William Graham, 3rd Earl of Menteith

William Graham, 3rd Earl of Menteith (c. 1500 – c. 1543) was a Scottish magnate and third Earl of Menteith.[1]


He was the son of Alexander Graham, 2nd Earl of Menteith (c. 1475 – c. 1537), and Margaret Buchanan. He was the great-grandson of Malise Graham, 1st Earl of Menteith (1406–1490). In 1521 he married Margaret Moubray, daughter of John Moubray of Barnbougle (she had previously been married to John Cornwall before his death in 1513), and they had five sons and two daughters, including:[1]

On 20 May 1527, when he was titled Master of Menteith, he ran away from the King's army at Solway, but was pardoned despite it being considered an act of treason.[3] He became the third Earl, receiving sasine of the Earldom on 16 May 1537.[1] After the death of King James V in 1542, William was an opponent of the English interest in Scotland and on 24 July 1543 he signed a bond made by Cardinal Beaton to stop King Henry VIII of England from getting possession of the infant Mary, Queen of Scots.[4]

William Graham was killed in a clan fight some time in autumn 1543, but certainly by 23 January 1544; some sources state that he was killed in October 1543 by the Tutor of Appin (a member of the Stewart family), after the Stewarts and their army ate a wedding feast to which the Earl had been invited.[5] Some accounts also tell of the Murrays of Athole being the raiders of the feast. According to most stories, a band of Stewarts were passing through Menteith and happened upon a wedding feast.[6] They ate up all the food, drank all the wine, and left within a short while. The Earl pursued them and was slain or mortally wounded by the robbers. Historian Andrew Fleming Hutchison recorded the colorful details this way:

Another version [of Graham’s death] sends the men of Athole to the Isle on a friendly visit. The Earl happened to be out at the time, but his dinner was cooked and waiting his return. The Murrays, probably thinking it a good joke, gathered up the roasted fowls destined for his dinner and took their departure. Soon the Earl arrived and, learning what had occurred, set off in eager and angry pursuit up the slopes of Mondhui. The leader of the Murrays turned in a friendly way, no doubt intending to explain the joke, and as he saw the Earl fitting an arrow to his bow, he shouted out as he handled his own, “Over me and over you!” ”No,” cried the incensed Earl, “in me and in you!” And in him it was, for the Murray's arrow pierced his heart. His men, however, drove the enemy over the hill and returned with their dying master to the Isle.[7]


  1. Andrew Fleming Hutchison (1899). The lake of Menteith. William Graham, 3rd Earl of Menteith. While still Master of Menteith and Lord Kilpont, he had married, in 1521, Margaret, daughter of John Moubray of Barnbougle. His family by this lady consisted of five sons and two daughters. One of these daughters, Margaret Graham, became the second wife of Archibald, fourth Earl of Argyle. The marriage was solemnized at the Church of Inchmahome on the 21st of April, 1541—the celebrant being John Youngman, Canon of the Monastery.1 The other, Christian by name, was married to Sir William Livingstone of Kilsyth.2 Of the sons, John, the eldest, succeeded his father in the earldom. The others held various lands within the earldom, which need not here be enumerated. But it may be mentioned that it was through one of these sons, Eobert, that Gartmore came into possession of the family.1 This property belonged to one Alexander Makauly of Erngobil, who, on the 23rd of May, 1547, granted Eobert Graham a charter of the two merk land of Gartmore—charter granted at Inchmahome, and witnessed by James Bad, Canon of the Monastery; and on the 3rd May, 1554, a charter of sale of the twelve merk land of Gartmore was granted by Walter Macaulay to the same Eobert Graham.
  2. Alastair Campbell of Airds (2002). A History of Clan Campbell: Volume II from Flodden to the Restoration. Edinburgh University Press. p. 16. ISBN 1-902930-18-5. His second marriage, which took place in 1541, was to Margaret Graham, daughter of William, 3rd Earl of Menteith, by whom he had another son, Colin, ...
  3. Complete Peerage vol VIII p 670, citing Registrum Secreti Sigilli Regum Scotorum vol i no 3775.
  4. Complete Peerage vol VIII p 671, citing Calendar of Hamilton Papers vol i p 631.
  5. Complete Peerage vol VIII p 671, citing Red Book of Menteith vol i p 310.
  6. Douglas, David (1909). The Scotts Peerage (Founded on Wood's Edition. T.A. and Constable. p. 156.
  7. Hutchison, Andrew Fleming (1899). The Lake of Menteith. Stirling: Mackay. p. 280. ISBN 978-1443705851. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
Preceded by
Alexander Graham
Earl of Menteith
c. 1537 c. 1543
Succeeded by
John Graham
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.