GEORGE DRUMMOND GRAEME
TENTH OF INCHBRAKIE
LINE FROM THE
IN LINE FROM THE FIRST GRAEME OF MONTROSE
Graeme (Drummond his father usually called him) was born in 1796 at Stirling; he also spent some years in an office, but breaking
away from so uncongenial an occupation his father procured for him a commission in the king’s German Legion in 1812,
which was next year ordered to the Peninsular. George Graeme writing in February 1813 from Santar in Portugal tells of his
pleasure in his regiment, the officers of which "are all most cordial"…..and I think the finest looking fellows I ever
saw in my life……………as for Halkett he is really a dashing fellow."
are written to his mother and his sister Grace, bright, chatty letters, full of comment on the home news and of messages to
old friends, but giving no impression of scenes and person like those of his elder brother.
On the 3rd of January 1814, he writes from Cantonments near Gintary, they have been out on piquet duty, "consequently
saw the beginning of this year in all its glory, but were not so jolly as the enemy, who had their bands playing from 12 till
daybreak and such singing and uproar I never heard." George describes very sympathetically how he listened to the soldiers
round the camp fire talking of the last New Year spent at home, now twelve years ago, and how they knew not whether their
relations were dead or alive.
It is greatly
to be regretted that there is a break in the letters, which would have described the actions he took part in, and in which
he was slightly wounded. No doubt he was in the hospital and unable to write.
He was present
at Osma, Vittoria, Villa Franca, Tolosa, San Sebastian, affairs on the Bedania, Nivelli Adour, at the investiture of Bayonne
and repulse of the sortie; after the way ended he embarked with the regiment for Bordeaux, and it was there in the summer
of 1814 he and his sailor brother Alex met.
In August 1814
we find him writing a sad leter; he has just heard from home of the death of his elder brother and comments on the feelings
of Lawrence who will arrive in America to find him dead. Hopes to get leave and cheer them all! This he did and it is evident
that his father took the occasion to go down to Perthshire and introduce the new "fiar" of Inchbrakie to the county; Colonel
Graeme’s method was to ride round with his son to various Houses, and on an invitation being given to dine and sleep, he sent the boy alone
to make friends for himself.
a letter to his sister Grace dated Inchbrakie, October 3rd, 1814, telling of the many kinsmen
and friends he has seen; his sympathies are especially attracted by Henrietta and Jane Graeme of Orchill; such fine girls,
he wishes Grace would correspond with them; "they have not a single brother left;" there also he saw Aunt Margaret, "the finest
old lady I have ever seen, gave me such histories of the plays and masquerades they used to act when she was young and the
part our father and mother took in them (who she says was the best of them), poor thing it is wonderful to see such spirits
continually lying in bed."
Nelly and Grace Oliphant; and dining "with Sir David Baird who is a fine fellow, I slept there and rode out shooting next
day with him and my lady who is a fine, good woman."
dined at Sir Patrick Murray’s, "a fine handsome young fellow with a dashing wife;" he had just spent an evening at Abercairny
and made great friends with his cousin Lawrence Oliphant of Condie; "we were also at Mr Graham of Airth’s, a most capital
fellow and a fine old lady his mother; he (Mr Graham) kept the whole company laughing at Ochtertyre, we were at a thousand
other places that I can’t remember, Broich and Lawers, also Lynedoch; but met his L’ship just going out to shoot
half a mile from his place.
"There was a
most elegant woman I forgot to mention, Mrs Moray of Abercairny, also Mrs and Miss Dundas, General Campbell at Monzie, General
Drummond at Strathallan, Mrs Drummond, Kildees;" truly George was being shown the county!
of this year he is at Tournay with his regiment; he has been a tour to Brussels and Antwerp with a brother officer, "Knight,
an entertaining fellow who made it pleasanter;" he spends a week at the latter place with General Halkett, who "is very dashing,
drives six horses, postillions, and outriders, when he goes to Brussels, with two led chargers. British troops came while
we were there with the Prince of Orange to review them."
An amusing letter
in February 1815 is written from Tournay to his mother. He is so glad she is in Town (London), and no doubt little "Tony is
staring about like a little savage!" He strongly advises a visit to the panorama of Vittoria; he went twice when he was in
Town. The whole thing is life-like, especially Wellington’s staff, horses and all.
later his is admitted a Freemason, on 20th May, a l’Orient de Tournay.
Then came Waterloo;
George Drummond Graeme went through the campaign, but on the 29th June he is named as severely
wounded. The dispatch is signed by the Duke of Wellington at Orville.
A letter from
Brussels, dated 29th June is written to this father. He reports his wound as getting on well;
he is attended by a surgeon of the town, which he much prefers to an English doctor, as they come and go, owing to their hands
being too full, and "you never get the same man twice." They are waiting in daily expectation for the English Gazette "to
see in what style we licked them."
17th we retreated from before a strong position the enemy had in a wood at Quatre Bras (where
we had been acting on the defensive and kept them in); our regiment formed the rear guard and had to amuse their skirmishers
two hours after our army had gone, it was then so dreadfully hot we could hardly draw one leg after the other." George then
describes torrents of rain making streams unfordable: "the enemy following us close with their artillery peppering us from
every height, they then came on with their cavalry which beat ours at first, but were checked; nothing but horror to be seen,
every one seemed panic-struck at the idea of retreat, all the fine Huzzars galloping past us like Blackamoors, having been
unhorsed and rolled in the mud, horse artillery, etc., all running through each other and the enemy as is usual follow up
in such a manner not giving you time to breathe.
soon changed to joy on seeing our army had taken up a position; about seven in the evening up to the knees in mud, we came
on piquet in a Farm in front of the position; we had neither rations nor anything, and it was very cold. At daybreak we heard
the whole army opposite crying ‘Vive l’Empereur,’ they attacked first on the right, but very soon the whole
line was engaged, they came on most furiously (the centre on the high road from Neville to this place) with immense columns,
but were beat most confoundedly, such a carnage is almost beyond belief; we continually broke them and then pursued them with
the cavalry into their own position, this went on the whole day; we were within their grape range but towards evening they
brought a Battery to bear on us, pierced a wall which was our principal defence, and then sent down columes to which this
wall served as a breastwork on our flanks, so that our unfortunate three companies were overpowered and forced to quit, some
of the enemy then got in opened the gates and the whole column rushed in. We had all to pass through the house through a narrow
passage; we wanted to halt then men and make one more charge but it was impossible, we fellows were firing down the passage.
An officer of our Camp called out to me ‘take care’, but I was too busy stopping the men and called out ‘never
mind, let the blackguard fire,’ he was about five yards off leveling his piece at me when this officer stabbed him twice.
He fell immediately, but they flocked in, this officer got two shots and ran into a room where he lay behind a bed. All the
time they had possession of the house, sometimes the room was full of them and some wounded soldiers of ours who lay there
and cried out ‘Pardon,’ were shot, the monsters saying ‘take that for the fine defence you have made’;
an officer and four men came first in; the officer took me by the collar and said to his men ‘C’est un coquin’
(I don’t know what he meant); instantly the fellows had their bayonets down and made a dead stick at me which I parried
off with my sword; the officer always running about and then coming to me and shaking me again by the collar, but they all
looked so frightened, and pale as ashes; I thought you shan’t keep me and bolted off through the lobby, they fired two
shots after me and cryed out ‘Coquin’ but did not follow. I regained the remnants of the regiment, when we were
immediately charged by a Regiment of Cuirassiers. All the army was formed in squares, we immediately got our men in a hollow
and peppered them, and I believe they found the cuirass not thick enough for our musket shot, at any rate they faced about
leaving not a few behind; we were overjoyed and leapt out and made the bugle sound forwards wanting to retake the house, but
having only a handful of men half without a cartridge, and the columns of the enemy forming up behind, the cavalry gave us
such a galling fire.
"I had got
an old French sword which I picked up and when I got my lick it flew up into the air; this was about seven in the evening,
and I had been convinced in my idea that no ball could touch me. I was in such a heat that the blood gushed very much and
staying a little too long without thinking of it, that I began to sail, all the world ran round, and I began to think all
was a farce, till just as I was about to fall a fellow of ours ran up to me and bound up my arm, and brought me away; I was
so thirsty I drank a canteen of water; a stupid Doctor told me I would lose my arm, but I had no idea of that, although there
is an officer in this house who was amputated this morning with the selfsame would but he did not care. The night of the 18th we were obliged to lay in a hovel on the roadside but slept like princes.
collected the regiment at night there were 63 men and four officers, he burst into tears and wished he ‘had been killed
too.’ But it was a glorious day; I am glad I saw the whole of it.
Surely the soul
of a hero was in the boy of nineteen, who with an arm nearly lost to him writes in the spirit he does; the letter states he
had written on the 19th (we have not seen it) and fears they could hardly decipher it but has
been practicing and hopes this is better! He concludes by saying he must buy a fresh sword, his jacket sleeve has been cut
off and torn in every direction, while it, his pantaloons, and cap are riddled with shot, "it will cost me a good deal to
get into repair again, but never mind it’s all for the glory of old George. God bless you all and God save the King."
His next letter
is dated the 9th July, and is to his mother; he is very low and inclined to fret at not being
with his regiment; the last news from the regiment on the 3rd was that they were within a league
of Paris, but could not even get milk to their coffee, expected each day to move into the town, the French army were deserting
fast, and "the Prussians were plundering every village, raising sums of money, and wished to destroy the superb bridge of
Jena, but were prevented……………no more of ‘Boney’ but it is thought he is with the
army behind the Loire, it is said after he abdicated, in an affair before Paris with the Prussians, he was seen animating
the French troops disguised as a servant."
Since writing the above General Halkett has arrived, he is wonderfully well and hardly disfigured at all, the ball went in
just under the right eye and out at the left jaw, he lost ten teeth and his palate all broken, but he has not lost his good
looks, he has a wound in his neck which a Cuirassier gave him, perceiving he was a General, and with his usual coolness Halkett
took off his hat and bowed to him; this I had from an officer of the Brigade who was in the square with him; he has also a
wound in the arm and the leg, three horses killed under him and one wounded; the Brigade adore him; his A.D.C told me that
when he passed the Brigade yesterday the men almost cheered him, and all cried out how is the General, and the 30th
Regiment said tell the General we will go to H………………………l for
him if he chooses, because we know he will bring us out again! Always remember his Brigade was composed of regiments who never
say fire before."
We think the
boy-hero adored his General too, who had been his colonel in the Peninsula; the writing of the letter is square and stiff
and the pen held with great difficulty. On the 16th August Colonel Baring of the K.G.L. writes
to the boy-soldier congratulating him on obtaining leave, hoping for his speedy return, and expressing the high sense he entertains
of his gallant conduct on the 10th June; he asks for his English address.
is followed on the 26th by one from the same writer to George Drummond Graeme’s father,
Camp Bois de
So very little
being done in the English Army to make known the Subt.Officers who distinguished themselves in the field, I cannot deny myself
the satisfaction of informing you of the distinguished conduct of your son George Drumd. Of the 2nd
Light Battln. K.G.L. in the Battle of Waterloo on the 18th of June last. He was wounded
and obliged to leave the field in the very end of the Battle only, I had therefore an opportunity to admire his spirited gallantry
during the whole of the day, in which he was rivalled by very few but surpassed by none. The pleasure I feel in thus discharging
my duty as Commanding Officer is heightened by the idea how pleasing it must sound to the ear of a Father to hear this spoken
of his son.
I have the honor
Your most Obt
The 2nd Light Battln. K.G.L.
the 1st leave is granted George till November 1st, and he returns
home for several months, receiving an extension until 24th January 1816. This in consequence
of his wound which is very troublesome, and indeed affected his health.
its appreciation of his heroism by conferring the freedom of that city on him in 1816.
By this time
he was wearing a medal and three clasps and the gold cross for Waterloo.
father has not been idle in endeavouring to get permanent employment for his son; the peace and the thinned ranks of the regiment
make it possible that the King’s German Legion will be reduced in number, and George sent home on half-pay. This is
not to be thought of, and irons have been in the fire since 1814 to prepare the way for his admittance into the Hanoverian
Guard. The Dukes of Montrose and Atholl have certified to his descent, giving the thirty-two quarterings which according to
the foreigner "enobles" an English commoner.
15th General Halkett gives the following testimonial."
"I hereby certify that Lt George Drummond Graeme has served in 2nd
Light Battalion King’s German Legion from 1812, that he has made the different Campaigns with the Regiment in
the Peninsular with great zeal, gallantry and attention to his different duties. That I consider him a gallant, active and
intelligent officer, and that in the Campaign in the Netherlands his conduct was reported by his Commanding Officer as distinguished.
That he was severely wounded at the Battle of Waterloo gallantly defending Le Haye Sainte. I beg to recommend him to the attention
of any General of Commanding Officer under whom he may hereafter service.
2nd Light Brigade,
23rd December 1815.
George enters the Hanoverian Guard
commanded by H.R.H. the Duke of Cambridge, son of George III. In that corps he served until 1837, and had the good fortune
to be honoured by the personal friendship of the Royal Duke and his Duchess, with that of our own revered (the present) Duke
of Cambridge. In a little pamphlet of the Grand Star of Hanover on Tab.XIV may be seen the illustration of that order surmounted
with the Inchbrakie crest and the motto Me-Aspera Terrent, as conferred on Major Graeme of Inchbrakie.
of his life in Hanover are few; in them however are gleams of the warm affection he felt for his home.
In 1837 just
before his return he speaks of a severe attack of "grippe or influenza" and hears they are suffering from it at home. History
repeated itself just 50 years later when in 1890 it fell on us once again!
with King William’s medal for 25 years’ service; the "Waterloo subscription" as a subaltern presented him with
20 pounds, and he received an extra grant of half pay in 1819.
lost both father and mother in 1840; he had been ostensibly laird since his return home in 1837. In 1842 he married his kinswoman
the Honble. Marianne Drummond, daughter of General Viscount Strathallan and the Lady Emily Murray (daughter of John fourth
Duke of Atholl) his wife.
years of married life were permitted them; Major Graeme’s health (never fully regained since his wound) fluctuated much;
he, however, continued to interest himself in his estates and greatly enlarge the House of Inchbrakie; considerable alterations
for the better were made in the village of Aberuthven, and a large sum expended in the building there of a Free Church with
a comfortable house for the minister of that form of worship; finally in 1853-54 he was advised to try a winter in the South
and the family moved to Tours. Unfortunately no good result was obtained and he passed peacefully to his rest at Tours on
December 20th, 1854 and was buried at Aberuthven on January 2nd, 1855.
Graeme left an only son and two daughters; the elder Amelia Anne Margaret married in 1876 Lieutenant Arwed Giersberg of the
Prussian Army. Major Giersberg died in 1899 leaving her a widow with two surviving sons:
George Giersberg and
Emilius Graeme Giersberg
Constance Giersberg married to Lawrence Clark, Edq, and
Alwina Beatrice Giersberg who is unmarried.
second daughter Beatrice Marianne Jane Graeme is unmarried and his only son, Patrick,(11th laird)
succeeded him in the estates.
Mrs Graeme of Inchbrakie died on the 19th of May 1876 having survived her husband 22years and
was buried beside him.
ELEVENTH LAIRD OF
INCHBRAKIE AND ABERUTHVEN
Eleventh laird of Inchbrakie and Aberuthven, and twelfth in line
from the first Earl of Montrose and twenty-seventh in line from the founder, is the only son of Major George Drummond Graeme
of Inchbrakie and the Honourable Marianne Jane Drummond his wife.
educated privately and at Harrow, he graduated at Trinity College, Cambridge, and entered H.M.’s army joining the 79th Cameron Highlanders, and afterwards settling in Canada.
In 1870 great rejoicings
took place on the estate when he came of age, which will long be remembered by the people of Aberuthven. Unfortunately he
entered on his properties already in a heavily encumbered condition and by 1882 the burdens placed on them for fifty years
necessitated their sale; the estate of Inchbrakie was purchased by Mr Charles S. Home Drummond Moray of Abercairny. Much of
the family connection between the Abercairnys, the Inchbrakies and the Blair Drummonds has already been alluded to, it is
therefore only necessary here to state that in 1539 Inchbrakie’s sister the Lady Nicola Graeme had married John Moray,
Great Baron of Abercairny. A hundred years later Annas Graeme of Inchbrakie had married Sir Robert Moray of Abercairny; two
of their daughters had married Graemes of the Fintry and Garvock branches; and a grand daughter married a grandson of Inchbrakie.
Sir Robert Moray’s descendant, Colonel Charles Drummond Stirling Moray of Abercairny bought the estate of Inchbrakie
in 1882; it is a matter of regret he pulled down the house of Inchbrakie which had been built in 1733-39, and largely added
to in 1839-42; on its site however he erected a kindly memorial which bears the following inscription:-
"Memorial Erected 1888with the stones and on the site of
the last House of
The Property having
been purchased in 1882
From Patrick Graeme
Laird of Inchbrakie
by Charles S.H.D.
Moray, 19th Laird of Abercairny
in descent from Anne, Daughter of
Patrick Graeme, 5th Laird of Inchbrakie"
This gentleman is now represented by his son William Augustus Drummond-Moray,
20th of Abercairny and now 2nd of Inchbrakie. He succeeds his
father in those estates in 1891, is D.L. and Captain in the Scots Guard; he married in 1899 his second cousin the Honourable
Gwendolyn Edwards, eldest daughter of William, 4th Baron Kensington, and Grace Johnstone Douglas
(granddaughter of the Marquis of Queensberry) his wife. Colonel and the Honourable Mrs H.D. Moray have a son James William,
born 8th November 1900, and a daughter Anne Grace Christian.
The greater part of
Aberuthven including the crest of Craig Rossie was purchased by the present Lord Rollo; the rest by J. Stevenson, Esq.
Thus ends the history
of the lands of Inchbrakie and Aberuthven, but not of the race; there are still young and gallant scions left to carry on
a family for which their descendants have, in the long roll of their names, rarely had cause to blush.
In the old church of
St Kattans at Aberuthven lie the sacred dead; that hallowed ground is still Inchbrakie’s own, and the memory of those
who lie there, who have graven their names on the pages of history by their swords and their lives, cannot but inspire their
descendants to follow in their footsteps for all time, and carry on the line from the 28th in
descent from William Graeme in 1128.