James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose

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James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose

Also Known As: "1st Marquess of Montrose"
Birthplace: Kincardine, Blackford, Perth, Scotland
Death: May 21, 1650 (37)
Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland (Hanged, Drawn and Quartered)
Place of Burial: Saint Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland
Immediate Family:

Son of John Graham, 4th Earl of Montrose and Margaret Ruthven, Countess of Montrose
Husband of Magdelena Carnegie
Father of John Graham, Lord Graham; Sir James Graham, 2nd Marquess of Montrose, KG; David Graham; Robert Graham and Lady Jean Graham
Brother of Lady Lilias Graham; Catherine Graham; Beatrix Graham; Sir William Graham; Robert Graham and 2 others
Half brother of Sir Harry Graham

Managed by: Private User
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About James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose

JAMES GRAHAM Marquess of Montrose


’’The Scots Peerage : founded on Wood's ed. of Sir Robert Douglas's Peerage of Scotland; containing an historical and genealogical account of the nobility of that kingdom. Edited by Sir James Balfour Paul, Lord Lyon King of Arms. Volume VI. (David Douglas, Edinburgh, 1909), 601 pp.’’’

Biographical Summary

"James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose (25 October 1612 – 21 May 1650) was a Scottish nobleman and soldier, who initially joined the Covenanters in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, but subsequently supported King Charles I as the English Civil War developed. From 1644 to 1646, and again in 1650, he fought a civil war in Scotland on behalf of the King and is generally referred to in Scotland as simply "the Great Montrose".

His "spectacular" victories, which took his opponents by surprise, are remembered in military history for their tactical brilliance."







Citations / Sources:

[S37] Charles Mosley, editor, Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, 3 volumes (Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A.: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 2003), volume 1, page 1427. volume 2, page 2753. Hereinafter cited as Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 107th edition.

[S21] #226 The Peerage of Scotland: Containing an Historical and Genealogical Account of the Nobility of That Kingdom, from Their Origin to the Present Generation (2nd edition, 1813), Douglas, Sir Robert, (2nd edition. 2 volumes. Edinburgh: A. Constable, 1813 NOTE: Caution should be taken with this peerage, and compared with other peerages to obtain accurate information about the families. Some of the lineages are confused, but can be used for supplemental information.), FHL book Q 941 D22d; FHL microfilm 1,440,956 items., vol. 2 p. 240, 243, 515.


James Graham, 5th Earl and 1st Marquis of Montrose, was born in October 1612, a long-awaited son and heir for the wealthy Graham family. Sources disagree over the place of his birth, but it is likely to have been at either the family mansion at Old Montrose, or their town house at Castlestead, Montrose. James must have spent much of his childhood at both these homes, as well as at the main family residence of Kincardine Castle in Perthshire. Shortly before his death, however, his father sold Castlestead. James succeeded him as Earl at the tender age of fourteen.


Montrose was one of the most romantic figures in seventeenth century Scotland, a poet and as well as a dashing general of Charles I. In 1644 he raised the Highland clans for the King and won a series of victories but was defeated at Philiphaugh, near Selkirk. He fled to the continent but returned after the execution of Charles I. He was captured at the battle of Carbisdale and hung and quartered in the Grassmarket of Edinburgh.

About the artwork:

Title:James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose, 1612 - 1650. Royalist
Accession number:PG 2418 Artist:Unknown Studio of:Sir Anthony van Dyck Depicted:James Graham Gallery:Scottish National Portrait Gallery(On Display) Object type:Painting Subject:Military and naval Writing and literature Aristocracy Materials: Oil on canvas Date created:About 1636 Measurements:75.60 x 58.40 cm (framed: 85.00 x 73.50 x 4.50 cm) Credit line:Bequeathed by Lady Malise Graham 1978 Photographer:Antonia Reeve

Source: National Galleries of Scotland Added by Janet Milburn 11/12/19

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James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose's Timeline

October 25, 1612
Kincardine, Blackford, Perth, Scotland
January 8, 1638
Montrose, Angus, Kingdom of Scotland (not yet part of the United Kingdom)
May 21, 1650
Age 37
Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland
Saint Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland