Clan Graham

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Welcome to Clan Graham

Clan Chief: James Graham, 8th Duke of Montrose. Chief of the Clan Graham. Succeeded his father in 1992.
Crest: A falcon Proper, beaked and armed Or, killing a stork Argent, Armed Gules
Motto: Ne Oublie (Do not forget)
Slogan/War Cry:
Historic Seat: Mugdock Castle
Plant badge: Laurus Nobilis Laurel
Pipe music: Killiecrankie
Gaelic name: Greumach

Clan Team

Clan Graham Team
Team Leader Rob Graham
Team MembersRobb Reynolds, Valerie Dall'Armi, Beth Golden, Deb Buchner, Dawn (Graham) Britz,

Team Goals

The focus of this team's work is to identify, improve and maintain profiles associated with the Lairds and Chiefs of Clan Graham together with members bearing the name Graham, the related families and those recognised as septs of Clan Graham.

Team To Do List

This list will be developed by the Team. If you are working on a specific task, please list it here:

  • promoting the entries of those bearing the name Graham on Wikitree.
  • ensuring entries appearing on Wikitree are as accurate as possible, correcting mistakes once spotted.
  • encouraging interest in and study of Clan Graham.

Clan Graham


Clan History


There are several rtheories on the origins of Clan Graham. One tradition holds the Grahams are descendants of one Græme who commanded the armies of Fergus II in 450 A.D. and destroyed the Roman Antonine Wall driving the Roman legions out of Scotland. The area is called Graham's Dyke to this day.

Another theory is that the chiefs of Clan Graham were of Anglo-Norman origin. The Manor of Gregham is recorded in William the Conqueror's Domesday Book. When David I claimed the throne of Scotland, Sir William de Graham was one of the knights who accompanied him. Sir William de Graham who accompanied King David I, witnessed the charters of Holyrood Abbey and Holyrood Chaple. David I awarded Sir William the baronies of Dalkeith and Lothian. Sir William is the ancestor of all of the later Grahams, including, most notably, the Grahams of Montrose and of Mentieth.

A third theory claims that the Grahams are descended from the ancient Anglo-Saxon Kings of England by way of King Alfred the Great.

A fourth, and more recent, theory proposes that William de Graham was the son of Arnulf de Hesdin, a Flemish aristocrat with many lines of descent from Charlemagne.

All these theories are discussed in much greater detail here.

Early History

The first lands that the chiefs of Clan Graham appear to have held were around Dalkeith in Midlothian. Sir Nicholas de Graham attended the Parliament of 1290 where the Treaty of Birgham was signed.

The Clan Graham fought at the Battle of Dunbar in 1296 where Sir Patrick (Graham) of Dundaff and Kincardine) was the only man of all the Scots not to retreat and instead fought to the death.

[[Graham-3655|Sir John de Graham)]], was a friend and follower of William Wallace (1272-1305). Sir John de Graham is regarded as hero for rescuing Wallace at Queensbury. Sir John de Graham was regarded as Wallace's right hand man and Wallace was at his side when Graham was killed in 1298 at the Battle of Falkirk. John de Graham's name is still perpetuated in the district of Grahamston. The grave of Sir John de Graham in Falkirk churchyard is still to be seen, with table stones of three successive periods above it. One great two-handed sword of Sir John the Graham is preserved at Buchanan Castle by the Duke of Montrose. Another was long in possession of the Grahams of Orchil and is now treasured by the Free Mason Lodge at Auchterarder.

The Clan Graham also fought against the English at the Battle of Durham in 1346, in support of King David II of Scots. The Grahams acquired the lands of Mugdock north of Glasgow, where they built a stout castle around 1370.

In John Stewart's book, The Grahams, he states that "Most Scottish Clans would be proud to have one great hero. The Grahams have three." He refers to Sir John de Graham, James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose and John Graham, 1st Viscount of Dundee. Stewart also wrote,

It is remarkable that the early Grahams were one and all exceedingly capable men. In an age when the reputation of many great public figures, alas, that of most of the Scottish nobility, were sullied by deeds of violence, and often deeds of blackest treachery, it is refreshing to find that the Grahams stand out as loyal and true to the causes they espoused. Their story is not one of rapid rise to power through royal favor, or even at the expense of their peers, but rather a gradual steady rise based on their undoubted ability and worthiness which seems to have endured from one generation to another.

15th and 16th centuries Mugdock Castle was the clan's stronghold

The Clan Graham fought at the Battle of Sauchieburn led by the 3rd Lord Graham.The battle was fought on 11 June 1488, at the side of Sauchie Burn, a brook about two miles south of Stirling, Scotland. In 1504 Lord Graham, on account of his gallantry was made 1st Earl of Montrose. He would go on to lead part of the Scottish Vanguard against the English at the Battle of Flodden Field in 1513, part of the Anglo-Scottish Wars where he was slain. The Clan Graham were among the clans who fought against the English at the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh in 1547, where the eldest son of the second Earl, Robert "Master of Graham" Graham, was slain.

17th Century

One of the most notable chiefs of the Clan Graham was James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose, a poet, but above all, the most distinguished royalist soldier of his time. He played a massive part in the Scottish Civil War, part of the Wars of the Three kinkgoms, and the Grahams rallied to their chief. James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose had had successive victories at the Battle of Tippermuir - with the support of Alaster M'Coll Keitach (known as Alasdair MacColla McDonald) and his Irish soldiers, the Battle of Aberdeen, the Battle of Inverlochy (1645), the Battle of Auldearn , the Battle of Alford and the Battle of Kilsyth. After several years of continuous victories James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose was finally defeated at the Battle of Philiphaugh 13 September 1645 by the Government army of Sir David Leslie, Lord Newark, restoring the power of the Committee of Estates.

In 1646 James Graham , 1st Marquess of Montrose laid siege to the Castle Chanonry of Ross which was held by the Clan Mackenzie. Graham took it from the Mackenzies after a siege of four days. In 1650 James Graham captured Dunbeath Castle castle of the Clan Sinclair, who would later support him at Carbisdale. James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose was defeated at the Battle of Carbisdale by the Munros, Rosses, Sutherlands and Colonel Alexander Strachan. Graham was subsequently captured and executed in Edinburgh in 1650.

Another notable Graham was John (Graham) First Viscount of Dundee, also known as John Graham of Claverhouse or "Bonnie Dundee". By means of purchase and inheritance the Graham lands had become, by the late seventeenth century, among the richest in Scotland.

John Graham, 1st Viscount of Dundee led a small Government Troop of Cavalry which was surprised and defeated at the Battle of Drumclog in 1679 by an overwhelming force of rebel Covenanters (estimates suggest Graham was outnumbered by about 4-1). However he was victorious at the Battle of Bothwell Bridge where he put down a rebellion by the Covenantors. The battle was fought on 22 June 1679 in Lanarkshire.

John Graham, 1st Viscount of Dundee was appointed Commander in Chief of all Scottish Forces by King James VII but died at the Battle of Killiecrankie whilst commanding the Jacobite Forces during their victory over a much larger Williamite Army in 1689.

18th century and Jacobite uprisings

The Clan Graham took no side in theJacobite rising of 1745 and remained neutral throughout. Highlanders can thank James Graham, 3rd Duke of Montrose, for the repeal in 1782 of the Dress Act 1746 prohibiting the wearing of highland dress. He persuaded Parliament to remove the law forbidding Scots to wear their tartan.

See Also:

  • Clan Graham Society - History of the Grahams (Note: navigation is not obvious- in addition to the arrows next to the individuals, there are also a set of option buttons - a line of circles, only one of which is filled - below the horizontally scrollable list of names that switch the scrollable list).

Clan Branches

Other Names Associated with the Clan

Airth, Allardyce, Auchinloick, Ballewen, Blair, Bonar, Bonnar, Bonner, Bontein, Bontine, Buchlyrie, Buntain, Bunten, Bunting, Buntyn, Conyers, Drumaquhassle, Duchray, Dugalston, Esbank, Glenny, Graeme, Grahame, Grim, Grimes, Hadden, Haldane, Kilpatrich, Lingo, MacGibbon, MacGilvern, MacGilvernock, MacIlvern, MacShille, Menteith, Monteith, Monzie, Orchille, Pitcairn, Pyatt, Pye, Pyott, Rednock, Sirowan, Sterling

Allied Clans

Rival Clans

Clan Research and Free Space Pages

Source Material

[Book link followed by an example inline reference citation with<ref> & </ref> tags escaped for example, reference note will be displayed below </references>statement in profile Bio]
  • Or and Sable: A Book of the Graemes and Grahams by Louisa G Graeme, 1903. <ref> Graeme, Louisa Grace, ''Or and Sable: a Book Of the Graemes and Grahams'' ( Edinburgh : W. Brown, 1903) page 507. [ Available on]</ref>
See also: Scotland Sourcing Help

Image Credits and Acknowledgements

Anything below this line should be reviewed and summarized. Detailed Clan information should be placed on additional pages.

Clan Name Crest Badge James Graham

8th Duke of Montrose

Lands Tartan

Dress Ancient

Tartan Hunting


CLAN GRAHAM ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ??


Mugdock Castle was the seat of the chiefs of the Clan Graham Dukes of Montrose.

Claypotts Castle was bought by the Grahams in 1601.

Dalkeith Palace passed from the Grahams to the Clan Douglas in the 14th century.

Mains Castle, also called Claverhouse Castle was built by Sir David Graham in 1562.

Inchtalla Castle (Photograph) was the seat of the Grahams who were Earls of Menteith.

Dundaff Castle or Sir John de Graham Castle said to be the birth place of the legendary Sir John de Graham


Comments: 7

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In the "Other Names Associated with the Clan" area "Claverhouse" is missing. The 1st through 7th Lairds of Claverhouse are enumerated on pages 992-997, Vol 4, "Red Books of Scotland".

How do I join the Clan?

David Ballengee direct descendant of Claverhouse my 2nd ggm was Rebecca Graham, daughter of Col. James Graham of Lowell, WV, and grand daughter of Christopher Graham of Canonbie, Dumfries-shire, Scotland.

posted by David Ballengee
edited by David Ballengee
First step would be to answer the G2G post to Join the Scotland Project. At this time, we only allow members of the Project to update the Clan pages.

Welcome to Wikitree.

Linda Peterson, PC for Scotland Project

I added you to the Clan Graham Team and Claverhouse to the list of associated names.
posted by Rob Graham
Only Scotland Project Members are permitted in Clan Teams.
posted by Doug McCallum UE
I have been advised that only Scotland Project members can belong to clan teams, so I am removing you until you should choose to join the Scotland project.
posted by Rob Graham
Hello. I was just looking at the profile for William de Graham when I noticed the Clan Graham sticker and followed it here. I see there is also a Clan Graham category. What are the rules for using these? Are they only for historical Grahams or anyone with the Graham surname? For example, I am a member of the Clan Graham Society. Would it be proper to add the Clan Graham category and sticker to my profile? Thank you!
posted by Byron Graham
I apologise for the unconscionably long time it has taken me to reply to your question. According to the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs ( "Every person who has the same surname as the chief is deemed to be a member of the clan. Equally a person who offers allegiance to the chief is recognised as a member of the clan unless the chief decides that he will not accept that person's allegiance.", so you are entitled to use the clan sticker and tartan on any profiles with the surname Graham (or spelling variants like Graeme, or Grahame).
posted by Rob Graham

Categories: Clan Graham