Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Clan Graham

Well, I said I would try to write more than I did last month and things just keep preventing me (mostly myself!) I've been working on too many things, and I was not home all weekend, so it builds up after a while. However, today I am going to tell you about the Clan Graham.

Whenever there was a battle to be fought for the good of Scotland, you could find a Graham there. Sir John Graham who fought with Wallace, James Graham the Great Marquis of Montrose and his descendent, John Graham known as Bonnie Dundee. They were fearfully loyal, would fight to the death as many of them did, and would never give Scotland up to tyranny.

The Grahams actually came from Norman stock like the Bruces, and the first Graham in Scotland was Sir William de Graham. The names derives from Grantham in Lincolnshire. Sir William de Graham accompinied David I on his way to claim the Scottish crown and also witnessed the charter founding the Abbey of Holyrood in 1128. His line of Grahams were that of Montrose. Those who have always fought for the king.

Tha Grahams took no part in the Jacobite troubles of '45 however, but James Graham 3rd Duke of Montrose pleaded with parliament to repeal the Disarming Act; the law that forbid the Highlanders to wear their tartan.

The Graham's badge shows a falcon Proper killing a stork Argent. For those of you who do not know heraldry, you can see a picture of it here as well as other information regarding Clan Graham. The clan motto is Ne Oublie. It's French, likely something from Sir William being a Norman, and means "Do not Forget". This was also the Graham's war-cry when going into battle.

The clan plant badge is the spurge-laurel, I couldn't find a picture of that, but I'm sure you can look it up. The Graham tartan, as registered in the Vestiarium Scoticum is a green tartan with black plaid stripes. A very simple tartan by comparison to others.

The Chief of Clan Graham is known in the Gaelic as An Greumach Mor or The Great Graham. The Chief resides at Buchanan Castle now, though in the old days, he lived in Mugdock. However, most of them owed several different places. Montrose did for example.

I will promise to at least be back next week to tell about some famous Grahams. If you think of any famous Grahams would would like to know more about, please let me know and I will do my best!

Slainte, Hazel

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  1. Graham Laurel Originally the badge was Spurge Laurel, but as that plant is poisonous and not indigenous to Scotland, James, 8th Duke of Montrose petitioned the Lord Lyon to have the True Laurel (Laurus Nobilis) recognised as the clan plant badge, which petition he was granted.