Monday, 28 October 2013

John Graham of Claverhouse, Viscount Dundee

John Graham divides opinion. A Scottish nobleman and soldier, he was born in 1648 and educated at St Andrews where he graduated in 1661.He had a beautiful face and effortless good manners but he could be as cruel as the cut of sharpened steel. His career coincided with the 'killing time', the religious wars that racked Scotland for thirty years. To his detractors he was the killer of poor men and women known as 'Bluddy Clavers', while his supporters bestowed him with the sobriquet 'Bonnie' Dundee, the dashing soldier and gallant leader of a lost cause.

John Graham of Claverhouse, Viscount Dundee (detail)
by Sir Godfrey Kneller
Glamis Castle
His beautiful face dazzles in the drawing room at Glamis Castle, amongst all the portraits of the Lyons. When Sir Walter Scott saw the portrait on his visit to Glamis he was inspired to describe it in Redgauntlet.