FRASER

 

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EARLY HISTORY OF CLAN FRASER

They first appear in Scotland around 1160 when Simon Fraser made a gift of a church at Keith in East Lothian to the monks at Kelso Abbey. These lands eventually passed to a family who became Earls Marishal of Scotland after adopting Keith as their name. The Frasers moved into Tweedale in the 12th and 13th centuries and from there into the counties of Stirling, Angus, Inverness and Aberdeen. About five generations later, Sir Simon Fraser (the Patriot) was captured fighting for Robert the Bruce, and executed with great cruelty by Edward I in 1306. The Patriotís line ended in two co-heiresses; the elder daughter married Sir Hugh Hay, ancestor of the Earls of Tweedale, and the younger married Sir Patrick Fleming, ancestor or the Earls of Wigtown. Sir Andrew Fraser of Touch-Fraser [d.1297], cousin of the Patriot, was the father of Sir Alexander Fraser of Cowie [ancestor or the Frasers of Philorth], Sir Simon Fraser [ancestor of the Frasers of Lovat], Sir Andrew Fraser and Sir James Fraser of Frendraught. Sir Alexander was killed at the Battle of Dupplin in 1332 and his three younger brothers were killed at the Battle of Halidon Hill in 1333.

FRASERS OF PHILORTH - LORDS SALTOUN

The Senior line is descended from Sir Alexander Fraser, who took part in the victory at Bannockburn in 1314. In 1316 he married Robert the Bruceís widowed sister, Lady Mary, who had been imprisoned in a cage by Edward I. Sir Alexander was appointed Chamberlain of Scotland in 1319, and his seal appears on the letter to the Pope dated 6th April, 1320, known as The Declaration of Arbroath, seeking recognition of the countryís political independence under the kingship of Robert Bruce. Sir Alexanderís grandson, Sir Alexander Fraser of Cowie and Durris, acquired the Manor Place (later to become Cairnbulg Castle) and lands of Philorth by marriage with Lady Johanna, younger daughter and co-heiress of the Earl of Ross. According to a prophecy of Thomas the Rhymer: While a cock craws in the north, thereíll be a Fraser at Philorth. Several generations later, Sir Alexander Fraser, 8th laird of Philorth [c.1536-1623] founded Fraserís Burgh by Royal Charters obtained in 1592 and built Fraserburgh Castle (now Kinnaird Head Lighthouse). His eldest son, Alexander Fraser, 9th laird of Philorth [c.1570-1636) married in 1595 Margaret, heiress of the Abernethies, Lord Saltoun. In 1668 their son, Alexander Fraser, 10th of Philorth [1604-1693] also became 10th Lord Saltoun. The present Chief of the Name of Fraser is Flora Marjory Fraser, 20th Lady Saltoun, who is an active member of the House of Lords.

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