Viscount Dundee

Viscount Dundee

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Excerpt from Viscount Dundee: Famous Scots Series

The Grahams of Claverhouse were a younger branch of an old and illustrious family which, from the twelfth century onwards, bore an important part in Scottish affairs, and of which several members figured prominently in the history of the nation prior to the time when the fame of the house was raised to its highest point by the 'Great Marquis,' the ill-fated Montrose.

The Claverhouse offshoot was connected with the main stock through Sir Robert Graham of Strathcarron, son of Sir William Graham of Kincardine by his second wife, the Princess Mary, daughter of King Robert III. During the early years of the sixteenth century, John Graham of Balargus, third in descent from Sir Williaam, acquired the lands of Claverhouse, in Forfarshire, a few miles north of Dundee. From these his son took the territorial title which, a few generations later, was to become so feared and so hated throughout covenanting Scotland, and which, even at the present day, after the lapse of more than two hundred years, is still a bye-word and a shaking of the head to many.

John Graham, the 'Bloody Claverhouse' of Whig denunciators, and 'the Bonnie Dundee' of Jacobite apologists, was the son of William Graham of Claverhouse and Lady Magdalene Carnegie, fifth and youngest daughter of John, first Earl of Northesk. On the authority of Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe and of Mark Napier, successive writers have stated that the mother of the future Viscount was Lady Jhan Carnegie. Sir William Fraser has pointed out, however, that Lady Jean was only his maternal aunt, and that she married, not a Claverhouse, but the Master of Spynie.

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