The Clan Graham had territories in both the Highlands and Lowlands.
Origins of the Clan
The early history of the Grahams of Scotland remains complex. Legend suggests that the Roman Antonine Wall, which forged the divide between Roman Britannia and the unconquered highlands, was broken by Graeme (sic), a great Caledonian chief, as he drove the Roman legions from his lands. This, unfortunately, might never be proven, although Roman texts vaguely reference a Graeme in similar context.
18th Century & Jacobite Uprisings
In John Stewart's book, The Grahams, he states that "Most Scottish Clans would be proud to have one great hero. The Grahams have three." He refers to Sir John Graham, James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose and John Graham, 1st Viscount of Dundee. There were, of course, many more besides these three towering figures.
The Clan Graham took no side in the Jacobite Uprisings and remained neutral throughout. Highlanders can thank the James Graham, 3rd Duke of Montrose, for the repeal in 1782 of the Act of 1747 prohibiting the wearing of highland dress. He persuaded Parliament to remove the law forbidding Scots to wear their tartan. Mugdock Castle was the seat of the chiefs of the Clan Graham Dukes of Montrose.
Wars of Scottish Independence
Twice the Montrose Grahams married into the royal family. From these came some notable men. First among them was Sir John de Graham, right hand man to William Wallace, killed during the Wars of Scottish Independence at the Battle of Falkirk in 1298. The Clan Graham also fought at the Battle of Dunbar in 1296 where Sir Patrick Graham of Kincardine was the only man of all the Scots not to retreat and instead fought to the death. The Clan Graham also fought against the English at the Battle of Durham in 1346, in support of Robert the Bruce. The Grahams acquired the lands of Mugdock north of Glasgow, where they built a stout castle around 1370.
Sir John de Graham
Sir John de Graham, hero of the Wars of Independence, rescued William Wallace at Queensberry, becoming one of Wallace's few close friends and perhaps his most trusted advisor. William Wallace was at his side when Graham was killed in 1298 at the Battle of Falkirk, where his name is still perpetuated in the district of Grahamston. The grave of this hero in Falkirk churchyard is still to be seen, with table stones of three successive periods above it. As an evidence of the honour in which his memory was held, it is recalled that, after the second battle of Falkirk in 1746, the Jacobites wished to do special honour to one of their opponents, Col. Sir Robert Munro, chief of the Clan Munro. Robert Munro, who supported the British government had been rewarded the command of an English regiment. He had been fighting at the front at the second battle of Falkirk in 1746, when the English troops he was in command of ran away. He was attacked by six Jacobites, he killed at least two with his pike before being shot by a Jacobite commander. The Jacobites opened the grave of Sir John de Graham and buried Sir Robert Munro beside the dust of the hero. One great two-handed sword of Sir John the Graham is preserved at Buchanan Castle by the Duke of Montrose; another was long in possession of the Grahams of Orchil, and is now treasured by the Free Mason Lodge at Auchterarder.