Robert of Boshelholme had at least two sons, Henry and James, the former became a Writer to H.M.
Signet, and in the Book of Writers he is described as the son of "Robert of Boshelholme." Henry Grahame married Marion Hamilton;
their contract of marriage is dated 22nd Feb. 1677; he died on 23rd May 1699 and his will, dative of that year, makes his
brother James his executor; no children are named, and as on the 30th May I700 we find the retour of James Grahame, Bailie
of Edinburgh, "to his brother Henry Grahame, W.S.," in an inventory, it is very probable Henry Grahame had died without leaving
heirs. Three more sons of Robert's will be proved later on.
James Grahame, the elder son of Robert of Boshelholme, is designated as merchant, burgess, and
bailie of Edinburgh and of Poltoun; he had also a house in the Luckenbooths, then a fashionable quarter of Edinburgh.
The Coltness Papers mention him as partner in the firm of Henry Stewart (fourth son of Sir James
Stewart of Coltness), one of the most successful wine-merchants of that date in Scotland, and whose executor he appears to
have been in 1671. In none of the Public Records so far searched, is mention made of the lands of Boshelholme or Poltoun,
but his relation to his brother Henry, who is stated to be son of Robert Grahame of Boshelholme, is clearly proved.
The Stewarts were connected with James Grahame's wife, Agnes Denholme (whom he married in 1666)
in the following manner:
Marian, the eldest sister of James the first Lord Carmichael, married first, James Stewart of Allerton,
by whom she had two sons; on his death she married in 1610, James Denholme or Denham of Westshields," a Robust, Austere and
awful man," by whom she had three children.
The eldest boy, John, became Bailie Denholme of Edinburgh, who by his wife (her name I have not
learned), had a family of one son and seven daughters, of these latter the eldest married Hamilton Hamilton of Pressmennan,
Lord of Session.
The second became Lady Elphinstone, wife of Sir James of Logie.
The third married James Graham the subject of this sketch, and the fourth daughter of the Denholmes
married Mr Wellwood, a large owner of coal mines.
Amongst the roll of bailies in Edinburgh is the following entry: "James Grahame, baillie in 1678;
at the end of six months he refused to take the oath of supremacy to Charles the Second, and so was deposed."
Amongst the Edinburgh Register of Births appear the following entries: 2nd July 1671, James Graham,
merchant, and Agnes Denholme, a son named Robert. Witnesses were Robert Hamilton, Clerk of Session; Archibald Hamilton, baillie;
Harry Stuart, merchant; James Nicholson, and Harrie Graham, writer.
23rd June 1672, James Graham and Agnes Denholme, a son named Henrie.
Witnesses, Robert Hamilton, Clerk of Session; Robert Denholme of Muirhouse, and others, with H.
Graham, W.S. ; but these represent only a very small number of the family of twelve children which
were the result of the marriage of James Graham of the Luckenbooths and Agnes Denholme; the Airth Bible tells us that of the
sons only one survived; James, born in 1676 (another son John had been baptised in Edinburgh in 1669), and three daughters
reached a marriageable age, viz.:
1. Elizabeth married to Colonel John Forbes of Pittencrieff, Co. Fife, he was born in 1658 and
was eighth son of John Forbes of Culloden, Provost of Inverness, and grand-uncle of John Forbes of Culloden, the Royalist.
Colonel Forbes carried (with-out knowing its contents) the order from London to Sir John Hill for the massacre of Glencoe.
2. Rachael married to Lumsdaine of that Ilk and of Blanerne (which family is now represented
by E. R. Sandys Lumsden of Lumsden and Blanerne, Co. Berwick, and of Innergellie, Co. Fife), this lady was of a very sturdy
temperament, and her descendants relate an anecdote when surrounded by a number of young people, among whom a discussion had
arisen as by what term they should address their husbands after they were married "my love" or "my dear," etc., they appealed
to Miss Graham who appears up to that point to have been silent, "What would you call yours, Miss Graham," "Just plain John
Lumsden " came the quick reply!
3. The third surviving daughter married Glen of Ecclesmanglen; an interesting record of one of
their daughters may be mentioned here: Miss Glen married Mr Gordon of Ellon Park (the name of a Gordon of Ellon appears as
a trustee with Graham of Airth among the family documents) and was known in the family as Mrs Glen Gordon, she lived in the
palace of Linlithgow; her relations, the Linlithgows, had charge of it; the soldiers after the Battle of Falkirk lit fires
on the hearths which endangered the palace. Mrs Glen Gordon appealed to the General (who had been defeated "Very well," she
answered, "thank God I can fly from fire, as well as you did the other day." The palace was burnt down!
Mrs Glen Gordon's family consisted of four very handsome daughters and two sons; on George III.
ascending the throne, Mrs Glen Gordon went to court; she was still a most beautiful woman and had been quite a Ninon de l'Enclos,
she told the King she had a daughter married in each of his four kingdoms. "I have heard of three," he said, "but never of
four." "Did your Majesty never hear of the Kingdom of Fife," was Mrs Glen Gordon's reply!
To return to the father of the three ladies above-mentioned, Bailie Graeme, the other records of
him have been already referred to in his brother Henry's will and the retour; then in 1704 he dies, and that event is proved
by his will with the marginal date of Sept. 26, 1704, in which he is styled merchant and burgess only, not bailie, owing to
the fact previously mentioned.
This will is given up by Mr James Graham, Advocate, his eldest son; he is creditor to his father
for 7000 merks and the plenishing of the house (Luckenbooths ?) is valued at œ1157; there are also three shares in the
Bank of Scotland, then valued atœ120 each; Andrew Grahame is mentioned as cautioner. The line is now continued
in the third generation.
JAMES GRAHAME, THIRD IN DESCENT, FIRST OF THE TOWER OF AIRTH, DEAN OF THE FACULTY OF ADVOCATES,
AND JUDGE OF THE COURT OF ADMIRALTY
The Airth Bible states he was born in 1676, and in 1700 he had married his first wife (who was
also his first cousin), Marion Hamilton, daughter of Lord Pencaitland; of this marriage there were three sons who all died
early, James, the eldest, died at the age of nineteen in Rome in 1723. Hugh, of whom we know nothing more than his birth,
and John born in 1707, died in infancy; the surviving daughters of James Grahame and Marion Hamilton were Agnes, who married
her cousin, Arthur Forbes of Pittcncrieff, Co. Fife, and Marion, who married in 1729 David Bruce of Kinnaird, and died in
1733; her child was James Bruce who became the noted Abyssinian traveller.
Twice we meet the Judge Admiral's name in the Retours as heir-general to his father in 1705 (Sept.
4th), and as heir-special to his uncle the late Henry Graham, the W.S. (who died 1699), in the lands of Gilchriston in Haddington,
this service occurs in 1707, and by 1717 he had purchased Airth and altered the Tower of Airth into the Castle. In maps
of 150 years ago it is shown as the Tower of Airth; it is about twenty-five miles from Edinburgh.
The Judge's first wife, Marion Hamilton, having died, he married secondly, Lady Mary Livingstone,
daughter of Alexander the third Earl of Callendar, by his wife the Lady Anne Graeme, daughter of the second Marquis of Montrose
(the gallant little prisoner of 1645); Lady Mary added fresh vigour to any royalist inclinations shown by her husband and
their children, of whom there were:
1. James, the eldest son, went out in the '45; a devoted adherent of Prince Charles Edward, he
went abroad with his Prince after Culloden and, as his name was on the list of attainder, he could never return or take up
his estate; he died like many of his compatriots at the Scots College in Paris where he held the rank of colonel; a man of
almost unprecedented strength, it is related how he would lift between his teeth the large round mahogany table that stands
in the lobby at Airth, or taking the kitchen poker he would twist it round his wrist, or round the necks of two Highlanders!
2. A son buried in Holyrood Abbey in December 1727.
3. Another son buried there in Jany. 1728.
4. William, who carried on the line.
5. Elizabeth, who married William Macdowall of Castle Semple, be was born in 1700, and purchased
the family estate of Garthland from his cousin who died unmarried (their eldest son also died unmarried, and was succeeded
in the Garthland estates by his nephew Henry, the son of Day Hort Macdowall and his wife, Miss Wilhelmina Graham, daughter
of William, second of Airth), and is now represented by Henry Macdowall of Garthland and Carruth, Co. Renfrew, J.P. and D.L.,
who married in 1885 Eleanora Louisa, youngest daughter of Sir William Maxwell, sixth Baronet of Montrieth.
6. The younger daughter of the Judge Admiral and Lady Mary married Thomas Dundas of Fingask, but
died without leaving issue.
Judge Graham, unlike his father, was a Royalist; in the list of Councils held at Holyrood by Prince
Charles Edward, we find his name; the names of peers attending come first, then follows Sir James Stewart of Goodtrees; Wauchop
of Niddree; Hamilton of Boag; M'Leod of Minavonside; Stirling of Keir; Graham of Airth and Lord Provost Stewart, etc.
Lady Kincardine in a letter to Lord Aylesbury, relates how Judge Graham had gone to London "at his own charges" to defend
some of the Jacobites taken prisoners at Preston; the judge was guardian to Lady Kincardine's children.
When he drove into Edinburgh, the start would take place at six o'clock in a coach and six and
all the country people would bring one a peat, a stone to mend the roads. The judge was a pious, good man, he used to
attend Linlithgow Church; the minister of that period showed great individuality in remarks he used to introduce into his
sermons, "It is law, my friends, as well as gospel, and if you winna believe me, here's Judge Graham, ask him."
Another time he saw some of the magistrates were napping, "Whisht," he said, "and dinna waken the
magistrates of Linlithgow." Up spoke one of them, "you need not be so hard on us, your own wife is sleeping."
"What, Janet," he addressed her, "are ye sleeping too? A'body wha sees ye kens I didna marry ye
for your beauty, and a'body that kens you, kens I didna marry ye for your siller, for ye hae na siller! and if ye havena the
fear of God in your heart, wow, wow, but I ha'e gotten a puir penny worth o' ye! "
The judge liked to retire to his room at six o'clock for the rest of the evening, but his beautiful
niece, Mrs Glen Gordon, used to go in and induce him to rejoin the family circle. On his death in 1746, he was succeeded
by the second surviving son of his second marriage,
WILLIAM GRAHAM, FOURTH IN LINE, SECOND OF AIRTH CASTLE,
who was born in 1730 and succeeded his father in 1746. He married in 1760, Anne, daughter
of Sir Henry Stirling of Ardoch; Sir Henry Stirling was brother-in-law to Graeme of Braco, who had married his sister Catherine
Stirling, and his daughter, Mrs Graham of Airth, was first cousin to Mary Graeme, Mrs Smythe of Methven Castle, and to General
David Graeme of Braco; their ancestress, little Meg Murray of Strowan (near Crieff), had married Stirling of Ardoch at the
age of thirteen in the reign of James VI.; the child-mother used to be playing at bogie round the stacks when called away
to nurse her child; it is said she was the mother of thirty-one children!
mother's cousin) left by his will, dated 1740, his estate to his name son; both were forfeited,
so Mr Graham only succeeded to that part of it held by the Earl of Wigton; the latter being Lord Superior, took possession
and sold it to Judge James Graham for a nominal sum, these lands were called Inchbellie, and were sold in after years by William
Under the short mention of Graham of Claverhouse will be found the incident relating to the death
of Viscount Kilsyth's wife and child. When their bodies were found in perfect preservation years afterwards, Lady Kilsyth
was dressed with pink ribbons, the baby lay between her knees; there was a small piece of sticking plaister on her forehead.
Mr William Graham and his wife, Miss Stirling of Ardoch, had a family of seven sons and eight daughters.
Of the sons, five died young: Henry, born in 1766, Captain in the 42nd Regiment, died in 1787;
William, born 1767, died 1768; John, Charles and Bruce all died when children. The two surviving sons succeeded in turn
to Airth; before giving any particulars concerning them mention may be made of the daughters:
1. Anne, married in 1781 David Erskine, W.S. (he was fourth son of the Rev. John Erskine of Cardross,
D.D., and Miss Anne Stirling of Keir, his second wife), their issue is now extinct in the male line but represented in the
female line by David Erskine of Linlathen, Co. Forfar; Mrs Erskine died in 1836.
2. Mary, married in 1781 John Stirling of Kippendavie (he had purchased the estate of Kippenross
from Mr William Pearson in 1778); they had thirteen children, of whom eleven married, and the line is now represented by John
A. Stirling of Kippenross and Kippendavie, born 1881, elder son of Patrick Stirling and Margaret Mary, daughter of Rear Admiral
John Leith by his wife Miss Margaret Forbes of Blackford, Co. Aberdeen. Their younger son, Patrick Douglas, was born in 1886.
3 and 4 were twins, Elizabeth and Christian; the latter died unmarried in 1848-49; it is to this
lady the family are indebted for many of the interesting reminiscences mentioned in this sketch; Elizabeth married on October
16th, 1794, James Dundas, Esq., of Ochtertyre, Co. Stirling, W.S. ; they had five sons:
(a) William, who succeeded and died leaving no issue;
(b) James R., d.s.p.;
(c) Sir David, K.C., who succeeded and also died without issue;
(d) George, Lord Manor, who married Elizabeth Mackenzie (Portmore); they had five sons:
(1) James, Captain in the R.E., V.C., d.s.p.;
(2) Colin Mackenzie Dundas, Commander R.N., now
of Ochtertyre, Co. Stirling, he married Agnes, second daughter of the late Samuel Wauchope, Esq., C.B., who died in 1902,
leaving him with two sons, James Colin Dundas, R.F.A., and David John Wauchope Dundas;
(3) George R. Dundas, dsp.;
Wm. J. Dundas, C.S.;
(5) David Dundas, K.C.
(e) John Dundas, C.S., married Jemima Christian Macdowall of Garthland, and has a son Ralph Dundas,
Esq., C.S., who married Emily Bridget, daughter of the late Robert Robertson of Auchleeks, Perthshire ; their surviving son
is Robert William Dundas, their eldest son John, d.s.p.;
( f ) Thomas Graham Dundas, d.s.p.
5. Jean, died unmarried in 185o.
6 and 7 both died in infancy; one of these were named Seton; the eighth daughter and fifteenth
child of Mr William Graham and Miss Stirling of Ardoch was named Wilhelmina, she married in 1791 her first cousin Day Hort
Macdowall of Walkinshaw ; their eldest son succeeded to Garthland and Castle Semple on the death of his uncle; he died without
issue and was succeeded by his younger brother their son Henry in 1810, who is now represented by Henry Macdowall of Garthland
as stated on page 608; their daughter Elizabeth married in 1824 Sir Henry Ingilby, first baronet of Ripley Castle, Co. York,
who had two sons; the elder, Sir Henry Day Ingilby, married in 1862 Alicia, daughter of Lord Majoribanks, and has a daughter,
now deceased. Their second son, William Ingilby, born in 1829, late of the Bengal Artillery, married in 1874 his cousin Eleanor,
the second daughter of Henry MacDowall of Garthland and Isabella Denistoune of Golf Hill his wife; their sons are:
William Henry Ingilby, R.N. (see Burke Baronetage).
John Uchtrid MacDowall Ingilby of the Gordon
Mr William Graham, fourth in line, the father and ancestor of the preceding, took a keen interest
in the tomb of Sir John de Grame at Falkirk.
In 1772 in order to protect the original slab (said to have been placed there by Sir William Wallace),
he directed a second slab to be placed over it, in such a manner as to defend it from weather without concealing it from view;
on the new slab he engraved the original inscription found on the older stone which may be read on page xxiv. of this volume.
William Graham died in 1790 and was succeeded by his eldest son,
JAMES GRAHAM, FIFTH IN LINE, AND THIRD OF AIRTH CASTLE,
who was a Bengal civilian. He died in 1805 leaving no issue, and was succeeded by his surviving
THOMAS GRAHAM-STIRLING, SIXTH IN LINE AND FOURTH OF AIRTH CASTLE AND OF STROWAN,
who married in 1807 Caroline Mary, only daughter of Major Home (by his wife, Miss Perchard, of
a jersey family). He was son of Colonel James Home of the Royals and grandson of Sir John Home of Blackadder and Miss
Mary Dundas of Arniston. Three sons and a daughter were born to them; the daughter Mary died young. William succeeded;
the second son, Thomas James, we will take presently; the third, Carolus James Home, lived to a good age but never married,
he was a well-known figure in Edinburgh, and County society. Their father, Thomas Graham, succeeded to the property
of Strowan (by Crieff, Perthshire) through his maternal uncle. He was Convener of the County of Stirling and died in
1836, leaving the property of Strowan to his second son as shown here-after. He was succeeded in the estate of Airth
by his eldest son,
WILLIAM GRAHAM, SEVENTH IN LINE AND FIFTH OF AIRTH CASTLE, J.P. AND D.L., M.A.,
born in 1808. He married in 1839 Elizabeth, the third daughter of Sir Alexander Anstruther,
Kt. of Thirdpart, County Fife, they had two children and a daughter Janet Caroline who survives.
Mr William Graham died in 1883, his wife Elizabeth survived him and died in 1895. He was succeeded
in 1883 by his only son,
MR THOMAS PHILIP GRAHAM, EIGHTH IN LINE AND SIXTH OF AIRTH CASTLE, COUNTY STIRLING,
who entered the army in 1862, was Colonel and Lieutenant-Colonel of the Scots Guards. He
married in 1873 Jemima Barbara, daughter of J. Clerk-Rattray of Craighall Rattray. She died in 1878, and Mr J. P. Graham
died at Florence in 1898 leaving two daughters, Helen Christina, and Agnes; the property of Airth fell to the elder who succeeded
her father in 1898. We will return to
THOMAS JAMES GRAHAM-STIRLING, J.P., D.L., OF STROWAN, SECOND SON OF THOMAS GRAHAM-STIRLING,
FOURTH OF AIRTH,
who was born in 1811. He succeeded to the property of Strowan, near Crieff, on his father's death
in 1836. He married firstly, his cousin Mary, daughter of Mr William Stirling of Kenmure House (second son of Stirling
of Kippendavie). She died without leaving children in 1847. Mr Graham-Stirling of Strowan married in 1858 for
the second time Jane, daughter of William Hugh Hunter of Auchterarder, and niece of Colonel Hunter of Auchterarder House;
he served in the 42nd Highlanders, and by his second wife had four sons and three daughters: Alice Elizabeth, Florence Kate,
and Maud Mary. Their eldest son, Thomas James, was a lieutenant in the "Black Watch," his father's regiment; he lost
his life gallantly at the battle of Tel-el-Kebir in the Egyptian Campaign. Colonel D. R. Williamson of Lavers went to
Egypt and conveyed the body home for interment. Another son, William Evan, died in infancy; and their third and fourth
sons are Carolus Home, and Ernest Henry.
Mr Graham-Stirling died in 1896, when he was succeeded by his eldest surviving son,
CAROLUS HOME GRAHAM-STIRLING, SECOND OF STROWAN, J.P.,
who was born in 1866; succeeded to the estate of Strowan in 1896 and married in July 1903, Sybil,
daughter of the late General Kirkland of Fordell, County Perth. Captain Graham-Stirling holds a commission in the 3rd
(Militia) Battalion of the Black Watch, and is a Commissioner of Supply for Perthshire. He now represents the male line
in descent from Robert Grahame of Boshelholme, grandfather of James Grahame, Judge Admiral, first of the Tower of Airth.
In the first generation, the family of Boshelholme and Airth spelt the name with the termination
of e, but it was latterly abandoned.
Since writing the preceding pages I find there is further evidence to prove my surmise on the first
page that the Grahams of Airth descended from Robert Graeme the sixth son of George Graeme (Inchbrakie), Bishop of Orkney
and Zetland. This son of the Bishop was, on 21st April 1655, described as "in Bolshan" son of "George Graeme, Bishop of Orkney,"
and as "in Montrose" on November 12th, 1668.
A manuscript written on 13th November 1666 makes various references to his five sons. The
writer is Patrick Smythe of Braco and Methven (grandson of George Graeme, Bishop of Orkney, and nephew of Robert "in Bolshan"),
and he is addressing his first cousin and chamberlain to his estates, David Graeme, the eldest son of the said Robert.
Four sons are mentioned besides David, who died in 1684 and invariably spelt his name with the diphthong; the second is Robert,
a Merchant Burgess in Edinburgh on November 2oth, 1668, he is described on 21st June 1673 as brother to David son lawful to
the umql Robert Grahame in Montrose; the three younger sons were Henry, James, and John. Bolshan is situated in that
part of Kinnell which was anciently in the diocese of St Andrews; and the ancient spellings were Ballician, Ballischan, and
Bollishan; whether this could further be corrupted to the Boshelholme in the Writer to the Signet book is a question.
Henry, the third son is, in my opinion, the Writer to the Signet styled son of Robert Grahame of
Boshelholme and who is undoubtedly proved brother to James Graham, founder of the Grahames of Airth as stated in the opening
sentences of this sketch. In his protocols he further styles himself clerk of the Diocese of Brechin; and in his testament
dative already alluded to his widow Marion Hamilton was his executrix to various bonds and mortgages due by persons in the
neighbourhood of Montrose to the deceased Henry; it has already been shown that this Henry died childless, as, firstly, his
brother James in 1700, and then his nephew James (after-wards Judge Admiral and of Airth) in 1707 is served heir to him; I
venture to think still further proof of my surmise is brought by the decreet obtained 6th March 1700, by his widow against
Robert Grahame, merchant in Edinburgh, and James Grahame, late bailie there, "brethren to the defunct Henry" (it will be remembered
the father of the Judge Admiral was deposed after holding that office) who, with a sister Jean Grahame was relict of the late
Mr James Guild minister at Strickathrow, are described as "the only nearest of kin."
David the eldest son of Robert of Bolshan died in 1698, and never married so far as we know, after
his romance with his cousin Barbara; Henry died as above in 1700, Robert and James are mentioned in the above decreet; and
John appears also to have been dead in 1700, and to have left no issue. Thus we find that Henry and James who are proved
unquestionably the sons of Robert Grahame of Boshelholme are also shown to be brothers of Robert Grahame, Merchant Burgess
in Edinburgh, who (in the Methven Papers in 1666) is styled brother of David Graeme and son of the umql Robert Grahame "in
Bolshan" and "in Montrose." John Grahame is not yet proved brother to Henry Grahame, W.S., and the Judge Admiral; but we find
that of five men, all bearing the Christian names and professions of the sons of the Robert Grahame "in Bolshan" and "in Montrose"
(sixth son of Bishop George Graeme); two are shown to be sons of Robert Grahame of Boshelholme.
The failure in this evidence is the difference in pronunciation and spelling between Bolshan and
Boshelholme. A further search may forge the link by showing that it is owing to the varied spelling of that period,
which I venture to suggest, though not more unlike than that of many other proper names, is the weak spot in the surmise which
I think points to the descent of the Grahams of Airth and Graham-Stirling of Strowan being in line male, direct through Inchbrakie
from William, first Earl of Montrose.
The latest information obtained (Sept. 6th, 1903) gives the link; the Will Dative of David Graeme
is found in the St Andrews Testaments, he is styled "lawful son of Robert of Bolshan" within the parish of Methven, and died
1684; it is given up by "Mr John, Robert, James, and Henry, Elspeth and Jean Grahames," "lawful brothers and sisters to the
defunct, his executors." The Will is not confirmed till 29th May 1693, his brother Henry Grahame, W.S., swearing to the Inventory
on behalf of his brothers and sisters; Patrick Smythe of Methven, who owes his Chamberlayne £400, is cautioner to the Will.
Thus the statement I deduced appears a fact, and Carolus Home Graham-Stirling of Strowan is so
far proved; after Inchbrakie; cadet in line male through that House to the first Earl of Montrose.