John Graham of Claverhouse, 1st Viscount Dundee (c. 21 July 1648 – 27 July 1689)

Known as the 7th Laird of Claverhouse until raised to the viscounty in 1688, was a Scottish soldier and nobleman, a Tory and an Episcopalian. Claverhouse was responsible for policing south-west Scotland during and after the religious unrest and rebellion of the 1670s and 80s. After his death, Presbyterian “historians” unfairly dubbed him “Bloody Clavers”. Contemporary evidence of the time does not support this assertion. Indeed, Claverhouse’s own letters frequently recommended lenient treatment of the Covenanters In 1684 married into a prominent Covenanter family. Later, as a general in the Scottish army, Claverhouse remained loyal to King James II of England (VII of Scotland) after the so-called Glorious Revolution of 1688. He rallied the loyal Highland clans and, although he lost his life in the battle, led them to victory at Killiecrankie. This first Jacobite rising was unsuccessful, but Claverhouse became a Jacobite hero, acquiring his second soubriquet “Bonnie Dundee”.

John Graham, 1st Viscount of Dundee, circa 1675, artist unknown.

“Remember that today begins the fate of your king, your religion, and your country. Behave yourselves, therefore, like true Scotsmen, and let us by this action redeem the credit of this nation, that is laid low by the treacheries and cowardice of some of our countrymen, in making which request, I ask nothing of you that I am not now ready to do myself. And if any of us shall fall upon this occasion, we shall have the honor of dying on our duty, and as becomes true men of valor and conscience; and such of us as shall live and win the battle, shall have the reward of a gracious king and the praise of all good men.”