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Graham of Claverhouse
Or, three piles wavy Sable within a double tressure flory counterflory Gules, on a chief Sable three escallops Or.

SOURCES, NOTES & CREDITS: Illustration for background none, the illustration based on the blazon on page 418, “Burke’s General Armory”, edition of 1884 for our subject. The same blazon may also be found on pp 470-471, “The Peerage of Scotland” edited by John Philip Wood, Edinburgh, 1813. For text, this same Peerage of 1813; pp 316-333, Volume III, “The Scots Peerage”, 1906; pp 191-274, Volume VI, “The Scots Peerage”, 1909; pp 53-64 “Simon the Fox” Martin Peter Kielty, Sennachie Press, UK, 2014 ( for a description of the Battle of Killiecrankie ); PP 100-101, “Scottish Clans and Family Names, by Roddy Martine, London, 1992, for Graham family information and simple arms of the Duke of Montrose, in which Bonnie Dundee gets a paragraph, with many of the Scottish families’ arms illustrated in colour by Don Pottinger; Map “Scotland of Old” with Scottish Family arms in colour by Don Pottinger, text by Sir Iain Moncreiffe of that Ilk; and lastly the Wikipedia articles on Bonnie Dundee: poems and song and John Graham, of Claverhouse, 1st Viscount of Dundee

John Graham, of Claverhouse was born most probably in July 1648, the son of William Graham of Claverhouse who married Magdalene, fifth daughter of John Carnegie, later 1st Earl of Northesk, she brought a tocher (dowry) of 20,000 merks on 24 Feb 1645. William was a cadet of the Grahams of Fintry. William died before 3 Feb 1653 as John was served heir-general to his father on that date.

John, a student at the university of St. Andrews since 1658, was admitted to the third year philosophy class in St. Salvator’s College on 29 Feb 1660. On 27 July 1661 he graduated as a Master of Arts. On 11 Dec 1669 he received a precept infefting him as heir to his grandfather in the lands of Ballargus and Claverhouse; and had sasine on 22 Feb 1670.

He went into military service with the French after April 1671, he became a junior Lieutenant in William Lockhart’s Regt. on 25 July 1672. In France, his regt. was under the command of James, Duke of Monmouth. England withdrew from their alliance with France in Feb 1674, so the Duke of Monmouth went home. Many of his officers including Claverhouse took service under William of Orange. He was believed to be present at the siege of Maastricht in the summer of 1676.

( Earlier on 25 June 1673, Count d’Artagnan, of Three Musketeer fame, by then Captain-Lieutenant [ Commanding Officer] of the King’s Musketeers was killed at this same Siege of Maastricht )

By Nov 1676 Claverhouse had been promoted Ritmeester ( Captain of Cavalry ). William of Orange on a visit to England introduced Claverhouse to James, Duke of York. By 1678 Claverhouse returned to Scotland and was commissioned as Captain of one of three troops raised for service in Scotland. On 25 Dec 1682 he was commissioned Colonel of H.M. Regt. of Horse (in Scotland ) consisting of the three troops previously mentioned plus a fourth troop. In May1685 He was commissioned Brigadier of Horse and Foot in Scotland. On 20 Sep 1686 he was promoted Major-General in Scotland.

On 12 November 1688 he was created VISCOUNT of DUNDEE AND LORD GRAHAM OF CLAVERHOUSE. The patent was granted with remainder to heirs-male of his body, whom failing, to his other heirs-male. After James’ fight from London on 18 December 1688, Dundee returned to Scotland.

Then in 1689 Dundee became a Jacobite general leading his 2300 troops against William of Orange’s General Mackay with 3000 soldiers plus two troops of cavalry in the Battle of Killiecrankie in which the Dundee’s troops supposedly did a Highland Charge: screaming with claymores raised high, Mackay’s troops panicked and tried to flee, leaving 2000 dead on the field. General MacKay however, survived and fled to Stirling.

In the 17th century senior officers still wore breastplates. When it became obvious he had won Dundee raised his arm to point something out and was shot for his trouble in the armpit. He died in the moment of victory becoming a Jacobite hero. He was carried to Blair where in the he was buried in the churchyard of the Church of St. Bride.

Under the breastplate he wore a leather undercoat. Supposedly, this leather undercoat
with a hole in the armpit, was preserved at Penicuik House, then the home of Sir George Clerk, Bt. according to 'The Scottish Peerage" of 1813 in a footnote. Penicuik House burned out completely to the stone and brick walls in 1899, however.

According to the Peerage of 1813, “had he lived to improve this distinguished victory, little doubt can be entertained that he would have recovered the whole of Scotland beyond the Forth”. But with his death the Jacobite cause in the Scotland of 1689 quickly fell apart.

Bonnie Dundee lives on in a poem and song written by Sir Walter Scott in 1825 in honour of John Graham, 7th Laird of Claverhouse and 1st Viscount of Dundee

The artwork is an interpretation by John Hamilton Gaylor who has also illustrated a square banner as our laird, Bonnie Dundee, was a peer ( See Bonnie Dundee ).

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