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John Graham of Claverhouse


(Viscount Dundee; Bonnie Dundee)

1649 - 1689

Soldier. His family associations were with Claverhouse, just to the north of Dundee. Graham was brought up around Glen Ogilvie and educated at St Andrews University. Having gone to France and then the Netherlands, he joined the Prince of Orange's horseguards in 1672. Graham is said to have saved the Prince's life in battle, who in return recommended Graham to his father-in-law, the Duke of York (later King James VII; 1633 - 1701). He returned to Scotland in 1677 to serve in a cavalry troop commanded by a cousin, the Marquis of Montrose. He was employed by the government of King Charles II (1630-85) to enforce Episcopacy upon Scotland and engaged in persecuting the Covenanters. Defeated by the Covenanting Army at Drumclog in 1679, he later gained a victory at Bothwell Brig where 400 Covenanters were killed by Claverhouse's dragoons.

Graham was created Viscount Dundee by James VII in 1688. Following the 'glorious revolution' in 1689, which saw James replaced by Graham's former commander William of Orange, he left Edinburgh for Dundee, where he raised his standard in support of James on Dundee Law and became a staunch supporter of the Jacobite cause. He headed for the Highlands, hoping his King would eventually join him, but was mortally wounded the same year at the Battle of Killiecrankie, having led a noted victory over General Hugh Mackay (c.1640-92). He was carried from the field and lies buried in St Bride's kirkyard at Blair Atholl.


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