From the Book of Eminent Burgesses of Dundee 1513 to 1885.

David Graham of Fintry - 30th March 1620.



The GRAHAMS of Fintry had an honourable connection with the municipal history of Dundee for two hundred years before the date of this entry, and as their intimate relationship with the Burgh has not yet been adequately acknowledged, a brief sketch of their history, so far as it relates to Dundee, may be necessary. It has been asserted regarding the GRAHAMS that "no family of North Britain can boast of higher antiquity." Their earliest recorded possessions lay in the district of Strathblane, and on the banks of the Clyde, near Dunbarton; and their first appearance in the eastern part of Scotland dates from the beginning of the fourteenth century. SIR DAVID GRAHAM of Kincardine obtained the lands of Old Montrose from KING ROBERT I. in exchange for his estate of Cardross, on the Clyde, at which place the KING afterwards expired. The Fintry branch of this ancient family took origin from SIR WILLIAM GRAHAM of Kincardine, great grandson of this SIR DAVID. By his second marriage with LADY MARY STEWART, daughter of KING ROBERT III., SIR WILLIAM had five sons, the eldest of whom was the first GRAHAM of Fintry. SIR ROBERT GRAHAM, the earliest Laird of Fintry, was thus nephew to KING JAMES I, being the son of the KING's sister. His father had obtained charters of many valuable estates in various parts of Scotland from his brother in law, the DUKE OF ALBANY; and these were confirmed to him by the KING after his return from his long imprisonment in England. In 1430, the lands of "Aldmonros, Kynnabre, and Charlton,"in Forfarshire, were settled upon SIR ROBERT GRAHAM by the KING, though the precise time when he obtained the lands of Fintry is not recorded. Thirty four years after this date (31st August, 1464), SIR ROBERT GRAHAM obtained a charter from JAMES III., when that Monarch was in Dundee, by which he was permitted to incorporate the lands of Craigtoun and Balmanoch, in the Earldom of Lennox and County of Dunbarton, into a free barony, "to be called the barony of Fintry in all future time." This charter indicates that the name Fintry was in existence as applied to the Forfarshire property before it was used in the West country, though the contrary has been maintained by several writers (Reg. Mag. Sig.Jac. 111. 808). By his marriage with JANET, daughter of SIR RICHARD LOVELL of Ballumbie,
he had two sons, ROBERT, his successor, and JOHN of Balargus, the latter of whom was married to the daughter of the CONSTABLE OF DUNDEE, and became ancestor of the GRAHAMS of Claverhouse and of Duntrune.
The elder son, ROBERT GRAHAM of Fintry, was intimately associated with Dundee, having served repeatedly as Provost of the Burgh. In a charter, dated 17th February, 1465, by which some of the Town's property in le Horswynd on the south side of the Murraygate is let, he is explicitly described as "Provost of Dundee" (Reg. Mag. Sig. Jac. IV, 2395); and he is similarly designated in another charter which he witnessed at Dundee on 10th September, 1478. He was married to the LADY ELIZABETH DOUGLAS, daughter of GEORGE, EARL OF ANGUS*, and received extensive grants of lands in Forfarshire from her brother, the famous "ARCHIBALD, Bell the-Cat." PROVOST GRAHAM held property in the Sea gait and Murray gait of Dundee, which he granted in 1492 to the Parish Church of Strathdichty Comitis now mains to found a Chaplainry for the celebration of masses for the welfare of the souls of himself, his wife, his father and mother, and several of his nearest relatives. He was succeeded by his son, SIR DAVID GRAHAM, third Laird of Fintry, who was married to a daughter of WILLIAM, first EARL OF MONTROSE.

* In Burke's Extinct Peerage, page 176, it is stated that the marriage contract of Sir ROBERT GRAHAM and LADY ELIZABETH DOUGLAS was dated 1476; but this appears to be an error, as "DAVID GRAHAM, son and heir apparent" of SIR ROBERT, witnesses the above mentioned charter in 1465. Again, in BURKE's Landed Gentry, under GRAHAM of Fintry, LADY ELIZABETH is called the daughter of "JOHN, EARL OF ANGUS;" but her father's name was GEORGE, and there never was a JOHN, EARL OF ANGUS.

WILLIAM GRAHAM, his son and successor, was married to KATHERINE, daughter of JOHN BEATON of Balfour, and sister of CARDINAL BEATOUN. His son, SIR DAVID GRAHAM, Was the builder of the Castle of Mains, near Dundee, in 1562, and received the honour of Knighthood from JAMES VI. By his wife MARGARET, daughter of JAMES, LORD OGILVY of Airlie, he had three sons, the eldest of whom succeeded to the estate, and is known in history as that DAVID GRAHAM of Fintry who was executed in 1592 for his concern in the Roman Catholic conspiracy of the "Spanish Blanks." His eldest son was the DAVID GRAHAM whose name is here inscribed on the Burgess Roll.
By some means the seventh Laird of Fintry last referred to had been preserved from the religious taint that had proved so fatal to his father, and had been taken under the care of his relatives, SIR JAMES SCRYMGEOUR of Dudhope, SIR JAMES HALIBURTON of Pitcur, and THOMAS FOTHRINGHAM of Powrie, who prevented his mother, BARBARA SCOTT daughter of SIR JAMES SCOTT of Balwearie from exercising her influence over his early instruction. He is described as having been "a devoted Royalist," and he was Knighted by CHARLES I. in 1633, when the KING was crowned at Holyrood. In the Parliament of 1641 he represented Forfarshire, but took no prominent part in public affairs. He was married to MARY, daughter of SIR JAMES HALIBURTON of Pitcur, and grand daughter of VISCOUNT DUDHOPE, and was succeeded by his eldest Son, JOHN, whose name appears on the Burgess Roll under date 27th July, 1632.