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Caveat Emptor: There seems to be considerable confusion concerning the early generations of the Fraser family. The tree given here is from Anderson, however, it could be (?should be) subject to revision!

Gilbert obtained the lands of North Hailes, East Lothian as a vassal of the Earl of March and Dunbar and was a witness to a charter from Cospatrick to the monks of Coldstream during the reign of Alexander I. He also owned large estates in Tweeddale.


·  I. Oliver- d.s.p. He built Oliver castle in Peebles.

·  II. Udard- alive in 1200



"The Scottish Nation"- William Anderson, A. Fullarton & Co., Edinburgh, 1880




·  II. ______- m. Nesius de Londres (d.c.1230)


"The Scottish Nation"- William Anderson, A. Fullarton & Co., Edinburgh, 1880


m. ?MARY OGILVIE, daughter of Gilchrist, thane of Angus

The Annals of the Frasers and some of the manuscript histories states that Bernard married Mary Ogilvie, daughter of Gilchrist, Thane of Angus, however, no primary sources have been found for these statements. Crawfurd in his Lives of Officers of State also states that Simon Fraser was the son of Sir Bernard Fraser, however, again, no primary source is given.(7)

Bernard is found as a witness to a charter by Patrick, Earl of Dunbar and to another by Walter, the son of Alan the dapifer during the reign of William the Lion.(1)

Bernard Fraser was a witness to charters of the lands of Milnehalech of North Hales granted by Maria de Hales, daughter of Kylvert, to the monks of Newbottle. He also witnessed the confirmation of these charters by the Earl of Dunbar, however, he later laid claim to these same lands and succeeded in evicting Maria de Hales by virtue of his hereditary right to them which Maria acknowledged in the court of the overlord the Earl of Dunbar. It seems he took this step only for the purpose of regranting the lands to the monks of Newbottle in his own name. One of the witnesses was the Chancellor, William de Bondington, who did not receive that appointment from Alexander II until 1230 so the charter must be of a later date.(2)

He was lord of a considerable portion of Forton and Linton in East Lothian for he confirmed charters concerning land granted by Nesius, the son of Nesius and by the two sons of John de Londres, Nesius de Londres, and John de Moravia. He calls Nesius de Londres "fratre meo" by does not call John de Moravia his brother-in-law as he would have done had he married their sister. This implies that Nesius de Londres may have married Bernard's sister.(3)

The Isle of May

On 17 Aug. 1233 King Alexander II confirmed an agreement between the prior and monks of the Isle of May in the Firth of Forth and Bernard Fraser by which Bernard had granted the lands of Dremes-sheles to the prior.(4)

Bernard was a frequent witness to the charters of Alexander II and in 1234 he was made Sheriff of Stirling and acquired the territory of Oliver castle. He was one of the nobles who agreed to a treaty between Alexander II and Henry III at York in 1237.(5)

His name is found for the last time as a witness to a Royal Charter to the abbot and monks of Lindores in 1247.(6)


·  ? 4I. GILBERT-

·  ?II. Fenella- m. Sir Colin Campbell of Lochaw

·  ?III. Helen- a nun at Coldingham


(1) Cart. Melrose- Nos. 73, 120
(2) Cart. Newbottle- Nos. 91, 92, 93, 94
(3) The Frasers of Philorth- Alexander Fraser, Edinburgh, 1879- Vol. I, p.19
(4) Cart. Isle of May (St. Andrews)- No. 20
(5) Rymer's Foedera- Vol. I, p. 376
(6) Robertson's Index- p. 76, No. 92
(7) The Frasers of Philorth- Alexander Fraser, Edinburgh, 1879- Vol. I, pp. 23-4

"The Scottish Nation"- William Anderson, A. Fullarton & Co., Edinburgh, 1880


m. CHRISTIANA ______
d. before 1264

Traquair Castle

Sir Gilbert was Sheriff of Traquair during the reign of Alexander II & III. In 1233 King Alexander II sent a precept to Gilbert Fraser, Vicecomes de Traquair, ordering him to try a cause then pending between William, Bishop of Glasgow, and Mariota, daughter of Samuel. He also witnessed in 1233 a resignation of the lands of Stobhou by Eugene, the son of Anabell, another daughter of Samuel.(1)

Two other precepts from the king are found addressed to Gilbert Fraser, Vicecomes de Traquair, one from 1242 and the other probably issued prior to that year. One asks him to determine the boundaries of the pastures of Lenthanhope and report their extent and value to the king and the other orders him to imprison all excommunicated persons who the bishop of Glasgow should designate as having been for 40 days under the censure of the church.(2)

An inquiry by a court of assize composed of dominus Nes Freser, dominus Henricus de Candela, Willelmus de Malevill was held in 1259 concerning lands in Hopkelchoc. This was held in the court of Gilbertus Fraser, miles, Vicecomes de Peebles.(3)


·  I. John- m. Alicia de Cunigburg. Ancestor of the Frasers of Touch

·  5II. SIMON- m. MARY BISSET , d.c.1291

·  6III. ANDREW- d.c.1308

·  IV. William- d. 13 Sept. 1297 Artiville, France. William was Chancellor of Scotland and Bishop of St. Andrews


(1) Cart. Glasgow- Nos. 130, 131
(2) Origines Prochiales- Vol. I, p. 216, 220; Cart. Newbottle- No. 121
(3) Acta Parl. Scotiae- Vol. I, p. 88

The Frasers of Philorth- Alexander Fraser, Edinburgh, 1879- Vol. I, pp. 24-6
"The Scottish Nation"- William Anderson, A. Fullarton & Co., Edinburgh, 1880


m. MARY BISSET (m.2. Richard Siward)

Neidpath Castle- E.W. Haslehust 1920

Sir Simon possessed the lands of Oliver castle, Niedpath castle and other lands in Tweeddale. He was a witness to a charter by John de Landels in the reign of Alexander II and was designated as Dominus and Miles showing that he had received the honor of knighthood while a young man.(1) Supposedly Simon defeated Somherl, son of the great Somerled, King of the Isles who had raised an insurrection in Argyleshire. He accompanied Alexander II in a pilgrimage to Iona shortly before the King's death and the traditional histories state that he was with Alexander II when he died on the island of Bernera.(2) Simon was knighted by Alexander III and was made High Sheriff of Tweeddale which he held from 1263 until 1266.(3) In 1280 he witnessed a charter from Patrick Fraser to the monks of Coldingham and two charters of Roskelyn and Inverleith, from King Alexander III to William de Sancto Claro. The title "miles" is not applied to any of the witnesses so it is impossible to decide if this was Simon or his son, although the title "Dominus" implies the elder.(4) In 1279 he and his brother Andrew were sureties for their brother William, Dean of Glasgow and Chancellor of Scotland.(5) In 1285 he supported Margaret of Norway's claim to the throne and was at Brigham on 17 Mar. 1289/90 when the marriage of Margaret to Prince Edward was proposed.(7)

On 3 Feb. 1288/9 a court was held at Carham-on-Tweed by order of Edward I to investigate the complaint of John de Massun, merchant of Gascony, who alleged that Alexander III died indebted to him. His claim was resisted by William Fraser, Bishop of St. Andrews and the other executors of the Scottish king who sent representatives to the court consisting of four monks, three knights, and three clerks of the "rotuli regis" including Simon Fraser.(6)

He supported Baliol's claim to the throne after Margaret's death and was appointed an arbiter for determining the right of the competitors to the crown 5 June 1291. He swore allegience to Edward I at Norham 12 June 1291 and again on 23 July at Lindores monastery.

In Apr. 1294 Richard Siward received from Edward I a grant of the "maritagium" of Maria, widow of the late Simon Fraser, tenant in chief to the King of Scotland.(8) On 3 Sept. 1296 Mary petitioned King Edward for an allowance from the lands of her husband who was a State prisoner at the time, alleging that she had nine "infantes" to support of whom four were children of her present husband by a former wife and fiver were the children of her late husband Simon Fraser.(9)


·  7I. SIMON- b. 1257

·  II. Alexander-


(1) Cart. Melrose- No. 276
(2) Annals of the Frasers- pp. 35-6
(3) Cart. Soltre- No. 41; Chamberlain Rolls- Vol. I, p. 51; Cart. Kelso- No. 190, Cart. Glasgow- No. 216
(4) Cart. Coldingham- No. 138; Cart. Newbottle- No. 5, 6
(5) Cart. Glasgow- No. 232
(6) Historical Documents of Scotland- Vol. I, p. 73
(7) Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland- Vol. I, p. 92
(8) Rotuli Scotiae- Vol. I, p. 20
(9) Historical Documents of Scotland- Vol. II, pp. 92-3, 96

"The Scottish Nation"- William Anderson, A. Fullarton & Co., Edinburgh, 1880
The Frasers of Philorth- Alexander Fraser, Edinburgh, 1879- Vol. II, p. 74-7


b. 1257

A charter confirming the lands of Kingildore along with the chapel of St. Cuthbert and the lands of Hopcartane was granted to the Monastery of Melrose by Sir Simon Fraser, son and heir of the late Dominus Simon Fraser who had originally made the donation. He added a right of way through his lands of Hesilyard and Haldeyhardsted which he acquired from another branch of the family in Tweeddale for he granted it: "Sicut in carta mea quam inde habeo de domino Laurencio Fraser, quondam Domino de Drumelliare plenius continetur". He also conferred a right of way through his lands of Hoprewe to the monks. These charters were witnessed by Sir Andrew Fraser who was either his grand uncle or his cousin.(1)

On 12 July 1292 Edward I issued a mandate for the delivery of his paternal lands to him upon the payment of 100 merks.(2) Simon's name is not found in the list of auditors appointed in 1291 to hear the pleadings of the competitors for the Crown. It's possible he may have been away at the time, or he probably had not attained sufficient status to be associated with that office with the four other Frasers on the list, his grand-uncle William, Bishop of St. Andrews, his father, and his cousins Richard and Andrew. By 1292 he was one of the witnessed to the homage of Baliol to King Edward with his name following those of his two cousins.

In 1296 Sir Simon was taken prisoner by Edward I and on 2 Jan. 1296/7 his wife Maria received an allowance o 50 merks for her support out of his lands which were declared to be worth 200 merks per year.(3) Evidently Sir Simon had received permission to pay a visit to Scotland upon giving their pledge to return and accompany Edward on his expedition to France. Simon entered into the agreement with the king on 28 May 1297 to serve the Edward in his war with France for the performance of which he pledged his wife, children, and all belonging to him with his cousin Sir Richard Fraser serving as his surety. Simon performed his obligation for there is a record of his wages as a Knight Banneret from 13 Sept. until 19 Nov. 1297 having been paid to him at Ghent on the 13 of Jan. 1297/8 amounting to £27/4 for 68 days at the rate of 4/ per day for himself, 2/ for the knight in his service and 1/ for each of their two squires for a total of 8/.(4) There is also a mandate for the restoration of his estates issued by Edward on 21 Sept. 1297 in which it is stated that he was then beyond the sea with the king serving under his command.(5) Although he returned to Scotland by 1298 he was still in the English service for in that year stores for resupplying the castle of Edinburgh and other fortresses were ordered to be shipped at Berwick and taken to Leith to be kept there by Sir Walter de Huntercombe: " so that when the said things shall be there, Sir Walter de Huntercombe and Sir Simon Fraser, each upon his own part, shall spy and watch the time and opportunity when the articles aforesaid can best be conveyed to the said places. And when they shall perceive and know that the time has arrived, then the said Walter de Huntercombe and Simon Fraser, or one of them, shall acquaint all the garrisons thereof, so that the whole affair may be accomplished according to the plan agreed upon by them when they were together."(6) At the same time he was associated with the Sheriffs of Roxburgh and Jedburgh to determine in what manner the English garrison of Berwick, consisting of sixty men-at-arms and a thousand foot-soldiers, of whom one hundred were to be crossbowmen, should receive the king's pay.(7)

Although Sir Simon appears to have been in the King of England's service he was suspected of leanings in the opposite direction as is apparent from a letter of 9 Aug. 1298 from John de Kingston, Constable of Edinburgh Castle to Walter de Langton, Bishop of Chester, Lord Treasurer of England (translated from Norman French):

" Sire,—As to the news in our neighbourhood, I have told you that the Earl of Buchan, the Bishop of St . Andrews" [William de Lambyrton, successor to William Fraser, who had died the year before], "and other Earls and great Lords, who were on the other side of the Scottish sea, have come to this side, and were at Glasgow on the day on which this letter was made ; and by ... they intend to go towards the Borders, as is reported among them and their people who are in the forest. And whereas Sir Simon Freser comes to you in such haste, let me inform you, sire, that he has no need to be in such a great hurry, for there was not by any means such a great power of people who came into his jurisdiction, but what they might have been stopped by the garrisons, if Sir Simon had given them warning, and of this I warned him eight days before they came; and before they were entered into the forest it was reported to me that there was a treaty between them and Sir Simon, and that they had a conference together, and ate and drank and were on the best of terms. Wherefore, sire, it were well that you should be very cautious as to the advice which he shall give you.

" And let me tell you, sire, that this same Sir Simon sent me a letter (whereof I send you the copy) the day when he set out from his charge, or the next day, and he wished that I should come thither to him, to which 1 made such an answer as I send you in writing, but I do not know whether it reached him or not. And he sent me other letters some time before I came thither to him, on the day on which our enemies came suddenly before our castle, and on which Sir Thomas d'Arderne was taken; wherefore I fear that he is not of such good faith as he ought to be. Wherefore I beg of you, and the rest of the King's council, to beware."(8)

The letter must have followed Sir Simon, who had already set out, bearing with him another letter, of 31 July, from the Governor of Berwick, to be delivered by the Lord Treasurer to the king, in which his conduct is represented in a more favourable light:

" Sire,—Sir Simon Frezer is going to your service, who has prayed me much to ask you to hold him excused, because ... to your royal Lordship to consider that he has been good and loyal to you, and well and loyally has he carried himself towards you, and takes great pains . . . promise, and that you would have him excused as to his stay. This I witness to you, by the faith which I owe you, and also, that he has not failed in his residence . . . Lordship, and increase your honours. Written at Berwick, 31st July."(9)

He must have satisfied the higher English authorities as in September 1298, he was one of the barons summoned to assemble at Carlisle on the day after Pentecost 1299, to attend Edward in the Scottish war(10)

In November and December 1298, he was actively engaged in support of John de Kingston, Constable of Edinburgh Castle, who had been suspicious of him, in a raid which he was ordered to make as far as Stirling. Sir Simon Fraser was to bring twenty horses (men-at-arms), "Sir Alexander Baliol, ten; the Constable of Jedburgh, ten; the Constable and Sheriff of Roxburgh, forty; Sir Walter de Huntercombe, leader of Northumberland, thirty; the garrison of Berwick, thirty; the Earl Patrick, March (if he would be so good as to send his troops along with the King's troops), to the number of ten; from the Castle of Edinburgh itself, thirty armed horse, at the least, and besides, to cause the garrison of Norham to be asked for twenty horses;" making in all one hundred and ninety men-at-arms, a very respectable force for that period.(11)

On 27 Mar. 1299 he received from Edward I a confirmation of the order to restore his estates which had been granted 21 Sept. 1297.(12) On 16 July 1299 he was appointed part of the council to meet at York to deliberate on the affairs of Scotland.(13) He was part of Edward's army during the campaign of 1300 and in June was in the 3rd division of the English army commanded by the king himself at the siege of Carlaverock Castle. Simon was restored as Keeper of the Forest of Selkirk by Oct. 1300 as the truce between the English and the independant Scottish party was sent to him under the title of Guardian of Selkirk Forest. The same year he was allowed £64, 18s as pay for his retinue of three knights and twelve squires.(14)

The exact cause of Simon renouncing his fealty to Edward is unclear but by Sept. 1301 a letter from Robert de Tilliol, keeper of Lochmaben Castle, to Edward mentions Sir Simon Freser as being in arms against him at a place called Stanhouses.(15)

Monument to the Battle of Roslin

He joined Sir William Wallace and was his successor as Commander of the army while John Comyn of Badenoch was appointed Guardian of the Kingdom and was associated with Comyn in the leadership of the independent Scottish party.(16) In 1302 the English invaded Scotland and a truce was soon agreed to, but it was broken and Edward marched back into Scotland with three divisions in Feb. 1302/3 and was defeated by Sir Simon and Comyn 25 Feb. 1302/3 near Roslin. Each division was larger than the Scottish army, however, they lost probably because they were not near enough to support each other.(17) A romance by Robert de Brunne from the time describes an interview between Sir Simon and Sir Ralph de Manton, the Cofferer and seems to throw some light upon greivances that might have led to Simon's change of allegiance as nothing in those days would cause them to revolt more than defrauding them of their wages:

" Sir Ralf the Coffrers, that time was Treasurer,
He was one of the pers, his life was all in wehere,
He had great catelle, his life for to save,
Sir Simon the Freselle that ilk catelle suld have,
Simon was austere, to Ralf spake full grim,
That made thee Treasurer thou hast defeyed him,
And me, and many mo, from our wages zede quite;
Sir Ralf thou resceyned tho' by taile and by scrite,
Thou did us more travaile, ilk man thou reft his wage,
Now shall I with thee taile, and put thee in the arerage.
Of preist thou hast no mark, albe, nor no amite,
But laced in a hauberk, that is no clerk's habit,
For all those clerks of Rome, that sing in kirke, or read,
Thou shalt have thy doom, as thou servest indeed."

Robert de Brunne seems to have made a translation from an earlier metrical chronicle written by Pierre de Langtoft in Norman French:

Et Ralf ly Cofrers ke grant aver tendist
A symoned Frisel, ke la ne moresist,
Fresel ly regarde, Fresel ly redist
Tu as le roy trahy, ke tresorer le fist,
Et moi, et mulz des altres, dunt nes un est quit
Des gages ke tu doit par tayle et par escrit.
Or es-tu cy trove, sanz albe et sanz amyt,
En hauberke de fere, ke n'est pas habit
As clers de sainte eglise par kant se chant et lit,
Tu averas jugement solum toen merit.

Site of the Battle of Dalry

Although the battle of Roslin was a great victory for the Scots, it had little effect upon the war and caused Edward to invade again in May and overraan the country with a vast army of English, Irish, Welsh and Gascons and the Scots took to the hills and castles. Comyn and many nobles submitted to the English King in Feb. 1303/4 but Sir Simon did not and was therefore banished for three years and was fined three years rent and prohibited from entering the territories of the King of France.(19) Simon went to the north until 1306 when he joined Robert the Bruce. He later saved the King's life three times at the battle of Methven, 19 June 1306, after the king had been thrice unhorsed. He escaped with the Bruce into Argyleshire and fought at the battle of Dalry. Sir Simon and his brother Alexander aided the King when he attacked Inverness and then marched through the Aird to Dingwall where they captured that castle. They continued through Moray and captured all the castles along the way. In 1307 Simon along with Sir Walter Logan of Restalrig were captured by some of the Earl of Buchan's followers and were sent in irons to London.(20) An account of his apprehension is given in a manuscript chronicle in the British Museum, quoted by Ritson. After noticing the defeat of the Scots, the chronicler thus proceeds:

‘When Robert the Bruce saw this mischief, and gan to flee and hov’d him, that men might not him find; but S. Simond Frisell pursued was so sore, so that he turned again and abode bataille, for he was a worthy knight, and a bolde of bodye, and the English pursued him sore on every side, and quelde the steed that Sir Simon Frisell rode upon, and then toke him and led him to the host. And S. Symond began for to flatter and speke fair, and saide, "Lordys, I shall give you four thousand markes of silver, and mine horse and harness, and all my armour and income." Tho’ answered Thobaude of Pevenes, that was the King’s archer, "Now God me so helpe, it is for nought that thou speakest; for all the gold of England I would not let thee go without commandment of King Edward." And tho’ he was led to the King, and the King would not see him, but commanded to lead him away to his doom in London, on Our Lady’s own nativity. And he was hung and drawn, and his head smitten off and hanged again with chains of iron upon the gallows, and his head was set at London Bridge upon a spear, and against Christmas the body was burnt for encheson (reason) that the men that keeped the body saw many devils ramping with iron crooks running upon the gallows, and horribly tormenting the body. And many that them saw, anon thereafter died for dread, or waxen mad, or sore sickness they had.’(21)

A ballad written at the time gives an account of the barbarous treatment by the English king to a knight conspicuous among his contemporaries for his high deeds of chivalry, as well as personal gallantry. After mentioning how Sir Simon was brought into London, with a garland of green leaves on his head, to show that he was a traitor, the writer goes on to say:

‘Y-fettered were his legs under his horse’s wombe,
Both with iron and with steel manacled were his hond,
A garland of pervynk set upon his heved ;
Much was the power that him was bereved
In land,
So God me amend,
Little he ween’d
So to be brought in hand.

‘With fetters and with gives y-hot he was to draw
From the Tower of London, that many men might know,
In a kirtle of burel, a selcouth wise,
And a garland on his head of the new guise.
Through Cheape
Many men of England
For to see Symond
Thitherward can leap.

‘Though he cam to the gallows first he was on hung,
All quick beheaded that him thought long;
Then he was y-opened, his bowels y-brend,
The heved to London-bridge was send
To shende.
So evermore mote I the,
Some while weened he
Thus little to stand.

‘Now standeth the heved above the tu-brigge
Fast by Wallace sooth for to segge;
After succour of Scotland long may he pry,
And after help of France what halt it to lie.
I ween,
Better him were in Scotland
With his axe in his hand
To play on the green,’ &c.

Sir Simon was kept in chains while in the Tower and on the day of execution he was dragged through the streets as a traitor, hanged as a thief and beheaded as a murderer. His body after being exposed for 20 days to the derision of the mob was thrown across a wooden horse and burnt while his head was put on a lance and placed near Sir William Wallace's head on London Bridge.

Sir Simon has been depicted as a hero of Scottish independance, however, it seems as though he spent most of his career in the service of the English and only defected from that service after some personal injustice or was influenced by ambition. When the power of England again could no longer be opposed he switched sides and was pardoned again in 1305 upon condition of paying a heavy fine. The pressure of this along with the probable rapacity of the English officials who collected it, caused him to defect to the Scottish cause again in 1306 to escape their oppression and he joined Robert the Bruce. The motivator for all of the players in this drama was resistance against oppression, not love of country and they seemed to care little as to whom their feudal superior might be and would transfer their allegiance to any prince powerful enough to enforce their submission and who would maintain them in their feudal rights. So, our glorious ancestors were mostly motivated by self-interest, not patriotism, despite what might be depicted in more recent writtings and movies such as "Brave Heart". The execution of Sir Simon, as horrible as it was, was sanctioned by the law of the age and he suffered the penalty due by feudal law on a vassal who had been pardoned twice and found a third time in rebellion. The mediaval equivalent to three strikes and you're out!


·  I. Mary- m. Sir Gilbert Hay of Locherworth

·  8II. ______- m. PATRICK FLEMING


(1) Liber de Melrose- No. 355, 356
(2) Rotuli Scotiae- Vol. I, p. 9
(3) Historical Documents of Scotland- Vol. II, p. 96
(4) Ibid- p. 139
(5) Ibid- p. 230
(6) Ibid- p. 293
(7) Ibid- p. 332
(8) Ibid- p. 302
(9) Ibid
(10) Rymer's Foedera- Vol. II, p. 829
(11) Historical Documents of Scotland- Vol. II, pp. 336, 341
(12) Ibid- p. 369
(13) Ibid- p. 380
(14) Palgrave- No. 122; Rymer's Foedera- Vol. II, p. 925; Wardrobe Rolls- 28, p. 198
(15) Historical Documents of Scotland- Vol. II, p. 431
(16) Gesta Annalia- Fordun- No. 107, 108
(17) Ibid; also Historical Documents of Scotland- Vol. II, p. 448 and Wyntoun- lib. VIII, cap. xvi
(18) Documents Illustrative of Sir William Wallace- Maitland Club- p. 94
(19) Palgrave- pp. cxxviii, 276; also Rymer's Foedera- Vol. II, pp. 969-70
(20) Foedera- Vol. II, p. 1014
(21) Harleian MSS- No. 266
(22) Peter de Langtoft- p. 335; Harleian MSS- No. 2253

The Frasers of Philorth- Alexander Fraser, Edinburgh, 1879- Vol. II, p. 77ff
"The Scottish Nation"- William Anderson, A. Fullarton & Co., Edinburgh, 1880
"Scotiskronicon"- Fordun


m. ?BEATRICE ______
? MARY le CHEN (10)
d. after 1297, before 1306

Alexander Fraser in his history is of the opinion that this Andrew Fraser was the son of Richard Fraser of Touch and not the son of Gilbert.(6)

When William Fraser was Dean of Glasgow in 1279 he entered into an obligation with the cathedral and named his brothers "Dominum Symonem Fraser, militem, et Andream Fraser" his sureties. Andrew was not a knight at that time, but was by 1308 as noted below.(5)

In 1280 Andrew, son of the late Sir Gilbert Fraser, with the consent of his wife, Beatrice, granted to the Monastery of Kelso a carucate of land in Gordon, Berwickshire, which he had purchased from William, son of John, son of John of Kirkland.(3) This land was the object of a dispute between the monks and Sir Adam de Gordon which was settled in 1308 and in the agreement the original grantor was called "Andree Fraser, militis" and was deceased by that time.(4)

In June 1291 Sir Andrew swore allegience to King Edward at Dunfermline and was there when Baliol submitted to Edward 26 Dec. 1292 and again 23 June 1297 after Baliol's overthrow.(2) He was one of the barons taken captive to England by order of Edward I on 1 Oct. 1296. Edward issued two mandates in his favor, one for a pension of 100 merks yearly for the support of himself, his wife, family and from his wife's dower lands in Catania, the district of Sutherland and Caithness to be supplemented by John de Warrenne, Earl of Surrey and Governor of Scotland, if the lands did not yield enough, and the second a grant of the lands themselves to the value of 100 merks yearly.(9) Alexander had married a wealthy heiress from Caithness and acquired a large estate in the north of Scotland.(1)

He owned the lands of Touch, Stirlingshire which were probably given to him when he was Sheriff.(7)

In 1293 Macduff, brother of Colban, Earl of Fife, was sentenced to forfeiture of his estates of Rareys and Crey by King John Baliol. Sir Andrew led an armed force against the house of Rareys and plundered it of arms, jewls, cattle and other property to the value of 200 merks.(8)

On 23 June 1297 Andrew entered into an agreement to attend King Edward I in his expedition to France and was permitted to go to Scotland to make preparations for the upcoming war. He seems to have enjoyed the favor of the English king as on 25 June he received a grant of the estate of Struthers in Fife, taken from Macduff who was in rebellion.(11)

Struthers Castle

Sir Andrew does not appear in any record after 1297 so it is possible that he was killed while serving King Edward in Flanders. He was certainly dead by 1308 when his son was in possession of Struthers.


·  I. Simon- killed at battle of Halidon Hill 22 July 1338

·  9II. ALEXANDER- m.c.1316 MARY BRUCE (m.1. Sir Niel Campbell of Lochaw), d. 12 Aug. 1332

·  III. Andrew- killed at Halidon Hill 22 July 1338

·  IV. James- m. Margaret, d. of Sir John Stewart of Frendraught, killed at Halidon Hill 22 July 1338


(1) Anderson's Hist. Acc.- p.35
(2) Documents and Records Illustrating the History of Scotland- F. Palgrave, London, 1837- Vol. I, CIII, p. 190; Ragman Rolls- p. 15
(3) Cart. Kelso- No. 124
(4) Ibid- No. 125, 472
(5) Cart. Glasgow- No. 232
(6) The Frasers of Philorth- Alexander Fraser, Edinburgh, 1879- Vol. I, pp. 41-8

(7) Cart. Newbottle- No. 175
(8) Rotuli Scotiae- Vol. I, p. 10
(9) Ibid- p. 35
(10) Antiquities of Aberdeenshire- Spalding Club- Vol. IV, p. 611
(11) Rotuli Scotiae- Vol. I, p. 42

The Frasers of Philorth- Alexander Fraser, Edinburgh, 1879- Vol. II, p. 77ff
"The Scottish Nation"- William Anderson, A. Fullarton & Co., Edinburgh, 1880


m.c.1316 MARY BRUCE (m.1. Sir Neil Campbell of Lochaw(d.c.1315), d. before 22 Sept. 1323)
d. 12 Aug. 1332

There is great confusion concerning Alexander Fraser as there were three of that name living at the same time period, one who was a knight in 1268 and died by 1295, another who was a baron and knight in 1296 and our Alexander who was not knighted before 1309 and probably not prior to 1312 who was the brother-in-law of King Robert the Bruce and who had a brother, Simon, killed at Halidon.

Roxburgh Castle

Alexander's future wife, Mary Bruce, was made a captive in 1306 by the Earl of Ross when accompanying the Queen in her flight from Kildrummie. She was sentenced to imprisonment in Roxburgh Castle and ordered to have a similar treatment to what was handed out to Isabella, Countess of Buchan in the catle of Berwick:

It is ordered and commanded, by letters under the Privy Seal, to the Chamberlain of Scotland, or his Lieutenant at Berwick-on-Tweed, that in one of the towers within the castle there, in whatever place he shall find most convenient, he shall cause to be made a cage of strong latice of . . . , and barred, and well secured by a lock, in which he shall place the Countess of Buchan, and that he shall cause her to be so well and so securely guarded in the cage that she cannot get out of it in any way. And that he shall assign one woman, or two, of the said town of Berwick, English, who is not, or are not, under any suspicion, . . . understands, or understand, how to serve the said Countess with food and drink, and other things necessary to her in ... residence; and that he cause her to be so well and strictly kept in that cage that she shall speak to none, neither man nor woman, of the Scottish nation, nor any other ... to her, except only the woman, or women, assigned to serve her, and those who have the custody of her.

And that the cage shall be so made that the Countess shall there have the convenience of a private closet, but that it shall be so very securely arranged that she has no speech but in presence of the guard of the said Countess. And that he who shall have the custody of her be responsible for her, body for body, and that he have the allowance " des custagis."

In the same manner it is ordered that Marie, sister to Robert de Bruce, late Earl of Carrick, be sent to Roxburgh, to be kept ... in the castle in a cage.(9)

After suffering this for four years she was exchanged on 4 July 1310 for nine nobles.(10)

He was at the coronation of Robert the Bruce in March 1306 but, was probably not the Alexander Fraser captured at the battle of Methven 19 June 1306. Alexander and his brother Simon continued to fight for Bruce and marched northward:

And he thocht wele that he would far
Out our the Month with his menyhe,
To luk quha that his frend wald be.
Into Schir Alexander the Fraser
He trastit, for tha frendis war,
And in his brother Symon, tha twa,
He had mistere wele of ma.
And Barbour continues with his saga:

And turn we to the nobill King
That with the folk of his leding
Toward the Month has tane the way
Richt stoutly and into good array,
Quhar Alexander Fraser him met.
And als his brothir Symon hecht
With all the folk tha with tham had:
The King gud countenans tham mad
That was richt blyth of thar cumyn.
Tha tald the King all the covyn
Of Johnne Cumyn the Erl of Bouchane,
That till help him had with him tane
Schir Johne Mobra and othir ma,
Schir David the Brechyn alsua,
With all the folk of thar leding
'And yharnis mar than ony thing
Vengeans on yhou, schir King, to tak
For Schir Johne the Cumynis sak
That quhilorn in Dumfries was slane.'

Alexander and Simon fought in many of the battles with Robert the Bruce. In 1309 Alexander attempted to draw Thomas de Grey, the English Governor of Cupar Castle, into an ambush:

Another tyme Alexander Fresile, a Scotte, frend to Robert Bruce, was sette within a little of Couper Castel, with an embuschment, and caused certen of his to pille a village thereby, so supposing to bring Thomas Gray into a trappe; the which, hearing the cry, went to horse to see what it was. The embuschment, seeing that, rode of force to the very castel gates. Thomas, seeing this, returned his horse, and cam fair and softly through the toun of Cuper, and then laying spurres to his horse, and rode through them, and got within the barres of the castel, wher he found his owne meny arruning out to help hym.(5)

Alexander attended the Parliament at St. Andrews on 16 Mar. 1309 where they declared Robert the Bruce to be the rightful King of Scotland and thanked the French king, Philip, for his expressions of goodwill to bring about a peace between Scotland and England.(6)

Because of his service to the king, he received royal grants in 1309 to Panbryde, Garvocks, Strachan, Essintuly, Ballebrochy, Auchincross, Aboyne and Culpressache.(7)

Alexander was granted a charter from the monks of Arbroath in 1312 to the lands of Turry in the parish of Nigg. He is called "Alexander Fraser, filius quondam Domini Andree Fraser, militis".(8)

Alexander Fraser and Robert Keith witnessed a charter 12 Apr. 1316 in which Robert the Bruce granted the annual rents from the farms of Perth to the Perth Blackfriars.(1)

In 1318 Alexander was one of the barons at the Parliament who enacted the order of succession to the Crown, declaring that in case of the heir succeeding while a minor, the Earl of Moray, or failing him, the Good Sir James Douglas, should be Regent.(11)

He also witnessed a charter from 1 Mar. 1326 in whick King Robert confirmed donations to Scone Abbey.(2) Alexander received charters from the King in Kincardine, Stirling, Aberdeen and was made Sheriff of Kincardine. He also signed the letter to the Pope in 1320 which asserted the independence of Scotland. Alexander was one of the guarantors of a truce with the English 1 June 1323.(13) Alexander was Lord Great Chamberlain of Scotland from 3 Aug. 1319 until 1326 and his seal is on Declaration of Arbroath, a letter of 6 Apr. 1320 to Pope John XXII seeking recognition for the country's independance under the leadership of Robert the Bruce: "for, so long as one hundred remain alive, we will never in any way be subject to the dominion of the English... for we do not fight for glory, riches, or honours, but for freedom alone, which no good man will lose except with life."(12)

On 22 Sept. 1323 at Kinross, the King gave a charter to six acres in Auchincarnie, near the royal manor of Kincardine to his beloved and faithful Sir Alexander Fraser, to be held by him and his heirs legitimately procreated between him and the late Mary de Bruce, the King's sister.(14)

No record of his obtaining the barony of Cluny exists, however, on 18 June 1325 he received from the king the lands of Cardenye and the fishing rights on Loch Skene in augmentation of his barony of Cluny.(15)

On 6 Apr. 1327 the King granted a charter to his beloved and faithful Sir Alexander Fraser, and John, his son, the King's nephew, of the forest of Craigie, in the thanage of Cowie in the Sheriffdom of Kincardine in which the King was causing an enclosed park to be made containing 1500 particaes of land in exchange for keeping up the park for the king.(16)

Alexander was killed at the Battle of Dupplin in 1332. They made the best resistance they could, however, they had only 300 against the well organized English army and the rest of the Scottish army was disorganized and panic stricken and easily overwhelmed.


·  10I. JOHN-


(1) Charters of the Perth Blackfriars- Vol. X, p. 8
(2) Scone Charters- 129, p. 95
(3) Barbour's The Bruce- p. 187
(4) Ibid- p. 192
(5) Leland's Collectanea- Vol. II, p. 545
(6) Acta Parl. Scotiae- Vol. I, p. 99
(7) Robertson's Index- p. 1, Nos. 7, 14, 15, 18; Reg. Episc. Aberdeen- Vol. I, pp. 157, 159
(8) Antiquities of Aberdeenshire- Vol. I, p. 258
(9) Rymer's Foedera- Vol. II, p. 1014
(10) Rotuli Scotiae- Vol. I, p. 86
(11) Acta Parl. Scotiae- Vol. I, p. 105
(12) Acta Parl. Scotiae- Vol. I, p. 114
(13) Rymer's Foedera- Vol. II, p. 1025
(14) Robertson's Index- p. 17, No. 51
(15) Antiquities of Aberdeenshire- Vol. III, pp. 116-7
(16) Robertson's Index- p. 17, Nos. 55, 61

The Frasers of Philorth- Alexander Fraser, Edinburgh, 1879- Vol. I, pp. 49-77
"The Scottish Nation"- William Anderson, A. Fullarton & Co., Edinburgh, 1880


Sir Alexander's sons were not old enough to take a prominent part in the early years of the second struggle for freedom, although John may have been present at the battles of Dupplin and Halidon Hill.

In 1348 there is an entry in the Chamberlain Rolls where the heirs of Robert de Keith and Alexander Fraser of Ewynsedale are said to have usurped the office of Sheriff of Aberdeen for several years prior to 1346. Perhaps John Fraser's successful leadership of the people of Aberdeen enabled him and his friend seized upon the office of Sheriff for a time.(1)

In 1351 William de Keith with consent of his wife, Margaret Fraser, granted a charter. As Margaret was styled heir to her grandfather instead of to John it appears that he may have died before he could assume any title to his hereditary possessions.(2)




(1) Chamberlain Rolls- Vol. I, p. 287
(2) Antiquities of Aberdeenshire- Vol. II, p.72

The Frasers of Philorth- Alexander Fraser, Edinburgh, 1879- Vol. I, pp. 77-80
"The Scottish Nation"- William Anderson, A. Fullarton & Co., Edinburgh, 1880


m. MARGARET, heir of the Earl of Caithness
d. 19 July 1333 Halidon Hill

Lovat, Inverness-shire was granted to Hugh by James I. By his marriage to Margaret he acquired a large estate in the north. He supposedly was a branch of the Frasers of Oliver castle in Peebles as his son had possessions in that county.


·  2I. ALEXANDER- m. _______ MORAY


"The Scottish Nation"- William Anderson, A. Fullarton & Co., Edinburgh, 1880


m. ______ MORAY


·  3I. HUGH-



The Frasers of Philorth- Alexander Fraser, Edinburgh, 1879- Vol. II, p. 166ff


In 1367 Hugh de Fraser witnessed a charter by Sir Walter de Leslie to Euphame de St. Clair at Inverness and on 12 Sept. of that year Hugh Fraser "dominus de Lowet et portionarius terrarum de Ard" paid homage at Elgin to Alexander, Bishop of Moray for his part of the land of Kyntallergy and Esse and for fishing rights in the river Beauly at Forn.(1) In 1384 and agreement was made between these same people by which Hugh paid arrears to the Bishop and was to recover what was due to him from these lands held by William de Fentoun.(2)

At the coronation of King Robert II in 1371 Hugh swore fealty and paid homage to the new king and was among the barons listed who had not attained the rank of knight.(4)

In 1377 Hugh Fraser, dominus de Lowet, resigned the lands of Fayrelehope in the barony of Linton and Sheriffdom of Peebles to James de Douglas, Lord of Dalkeith and Linton, who granted them to Adam Forster to be held for homage and service as Hugh had held them prior to his resignation.(3)

In 1390 Hugh Fraser, dominus de Kinnell, gave a charter of the lands of Kinnell, Forfarshire to Walter Tulloch and at another time (no date) he granted land in the same barony to William de Camera.(5)

In 1407 Hugh gave a charter of the lands of Easter Breky in the barony of Kinnell to his cousin Peter de Stryveline and his son John. He is termed the late Hugh Fraser of Lowet in the confirmation of this charter by Robert, Duke of Albany in 1410.(6)


·  I. Alexander- m. Elizabeth de Keith, d.s.p. 1430

·  4II. HUGH- m. 1416 JANET de FENTOUN

·  III. John-

·  IV. son


(1) Antiquities of Aberdeenshire- Vol. II, p. 384; Reg. Episc. Morav.- No. 286
(2) Reg. Episc. Morav.- No. 166
(3) Reg. Hon. de Morton- Vol. II, No. 157
(4) Acta Parl. Scotiae- Vol. I, p. 181
(5) History of the Carnegies, Earls of Southesk- William Fraser- pp. 497-8
(6) Robertson's Index- p. 165, No. 2; Reg. Mag. Sig.- Roll 12, No. 2

The Frasers of Philorth- Alexander Fraser, Edinburgh, 1879- Vol. II, p. 170ff
"The Scottish Nation"- William Anderson, A. Fullarton & Co., Edinburgh, 1880


m. 1416 JANET de FENTOUN

Hugh was one of the hostages for James I upon his return to Scotland in 1424. In 1431 he was appointed High Sheriff of Inverness. He was made a lord of Parliament under the title Lord Fraser of Lovat.

On 8 Jan. 1436/7 Hugh granted a charter of a third part of the lands of Glenelg to Alexander, Lord of the Isles and Earl of Ross.(1)

Hugh must have died by 20 July 1440 when Thomas Fraser, Dominus de Lovet, was a witness to a charter from the Lord of the Isles to Hugh de Rose of Kilravock.(2)


·  Thomas- d.s.p. before 22 Sept. 1456



(1) Family of Innes- Cosmo Innes- p. 97
(2) Family of Rose of Kilravock- Cosmo Innes- p. 131

The Frasers of Philorth- Alexander Fraser, Edinburgh, 1879- Vol. II, p. 170ff
"The Scottish Nation"- William Anderson, A. Fullarton & Co., Edinburgh, 1880


m. VIOLETTA, d. of Lord Glamis d. 1501

By his marriage to the daughter of Lord Glamis and the fact that he had become a tenant of the Crown along with the large extent of his possessions, led to his being made a Peer of Parliament between 1456 and 1464.


·  I. Thomas- d. 21 Oct. 1524


·  III. Alexander-


The Frasers of Philorth- Alexander Fraser, Edinburgh, 1879- Vol. II, p. 170ff
"The Scottish Nation"- William Anderson, A. Fullarton & Co., Edinburgh, 1880


d. before 1190

In the Reign of David I, Sir Simon possessed half the territory of Keith in East Lothian called Keith Simon and to the monks of Kelso he granted them the church of Keith near Haddington in 1160.(1)

In 1184 Simon as a witness to a perambulation of the boundaries of the lands of Mordwheit or Morthwayt made by order of William the Lion who gave them to Newbottle Abbey.(2)




(1) Kelso Charters- Vol. I, 85 & 98, pp. 62, 72
(2) Cart. Newbottle- No. 20


Keith Chapel

"Hugo Lorens et Eda uxor eia filia et heres Symonis Fraser" confirmed a donation of the church at Keith made to the monastery of Kelso by Simon Fraser, charted dated 1190.(1) Hugh and Eda's daughter, also named Eda, who married Philip, the King's Marischal and the two districts of Keith were united in the possession of their son Hervey, the Marischal, by whom, and by his son John de Keith, also Marischal, the grant of Simon Fraser to the monks of Kelso was confirmed.(2)




(1) Kelso Charters- Vol. I, 86, p. 62
(2) Ibid- Nos. 87, 88, 89

"The Scottish Nation"- William Anderson, A. Fullarton & Co., Edinburgh, 1880