Lords Graham (1451)


1st Lord Graham, Patrick Graham, b.?, a.1415, d.1466


From a branch of the influential Graham family who had from the time of King David I be close allies to the Kings of Scotland, Patrick Graham was a grandson of Sir William Graham of Kincardine and Old Montrose.


2nd Lord Graham, William Graham, b.?, a.1466, d.1472


Son of the 1st Lord and Christian Erskine, daughter of Sir Robert Erskine, 1st Lord Erskine (for whom see the earls of Mar).


3rd Lord Graham, William Graham, b.1463-1464, a.1472, d.1513


Son of the 2nd Lord and Helen Douglas, daughter of William Douglas, 2nd Earl of Angus. He was created 1st Earl of Montrose in 1505. He died at Flodden.



Earls of Montrose (1505)


1st Earl of Montrose, William Graham, as above


2nd Earl of Montrose, William Graham, b.1492, a.1513, d.1571


Son of the 1st Earl and Annabella Drummond, daughter of John Drummond, 1st Lord Drummond (for whom see the earls of Perth).


3rd Earl of Montrose, John Graham, b.1548, a.1571, d.1608


Grandson of the 2nd Earl and Lady Janet Keith (b.?, d.b.1547), daughter of William Keith, 2nd Earl Marischal, and son of Robert Graham, Lord Graham (b.?, d.1547) and Margaret Fleming (b.?, d.1584), daughter of Malcolm Fleming, 3rd Lord Fleming (for whom see the earls of Winton). He aided James Stewart, 1st Earl of Arran in bringing about the downfall of the Regent Morton, was twice High Treasurer of Scotland  and made Lord Chancellor in 1599. When James VI was crowned, Montrose was made Lord High Commissioner to the Scottish Parliament. When he stepped down as Chancellor the King made him Viceroy of Scotland for life.


4th Earl of Montrose, John Graham, b.1573, a.1608, d.1626


Son of the 3rd Earl and Jean Drummond (b.?, d.1597-1598), daughter of David Drummond, 2nd Lord Drummond. He led a quiet life away from the concerns of the day, though he was made President of the Council shortly before he died.


5th Earl of Montrose, James Graham, b.1612, a.1626, d.1650


Son of the 4th Earl and Margaret Ruthven, daughter of William Ruthven, 1st Earl of Gowrie. One of Scotland’s most famous Romantic figures, he succeeded at a young age, but was keen to widen his education, and though he married at 17, he left his wife for three years while he studied in France and Italy. Montrose was a Presbyterian, and when he returned to Scotland, he was vocal in opposing King Charles I’s attempt to introduce an Anglican prayerbook in Scotland. He signed the National Covenant against Charles’ attempts to hand power to the Episcopalian bishops, and led the Covenanter forces in and around Aberdeen, mostly against the Gordons of Huntly, the Marquess thereof being successfully captured and sent to Edinburgh. Alongside William Keith, 7th Earl Marischal, he led a large army against Royalists at the Bridge of Dee. This forced the King to concede and his change in policy. Montrose, always a Royalist, now found himself more closely aligned with the King than with more nationalist Presbyterians like Archibald Campbell, the Marquess of Argyll, who wanted the King’s authority over Parliament removed, while Montrose preferred that the clergy should leave matters of state to the monarch. In the event, Charles could not give way to any demands and prepared to invade, forcing Montrose to join his countrymen in a pre-emptive attack into England. While there, he made a pact, the Bond of Cumbernauld, along with the Earls of Marischal, Home, Atholl and Mar to support each other against the ambitions of Argyll. However, this was discovered, and Montrose was summoned before the Committee of Estates and called to account, after which he was imprisoned in Edinburgh Castle. The following year, 1642, Charles arrived in Scotland to give Royal assent to the abolition of the Episcopacy, and Montrose was released as part of an amnesty. When the English Civil War started, Montrose was keen to raise a Scottish Royalist army, but his pleas were ignored by the Marquess of Hamilton, the King’s minister for Scotland at the time. The lack of any opposition within Scotland allowed the Covenanters to send armed support to the English Parliamentarians, who went on to win the decisive Battle of Marston Moor. Desperate for help, Charles removed Hamilton and made Montrose his Lieutenant-General in Scotland. Montrose then went about raising allies within Scotland amongst the Highland clans, who were still predominantly Roman Catholic and also anti-Campbell. He was aided by the arrival of a large contingent of Irish Confederate soldiers. With a large force now at his command, Montrose headed south and defeated a Covenanter army at Tippermuir outside Perth, but had to fall back when a larger army led by Argyll approached. Some of the Highlanders now returning to their homes with their spoils, Montrose headed for Aberdeen, where he defeated another contingent of Covenanters, after which his Irish soldiers sacked the town. With Argyll still heading in their direction, Montrose led his troops into Atholl, always staying one step ahead of his pursuers, who eventually gave up. This left Montrose to raise more troops, which he then led into Argyll country, plundering and devastating that area in revenge against Argyll himself. His enemies were now roused, with a Campbell contingent marching out of Argyll, and two other Covenanter forces en route. Not wishing to wait until these came together, he led his troops over the mountain passes to intercept the Campbells at Inverlochy, where a fierce battle took place. His successes and tactical ability continued to draw more supporters as he made his way via Elgin and Banff southwards. At Dunnottar, he besieged the castle, as the Keith, the Earl Marischal, once his friend, had provided protection to local Covenanters and would not hand them over. During these engagements he displayed an ever more ruthless streak. At this point, the Gordon elements of the Royalist army withdrew, leaving Montrose with less numbers, and he retreated to safer areas. However, on hearing that a large Covenanter army was bearing down on the Gordons, he forced his troops in fast march from Menteith in Stirlingshire up through Atholl and Angus and over the Grampians to join Lord Gordon, and defeated them at Auldearn, near Nairn. After laying waste to much of the area, and defeating another Covenanter force at Alford, he headed south, avoiding Perth as there was still a substantial army stationed there, passing by Stirling with its Castle defences, and reaching Kilsyth. The Covenanter forces followed, but they were mostly raw recruits, up against a formidable body of experienced soldiers, and were defeated with heavy casualties. Montrose was now militarily the master of Scotland, and was made Captain-General by the King. However, Charles had lost at the Battle of Naseby, and Montrose had no choice but to go to his aid, otherwise he would be a Royalist without a Royal, and prepared to head into England. As usual, the Highlanders disappeared north with their hard-won prizes, and the Gordon contingent also departed, leaving Montrose with a much smaller force. They were met in the Borders by General David Leslie, who had been second-in-command of the Scottish Covenanter army that had gone south in 1644 to fight for Cromwell, and at the Battle of Philiphaugh the Royalists were easily defeated. Montrose escaped into the Highlands, where he continued to operate guerrilla tactics. However, when Charles made peace with the Scottish Parliament, Montrose was directed to cease hostilities and leave Scotland. After negotiating with General Middleton, Leslie’s second, Montrose left for Norway, and afterwards reached Paris. He was offered the rank of General in the French Army by Cardinal Mazarin, but declined as he viewed this as beneath his station, and eventually took the offer of Franz Ferdinand of Germany as Field Marshal in charge of the armies stationed in the Netherlands. While in the Hague he met Prince Charles, who was negotiating a restoration to the Scottish throne with the leaders of the Covenanters, including Argyll, but tried to dissuade him from accepting stringent terms. Charles, playing both sides, encouraged Montrose to return to Scotland for another attempt at raising an army. To this end, Montrose raised enough funds to obtain the services of some German mercenaries, and in 1650 landed in Orkney, before crossing to the mainland. His small force was defeated at the Battle of Carbisdale, and although he escaped, he later surrendered himself to Macleod of Assynt, who handed him over to the Covenanters. He was taken to Edinburgh, where he was condemned to death for atrocities committed during his campaigns, and executed by hanging, after which his head was fixed to a spike on the Tolbooth. It wasn’t removed until the Restoration in 1660.



Marquesses of Montrose (1644)


1st Marquess of Montrose, James Graham, b.1612, a.1644, d.1650


2nd Marquess of Montrose, James Graham, b.1633, a.1660, d.1669


Son of the 1st Marquess and Magdalen Carnegie (b.?, d.1645), daughter of David Carnegie, 1st Earl of Southesk. Although subject to the attainder of his father, he was restored, and the title regranted, at the Restoration in 1660. In a show of magnanimity, he refused to condemn Argyll when that man was accused of treason, being uninterested in the political intrigues during that time. He was made an Extraordinary Lord of Session in 1668.


3rd Marquess of Montrose, James Graham, b.1657, a.1669, d.1684


Son of the 2nd Earl and Lady Isabel Douglas (b.?, d.1650), daughter of William Douglas, 7th Earl of Morton. He was appointed Captain of the Guard and President of the Council by Charles II, and was chancellor of the jury that found Argyll guilty of treason in 1681.


4th Marquess of Montrose, James Graham, b.1682, a.1684, d.1742


Son of the 3rd Earl and Lady Christian Leslie (b.?, d.1710), daughter of John Leslie, 1st Duke of Rothes. As he was very young when his father died, his guardianship was fought over even to the extent that King James VII became involved. However, when that monarch was overthrown, the father’s wishes were followed. After travelling in Europe in his youth, he returned to take high office, and was made High Admiral of Scotland in 1705, and President of the Council in 1706. He was a supporter of the Union, and as a reward was created 1st Duke of Montrose, 1st Marquess of Graham and Buchanan, 1st Viscount Dundaff and 1st Lord Aberruthven, Mugdock and Fintrie in 1707. As a Representative Peer, he was Keeper of the Privy Seal from 1709 to 1713. He was a one of the Lords of Regency for Queen Anne, and when she died, George I made him Secretary of State for Scotland. However, he fell foul of Sir Robert Walpole’s government and was dismissed from office. His estates were substantially extended by his purchase of the property of the Duke of Lennox in Dumbartonshire, which gave him hereditary rights as Sheriff of Dumbarton and Keeper of Dumbarton Castle. He is famous as being the nemesis of Rob Roy MacGregor. Montrose was Rob Roy’s principal creditor, having lent him substantial funds, and when Rob Roy was made an outlaw, the Marquess took his lands in payment. This resulted in an ongoing feud between the two adversaries that lasted thirty years.



Dukes of Montrose (1707)


1st Duke of Montrose, James Graham, b.1682, a.1707, d.1742


The 1st Duke was survived by his third son, the first two having predeceased him. However, his second son David Graham (b.1705, d.1731) had been raised to the Peerage as 1st Earl Graham of Belford and 1st Baron Graham of Belford in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. These titles fell to his younger brother.


2nd Duke of Montrose, William Graham, b.1712, a.1742, d.1790


Son of the 1st Duke and Christian Carnegie (b.?, d.1744), daughter of David Carnegie, 3rd Earl of Northesk. He aligned himself politically with William Pitt, and the family have been high-profile members of the Tory Party ever since.


3rd Duke of Montrose, James Graham, b.1755, a.1790, d.1836


Son of the 2nd Duke and Lucy Manners (b.c.1717, d.1788), daughter of John Manners, 2nd Duke of Rutland. He became an MP and was promoted to Lord of the Treasury in 1783, remaining in that position until 1789, when he was invested as a Privy Counsellor. He was Master of the Horse from 1790 to 1795 and again from 1807 to 1821, traditionally a senior dignitary within the Royal Household given to a minister of state. He also served as Lord Justice General for Scotland from 1795 to 1836, and was President of the Board of Trade from 1804 to 1806 and Lord Chamberlain from 1821 to 1830. He was created a Knight of the Thistle in 1793, resigning this to take the Garter in 1812. He served as Chancellor of the University of Glasgow from 1780 to 1836, and was Lord-Lieutenant, first of Huntingdonshire, and then of Stirlingshire and Dumbartonshire until his death.


4th Duke of Montrose, James Graham, b.1799, a.1836, d.1874


Son of the 3rd Duke and Caroline Maria Montagu (b.1770, d.1847), daughter of George Montagu, 4th Duke of Manchester. As a minor member of government he held various posts, and he was Lord-Lieutenant of Stirlingshire from 1843 to 1874.


5th Duke of Montrose, Douglas Beresford Malise Ronald Graham, b.1852, a.1874, d.1925


Son of the 4th Duke and Caroline Agnes Horsley-Beresford (b.?, d.1894), daughter of John Horsley-Beresford, 2nd Baron Decies. Educated at Eton, he joined the Coldstream Guard in 1872, and ended his military career as Colonel of the 3rd Battalion Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders. He was made a Knight of the Thistle in 1879, and was Chancellor of the Order of the Thistle from 1917, and also Aide-de-Camp to the King. He was also Lord-Lieutenant of Stirlingshire from 1885 to 1925 and Lord Clerk Register from 1890 until his death.


6th Duke of Montrose, James Graham, b.1878, a.1925, d.1954


Son of the 5th Duke and Violet Hermione Graham (b.?, d.1940), daughter of Sir Frederick Ulric Graham, 3rd Baronet Graham of Netherby, Yorkshire. He joined the Mercantile Marine in 1900, and subsequently was heavily involved in marine engineering, being the inventor of the idea of an aircraft carrier. He also undertook various scientific surveys and was heavily involved in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve, of which he was Commodore from 1921 to 1927. His honorary awards include being invested as a Member of the Royal Company of Archers, made a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order in 1905, and a Companion of the Bath in 1911. In 1947 he was made a Knight of the Thistle. He was also Lord-Lieutenant of Buteshire from 1920 to 1953.


7th Duke of Montrose, James Angus Graham, b.1907, a.1954, d.1992


Son of the 6th Duke and Lady Mary Douglas-Hamilton, daughter of William Alexander Louis Stephen Douglas-Hamilton, 12th Duke of Hamilton. Educated at Eton and Christ Church Oxford, he spent most of his life in Southern Africa, and was a signatory to the Rhodesian Declaration of Independence in 1965 and held several cabinet posts there, before coming into dispute with the Smith government, after which he returned to Scotland.


8th Duke of Montrose, James Graham, b.1935, a.1992


Son of the 7th Duke and Isabel Veronica Sellar. He was born in Rhodesia, but educated in Scotland. Since the 1999 House of Lords Act, he in the only duke who is also an elected hereditary peer. He is a member of the Conservative Party and is currently shadow minister in the Scottish Office. As well as being 8th Duke, he is also 11th Marquess and 15th Earl and 17th Lord Graham, 7th Marquess of Graham and Buchanan, 7th Viscount Dundaff and 7th Lord Aberruthven, Mugdock and Fintrie, 7th Earl Graham of Belford and 7th Baron Graham of Belford. He is also Chief of Clan Graham.



The courtesy title for the heir is Marquess of Graham and Buchanan.


(Last updated: 12/08/2009)