WHICH DAY THE NOBLE AND POTENT LORD SIMON, LORD FRASER OF LOVAT IS ADDED TO THE NUMBER OF BURGESSES AND BRETHREN OF THE GUILD OF THE BURGH OF DUNDEE, FOR HIS EXTRAORDINARY SERVICES TO THE STATE.
The FRASER clan is supposed to have had a Norman origin, and to have settled first in East Lothian in the twelfth century. At a later date, the principal branch of the family removed to Inverness shire, where they made alliances with several of the most important noble families in that quarter.
HEW FRASER, first LORD LOVAT, died in 1440, and from him SIMON FRASER, whose name is entered here, was directly descended. He was the son of HEW FRASER, seventh LORD LOVAT, and LADY ELIZABETH STEWART; was born in 1572; and succeeded to the title on the death of his father, four years later. His mother was afterwards married to ROBERT STEWART, then EARL OF LENNOX, and it was she who persuaded her husband to resign that ancient Earldom to the KING's favourite, LORD AUBIGNY, afterwards DUKE OF LENNOX. During her second husband's life she procured a divorce from him, so that she might be able to marry JAMES STEWART Of Ochiltree, the brilliant and daring adventurer who became EARL OF ARRAN. From these facts some notion may be gained both of the early training of the young LORD LOVAT and of the Noblemen into whose company he was cast. His first public services were performed as a member of the Commission under the EARL OF ATHOL for the subjugation of the Northern Counties, in 1592.
Two years later he was appointed one of the Councillors of LUDOVIC, DUKE OF LENNOX, who was then acting as Lieutenant for the KING in the North; and at this time (28th October, 1594) he first appears on the Roll as a Privy Councillor. in 1602 QUEEN ELIZABETH requested the aid Of JAMES VI. in "repressing of the tressonable rebellioun intertenyit aganis hir within the cuntrey of Ireland," and LORD LOVAT was ordered to supply a hundred men for this expedition. His counsel and influence were also used in settling the feud betwixt the EARL OF MORAY and the MARQUESS OF HUNTLY, which had arisen in consequence of the murder of the "bonny EARL OF MORAY."
Though his appearances in the Privy Council were not frequent, they were always on important occasions, and he is entitled, therefore, to be ranked amongst those "whom history is now bound to keep in memory as the persons who had in their hands the Government of Scotland in those years just after the removal of KING JAMES to England, when the little nation was accustoming itself to the loss of resident royalty, and who are to be held responsible, therefore, collectively and individually, for the general nature of that government, and for all its particular acts" (Register Privy Council, Vol. VIL, Intro.)
LORD LOVAT was thrice married: first to CATHERINE, daughter of MACKENZIE of Kintail, second to JEAN, daughter of JAMES, LORD DOUNE, and third to a daughter of FLEMING of Moyness. HEW, MASTER OF LOVAT, who is entered on the Burgess Roll together with his father, was the son of the first Wife, and became ninth LORD LOVAT. From the two sons of the second marriage the families of FRASER of Inverallochy and FRASER of Brea were descended. SIMON, LORD LOVAT, died on 3rd April, 1633.
HEW FRASER, ninth LORD LOVAT, was born in 1591, and married to ISABEL, daughter of SIR JOHN WEMYSS of Wemyss. He was the grandfather of SIMON, LORD LOVAT, who was beheaded for his concern in the Rebellion of 1745. The death of HEW, ninth LORD LOVAT, took place in 1646.