Fraser of that Ilk

The first of the Scottish family of Fraser appeared in the Borders during the 12th century. Their origins before this have been disputed, but not their power, for they held the most extensive lands in Peebleshire, their names appear regularly on the rolls of the royal councils, and they became regular benefactors of the religious foundations at Kelso, Newbattle and Coldingham. Their continued possession of lands outside Tweeddale is shown in the register of Kelso Abbey by the 1160 donation of Simon Fraser of a church on his lands at Keith near Haddington to the church of St Mary in Kelso, but their first major stronghold was Oliver Castle on the River Tweed, perhaps named for Oliver Fraser, whose gift of lands to Newbattle Abbey is noted in its register together with a gift from Adam Fraser, the son of his sister's marriage to Udard Fraser. (Simon died before 1190, leaving a daughter and heiress Eda who married Hugh Lorens and left a daughter who married Philip de Keith, Marischal of Scotland.)

The lines of descent from Oliver and Adam are uncertain, but the power of the Frasers exerted from Oliver Castle was continued through Sir Bernard Fraser and Sir Gilbert Fraser, who held in their turn the hereditary office of Sheriff of Tweeddale. Bernard and Gilbert were probably Adam's brothers, sons of Udard. Bernard was Sheriff of Stirling in 1234 and thereafter is designated in charters as Dominus Bernardus Fraser miles. He married a sister of Nesius de London and died about 1250. Laurence, the only known child of his probable brother Adam, was his heir, but as no children of Laurence are recorded as such, this line, also, disappears. The third brother, Gilbert, had four sons, and although from this point the line of descent becomes clearer, the period until Hugh Fraser of Lovat was created Lord Fraser of Lovat in 1464 remains to some extent speculative.

Ancestry: Udard Fraser, shown in the charters of Newbattle Abbey to be living in the second half of the 12th century, married a sister of Oliver Fraser of Oliver Castle, the son of Kylvert Fraser, and had issue:
..A1 Bernard Fraser, Knight, Sheriff of Stirling in 1234 and thereafter designated in charters as Dominus Bernardus Fraser miles, married a sister of Nesius de London and died about 1250 without known issue.
..A2 Adam Fraser, succeeded his maternal uncle in his lands of Hales and by his wife Constantia left issue a son:
....B1 Laurence Fraser, at some time Dominus de Drumelliare (Drumelzier), received the lands of his uncle, Sir Bernard, in North Hales and sold them. He had no known issue, but in November 1326 Sir William Fraser of Drumelzier, whose unknown relationship to Laurence was probably either that of son or nephew, resigned Drumelzier into the hands of King Robert I.
..A3 Gilbert Fraser of Olivercastle, direct ancestor of the Frasers of Muchalls and the Frasers of Philorth, and deemed the direct ancestor of the Frasers of Lovat, of Strichen, of Inverallochy, et al. [see below]

The third son,
Gilbert Fraser of Olivercastle, Knight, Sheriff of Tweeddale (and described variously as Sheriff of Traquair and Sheriff of Peebles), 1233-59, alive in 1214, m Christian and d circa 1263 having had issue:
..A1 John Fraser m ante 1243 Alicia dtr of William de Conigburg, Dominus de Stapilgorton, and dvp having had issue:
....B1 Richard, his heir [see below]
....B2 Alexander Fraser of Cornton. (Cornton is in co. Stirling.) Alexander is claimed as the ancestor of Andrew Fraser of Muchalls, created Lord Fraser 29 June 1633, which title became dormant on the death of Charles, 4th Lord Fraser, 12 Oct 1716. Although Alexander is traditionally listed as the second son, the royal insistence that the 17th-century Lord Fraser should not use a territorial designation - as, for example, Fraser of Lovat - together with the authorised use of the undifferenced arms proclaiming the Chiefship of the Fraser Clan, suggest that a good case for seniority had been made and had received royal approval. If this case was valid, then Alexander's name here should be printed above Richard's. [see separate article]
..A2 Simon Fraser of Olivercastle, Knight Banneret, Keeper of the Royal Forest of Ettrick, Sheriff of Traquair and of Peebles, d ca 1280 having had issue:
....B1 Simon Fraser of Oliver Castle, Knight, Sheriff of Traquair and of Peebles, Keeper of the Forests of Traquair and Selkirk, m Maria (who m 2nd Richard Siward) and d 1291 leaving, with other issue:

......C1 Simon Fraser of Oliver and Neidpath, Knight Banneret, captured after Dunbar (27 Apr 1296) by King Edward I but released to fight for Edward in Flanders, Warden of Selkirk Forest 1298, served with Edward again at the siege of Carlaverock Castle, joined the war against Edward again 1301, defeated three English divisions near Roslin in three successive actions on the same day in 1303, saved the lives of Sir William Wallace at the battle of Hopprew and of King Robert Bruce at the battle of Methven. He was captured in 1306, taken to London and there hanged, drawn and quartered. He left two dtrs, co-heiresses:

........d1. Margaret, m Sir Gilbert Hay of Locherwort, ancestor of the Marquesses of Tweeddale
........d2. Joan, m Sir Patrick Fleming of Biggar, and was ancestor of the Earls of Wigton
......C2 Thomas Fraser, of whom it is known only that in 1306, in reference to his lands, then demanded by Thomas de Gray, he is described as the brother of Symon Fraser.
..A3 Andrew Fraser, Knight, m Beatrice and dsp, Sir Adam de Gordon succeeding to his lands
..A4 William, Bishop of St Andrews, Chancellor of Scotland and, with the Earl of Fife and the Earl of Buchan, Regent for the North of Scotland, d abroad 1297.

The heir:
Richard Fraser of Touchfraser, Knight, succeeded his grandfather, Sheriff of Berwick 1292, d probably after 1307 (when he was declared still to be a rebel) and was apparently the father of an only child:
..A1 Andrew Fraser, yr of Touchfraser, Knight, Sheriff of Stirling, m Beatrix, an heiress from Caithness, probably of the le Chen of Duffus family, and d ante 1306 leaving several sons:
....B1 Alexander Fraser of Touchfraser, Knight, Chamberlain of Scotland, m Mary, sister of King Robert Bruce, and was k 1332 at the battle of Dupplin having had issue [see separate article]
....B2 Andrew Fraser, k 1333 at the battle of Halidon Hill

....B3 Simon Fraser of Brotherton, Knight, Sheriff of Kincardine 1317, 1st (Fraser) Lord of Lovat (the feudal title), m Margaret dtr of John, Earl of Orkney and Caithness, whose wife may have been the dtr and was the eventual heiress of Sir David Grahame, Lord of Lovat, and with two of his brothers was k 1333 at the battle of Halidon Hill, having had issue [see separate article]
....B4 James Fraser of Frendraught mMargaret, heiress of Frendraught ca 1321, k 1333 at the battle of Halidon Hill leaving issue a son:
......C1 James Fraser of Frendraught, knight, left issue a dtr:
........d1. Matilda Fraser of Frendraught m Alexander, 2nd son of John Dunbar, Earl of Moray. [Note: This John is shown in Burke's Dormant and Extinct Peerages to be 2nd son of Patrick Dunbar, "10th" (but in reality 8th) Earl of Dunbar and Earl of March by his wife Black Agnes, successful defender of Dunbar against the English 1337/8, Countess of Moray (which she was not, that earldom then being limited to heirs male of the body of Thomas Randolph, 1st Earl, although she was his elder daughter), but this John was the grandson of the 1st Earl of Moray through the marriage of Isabel, the younger daughter, to Sir Patrick Dunbar, nephew of the 8th Earl. John did not succeed to the earldom as Burke implies, but received it as a new creation from Robert II, whose daughter Marjorie he married.]



Frasers of Philorth

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Frasers of Saltoun (in preparation)
Frasers of Lovat
Frasers of Muchalls
Frasers of Strichen
Frasers of Inverallochy
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