fine manly character and sterling worth, he bore the charm of a handsome person. His daughter Grace twenty years after was at a wedding dinner given by Mrs Scott Kerr of Chatto, then described as an old lady. Grace seems by some lucky chance to have been seated next to the great novelist, Sir Walter Scott, who enchanted the daughter by describing to her her father’s appearance at Stirling, when leading his regiment, adding, "Colonel Graeme was the beau ideal of a cavalry officer."

The riding lessons at Gask in 1762 had not been wasted! (Sketch XX). Mr Scott Kerr of Chatto was the son of Elizabeth Graeme of Balgowan, Lynedoch’s sister.

Colonel Graeme, now commanding the Fencibles since the 29th May 1795, marched for Durham in the early winter 1796-97, under orders to assist in quelling the riots and the disturbed state of the north of England.

Colonel and Mrs Graeme established themselves at Bishop’s Auckland near Durham, where another son Lawrence was born on the 5th May 1797.

The efficiency of Inchbrakie’s action in suppressing the disturbances in the north of England with his squadron of the Perthshire Fencibles brought him the approbation of General Sir George Osborn, commanding the North-Eastern District in England, as well as strong commendation and thanks from the magistrates and justices of Kendal in Westmoreland and the Sheriff of Dumfries in Scotland for the activity and orderly comportment of his squadron during the disturbances – it may be mentioned Colonel Graeme had spent a considerable sum on raising the regiment of Fencibles.

Colonel Graeme paid a flying visit to arrange matters on his estate in 1798, and his sister Margaret mentions that he left Inchbrakie for England on the 23rd October 1798. By the autumn of that year the family were established in Byrom Street, Liverpool; his eldest boy was nine years old and the education and the expenses of a family induced Colonel Graeme to accept the command, though always going back and forward to his estates.

At Liverpool the boys grew up, and George Graeme’s wealthy and influential friends, the Sandbachs, the Shands, the Tinneys, all took the young lads into their offices; by the year 1815 every one of his five sons had entered the navy or army and the eldest had been shot in action!

The Duke of Montrose held very kindly relations with his kinsmen, he had assisted George Graeme and his brothers in early life to their commissions, etc, and Inchbrakie in one of his visits home, has, in arranging letters, come across some of the Duke’s written to Patrick, George’s brother, who was in command of the 42nd on his way to India when he died.

London, 1st July 1807


I have received your letter enclosing my letters to your brother whom I very much esteemed. I beg to return you my thanks and am very happy to hear that Mr Percival has offered you an appointment such as you think proper to accept, and I hope it may lead to something better. I shall be glad to see your Portrait of the Marquis of Montrose (tho’ I must maintain my own as the right resemblance) and beg leave to express approbation of yours and your sister’s feeling as to the possession of it.

I remain with esteem, Sir,

Your Obt St


A letter from Sir Thomas Graham in 1812 then commanding the 90th is given below; the letter, owing to Colonel Graham suffering from his eye-sight, was written by his secretary, accounting for the incorrect spelling of Inchbrakie’s name. At this time his eldest son Patrick had been two years serving in Spain and Portugal under the Duke of Wellington and General Graham in the 89th Regiment.

His second son George was already an ensign in the King’s German Legion; he was a little over 15 years of age, and a few months later on is wounded at the taking of Badajos.

Villa Alba,

15 June 1812

My dear Sir,

I sometime ago received your letter of March last, with a memorial in which you state many facts that undoubtedly ought to add great weight to your claim for favor from the Government of the country, though unfortunately too little attention in the Public Offices is paid to the sufferings of families from their Loyalty. I was prevented from forwarding it as immediately as I should have wished, by the consideration of having necessarily forwarded too frequent applications to the Horse Guards, but I have sent it lately enclosed in a private letter to my friend Colonel Torrens, and I shall be most happy should his influence with the Duke procure a Company for your son. I have many to return to you for your obliging expressions relative what concerns me, and I beg that you will make my best respects to Mrs Graham, and believe me,

Most truly and obediently yours,

Thomas Graham.

At this date 1812-13, Colonel Graeme and his family had removed to Queen Square, Liverpool, and the visits to Inchbrakie in the summer were longer and more frequent.

On March 4th, 1814, the eldest son was shot dead while rallying his men to the charge in the American War. Amongst the Inchbrakie documents a sad little packet, sealed with black seals and labeled by the father are the letters from his commanding officer and comrades relating the sad event and containing the will of Patrick.

Colonel Graham of Balgowan’s recommendation had carried little weight, but Patrick Graeme, though he died a lieutenant in his twenty-fifth year, was virtually commanding that detachment of the 89th, for every officer but Ensign Miles and himself had been shot!

Early in 1814, before the bad news came home about his eldest son, George Graeme is arranging the necessary formalities for proving his descent in order that his boy George (who, after Badajos, is in Flanders with the King’s German Legion) may exchange into the Hanoverian Guards.

It is necessary for his father to prove his right to something like thirty-two quarterings, which is easily accomplished; the Dukes of Montrose and Atholl sign the document and His Grace of Atholl adds a friendly little note offering to give a letter to the Duke of Cambridge if wished; needless to say the offer was warmly accepted. In the document George the ninth laird makes a declaration to the effect that he brought back the Gask Charter saved in the 1745.

"The above Charter of the family of Gask was saved from destruction by Sir Joseph York, 1745, and who afterwards, when Ambassador at London from the Hague, returned it to Struan Robertson’s brother, Lt. Col. Robertson, who, upon my return from Flanders in the year 1778, gave same Charter to me in order to deliver it to my uncle, Lawrence Oliphant of Gask. The foregoing circumstances in as far as regards the recovery of the original Charter of the family of Gask, I attest. George Graeme"

Early in 1815 Inchbrakie is at home in Perthshire, and as far as we know settles down as a country squire; it is a troubled yar for the laird has scarcely recovered from the loss of his firstborn, and George who is now his eldest son is under the Duke of Wellington at Waterloo defending La Haye Sainte. By this date also the two youngest boys, Alexander and Anthony the sailors, were afloat; it recalls the year 1782, a generation before when almost the same anxieties were being lived through by the eighth laird and his Jacobite Margaret.

Near the Graemes at Ferntower, was living Sir David Baird, the famous General of Upper Strathearn; after his Indian campaign he resided at Ferntower, and was always a great friend of the Inchbrakies. A story is told of his mother, who, on hearing that her son was taken prisoner in India and that he was tied to another man leg to leg, appeared to feel little concern for her son in comparison to that felt for his companion in misery; "God help the man that is tied to my Davie", exclaimed the lady. Sir David’s passionate temper was well known but he had a kindly heart, and many a good turn was done to a friend, and amongst them young Lawrence the third son of George Graeme, who had, like his brothers, declined office work and sailed in 1814 to try his fortune with the 89th, his brother Patrick’s regiment; he arrived at Quebec to find the latter had been killed, after a short stay when he was under fire attached to the 89th, he returned home and Graeme of Inchbrakie asks and obtains Sir David’s kind offices for Lawrence.. Years after on Captain Graeme calling at Ferntower when on furlough, to pay his respects to Sir David, the latter observing he wore whiskers autocratically ordered him to shave; in those days the expression of opinion from a general to a young officer meant a command, and as Lawrence was remaining some weeks at home there was nothing for it but to obey; the whiskers were shaved off; when Captain Graeme returned to Ireland their absence nearly lost him his bride!

Sir David writes from Ferntower on 1 February 1815.

My dear Sir,

I beg your excuse for not returning your packet last night but it came when I was dressing for dinner. I now send it with my signature and seal, with my best wishes for the success of our young friend in which Lady Baird begs to join. The day is really so bad that I cannot deliver this in person.

I have the honour to remain,

My dear Sir

Yours faithfully

D. Baird

George Graeme, Esq,Of Inchbrakie.

A monument was erected to Sir David on Tam a Chastel, a hill near the Earn, where lay the Ferntower Reach of that river.

Colonel Graeme and his wife both died the same year. He was a devoted husband to a very gentle, kindly, sweet-tempered lady, who was a loving mother as far as deep affection for her children went; Mrs Graeme was a great student of Shakespear and was never to happy as when studying her beloved "master". One of her sons writing of her says, "She had an ineffable sweetness of manner, and during the course of my life had never said a cross word to me and as far as I can recollect never refused me a request.".

Colonel and Mrs Graeme never would consent to have their portraits painted, though their sons often tried to induce them. Late in the thirties Watson Gordon, who was a friend of one of the young men, knowing his wishes proffered a visit to Inchbrakie;

It would have been impossible to have arranged regular "sittings", so the good-natured artists sat and talked to his hostess while busied with his brush and sketch book. Anything of even so mild a description of portrait painting could not be accomplished with the laird, who retired to his own suite of apartments after welcoming his guest, and was not seen again for the next few days; on seeing the carriage depart with Sir Watson he strolled out of his apartments and meeting one of his sons enquired, "is that painting deevil gone?"

Later on when Sir Watson sent a very comely likeness of Mrs Graeme to Inchbrakie Colonel Graeme was much gratified.

With great courtesy and old world grace of manner Colonel Graeme united a short temper and a large amount of the Graeme pride.

Walking with his son Lawrence in Liverpool one day the Mayor passed, to whom Colonel Graeme made a low bow; next morning a large card of invitation to dinner arrived, which he refused; on Lawrence enquiring why he did not accept the invitation of a man to whom he paid so much respect the previous day he replied, "I did that as my duty to the constituted authorities, but that is no reason why I should dine with him."

He burnt the letter in which his daughter Grace wrote the account of her interview with Sir Walter, and his remarks on Colonel Graeme’s appearance, rather than have them discussed by the younger people!

Another anecdote tells how a consulting physician who had required a second summons to bring him from Edinburgh, when asked why this was necessary, replied, he was unable to make out the writing; Colonel Graeme when presenting him with a large cheque trusted he would be able to read it more easily than his first letter!

Inchbrakie’s maxim to his sons was, never to give a challenge, and never to refuse one! He however broke his rule on one occasion, for at the dinner given at Perth to his uncle Lawrence Oliphant of Gask on the full recovery of his estates, the Duke of Atholl who was presiding, gave offence by not allowing the pipers to play. Captain Graeme (a young man then) as representing his regiment challenged the Duke! When his youngest son used to try and coax the sequel out of him, the only reply he could obtain was "a tipsy broil, sir – a tipsy broil!"

Both Colonel Graeme’s daughters-in-law were devoted to him; he was always gentle and courteous to ladies, and many an affectionate reminiscence has been repeated of his acts towards them (his eldest son did not marry till after his father’s death).

He could be stern with his subordinates, but was an easy master in many ways, and a good servant could usually become his master. An amusing story of Inchbrakie’s endeavours to asset his authority was related a few years ago to one of Colonel Graeme’s grand-daughters. Very late in the 18th century a certain Solomon McFarlane was gardener at Inchbrakie, and probably owing to Colonel Graeme’s long absences from home "Solomon" took his own way, and when he did see his master, spoke his mind and gave his opinion very freely; Inchbrakie generally received it all in good part knowing the true worth and hnest of his servant. However, on one occasion when Colonel Graeme returned home, he was greatly annoyed with a serious omission on Solomon’s part; he therefore ordered the gardener to dig up from the kitchen garden a cabbage plant and directing Solomon to take it to another part of the garden, he superintended it being planted with its fine green head downwards, its root only appearing above ground nearly patted down with the spade; "Weel weel, laird, what is a’ this for, are ye gane daft?" "No", thundered Inchbrakie, "that is to show you who is master here!"

Colonel Graeme tried many and various forms of agriculture, and as before mentioned at times to his subordinates, he was greatly liked. In 1820 a yoke of oxen was still to be seen in the stables on his home farm as a curiosity; "he was the last laird in Perthshire to use oxen for ploughing," and did so long after horses were used.

It must be explained that the point of the story as far as Solomon went consists in the fact that at that period potatoes and cabbages were a great luxury, having only been imported into Scotland in 1740 in which year the first dish of potatoes were placed on the Ochtertyre table; Solomon was therefore deeply aggrieved at the treatment his precious cabbage received and remonstrated repeatedly during the operation!

Colonel and Mrs Graeme died at Inchbrakie in 1840; the months between February and September only separated the husband and wife; Margaret Oliphant of Condie was the first to be taken after close on forty four years of wedded life; they were buried in the family vault at St Kattan’s Church, Aberuthven. Colonel Graeme was succeeded in the estates by his eldest son, George, Major of the Hanoverian Guards who was then unmarried.


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