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clan graham society


William de Graham is "oldest titled Graham"

BY W. JAMES (JIM) NETHERY, FSA Scot

On the occasion of the Annual General Meeting of the Clan Graham Society at Buchanan Castle Golf Club, July 1995, His Grace the Eighth Duke of Montrose described William de Graham as “the oldest titled Graham.” He said that he had served in the court of King David I, of Scotland, from the time of his journey north from England in 1124, to assume the throne of Scotland. The Duke went on to say that King David introduced a revolutionary new concept, feudalism, to Scotland. It improved his ability to govern and helped stabilize the nation.

As a reward for his services to the King, William de Graham was given the baronies of Dalkeith and Abercorn in Midlothian in 1127. He witnessed the signing of the charter of Holyrood Abbey, in 1128.

From the first days of his reign, King David gave large grants of his kingdom to his knights, as a reward for their service. He established the first Scottish Mint and introduced the concept of burghs. He established dioceses and parishes to strengthen the church, and endowed many monastic orders with land, enabling them to build abbeys and priories. The spread of feudalism helped King David tie the younger sons of English or Norman families to him as their king and feudal lord.

William’s sons John de Graham and Peter de Graham of Abercorn and Dalkeith continued in the service of Kings Malcolm IV and William I. John de Graham is recorded as a witness in 1170 and at the court of William the Lion at Alyth in 1200. William de Graham’s descendant, Sir John Graham of Dundaff, died while fighting beside William Wallace at the Battle of Falkirk, on July 22, 1298.


This article serves as the basis of the original script for the DVDs that are available to see in the Graham Room at Mugdock Castle.