The 1st Marquis of Montrose Society was formed in 1995 and was the inspiration of Alan Macpherson Yr. of Cluny.
A passionate and informative follower of Montrose for many years Alan recognised that, despite being one of Scotland's most noble and militarily gifted leaders, the fascinating exploits of James Graham the 1st Marquis were little recognised.
The main aim of the society is to take every opportunity to promote the name of the 1st Marquis and to attempt to raise public awareness of both him and the impact which he had on Scotland during the civil war period.
To this end the society is active in not only raising the profile of James Graham, but also in attempting to get many of the important sites associated with the 1st Marquis better recognised.
Following a busy and highly successful year last year (2012), the Quatercentenial (400th) anniversary of Montrose’s birth, the normal activities of the society were resumed in 2013, starting with our AGM on Saturday 18th May.
Our guest speaker at the meeting this year was Bruce Bishop, FSA Scotland. Bruce is a recognised authority on burial grounds in Scotland and he was a great help to the society in 2011 when he, and the ‘Friends of Bellie Kirk’, helped us place a memorial to John Graham, Montrose’s eldest son and heir, in the grounds of the old kirk (John Graham died at nearby Bog of Gight in 1645 whilst on campaign with his father). Bruce’s paper to the society was entitled, "Montrose - Auldearn to Alford 1645" and it gave a fascinating insight, focussing mainly on the people of the north east, into the plight of the innocent country folk caught up in the conflict.
The autumn trip this year, which bathed in the late autumn sun, was held at Kilsyth over the weekend 27 to 29th September. A guided tour of Kilsyth battlefield was enjoyed, along with tours of the castles of Stirling and Mugdock, and mighty Bothwell. These weekends are great educational and social events and this one was no exception.
2013 saw the society active in proposals to raise 2 more memorials, at Tippermuir and Philiphaugh battlefields. Whilst some progress was made at Tippermuir we were successful, in conjunction with Philiphaugh Estates, in placing a memorial stone and plaque on the recently constructed historical walkway at Philiphaugh battlefield site, Selkirk. Focus is now firmly on achieving a similar outcome at Tippermuir.
Plans for 2014
So, what for 2014? Well, we continue in our attempts to try to increase our small membership because only by doing so will we hope to increase the influence of the society.
Our AGM in 2014 will be held on 17 May with our usual dedication at the Montrose Memorial in St Giles followed by our AGM meeting at The Royal Scots Club.
The autumn weekend trip in 2014 will be to the scene of one of Montrose’s greatest victories; Inverlochy (Fort William). This will be over the weekend of 26 – 28 September.
If you have an interest in James Graham, 1st Marquis of Montrose, and the fascinating history of Scotland in the 17th century, why don’t you join us? New members are always welcome.