Eldest Son Patrick, who d.v.p. died in action and younger Sons and Daughter of Colonel George Graeme, Ninth of Inchbrakie
and Tenth in Line from Montrose
the eldest son, led the van of five brothers in resigning their stools in the offices of the merchant princes of Liverpool,
and by 1810 was fighting, an ensign with the 44th, under Lord Wellington and Thomas, General
Graham of Balgowan. Born in 1789, he joined the 18th Royal Irish in the summer of 1809; from
a large collection of letters (written during the remaining six years of his life) principally to his father and sister, may
be formed a clear estimate of his character. Intelligent, observant, clear-headed, a keen admirer of the beauties of nature,
and with an artistic sense of the beautiful, his letters bear a charm to any reader; while a fluent pen enables him to describe
with ease all he sees and feels. Not a friend he meets but is commented on, not one left behind that he does not remember
with a kindly message. A loving son and affectionate brother to the fifteen-year-old sister with whom the correspondence commences,
makes one feel that a fine character is completed by the earnest love he felt for his profession and the desire to encourage
his brothers to join the services of which Patrick was so proud, and the love of which he inherited from his forefathers whose
actions animated all his own.
His sister Grace
was at school in the neighbourhood of Chester, and Patrick, an ensign in the 18th Royal Irish,
dates from Gloucester on the 7th September 1809. She has just gone to school and written her
first letter to her brother, who, on receiving it, will not "delay an hour to assure you how excessively glad I shall always
be to hear from you and that you are fond of Chester’" promises her that should he get promotion as lieutenant and "leave"
follow, he will pay her part of the country a visit. He mentions hearing constantly from their father, who often writes of
her. He speaks of Ewart being in the regiment, and that before leaving London "I met with your cousin William Oliphant at
his aunt Lady Pulteney’s". "I was on an excursion the other day and met a distant relation of yours, Admiral Graeme,
an old fellow who has lost his left arm, therefore, you know, the right’s left now!" He concludes, as do all his letters,
to Grace "my dear girl, your affec.te brother, Patrick Graeme."
On the 5th November 1809, he writes after King George III’s Jubilee, and describes dining with the
officers of the garrison who are recruiting "here at our mess"; at nine o’clock the majority sallied forth to a ball
which ended at 2.30am; five of them, himself included, remained out of bed to celebrate the Jubilee day till 7’o’clock
next morning, when they all walked out in their ball dress to breakfast at his lodgings in the country; he speaks of other
balls and some fox hunting; mentions his friend "Mathieson is married and driving his lady in a chariot about Bond Street."
By the spring
of 1810 he dates from the Isle of Wight; for months he has feared being sent to the West Indies and is not yet free of it,
his strong desire being to go to Spain; it is his first visit so far south and he is charmed with Bath, "a delightful place,"
and gives an excellent account of the Island and Carisbrooke, mentioning Southampton as "a very pretty little place situated
on the seashore."
March 1810 finds
him landed at Guernsey, having just failed to catch the 89th Regiment to which he had been
gazetted on its way to Cadiz; he is, however, an excellent sailor and looks forward to a return voyage to Portsmouth, whence
he intends following the 18th as quickly as he can; "the whole island is beautifully romantic,
indented all round with pretty bays and creeks." A long description is given of the various fortifications and he mentions
Sir John Doyle as Governor. The Duke de Boyleau, Admiral in Command, and "the Duke of Brunswick is here with five hundred
Huzzars and 1000 of his German Infantry."
Cadiz is reached
by 31st April 1810, after an amusing voyage, shark shooting, etc. He "never saw so beautiful
a place," what with the picturesque and marble buildings interspersed with orange, fig and citron trees, it appears a paradise,
and the novelty of the Dons in black velvet mantles, the strange appearance of the Dominicans and other orders of monks, with
the women dressed in black and wearing veils which add to their gracefulness, all have a singular and attractive appearance
to an Englishman. Patrick describes his walk on the batteries and looking at the French works at Matagorda on the heights
of Medina Sidonia, while on the other hand the pure blue sky, the Spanish Feluccas (reminding him of descriptions read of
Venetian gondolas) painted with grotesque figures and decorated with garlands of flowers filled with cargoes of all sorts
of fruits; while "the ladies singing to guitars in such quantities, make Cadiz look more a place of festivity than a besieged
city." He is going next day to call on General Graham at La Isla and has had "the felicity of carrying the Standard of the
guard of honour on the arrival of Admiral Sir Charles Cotton; he is the tallest officer in the Navy." "I am as brown as a
Spaniard and as well as possible." Patrick’s next letter finds life more monotonous, particularly as he is not allowed
to eat the fruit of speak to the handsome Spanish women! He craves for home letters and mentions hearing from Captain O"Shaughnessy
that he "thought Lawrence was a fine fellow!" (Lawrence is just fourteen!) It is the 10th Augut,
no attack made but continual firing from nine batteries; he is attached to the 44th; 9th October 1810 finds him on the heights of Sobral, all the army under cover in tents or mud huts,
the 44th being in advance, within a few hundred yards of the enemy’s lines, have the
honour to be under canvas. There is a constant rain, they have nothing more than what they can carry to wear, sleep on ferns,
have no money in the whole division; biscuit, beef and rum their fare; Lord Wellington gave an invitation to the officers
of his army to dine and sup, and Patrick was one of the fortunate ones to go to the Palace of Mafra, where they witnessed
the installation of Marechal Beresford, who commands the Portugal troops. "We set off on mules and had a most romantic ride
of twenty miles to a palace beautiful both inside and out, five hundred red and blue coats sat down at 6.30 to an elegant
dinner, and at ten Beresford was knighted and received the red ribbon from the Commander-in-Chief;" there was little dancing
as there were only twenty ladies, all Spaniards or Portuguese except Lady Berkeley and her daughters; they stopped at one
and left for camp. Patrick adds, "I would not have missed going for twenty guineas!" The letter is written on the back of
a soldier in lieu of a desk; that back must have ached, for there are four large and closely written pages!
December 1810, letters from his brothers are rejoicing him; he has been ill and continues so, though hoping to be back
soon with the army. At present he has been sent to Lisbon, and fears he is going to lose a most valuable servant whom he brought
down sick with him, and who grows worse. He fears an exchange with an English regiment will occur if his regiment continues
ill, and this he does not wish. Turning out an old trunk he has come on a profile of himself done by "an old flirt of mine
in England; they say it was more like your humble servant than a horse twelve months ago; instead of throwing it in the fire
I’ve sent it to you…tell your mother it’s no like me for it has ‘na gotten a puthered heed."
One month has
passed; Patrick is better but grumbles at being detained in Lisbon; Elliot, his great friend, writes constantly and forwards
many messages to Lisbon. By July 1811 Patrick has joined again, and Albeura is fought and won; he rides over to see Elliott
in the advance piquet, who has had a narrow escape; the regiment, 500 strong, has lost 400 killed and wounded; for days after
the action the men got no firewood except the stocks of French muskets to dress their food, indeed all have suffered great
hardships and on the march Patrick had actually offered two dollars for a biscuit and seen his men obliged to eat raw beef;
he complains of a return of ague, and fears he may be sent home, but trusts Lisbon will do, and ends with "Tell your father
Marechal Beresford is here on his way to England."
hopes that he might regain his health at Lisbon were not realized, and he came home in 1810 and on 3rd
August that year writes his father (who is at Inchbrakie) from Brighton; he has joined the 89th,
he is hoping not to go to India as it may retard promotion, and comments on the uniform for the 89th,
one of the most expensive regiments, so much gold lace and embroidery on the velvet facings of four coats, none of which can
be dispensed with.
Writing on the
12th August they have been suddenly ordered to Chichester and he has been busy, having the
command of a company on the march; they dine that night with the 59th and march on at twelve
at night for embarkation. Their C.O. does not know whether their destination will be Spain, Guernsey or India, and only received
his orders to embark on their arrival at Chichester a few days previously. Patrick speaks of a letter from Sir Thomas Graham
who has promised to mention him to General Torrens; the letter is hastily written, but hurried messages are not forgotten.
On the Margaret
transport, Portsmouth Harbour, August 16th, he writes again to say their destination is North
America which he fears will remove him from the memory of Lord Lynedoch and others interested in him; however, from Spithead
he writes of a letter from the former enclosing one from General Torrens which says though nothing immediately can be done,
that Lieutenant Graeme has been noted for promotion on the first favourable opportunity. Some of their men are left behind
with ophthalmia; he himself is expecting to undergo an operation for it next day with a brother officer. This letter is unusually
depressed, owing no doubt to his eyes which cause much pain. They sail for Nova Scotia in a day or two and reach Halifax on
the 17th October after a rough time; on first landing it was wet and cold, and but one inn,
where the two married officers found quarters. The rest slept in their clothes for three nights on the floor of a barrack
with their men "as sound as they would in bed"; Patrick speaks of the warm hospitality received from the officers of the garrison,
they dined with the 8th and 3rd and 99th,
and Colonel Robbertson (?) of the 8th (King’s) begs they will be honorary members of
its mess. He has been given command of a company to his pleasure. Only one more mail leaves that year but there will be little
time for him to write; it is hardly possible to believe that souls can be in the forms of the Indians and Squaws he sees;
at present he cannot take advantage of the good shooting and fishing to be had as his time is fully taken up clothing his
men and seeing to their comfort.
The next letter
brings up to 3rd January 1813, and is to his sister Grace. He will not hear of her getting
married, if she is so good a housekeeper he will want her himself! The snipe have left, but ducks and partridges can be had.
She is to ask her mother "if she recollects a thing of the name of Jerimy Agnew recruiting at Bishop Auckland, I recognized
him without even hearing his name the other day, skating, he’s married and has a son five years old." He has addressed
a letter to George in Spain; in one to his father he wishes him affectionate greetings of New Year, and hopes "ever to receive
my dear father’s affec.te kindness"; he hopes George is not at Brighton, but with his regiment on active service especially
as Halkett his Colonel will now be Major General; he hopes Sir Thomas Graham will "win the county and then return to Spain!"
loses no opportunity to press advantages for obtaining active service; his Colonel Morrison has recommended him for a company
in the New Brunswick Fencibles, and General Coffin has received letters regarding him from his brother Sir Isaac, and Mrs
Dalgairns his sister, who are friends of his father; he is hoping to hear from Mr Alex McDonald about the lands in Upper Canada
and if so, suggests his brother Lawrence, who is now in his sixteenth year, coming out to Canada.
On April 9th he reports an interesting interview with Sir Thomas Saumerez. Patrick has gone for his month’s
"tour of service to Melville Island, the Depot" and calls on the General to pay his respects, venturing at the same time to
ask him if it be true that he intended raising a regiment for that country, and if so would he consider giving Patrick a company?
Sir Thomas at once asked him into his private room, made him sit down by the fire, told him he had heard his character from
his C.O. and therefore would tell him what, Sir Thomas desired, should not be repeated to the garrison. This was in effect
that Sir Thomas Saumerez expected by next mail final orders to raise the regiment, in fact already had the promise of non-commissioned
officers from England. The regiment would cost him 2000 pounds and each captain 400 pounds; that he expected a reply from
a relation who was to have the first company and that Patrick was to have the second; or the first if the relation had already
purchased one in England. Some delay occurred in the raising of Sir Thomas Saumerez’s regiment, and meantime Patrick
received orders to proceed at once to the front; he leaves Halifax Harbour, hoping in his next "to give them his ideas of
Niagara and with the help of God the recapture of New York, sends many messages to all and the Lieutenant of the ‘King’s
Germans’ (George)." A letter from Quebec mentions the army, they are to meet as a force of 22,000 under Mr Dearbourne;
General Glasgow is commanding the militia at Quebec, and Patrick has left his letters of introduction on Sir George Beckwith;
as yet they do not know where they join Sir George Provost’s force; he begs them always to mention George when they
write, that was in June. By September 13th, the date is from the infantry encampment at Fort
George; it is a low marshy situation and though they have constructed huts, the company is much reduced by ague and wounds
received on piquet duty, so he is the only officer in command of the company as his battalion is 250 miles off at Kingston.
There have been sharp engagements and constant bloodshed, and much scalping; the good news of Lord Wellington having driven
the French out of Spain fills him with apprehension lest it has cost George his life; it was a matter not to be accomplished
without great loss of life and if he, Patrick, has by his urging George to enter the service, been the means of causing his
family the grief of his death, he will never forgive himself; he does not know why he should indulge in these ideal misfortunes,
but believes it to be the long time that must intervene before he can hear of George, for the May and June packets are both
taken. In November he writes of being most hospitably received at York, North Canada, by McDonald’s friend who has taken
him to his house; Mr Beckie’s wife is charming; she was a Miss McDonald, and he is introduced to the Chief Justice,
etc., of what is the capital of Northern Canada; Mr and Mrs Beckie (the Sheriff) are equally charming; she is young and an
enthusiastic Highlander, and he is as happy as if he were at his father’s house.
must have been balm to his parents’ hearts, when they received four months later the news of his death. The next is
dated January 3rd 1814, and is to his brother George. He "tips him a line" (seven pages) to
congratulate him, "your exploits in the Peninsular are glorious" and gives him a longer and more detailed account of his actions
and hair-breadth escapes than he has ever written home. So far he has not heard from George, but the letter is kept open and
on the fourteenth he dates April 3rd, Fort Erie, and tells "my dearest George" he has at last
received his letter of February 1813. This postscript is full of rattle to the companion of his youth, and of affectionate
remarks on the younger brothers (Alex, now fourteen, a middy) and a sister. "Mother" in rattling good spirits is going to
live at Inchbrakie, and full of gratitude to the kind Beckies who have given him so happy a home all winter; no end of fun,
driving caracoles and tandems, shooting and skating and not a single kite flown! He mentions no end of names whom George is
to introduce himself to, especially Miles, "his brother here is my greatest friend and we live together." "They talk of peace
but God forbid, at least till we beat the Yankees"; a letter to his sister is much in the same spirit and then comes one to
his father dated Fort Erie, dated 26th, again mentioning Mrs Beckie with whom he has lived
three months and giving an account of the battle of Balckrock in which his company played a principal part; the letter is
the more pathetic because it is the last we find penned by the gallant young officer, and it is full of hopes at finding them
all settled at "home" (Inchbrakie) on his return; "when the Scotch breezes will feel like zephyrs after Canada piercing blasts."
On the 21st March his friend and brother officer Ensign Miles, writes from Burlington Heights most sympathetically,
to tell Colonel Graeme of his son’s death in action late in the afternoon of the 4th March
1814; a shot entered above the collar bone and passing downward to the left hip was instantly fatal; Mr Miles relates that
every officer except himself was killed or wounded; the enemy retired during the night and he had the sad consolation of burying
Graeme next morning but his watch had been taken from him.
Mr Miles most
kindly undertakes all duties of settling up Patrick’s accounts and forwarding home anything they may wish and encloses
his Will dated Cross Roads, 22 August 1813, in which he leaves his chest and small trunk to Mr Miles requesting his papers
to be burnt and his watch sent to his family.
letter is perhaps the saddest because it would appear that all those brave lives had been unnecessarily exposed as the detachment
was too far advanced to be supported; nothing could exceed the gallant manner in which the attack was led by Patrick, who
was shot dead instantly while animating his men to advance. Colonel Morrison regrets his watch was plundered but will send
home his sword which the American officer in command has restored, and trusts Colonel Graeme will be comforted by the assurance
that his son’s conduct had ever been uniformly honourable and that he possessed the sincere regard of all his brother
officers, "and when he fell it was in the service of his country nobly doing his duty, which will I trust afford some consolation,"
later when his brother Lawrence joined the 89th the following was related to him. It will be
remembered that the main part of the regiment was stationed over three hundred miles from Fort Erie, they were seated in the
mess at Kingston after dinner on the fourth of March when to their astonishment, Patrick Graeme entered and without speaking,
but regarding them fixedly and sadly, passed through the room and out at another entrance. They were all startled and a good
deal affected for he was a great favourite, the date and time were noted; it was the 4th March
at the hour he had been shot.
of Patrick is concluded with the following extract; no man is without his faults and a hasty temper does not detract from
his other qualities. The men had been poor fellows, mutinous and disorderly; all the same it must have added a pang to Patrick
Graeme’s last moments on earth.
"It was at one
of these military reunions that I fell in with Lieutenant P…………, a young officer, belonging to my
friend Graeme’s regiment, the 89th, which had just returned from America. From him I
learnt that the noblehearted Graeme was no more; he fell on the field of honour, leaving a name that will ever remain engraven
on the hearts of those who loved him. The circumstances attending his death were such as to lead the mind to contemplate,
with greater reverence than we are inclined to feel on such subjects, the mystical link that unites our spirit here to its
eternal abode. I wrote down, at the time, the details of what was to me so deeply melancholy an event, in the words of our
mutual friend P……………, who narrated it as follows:
in America under the orders of General Drummond, and the flank companies of the 1st and 89th regiments were sent up the interior of the country to dislodge the enemy from a position he had
taken up, and strongly fortified. We commenced our march on a severe morning in the depth of winter, and I remarked that Graeme
was silent and out of spirits. His heart was usually so joyous, his spirits were so exhuberant with life and happiness, that
I bantered him on the fit of sentimentality he had assumed, but to no purpose. He could not be cheerful, and twisted out of
his cap a little bugle that ornamented it; he said to me with a sad smile: ‘Here, P…………………………,
keep this for my sake’. I did take it, and I know not why, but his sadness extended itself to me. I saw he had a presentiment
he should fall, and in a strange unaccountable manner, I shared his feelings.
severity of the weather, and the ground being covered with snow, our march was fatiguing in the extreme, and Graeme, who commanded
the light company of his regiment, had occasion to reprimand several of the men for disorderly and insubordinate behaviour,
which would probably have increased to mutiny, but for the love they bore him. To one fellow, who was more unruly than the
rest, Graeme sharply applied the epithet of ‘coward’, alluding to a prior affair, in which some reports had been
made upon this man’s want of energy. The soldier looked sulkily at him, but made no remark. When we came up with the
enemy’s works, a murderous fire was opened on us, as we traversed the deep ravine that separated us from the heights
he occupied. Every one of our officers, with the exception of Graeme and myself, had been picked off by the concealed rifles
of our opponents, and we alone remained to lead on to the attack. For a moment we placed ourselves under the slope of a hill,
to prepare for a desperate effort to carry the position; retreat or surrender being alike impossible. My gallant friend was
rallying his men to the charge, when the poor fellow who had patiently borne the opprobrious name of ‘coward’
dragged himself to the spot where Graeme stood, staining, as he moved along, the whiteness of the snow with the blood that
poured from his wounds. Standing erect before his officer, he said, ‘Sir, am I now a coward?’ and dropped down
dead at his feet.
I forget the expression of self-reproach and sorrow that poor Graeme’s face wore, as for a moment he contemplated the
fallen soldier who lay stretched before him. Then, suddenly springing forward he exclaimed, ‘Now, my lads, follow me!’
The next moment, ‘Oh God!’ escaped from his lips, and he fell to the earth. A ball had struck him in the shoulder,
traversed his body, and found its way out just below the hip. I rubbed his lips and temples with snow, and used every means
to restore animation; but his noble spirit had fled. The rest of us, reduced to eight in number, were made prisoners by the
enemy; but we were allowed to carry with us the remains of our gallant comrade; and when we stretched his lifeless corpse
at a little distance from the bivouacking party, one of their officers, a rough, hard-featured man, wept, as I well remember,
in contemplating the noble countenance and placid smile of that ever-to-be lamented friend. We dug for him a soldier’s
grave in the vast wilderness, and watered it with our tears. No monumental marble marks the spot; but as long as memory lasts,
his name will there be inscribed and cherished."
GRAEME, DAUGHTER OF GEORGE GRAEME, THE TENTH IN DESCENT OF INCHBRAKIE AND ABERUTHVEN.
Grace, the only
daughter of Colonel Graeme and his wife, Miss Oliphant of Condie, was born at Orchill in 1794. She grew up to be a sparkling
woman of considerable and varied talents; while not strictly handsome, she had sufficient beauty added to great vivacity and
esprit de monde to make her a centre in any gathering which she joined, and cause her to be toasted at the county gatherings
as the "Fair Maid of Craig Rossie."
years of her life were spent in England, where she received the benefits to be obtained from proficient masters, entering
also into intellectual as well as influential society.
In her early
girlhood her parents returned to reside permanently at Inchbrakie, when Grace Graeme was sought for and welcomed by every
house in the neighbourhood, while she visited much in Edinburgh during its annual season of dinners and balls for which that
city was then famous.
There she made
the acquaintance of many notable people, becoming intimate with Sir Walter Scott and Washington Irving among others; she,
of course, attended the Court balls, and was notably present on the occasion of King George's visit to that city, as well
as the famous ball when the two young men calling themselves Charles Edward Stuart and John Sobieski Stuart, flashed on Scotland
like comets and every Jacobite heart was at their feet, Grace Graeme's amongst them.
visited her parents at Inchbrakie; he one afternoon walked over to call on Mr Murray, enquiring at the lodge if he was at
Irving home; he was answered by "Dollerie's awa' to Perth," but, said Washington Irving, "is not this Dollerie?"
"Aweel it is,
but Dollerie's awa' to Perth"; completely puzzled, he went away, but on his return to Inchbrakie it was explained to him that
Scottish custom gave the name of the property both to the owner and the estate!
A few pages
of one of Miss Graeme's journals follow, giving an account of the Perth Hunt meeting, a great county gathering in those days.
The occurrence of so many Perthshire names must be the excuse for quoting from, what after all is only the journal of a young
girl to her most intimate friend; it also shows the customs of dress, etc., of the "first society" in the early part of the
is in the form of a letter, written to her connection Maria Henrietta Stewart of Dalguise, already mentioned in this volume.
1819. I left Inchbrakie on Thursday 6th at ten in the morning for the Perth Hunt Ball, no adventures befell me. "Scone"
looks magnificent from the northern road, which I have not travelled before, dark red stone embowered in trees. The
town was crowded, Hussars (10th) in every direction, but none of our friends, how I dislike travelling alone at this time,
when groups of gentlemen are seen from end to end of the street: the gentlemen on the steps of the George Inn were Abercairny
(Charles), and John Belches, the latter very grave and in deep mourning for his mother, but kind and attentive as ever.
Mrs Oliphant had not yet arrived so forthwith I proceeded to my room. Mrs O. did not arrive till near one and introduced
me to Miss Ellis an heiress, who was one of her party, and Miss Greig, Lady Rollo's sister, she is a fine girl; Miss
Ellis is very nice, superior to most heiresses, unaffected, has œ30,000 and from her manner you would not think she had
thirty pence, very travelled, charming manners and good eyes, but not pretty, there was a woeful lack of beauty. The
Craigies of Dumbarney were near us, he, Sir P. Murray, and Mr Graham of Airth were the Stewards, with them were a Mr and Miss
Durham, very plain; he will have œ20,000 a year, and a Mr Tweedie was a very pleasant travelled man. Tony Burn,
Lawrence Oliphant, a Miss Tytler, a beauty, not agreeable, Robert Grant said it was remarked you would suppose her the heiress,
not Miss Ellis.
It was now
time to go to the Races; Mrs Oliphant, Miss Greig and I went in the Condie carriage, Lawrence accompanied Miss Ellis in her
own chaise. The race was a gay scene on the North Inch, the woods and the river Tay very beautiful. The Abercairnys
were the greatest dashers there, a carriage and four, two outriders, two postillions and two footmen. Charles himself
and Mrs Moray, dressed in white muslin over white tafety, covered with Blonde, white lace veil and abundance of ostrich feathers
had a fine effect as the winds waved them about. Capt. Grant of Kilgraston had a dark coloured carriage, driving himself
and two of his brothers. Allan of Inchmartin, the man that wants a wife, an insufferable dandy, stays longer and tighter than
gentleman's stays are wont to be.
He has two
boys in red on white horses dangling after his phaeton; the boy is very ugly and I don't like him. I saw the Murthly
carriage lumbering about, and the well remembered plush affairs of bright orange; the Drummonds of Meggnich, Strathallans,
Cultoquhey, etc., etc. But who in the world was one of the first to greet me but Dalhoshny and your admirer the Portuguese;
Robertson of Tullybelton, our tres aimable cousin, in a green coat, a peruke and tail of the last century, drove two cream-coloured
ponys over the ground, he appears a singularly wild and beautiful person. We were on the stand for some time, Lady Mary
Murray and her daughter were there. I had considerable flirtations with the elder married men, you know it is my way.
"Cutle" was delighted to see me. Margery Ramsey came with them from Murry's Hall. I spoke to Sir Peter the Member,
Capt. Grant, the Aber.'s and all the rest, Lord Kinnoul and Capt. Yates with lots of officers of the 80th. I was again
introduced to the Laird of Airth who is old, nearly sixty, not noisy, funny enough but I don't like him any better; I looked
out my eyes for the Stewarts of Grantully.
them to be surrounded by the l0th Hussars, Wallington, Gale and Arnold, also John, Tom and the fascinating Sir George, when,
in place of that, behold Catherine with the longest of all her long faces, in the worst of humours; Clementina pale, Andrew
grave, and ten times worse poor Miss Drummond of Logie the Matron, and not a soul near them.
all is not right here; not daring to ask for the hero I first asked where is Mr Arnold? "Oh, we don't know ;"and Gale?"he's
ill"; and Wallington? "Oh ! I believe he's ill too, we know nothing of him, we have not seen him for a long time." I
went round the course several times with Miss Ellis; she knows Lord Byron and all the literati of the day; there was a dark-haired,
dark-eyed, handsome figure among the l0th Hussars, he was the handsomest man I ever saw, Sir Harry Floyd; another group were
Charles Moray, the Grants, Major Stapleton and Arnold, looking remarkably handsome.
... He is
quite the thing in the Regiment, a great acquaintance of Charles Moray and quite a man of fashion, in short, Arnold is everything
(and Wallington thought nothing of), anything but a raw boy I assure you, he gave a look . . . but the carriage drove quickly
past. We went to see a "show" of a little man who has no knees and runs up and down like a cat, not a pleasant sight,
and there I met him, a most warm meeting and shaking of hands we had. . . . After the Races Robert Grant attached himself
to our party, he is a fine lad... .
at "The Salutation"; I spoke to Dalhoshney as we went in. Few in the room as we entered but Catherine Threipland, her
father, mother and sisters, they were in white, blue ribbons and sashes, gypsy hats lined with blue and blue gloves.
All blue outwardly you'll say, they looked very pretty. Lady Mary Murray and Miss M. (Ochtertyre) were in pale blue,
Highland bonnets. My dress, black satin gown, and Spencer flying open, below which white muslin body trimmed with lace
and lace frill, black satin Highland bonnet and black feathers. There was only one vacant chair, which Lord Kinnoul
very politely handed me to. When the room was full the l0th began to appear. We had all the Both on their way
to Dundee. I went to dinner with Craigie the Advocate, and separated from the rest of my party; he was stupid but it
could not be helped. There were three tables. Sir P. Murray, Lady Charlotte at his right hand, and the table on one
side filled with our party, Mr Craigie (my partner's brother) at the head, on one side of it from top to bottom gentlemen,
no lady, all officers, Arnold! I found myself next Miss Richardson of Pitfour "Aber," Lady Emily Drummond, Mr Graham
(Airth). At the head John Richardson and Charley Moray opposite us; the Stewarts up at the top, the rest of the table empty,
their beau, a cousin of Miss Atholl Murray's and Castle Stewart; they looked disconsolate. This day's dinner was not
so pleasant as the following one. Some toasts followed by appropriate music; Tom Graham a very attentive Steward.
After The King, "God save the King." Prince Regent "of a noble race was he." Lord Kinnoul and the Perthshire
Militia got the "night about the fireside" which set the officers of the l0th laughing; they got "The bold Dragoons," great
amusement; Colonel Belches and the Yeomanry " Birks of Invermay"; Sir Peter gave the health of the Ladies three times three,
this a hint to retire, and Gow struck up "Come haste to the wedding," and the Perthshire Hunt, to which we danced away to
dress. I came to the George with the Craigies. Mine was white crepe over white satin, flowers of crepe on the petticoat,
gown looped up with bows of ribbon and silk cords, the same set round the front, flowers in the hair and white ornaments.
At ten we arrived in the ball-room; Mrs Oliphant and Miss Ellis handsomely dressed.
young ladies were in white except the Treiplands in blue. Mrs Moray Abercairny pink crepe over satin, three rows of
deep lace, pink turban and diamonds, her dress was the most expensive in the room, she looked well and danced a good deal,
her husband would not allow her to waltz; these were introduced late in the evening, and only a few couples stood up, Capt.
Grant and Miss Ellis, Mrs Oliphant, Lawrence, Mrs Maxtone, etc. I thought C. Threipland the prettiest girl but figure
not good. Sir Henry Floyd of the l0th, the flower of the beaux; very hand-some with dark hair, a forehead of reflection,
no want of expression there, a stately and elegant figure, "and oh that eye was in itself a soul," brilliant, clear and dark.
partner was I so much pleased as with a partner with the horrid name of M'Queen of the 80th, tall, handsome, a little like
Meade, very animated, he had been in Scotland only six weeks, and was delighted with it; he was very enthusiastic about the
fine arts. Mr Oliphant told Mr Graham how agreeable I thought him. He replied, he had asked the Colonel to introduce
the officer he could recommend most in the Corps. There was so great a proportion of gentlemen that no others of the
partner was an impudent young man, Mr Connachie an Advocate. Dalhoshney had on one of his prim faces and stood
staring at the foot of every dance. I don't think he "figures in that way; I however was very agreeable and sat by him and
conversed awhile and asked him to introduce me to my cousin Tullybelton.
and I led off ' Miss Dalbreck,' the best tune that is danced. He is bald and was more quiet and more ` decent like than
I expected; sundry jokes from the Morays and Sir Peter about his being so gay; I declined a quadrille and he sat out a tete-a-tete,
I having little to say ` for the thoughts we cannot bridle force their way against the will.' "
was so far in advance of her day as to be a devoted student of Byron; her diaries repeatedly allude to her admiration of his
Only one day
of the hunt festivities has been quoted from lest it be wearisome; that first evening Grace describes how Mr Graham, after
taking her into supper, asks her to propose a steward for the ensuing year.
Her father would
refuse it, the Duke of Atholl would be too much troubled by it, the "two Belchess" of Invermay, she told Mr Graham, would
be one too many, so selects young Stewart of Grantully, and there is great amusement when Gow follows the toast with "what
is John Stewart to me" given by his band; she also confesses to being rallied on her flirtation with John Richardson of Pitfour;
Grace is annoyed at this and wonders what business it is of people if they did dance their "couples twice." "The boy is a
fine boy and a good dancer," and they had conversed much on her brother Lawrence; the next day and evening was spent much
in the same way, the flirtations perhaps more developed and the dresses handsomer.
Miss Mary Murray
(afterwards Mrs Bonar of Kimmerghame) " looked remarkably well to-night with wreaths of roses twined two or three times round
her head and a bunch of roses at one side; the gentlemen remark she would be a very fine girl if her mother would allow her."
The Perth Hunt
concludes with a succession of visits to various country houses where many of the partners are again met.
she meets her cousin William Oliphant home from India and finds him after a time unbend, and show her his intellectual side,
and she compares him favourably to the abrupt "Sir" Anthony of the future.
she visits Kilgraston making a warm friendship with the young Grants. Grace writes of Francis, "he is one of the most
beautiful and elegant of boys, rich curling hair and speaking eyes, a great genius, he is in the middle of an oil painting
of his own design, the judgment of Brutus; he and I are going to paint something together; this is the first time he has touched
colour, there are fifty to seventy figures in his picture; the inception is good but I don't know what the execution will
be." Thus writes Grace Graeme on the future President of the Royal Academy! but she was a good artist herself in oils;
she adds, Captain Grant returned from a couple of days' visit at Abercairny where the new drawing-room had been opened with
a great deal of waltzing and amusement.
Another of her
visits was to Strathallan, where Lady Emily received her, embroidering flowers beautifully on white silk in the library with
Miss Drummond of Machany. At this time Lord Strathallan was still Mr Drummond and it was this Miss "Betty" Drummond's
evidence which confirmed the Lords in giving him his title. Grace Graeme writes, "The porch at Strathallan is very handsome,
completed since I was last here. ... The children soon made their appearance in Polish dresses in Drummond tartan, they
speak French fluently, having a Swiss governess; Edmond is a fine splendid boy like his mother . . . it was six o'clock
when Mr Drummond entered the room with the youngest child in his arms, she is just beginning to walk."
This baby, twenty-four
years later, was to marry Grace Graeme's brother George, and become Mrs Graeme of Inchbrakie. The eldest of the boys
in the Polish dress, when an elderly man, complimented one of Lawrence Graeme's daughters on her likeness to her aunt Grace
Graeme, and told her the story learnt in his boyhood days from his father, of her being named the "Fair Maid of Craig Rossie!"
"The fair maid"
was never won, though many were the wooings; two of her admirers were Colonel Sinclair, a great friend of her brother Lawrence;
and the "Dalhoshney" of her diary General Sir John M?Donald; both were fairly successful for a time, but the engagements were
broken off and Miss Graeme predeceased her brother George by a few weeks in 1854.
SON OF COLONEL GEORGE GRAEME
OF INCHBRAKIE AND ABERUTHVEN
We now take the fourth son, Alexander John Graeme, a strong contrast to his dashing energetic brother,
who was always in earnest, whose story is related in the early part of this sketch.
Alex, or Sandy
as his brothers called, him, was a red-haired, blue-eyed boy, very gentle and amiable but light-hearted and brimful of mischief:
born in 1798 he asked his father at the age of thirteen to allow him to become a sailor. Colonel Graeme, knowing that the
conclusion of the war would give officers small chance of promotion, tried to oppose the little fellow’s wishes, but
he added, "Go and cogitate on what I have told you and tell me in three days if you are in the same mind and persistent in
your folly; then you may follow your own foolish bent, and have only yourself to blame."
The three days
flew but were not spent in deep thought. Trembling Alex stood before his father who asked his answer; the reply was, "I still
want to go to sea, but I don’t understand about ‘coaching dates’. His father’s eyes twinkled, "What
duties do you suppose you will have to do? "I think," came the quick reply, "that there will be fighting all day and drinking
all night"; his father pointed to the door and he flew to his mother!
Keith then holding the command of the Channel fleet interested himself in the son of his old friend and the nephew of his
old flame, and the boy was sent to him. He was conducted into Lord Keith’s presence during the morning levee and his
Lordship reading the letter of introduction laughed, saying in his rich Scotch accent, "Here, gentlemen, the Laird of Inchbrakie
would make all his bairns merchants and took them to Liverpool; three of them have turned sodgers and this crittur has come
to me." Alex. Graeme often related how he was at once invited to stay at Government House and attended Miss Mercer Elphinstone
in her pony carriage as chaperone! She afterwards married Count de Flahault, aide-de-camp to Napoleon.
was commissioned to the Queen Charlotte and the fleet blockaded Brest; afterwards while she lay in the Verdun Roads they sent
arms up the Garonne to assist the Duchess de Berri whom Napoleon declared was the only man in the French Army! While here
Alex received the news of the death in America of his eldest brother, and by the same letter that George was in camp at Bordeaux;
and as the lad was in great distress Lord Keith sent him to his brother; he scarcely recognized the schoolboy from who he
had parted, in the young officer of the King’s German Legion, who had been in eight general actions and wounded at Badajos.
breezy life of escapades, practical joking, and brushes with the Americans we must refer his relations to his own "Memoirs
of Early Naval life". A certain Scotch middy, Graham Spiers, and he kept the ship alive; the last time Alex Graeme heard of
him he had studied for the Scotch bar and was riding at the head of the Municipal authorities on the visit of the Prince Regent
to Edinburgh. The Queen Charlotte, the Granicus, the Vengeur, the Orontes, the Falmouth were in turn his ships; from the latter
they assisted the settlers at Delagoa Bay to recover wives and stock raided from them by the natives; Alex thought them very
eager about the stock and very lukewarm over their wives’ return!
spirit on some occasions brought him into trouble; on one of these the captain of the Parthian ordered him to be sprit-sail
yarded; this Alex point blank refused to suffer, and seizing a traversing bar said he would knock down the first man who touched
him, which he did; he then acceded quietly to the captain’s altered command to place him in irons.
After a couple
of weeks in irons in Jamaica, and hearing nothing further, Alex had a letter conveyed to Admiral Rowley who at once signaled
from his station in the hills for the captain and all officers of the Parthian to wait on him; this was at once done; he questioned
young Graeme closely telling him he had written a very good letter; then turning to his captain asked, "How has Mr Graeme
behaved prior to this?" the reply was he had "not previously had to find fault with him." "Captain ………………………………",
said Sir Charles Rowley, "I do not admire the masthead system of punishment because it reflects on the cloth"; touching his
own sleeve, "not on him, he is nothing." After eliciting that the captain had called Graeme a scoundrel, Sir Charles asked
the latter if he was sorry, "Yes", said the boy; "Go to your duty," was the kindly command. The clerks afterwards told Graeme
that the Admiral had informed the captain, that had young Graeme not resented his illegal order Captain……………….would
have lost his commission.
the Seraphis commanded by Lieutenant George Vernon Jackson, who remonstrated on Graeme’s joining his ship since he had
given trouble on board one with a full complement of officers; "Pooh, pooh," said the Admiral, "enter him on your ship’s
books and we’ll take care of him!"
I may mention
that Graeme became one of Jackson’s (afterwards Admiral) closest friends, and they married sisters. Sir Charles Rowley
gave Graeme the command of his tender the Sea Breeze; however, on being sent to get in a haul of fish, retrieve a deserter,
and find a gold locket lost by one of the ladies of the Admiral’s party, Graeme returned having only accomplished the
latter: Alex was indignant on receiving a letter from his commander reflecting on his failing to catch the deserter. The indignant
Graeme sat down and wrote a note to the Admiral informing him that he felt annoyed by his Excellency finding fault with him
to Lieutenant Jackson, "as commander of the Sea Breeze he felt capable of anything within the bounds of possibility but to
find a man who had left a place, or make fish live against the course of nature was not in his power."
burst into the office with the letter in his hand, saying, "Look here, gentlemen, here is a d…………….d
brat of a midshipman reprimanding me!" Alex was lucky in receiving no reply beyond a rebuke from Jackson; years afterwards,
Sir Charles’s daughter, then Lady Kinnoul, reminded Captain Graeme of the episode when dining with Sir David Baird at
Ferntower; to relate the episode of his running into harbour flying the admiral’s flag though the former was not on
board (this was permitted but not often done), which caused every ship and captain to prepare to receive Sir Charles Rowley,
would take too much space, and the reader is referred to the "Early Naval Memoirs". An amusing scene ensured, but Graeme,
who was a great favourite of Sir Charles Rowley’s, was asked to dinner that evening.
of the Queen having been given the duty of taking a yacht as a present from Her Majesty to the King of Prussia, was promoted
to a commander, and Alex. Graeme, then in the Victory, was offered the vacancy by Sir Edward Owen. Alex gives an interesting
account of Her Majesty’s inspection (on rather short notice) of that vessel. After every arrangement for the Queen’s
coming on board at one port, Her Majesty elected the other for her entrance; thus a hurried scramble was made for extra carpets
and Alex Graeme kept and had a special case made for the rug on which Her Majesty stood on the quarter deck. His nieces are
now the owners of it.
The Duke of
Wellington accompanied the Queen, but refused to allow Lieutenant Graeme to hold his umbrella, in consequence of his rarely
receiving it back after such assistance.
soon after left the navy. He and Admiral Jackson married sisters, daughters of Mr and Mrs Chisenhale Johnson of Arley Court,
Lancashire. Her mother, Miss Chisenhale, had been a very handsome woman and a great heiress. The family is now represented
by Swaine Chisenhale Marsh, Esq. Of Gaines Park, Surrey; he married Esther, daughter of …………………Byrom
Esq of Culvers, Devon and has issue a son Harold and two daughters.
Graeme had first made her husband’s acquaintance at the dancing school at Liverpool when about ten years old, and her
memory never left him. They were a devoted couple, and resided near Inchbrakie for a few years; afterwards he bought the nice
little property of Fonthill, Shaldon, South Devon, which he greatly added to and improved. Captain Graeme planted a field
with the Union Jack in laurels; a maze on the lines of the one at Hampton Court; and a wooden tower which swayed in the wind,
erected in the fir wood – these latter were great attractions to young people. The latter was approached by a path,
the entrance of which was flanked by slabs bearing the famous commands of our greatest admiral and general, "England expects
every man to do his duty", and "Up Guards and at ‘em". The path bore along it slabs with quotations from Captain Graeme’s
favourite authors. Those who were brave enough to ascend the covered staircase of the "Look Out", which wound round a fir
tree, were rewarded at the top by a glass of cherry brandy to drink the Queen’s health and confusion to her enemies.
died much beloved in his eighty-seventh year; his wife Eleanora had predeceased him.
his father, he never, in those days of constant duels, gave a challenge, when his turn came to be challenged he accepted and
fought his duel with a hitherto successful combatant, when on board the Granicus; both combatants died in their beds! He was
the last survivor of the family of that generation.
BORN: 13 NOVEMBER
OF COLONEL GEORGE GRAEME OF
INCHBRAKIE AND ABERUTHVEN
born 13 November 1800 in Byrom Street, Liverpool. Like his brother Alexander, he chose the sea, but was in the merchant navy.
A few little treasured
relics are all we have to tell his story. A letter from school in superfine writing, a signature in huge size on a sheet of
paper elaborately etched, showing he was a deft draughtsman; another letter from school in which the matron bids him ask for
some new shirts; he adds he won’t send one for a pattern (which he has evidently been instructed to do), as it would
take more of his pocket money "than all the shirts in Christendom are worth."
A hasty postscript
to this letter dated Sedbergh, Nr. Kendal, February 29th 1816, asks how many valentines "Gracey"
has had and desires his mother to give oranges to some young friends when next they call. A nutmeg sent to his mother from
the Isle of France in the autumn of 1816 (costing a guinea each in England), and then a couple of letters from Calcutta dated
1823-24; he has been at Singapore, Penang, etc. and had fever, it is one of the sickliest seasons in Bengal owing to the heavy
rains. He became ill again and died abroad when in his twenty-third year. A monument erected to his memory by his sailor brother, stands
in a secluded spot in the grounds of Fonthill, Devon. In all letters written by his brothers, "Tony’s" name never was
SURVIVING SON OF COLONEL GEORGE
child, 4th son) NINTH
OF INCHBRAKIE AND ABERUTHVEN, NINETEENTH
IN LINE FROM THE FIRST
EARL OF MONTROSE AND TWENTY
SIXTH IN LINE FROM WILLIAM
Born in 1797
on May 5th at Bishop’s Auckland, County Durham (while his father, Colonel
Graeme, was commanding the Perthshire Fencibles, ordered down to quell the disturbances in that district), Lawrence was, at
that period, the third son of Colonel Graeme and Miss Oliphant of Condie,his wife.
His father pursued
the same system with him as with his elder sons, and Lawrence entered an office in Liverpool ostensibly for the reason of
becoming a rich man! This was as thoroughly unsuited to his temperament as it was to that of his brothers’, and fired
by all accounts from Patrick who was in service in America, and George who was already winning laurels in the Peninsula, Lawrence
persuaded his father to let him abandon office work, and sailed for Quebec on May 22nd, 1814,
when just 17 years of age, little dreaming that two months previously his eldest brother Patrick had died in action.
No members of
a family wrote oftener to each other than the Inchbrakie Graemes, but the long distances caused months to elapse in the transmission
of letters. Patrick was killed on the 4th March and his comrade Mr Miles wrote a letter bearing
date 21st March announcing his death, which did not reach his father until four months afterwards,
on July 10th.
started in perfect ignorance of his brother’s fate, but on arrival in Quebec determined to revenge his death, and was
informed he could be attached as a volunteer to the regiment until communication regarding his brother’s commission had reached it. Accordingly, he
joined a division of the 89th in Montreal, and on the 28th of
March 1815, marched into Surrell or "William Henry" which lay on the right bank of the St Lawrence; he was gazetted as ensign
to the 89th on March 16th, and in May of the same year the regiment
returned to England in the first place to Chichester, and in August took up its quarters at Portsea after which Lawrence went
home for two months.
The War Office
is often abused for its arrangements in the latter and early part of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; but what would
have been said by present officers to the marching orders in the "teens" of the nineteenth century; no less than five different
barracks were occupied by the 89th during one year, 1815 – 1816!
In 1818 Lawrence
joined the 79th Highlanders, in which regiment he carried the colours with Fox Maule, afterwards
Lord Panmure, with whom a life-long friendship was maintained; and in 1820 joined the senior department of the R.M. College
at Farnham and Sandhurst, to which place it was removed that year, - spending his vacations at Inchbrakie and Paris, - his
examination was successfully passed before a board of officers in 1821 of which General Lord Cathcart was President, and amongst
the members were Lieutenant-General Sir Henry Torrance and Sir George Murray.
he attended a "drawing room" at Holyrood from Inchbrakie, where Sir David Baird told him he was gazetted to the 33rd; and spending December with his old friends Mr and Mrs Sandbach in Liverpool, he embarked on the 20th March 1823, in command of a detachment of the 33rd for Port Royal,
Jamaica, West Indies; obtaining a twelve months’ leave of absence in the early part of the year 1824.
leave, Lawrence Graeme was sent to survey certain parts of Mexico for the English Government; at this period the Mexicans
were endeavouring to propitiate England, and Lawrence with one or two others were appointed to receive a handsome present
of gold plate (which the President was sending as a gift to England) and bullion as indemnity, and to convey it to Vera Cruz;
the small party of Englishmen were given a guard of soldiers as convoy. No sooner however had they reached a lonely part of
the road, than they were attacked by soi-distant brigands (really sent by the Mexican Government to recover the plate); the
Mexican escort bolted, and my father and the half dozen Englishmen were quickly overpowered and stripped of everything they
possessed, bound and laid on the ground till daylight, when they were to be shot, a sentinel or two being left to guard them.
As they lay facing death and the dawn approached, Lawrence, who was a Freemason, as a last resource, communicated with the
brigand nearest to him, who responded, and after a short parley matters changed so far, that the whole party were released,
my father’s watch restored, and what he valued above all, his surveys, which he had made while in the country, and the
"brigands" departed, leaving the group of Englishmen to find their way to the coast whence they embarked for England. Needless
to add neither the gold or plate was ever seen again!
himself en route at Jamaica, and spent the rest of the year in London, Liverpool, and at Inchbrakie.
The years 1825
and 1826 were spent in military routine; early in 1826, being gazetted captain to the 91st Highlanders,
the regiment left for Ireland, where in May 1826 he met his bride through accident or fate. Miss Ridgeway had been sent from
home to visit friends owing to an outbreak of typhoid fever; her mother’s only child, the darling of her widowed mother,
she was to be guarded as far as possible. Her uncle, Mr Bathurst had died of the fell disease and others were ill, and in
deep mourning was staying near Longford, when her hostess announced that a young Scottish officer was to dine with them, apologizing
for the intrusion on that May evening.
was mutual, and Fanny Ridgeway’s family was equal to her husband’s in many ways. The Ridgeways of Tormhun, Co.
Devon, purchased Tor Abbey in 1599, and Thomas a son of that house colonised large tracts of Ireland in the reign of Queen
Elizabeth, for which he was created a baronet in 1611, and Lord Ridgeway of Gallen-Ridgeway in 1622, and was raised to an
earldom as Earl Londonderry in Queens County. Of this family Joseph Ridgeway of Rochestown, Deputy Master of the Rolls in
Ireland, was a member and by his first wife he had a son and two daughters; of the two latter, the male representative was
Major J.R. Dyas of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, Dep.Asst. Agt. General.
The only son
of Mr Ridgeway entered Holy Orders and was well known as a great mover in the Church Missionary Society, and as the encumbent
of Christchurch, Tunbridge Wells. He married Miss Chambers, and his surviving sons are Sir West Ridgeway, Governor of Ceylon
K.C.S.T. Prebendary Charles Ridgeway, Christchurch, Lancaster Gate his fourth and youngest son, Frederic, being the Right
Rev. the Bishop of Kensington. His eldest son, the Rev. Henry Ridgeway, died leaving a son, the Rev. Charles Lennox Ridgeway,
and two daughters.
The Deputy Master
of the Rolls married for the second time in 1803, Sarah, daughter of Matthew Bathurst, Esq, of Nicholstown, Co. Kildare. His
wife Elizabeth, Mrs Bathurst, came of the family of the Cusack-Smiths, a Yorkshire house of "knightly degree"; Colonel Smith
who founded the Irish branch, circa 1615, died fighting for Queen Elizabeth with two of his sons killed in action beside him;
from this gallent soldier descended three brothers, Michael, possessed of considerable property in Queen’s Co. Kildare,
and Co. Wicklow; William, whose son Michael was the Baron of the Court of Exchequer, and whose representative now is the present
baronet, Sir William Cusack-Smith and Joseph Cusack-Smith of Pickford town of Co. Kildare, who had two daughters, one married
Daniel Graham of Coulquille, Tipperary, the younger married Mr Bathurst of Nicholstown, and their daughter Sarah married Joseph
Ridgeway, K.C. who, as previously mentioned, acted as Deputy Master of the Rolls to his wife’s cousin, the Right Honourable
Michael Smith, Baronet and Baron of the Exchequer.
did not yield easily to the engagement; the Bathursts had a strong objection to any one in the army, but Captain Lawrence
Graeme promised every influence should be used for an appointment, and they were married just fourteen months after they first
met, on July 9th at Longford Church; the 23rd of that month
found them at Inchbrakie, where Fanny Graeme completely subjugated her father-in-law and was universally admired. A musician
on both harp and piano, with a touch of rare delicacy which has been known to bring tears to the eyes of strong men when she
executed her beloved Irish melodies; Mrs Lawrence Graeme added to her many charms of person the bravest spirit balanced by
a judgement beyond that usually bestowed on women, together with a sympathy and a versatility of mind which made her ever
eager to hear and be interested in matters unconnected with her own personality.
On the 8th November Captain Graeme took his wife to Liverpool and sailed for the West Indies; during Mrs
Graeme’s fourteen voyages across the Atlantic, she never stepped on deck without an ominous sinking of the heart which
however, never permitted her to be persuaded, to allow her husband to sail without her.
By May 1st, 1833, four of these voyages had been accomplished and Captain and Mrs Graeme landed with two
little children at Portsmouth (their eldest son George had died at Inchbrakie and been interred at the family burying place
Aberuthven when they were at home in 1829); there Mrs Ridgeway met her daughter, and preceding Captain Graeme they sailed
for France, awaiting him at St Germain, Paris. Meanwhile, after disembarkation, Lawrence Graeme paid a visit to Montreuil,
where he learnt further particulars of Father Graeme (died 1761) and arrived at St Germain just in time to support his wife during the sudden illness
and death of her beloved mother, Mrs Ridgeway. Rejoining the 91st at Bolton, 1832-1833, some
months were spent with it, and two long visits to Perthshire, and on April 28th, 1834, Captain
Graeme heard from his kinsman Lord Lynedoch enclosing a letter from Lord Stanley offering him an appointment in the West Indies,
with Captain Graeme’s usual promptitude he set off for London in two days, and met his wife and younger children (augmented
by a new baby) in Liverpool, embarking for Montserrat on July 3rd.
From 1834 to
1839, Captain, now Major Lawrence Graeme, remained at Montserrat; three more children were born, one of whom, Georgina, to
their great sorrow was lost to them at eleven months old; their eldest daughter and son, Frances and Patrick St George were
sent home in 1838 for their education, being respectively 10 and 7 years of age; it was a terrible wrench for their mother,
but Major Graeme’s health was already suffering from continued residence in a tropical climate and his precious life
demanded all her care.
appointment had been made at the period of emancipation of the slaves in the West Indies, and his duties as Magistrate were
to act for them and see they had justice in their (too many of them) most unwelcome freedom; for generations from parents
to children they had been cared for (with few exceptions) by their owners; at any rate like valuable possessions, they were
housed, fed and clothed, comfortably lodged and hospitals sheltered them when ill; now they were turned adrift, left like
so many babes to feed, care for, and shelter themselves and their little ones without knowledge how to do so, utterly unable
to understand that to do this they must still work!
Graeme arrived he found the island under martial law, the "Negro apprentices", as they were now called, in a state of mutinous
insubordination, an active danger to themselves and every white man on the island.
ability at once grasped the situation; he ranged himself on the side of the misguided Negroes and his foresight enabled him
to distinguish insurrection from incitement to it. The manager of an estate who was thus acting was at once detected and heavy
fine imposed with imprisonment for non-payment; it was a strong step for a man so fresh to the appointment of Stipendiary
Magistrate to take, but on all hands from the different islands came congratulations on Lawrence Graeme’s promptitude
and fearlessness. Lord Glenelg at the Colonial Office; Sir E. J. Murray Macgregor, Governor of Antigua; His Honour the President
of Montserrat; and the Governor of the Leeward Islands all united in expressing (not to Captain Graeme but to each other)
their admiration and appreciation of his conduct and great personal courage on the occasion; while Liverpool presented him
with the freedom of its city.
Graeme’s individuality was added to by his being one of the most distinguished-looking men of his day; somewhat plain
in feature, more especially so in contrast to his two elder brothers who were both distinctly handsome men, this was more
than atoned for by a proportion and grace of figure which attracted the notice of any gathering of which he formed part. This,
added to a sound judgement and a scrupulously honourable mind, enabled him easily to lead or rule those with whom he was brought
in contact; the former quality gave him the soubriquet from
his father of "the Judge". It was this second surviving son to whom Colonel Graeme turned in later years for advice and assistance
in any matter involving consideration, while from his brothers he took the nickname of "the Count"!
In 1839, Major
and Mrs Graeme left Montserrat for England with their three younger children and spent the summer at Inchbrakie and at Hawkshaw Cottage near Crieff. Alterations
and additions were being made at Inchbrakie; this was to be the last visit paid to Scotland previous to the death of Colonel and Mrs Graeme, his
By October they
were again on their way to the West Indies, leaving their eldest boy, Patrick to spend his vacations with his uncle Captain
Alexander Graeme at Bellevue (his cottage in the Inchbrakie grounds), and their little girls, Frances and Margaret at school.
Lawrence and Drummond accompanied them and Major Graeme took up his appointment of a remove to Antigua, and in 1841 they moved
to Anguilla of which island he was appointed President by Lord John Russell.
1840 had been
a year of trial. The President lost both father and mother from the old home at Inchbrakie and a little daughter, Helen, had
been given him and his wife, only to be taken from them.
By 1844 promotion
had succeeded promotion and Major Graeme was now Lieutenant Governor of Nevis, but family sorrow pressed heavily on the Governor
and his wife; two more infants, Marianne and Alexander were born, and lived just long enough to endear themselves to their
parents when they were snatched away. Deeply as the mother’s health and heart were affected their losses told even more
seriously on a father peculiarly susceptible to love of children at an early age, and the doctors told Mrs Graeme that unless
the Governor got leave of absence his life might not be spared. Bravely his devoted wife roused herself, and using every influence
that could be brought to bear on the Colonial Office they obtained furlough and sailed for home. The voyage and the meeting
with his elder children improved Major Graeme’s health; he took his family to Brussels and wintered there; his eldest
daughter was introduced after the presentation of Mrs Graeme and herself, and entered into the society of one of the most
delightful courts of Europe; their Majesties the King and Queen of the Belgians graciously extending special friendship towards
Major and Mrs Lawrence Graeme.
A letter from
Mr Henry Home-Drummond stating that Major Graeme was required at the Colonial Office induced a hurried departure from Brussels,
or rather Homburg, in May 1845, after a stay of five days; Major Graeme had been ordered there for the baths. He proceeded
to London while his wife returned for the children to Brussels. The appointment of Lieutenant Governor of Tobago was given
to Major Graeme, and with his wife he went down to Perthshire where Inchbrakie, Gask and Condie flung wide their doors. In
London Henry James Blair Oliphant was born and the Governor sailed with his wife, his two daughters and their two youngest
sons for Tobago. After visiting the Governor Sir Charles Gray at Barbadoes, their Excellencies proceeded to Tobago, which
they reached on the 25th September 1845, and were met and conducted to their new home at Government
In the summer
of 1846 the sixth babe was taken from them, James Blair Oliphant, after a brief life of ten months; this further blow was
more than the mother’s strength could bear and she was ordered home, her youngest boy Drummond accompanying her. Major
Graeme’s diary is a very incomplete one owing to the loss of the original in the fearful hurricane of 1847, but at this
time from the date he parted from his wife in 1846 until he welcomes her back in six months, the diary is a blank; another
daughter Louisa Grace (the author) is born in 1848, and in 1849 the Governor and his family sailed for England for his much
needed change after residing in Tobago for over three and a half years; the change came too late to save Major Graeme’s
life; in January 1850 on his return from his last visit to his friends in Perthshire and to his brother at Inchbrakie, he
was attacked by a severe illness which nearly proved fatal; he rallied however sufficiently to sail in April 1850 for his
post; the last entry in his diary is the birth of his youngest daughter Emily Susan, and on the 14th
of December of the same year he fell a victim in the prime of his matured manhood to the effect of climate and a too
rigorous refusal of the Colonial Office either to grant him leave of absence or remove him to a healthier climate.
All that sympathy could devise to alleviate a severe loss, was done by the Government officials of the
island, The Governor and his wife had been deeply admired and loved privately, and though His Excellency’s high standard
or morale was a source of annoyance to the local House of Assembly, these persons were true enough to nature to know that
they had lost an upright governor and a true gentleman from their midst, and the House passed a sincere vote of condolence,
which was presented to his widow. A handsome memorial erected in the church preserves his memory in the island, while the
highest tribute was paid him in the October gazette of Tobago, and the English, Liverpool and London papers spoke of his death
as a great loss to the Colonial Office, while the Globe did note hesitate to affirm that the breaches of faith by the Tobago
House of Assembly to its officials hastened his death. Major and Mrs Lawrence Graeme’s surviving family consisted of
four daughters and three sons.
Their eldest daughter,
Frances Sarah married first in 1846 John Thornton, Esq, Colonial Secretary for the Island of Tobago, son of Thomas Thornton,
Esq, Consul General of Constantinople, and Nephew of Sir Edward Thornton, K.C.B, of Wembury, Devon. Mr Thornton predeceased
his wife. They had two sons who died without leaving issue. She married secondly William Kelso Martin, Esq, of High Point
and Sandersons, Antigua. Mrs Martin died in 1894, leaving issue, a daughter, Grace Elizabeth, and a son, George Graeme Martin
both of whom are unmarried.
Graeme’s other surviving daughters, Margaret Oliphant, Louisa Grace and Emily Susan are unmarried.
Of the three
surviving sons, the eldest Patrick, entered the Royal Horse Artillery and served in India; he was a famous rider and a great
sportsman. In spite of an accident which crippled his right hand, he was one of the best "pig stickers" in India. He died
from the effects of a driving accident, leaving no issue in 1866. Captain Patrick St George Graeme was a clever mechanician,
and amongst other inventions, patented a pump for propelling ships on the Indian rivers.
Graeme, the youngest son, entered the army and served with the 37th Hampshire Regiment in India;
he contracted an illness during a march through the Terai in that country, from which he never recovered, and came home to
die in 1862 at twenty four years of age, and was buried in the family mausoleum at Aberuthven Perthshire.
Major and Mrs
Lawrence Graeme’s only surviving son is Lawrence Anthony Murray Graeme born in 1834. He entered the army through Adiscombe,
and joining the Madras Fusilliers in the autumn of 1853, was present at the quelling of an insurrection in the lower part
of the Bassein River in January 1854, for which service he obtained a medal with clasp for Pegu.
the Mutiny your Lawrence Graeme obtained leave and met his eldest and youngest brothers for a shooting tour in Ceylon. There
the recall to their several regiments occurred and Graeme traveled day and night, obtaining lifts in mail carts and every
other mode of conveyance obtainable in the disturbed state of the country, and joined his regiment at Cawnpore, which ultimately
took up its position at the Alumbagh, the Queen of Oude’s summer palace, "The Garden of the World".
an account of the prominent position of the Madras Fusillers ("Neil’s Lambs," as they were called, from the ferocity
of their onslaughts) all through the Indian Mutiny; suffice it to say that at the conclusion of that terrible war, "The Governor-General
of India resolved on receiving the 1st Madras Fusilliers with all the honours in his power.
The Regiment was paraded before the great entrance of Government House at Madras, and the cause in which this regiment was
engaged, the undying names and the renown of its leaders, the success of its arduous labours, the active part it has taken in the campaigns of
1857-58, from the day it hastened to the rescue to the final completion of the work, by the re-establishment of the authority
of the Queen of England in Bengal, all in the course of the last twenty months, form a story of the most amazing and glorious
description, to which Britons through all time will turn with pride, and of which it will be a patent of nobility to posterity
to be able to say, "My ancestor of the 1st Madras Fusiliers was one of them."
The "one of
them" in this case was Lawrence A.M. Graeme. He was present with Havelock’s column in the actions of the Mungarwar and
Alumbagh, defence of the Alumbagh from 25th September to November 1857, relief of Lucknow by
Lord Clyde, occupation of the Alumbagh under Outram, capture of Lucknow, and campaign of 1858 in Oude. For these services
he received another medal and two more clasps with a year’s service for Lucknow.
During the campaign
Allen’s Indian Mail published his name as "mortally wounded, since dead"; it was a curious fact that his mother, Mrs
Lawrence Graeme, did not believe it and did not wear mourning; she used every effort to ascertain the authority for the statement,
and one morning her Celtic premonition was confirmed by a private letter being published in the papers which mentioned the
names of the only officers killed in the regiment as being Groom and Arnold! Many of his letters appeared in the public journals
giving details of the campaign, but space forbids their entry here.
In 1866 Captain
Graeme came home on his first leave after thirteen years’ service with his regiment and staff appointments, and in 1868
he served in the campaign of the Abyssinian War in command of a division of the transport train. During this period he was
mentioned in dispatches for the extent and value of his assistance, and received his brevet majority and his third medal.
On his return
to Scotland in 1871 he became engaged to Catherine Sandeman, the youngest daughter of David Glas Sandeman, Esq,; this family
has already been referred to in this volume, one of its members having married Miss Stewart of Bonskied, whose mother was
a daughter of the Jacobite Laird of Gask. Sir Robert Sandeman, soldier and diplomatist, was a member of the same family, while
through her mother’s side Miss Sandeman brought the blood of the Roses of Kilravrock, the Wedderburns of Ballendean
and the Irish Connells. Colonel and Mrs Graeme were married on the 19th December 1871 and the
result of the union is an only daughter, Mary Violet, and two sons; their eldest son is Lawrence Oliphant Graeme, born in
1872. Educated at Charterhouse, he entered the army in 1892 as second lieutenant in the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders,
on that regiment receiving orders to raise a second battalion. Lieutenant Graeme was appointed adjutant 1897, and received
his captaincy in 1898. After serving at Malta and Gibraltar he was selected for special service in 1901 and served in the
South African Campaign in the 15th Mounted Infantry, and as adjutant of the 12th
Battalion Mounted Infantry. Captain Graeme took part (in Colonel Dawkin’s Brigade under General Sir Henry Rawlinson)
in all the "Drives" of the Orange River and Transvaal Colonies.
On his return
home in 1902 he rejoined his regiment the Q.O. Cameron Highlanders, and in March 1903 was gazetted Adjutant to the new troop
of the Scottish Horse, to be raised under the command of the Marquis of Tullibardine, for Perthshire.
Graeme, born in 1874, the second son of Colonel Graeme and Miss Sandeman, was educated at Fettes College, Edinburgh, and in
Germany; he entered the Army through the militia (Sherwood Foresters), gazetted second lieutenant December 1895 to the Seaforth
Highlanders; he served in India, in the Crete disturbances in Malta, and after being quartered in Cairo took part in Lord
Kitchener’s Egyptian Campaign, the battle of Omdurman and Khartoum; he was gazetted captain in March 1901.
for the South African Campaign be joined the M.I. Seaforth Highlanders 18th Battalion, and
served in Colonel Benson’s column and with General Bruce Hamilton in the Transvaal until the close of the way.
Graeme, the widow of Major Lawrence Graeme, younger of Inchbrakie, (Frances Elizabeth Ridgeway) survived her husband for forty
three years; the last years of her life owing to the rigours of the scotch climate, were spent in Bath, Somerset Uk, and at
over seventy-eight years of age Mrs Graeme still took an active interest in all questions of the day, especially in politics;
as Dame of the Grand Star she was one of the most energetic Councillors of the Primrose League, greatly adding to its members
by her influence, over 1000 signatures passing through her hands. Mrs Lawrence Graeme (nee Frances Ridgeway) died, universally
regretted on the 29th November 1893.