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Updated 05/02/2013


Lord Lovat's Lament

Lord Lovat is a title in the Peerage of Scotland. It was created in 1458 for Hugh Fraser. The title descended in a direct line until the death of his great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandson, the ninth Lord, in 1696. He was succeeded by his great-uncle, the tenth Lord.

In 1697 the latter's son, Simon Fraser, known as Simon "the Fox", kidnapped and forcefully married the late ninth Lord's widow, the former Lady Amelia Murray, only daughter of the John Murray, 1st Marquess of Atholl. However, Lady Lovat's powerful family, the Murrays were angered, and prosecuted Fraser, who fled the country. Fraser was convicted in absentia, a
ttainted, and sentenced to death. In 1715, however, Fraser supported the Government against the Jacobite uprising and was rewarded by being pardoned for his crimes. In 1730, he won litigation seeking to confirm his title of Lord Lovat. In 1745, however, Lord Lovat participated in The '45 against the Crown and was therefore sentenced to death. He was beheaded on Tower Hill in London, becoming the last man to die in this manner. His titles, furthermore, were forfeit.

His eldest and namesake Simon Fraser became a General in the British Army. He obtained a full pardon but was not restored to the title. His younger brother Archibald Campbell Fraser was a Colonel in the Army and would have succeeded but for the attainder. On his death in 1815 the title was claimed by his kinsman Thomas Fraser, a descendant of Thomas Fraser, second son of the fourth Lord. In 1837 he was created Baron Lovat, of Lovat in the County of Inverness, in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. However, it was not until 1854 that the attainder of the eleventh Lord was reversed, and Thomas Fraser became the twelfth Lord Lovat. He was succeeded by his son, the thirteenth Lord, who served as Lord Lieutenant of Inverness. His eldest son, the fourteenth Baron, was a soldier and politician and notably held office as Under-Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs from 1926 to 1927. He was succeeded by his eldest son, the fifteenth Baron. He was a prominent soldier and distinguished himself during the Second World War. As of 2007 the titles are held by his grandson, the sixteenth Lord, who succeeded in 1994.

Legend has it that the infamous 11th Lord Lovat brewed a whisky so potent that it gave his clansmen’s extra strength and courage before charging the English in the first wave at the Battle of Culloden, 1745. Each Lord Lovat since has relied on a private reserve to bring strength in times of need.