Of Anglo-Norman origin, the Grahams first came north to Scotland with David I in the 12th century as he claimed his throne.
Originally, the Grahams were given land at Dalkeith in Midlothian and an early member of the family, Sir John de Graham, would go on to be a companion in arms to the great patriot, William Wallace, in his struggle against England for independence in the late 13th century. Sir John was a legendary warrior even in his own time and – after falling at the Battle of Falkirk in 1298 – he would be honoured by a gravestone and effigy at Falkirk Old Parish Church which can still be found today.
The family would then acquire further lands at Mugdock, north of Glasgow, where they would build their castle around 1370 and the clan chief would eventually be created a peer in 1451 with the title ‘Lord of Graham’. By the 17th century, the family were one of the richest in Scotland.
The Grahams would become embroiled in further turmoil during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms in which James Graham, the 5th Earl and 1st Marquess of Montrose, almost led Scottish royalist forces to victory over the covenanters but was ultimately captured and hanged.
Today, the family seat of Clan Graham is located at Buchanan Castle in Stirlingshire. The current clan chief is James Graham, 8th Duke of Montrose.