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Montrose, 1st Marquess
Arms: Quarterly: 1st and 4th, Or on a chief Sable three escallops Or (for the name of Graham ) 2nd and 3rd , Argent, three roses Gules barbed and seeded proper ( for the title of Montrose ).

SOURCE/NOTES & CREDITS: Text based on and adapted from the article in “The Scots Peerage”, 4th Ed, Sir James Balfour Paul, Editor, Volume VI, pages 190-274 ( especially pages 239-255) and from the Wikipedia article.

James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose born around October 1612 as the only son to John Graham, 4th Earl of Montrose and Lady Margaret Ruthven, second daughter to William Ruthven, 1st Earl of Gowrie.

James succeeded his father in 1626 as the 5th Earl of Montrose. He then continued his education at Saint Salvator's College at the University of St Andrews.

In 1629 he married at age 17 Magdalene Carnegie, the youngest daughter of David, Lord Carnegie, later 1st Earl of Southesk. They had four sons, the second son, James eventually
succeeded his father.

Our James, fifth Earl and afterwards 1st Marquess of Montrose, was the hero of one of the most brilliant campaigns in the history of warfare.

King Charles I signed a warrant for his Marquessate on 6 May 1644 and appointed Montrose Lord Lieutenant of Scotland in the same year. A year later in 1645, the king commissioned him captain general.

His military campaigns were fought quickly and used the element of surprise to overcome his opponents even when sometimes dauntingly outnumbered. Highlanders had never before been known to combine, but Montrose knew that many of the West Highland clans, who were largely Catholic, detested Argyll and his Campbell clansmen, and none more so than the MacDonalds who with many of the other clans rallied to his summons. The Royalist allied Irish Confederates sent 2000 disciplined Irish soldiers led by Alasdair MacColla across the sea to assist him. The Irish proved to be formidable fighters.

In two campaigns, distinguished by rapidity of movement, he met and defeated his opponents in six battles. At Tipper Muir and Aberdeen he routed Covenanting levies; at Inverlochy he crushed the Campbells, at Auldearn, Alford and Kilsyth his victories were obtained over well-led and disciplined armies.

The fiery enthusiasm of the Gordons and other clans often carried the day, but Montrose relied more upon the disciplined infantry from Ireland. His strategy at Inverlochy, and his tactics at Aberdeen, Auldearn and Kilsyth furnished models of the military art, but above all his daring and constancy marked him out as one of the greatest soldiers of the war. His career of victory was crowned by the great Battle of Kilsyth on 15 August 1645.

Then King Charles was defeated at the Battle of Naseby and Montrose had to go to his aid if there was to be still a king. Montrose was then defeated by covenanter general David Leslie. Deserted by his Highlanders he escaped to Norway in 1646. He learned of the execution of Charles I in Brussels in Feb 1649.

Montrose offered his services to King Charles II and landed at Kirkwall in March 1650 with a small band and was ambushed and routed at Carbisdale in Ross-shire on 12 April 1650. He escaped the ambush and hid with an acquaintance, one Neil MacLeod who betrayed him. So captured, he was taken to Edinburgh, where he was condemned by the covenanters and on 21 May 1650 hanged then drawn and quartered.

On 7 January 1661, King Charles II restored to his kingdoms, had Montrose disinterred with most of his parts and head and placed in a coffin and he lay in state in Holyrood. A splendid funeral was held in the church of St. Giles on 11 May 1661.

Thus was the life and death of the Great Montrose

He was succeeded by his second son James Graham as the 2nd Marquess of Montrose.

The 4th Marquess of Montrose, another James Graham was made Duke of Montrose by patent on 27 April 1707 by Queen Anne. This line of dukes is yet extant in the person of the 8th Duke another James Graham, and who also has an heir apparent.

The artwork is an interpretation by John Hamilton Gaylor

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