About the Fraser Clan

Clan History
Frasers of Lovat

The following was priovided by scotClans

Robert the Bruce’s chamberlain was Sir Alexander Fraser and it is from his brother, Sir Simon Fraser, that the Frasers of Lovat descend. Sir Simon acquired the Bisset Lands around Beauly when he won the hand of its heiress, and these lands became the family home.

A record from 1367 describes Hugh Fraser as ‘Lord of Lovat and portioner of Ard’, the first known connection the Frasers had with Lovat land. By 1422 the Frasers of Lovat had extended their lands to include Stratherrick by Loch Ness.

Around 1460 Hugh Fraser became the first Lord Lovat or Lord Fraser of Lovat. The chiefs made Beaufort Castle their seat in 1511, and it is still Fraser property today.

A memorable battle arising from a disputed chiefship was between the Frasers of Lovat and the MacDonalds of Clanranald in 1544, which became known as the Battle of the Field of Shirts. It earned this name because in the heat of that day the men fighting had to throw off their heavy plaids and continue to battle in their white shirts.

The romantic name belies the horror on an area of wild marshland alongside Loch Lochy where, of the hundreds of men who came at each other, only five Frasers and eight MacDonalds remained alive. Both the Lovat chief and his son and heir were among the dead and were buried at Beauly Priory.

Despite the costs of that day, the Lovat Frasers multiplied and created many branches, such as Fingask, Reelig and Inverallochy.

A strong Lovat representation was present at Culloden Moor in April 1746, some believe as many as two battalions. After the disaster on the field, the Fraser estates were plundered by Cumberland and his troops. The chief was captured at Loch Morar and taken to London to be beheaded at Tower Hill one year after the Battle.

The Frasers of Lovat later helped in the raising of Highland regiments that saw action across the British Empire, fighting in the American War of Independence, in Quebec, and in the Napoleonic Wars.

In 1899 Lord Lovat raised the Lovat Scouts for service in the Boer War.

The Lovat Scouts went on to win honours in the First World War and during World War 2, led by the then Lord Lovat along with his piper, Bill Millen. They landed on the Normandy beaches on D Day and were part of the dramatic relief of the Pegasus Bridge, a vital strategic position.

Lord Lovat, a much respected and decorated war hero died in 1996 and was buried to the accompaniment of his trusted piper.

 

The following was provided by rampantscotland

The name Fraser originated in Normandy but no particular place or name can be attributed further back. The specific Norman knight who came to Scotland was Frisel in the 12th century and a descendant was Sir Simon Frisel who was a supporter of William Wallace. As a reward, he was allocated land in Buchan. Later, Sir Alexander Fraser married the sister of King Robert the Bruce and another Fraser founded the town of Fraserburgh. The Frasers later obtained land in Tweedsmuir and, by marriage, further north in Easter Ross. The Lovat Frasers appear in the 15th century around Beauly. In 1544 the Lovat Frasers fought the "Battle of the Shirts" on the shores of Loch Lochy against the MacDonalds of Moidart - only five Frasers and eight MacDonalds survived.

Simon, the 11th Lord Lovat, was executed at Tower Hill in London in 1747 after participating in the Jacobite Uprising. In 1757 the 12th Lord Lovat raised 1,800 Frasers Highlanders for military service in America. Simon Christopher the 15th Lord Lovat served in the Scots Guards and was an outstanding Commando leader in World War II.

Fraser is the 23rd most common name in Scotland - but is one of the 6th most common around Inverness.

The motto of the clan is "All my hope is god".

Septs (sub-branches) of the Frasers include MacKim/MacKimmie/MacImmey, MacSymon, Oliver, Sim/Sime/Simon/Simpson.

 

The following was provided by The Fraser Clan Society of Scotland and the UK

It is generally believed that the name Fraser traces back to origins in the French provinces of Anjou and Normandy.

The name is said to derive from the french word for Strawberry ("Fraises") and the Fraser arms are silver strawberry flowers on a field of blue. The Frasers first appear in scottish History in 1160 in East Lothian, and are then said to have moved into Tweeddale in the 12th and 13th Centuries and then to Stirling, Inverness and Aberdeen.

Sir Simon Fraser was Captured fighting for Robert the Bruce, and put to death by Edward 1 in 1306.The Fraser Clan subsequently divided into distinct branches, including the Frasers of Philorth, Lovat,and Muchals amongst others.

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 Patriot’s 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 Bruce’s 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 country’s political independence under the kingship of Robert Bruce. Sir Alexander’s 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, there’ll be a Fraser at Philorth. Several generations later, Sir Alexander Fraser, 8th laird of Philorth [c.1536-1623] founded Fraser’s 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.

FRASERS OF LOVAT – LORDS LOVAT

The Frasers of Lovat descend from Sir Simon Fraser [brother of Sir Alexander the Chamberlain] who married Lady Margaret Sinclair, daughter of the Earl of Caithness. Documents dated 12th September, 1367, connect a Fraser with the lands of Lovat and the Aird. Among the lands acquired by the Lovat Frasers, the prominent ones were in Stratherrick, which was very dear to the hearts of the Lovat chiefs, the church lands of Beauly Priory in Inverness-shire, part of the south shore of Beauly Firth and the whole of Strathfarrar. About 1460 Hugh Fraser, 6th Laird of Lovat [c.1436-1501] became the 1st Lord Lovat. Several generations later, Hugh Fraser, 9th Lord Lovat [1666-1696] who had four daughters but no son, willed his estates to his grand-uncle, Thomas Fraser of Beaufort, instead of his eldest daughter, Amelia [1686-1763] Thomas Fraser’s second son, Simon, later 11th Lord Lovat, had planned to marry the Lovat heiress, Amelia, but the plan failed, and in retaliation, Simon forcibly married her mother, the dowager Lady Lovat (the marriage was later annulled.) The 11th Lord Lovat "The Fox" plotted with both Government and Jacobite forces, and was the last nobleman to be beheaded on Tower Hill, London, in 1747. The Lovat title was attained by an Act of Parliament, and the estates forfeited to the Crown. In 1774 the forfeited lands were restored to his eldest son, Lt-General Simon Fraser, Master of Lovat, but not the title. The original line ended with the death in 1815 of the Master’s younger half-brother, Archibald, without legitimate surviving issue. The estates passed to the nearest collateral heir-male, Thomas Alexander Fraser, 10th laird of Strichen, Aberdeenshire, who in 1837 was created Baron Lovat in the Peerage of the U.K, and the attainder of the Scottish title was reversed in 1857, when he became 14th Lord Lovat. With the death of the 17th Lord Lovat in 1995, aged 83, his grandson, Simon Fraser, born in 1977, became the 18th Lord Lovat and 25th MacShimi, the Chief of the Clan Fraser of Lovat. ARMS Fraser: Azure, 3 fraises or cinquefoils argent Fraser of Lovat: Quarterly 1st & 4th azure, 3 fraises or cinquefoils argent 2nd & 3rd argent, 3 antique crowns gules.

CREST BADGES

Fraser: On a mount a flourish of strawberries, leaved and fructed proper.
Fraser of Lovat: A buck’s head erased proper.

MOTTOES

Fraser: All my hope is in God.
Fraser of Lovat: Je suis prest (I am ready)

PLANT BADGES . Yew. (Fraser of Lovat)
The plant badge for Fraser is a strawberry flower.

FRASER GEOGRAPHY

It is difficult to say where Frasers have not been at some stage, but the main concentrations are around Inverness and the north-east of Scotland but there are also Tweedies, a sept of the clan, in the borders, especially Tweeddale. It is also difficult to accurately say where their lands were, as there were never defined borders.

It is the Lovat Frasers that surround Inverness, their lands were in Stratherrick, which was dear to the hearts of the Lovat chiefs, the church lands of Beauly Priory in Inverness-shire, part of the South shore of Beauly Firth and the whole of Strathfarrar.

The Frasers of Philorth come from the north east and the Chief of the name of Fraser, Lady Saltoun, is herself from near Fraserburgh.

In 1375 Sir Alexander Fraser of Cowie and Durris aquired the Manor Place of Philorth which later became Cairnbulg Castle. Fraserburgh developed over many generations and at one time had its own university.

The Frasers of Muchals built Castle Fraser, which was completed 1673, which is near Inverurie and is now a National Trust for Scotland property.

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