John Graham

Posted in Scottish Military Figures

Descended from Robert III, Claverhouse spent a childhood in Glen Ogilvy near Dundee before attending St Andrews University. He then volunteered to fight for Louis XIV in France, under the Duke of Monmouth. He reputedly saved the life of William of Orange in battle.

Returning to Scotland in 1678, he commanded an Independent Troop of Horse, suppressing Presbyterian rebels in Dumfries and Galloway. He gained the nickname of The Bluidy Clavers, but in fact urged moderation. Beaten by the rebels at Drumclog, he helped defend Glasgow and helped defeat them at Bothwell Bridge. While in England with the Scots army in 1688 James VII made him Viscount Dundee.

James eventually fled from England in December 1688, and Claverhouse returned to Scotland. Learning that he had been declared a rebel, and hearing of Lochiel's Highland confederacy, he began to rally support for the Jacobites.

In the Pass of Killicrankie, on 17 July 1689, he ambushed General Hugh Mackay and with careful and steady strategy won the day. Shot from his horse however, he died of his wounds. That August, the Jacobites were defeated at the Battle of Dunkeld.