The Gordon Connection
THE GORDON MAUSOLEUM: The Fourth Duke of Gordon’s first Duchess (Jane Maxwell) died in 1812 and was buried at Kinrara near Aviemore. In 1820 the Duke married one of his long-time lovers, Jean Christie. His Second Duchess died in 1824 and lies in this magnificent mausoleum of Elgin freestone under a canopy supported by 12 pillars. Her name is not inscribed on the stone but her son Adam was buried beside her in 1834 and an inscribed slab marks his grave.
THE GORDON HIGHLANDERS: The Gordon Highlanders were raised in the 1790s by the Fourth Duke. The popular image of the recruitment drive is that of the First Duchess (Jane Maxwell) and her daughters dispensing kisses and the King’s Shilling to would-be soldiers. The legend is based on one incident when a gallant young lad received a sovereign from the Duchess’ lips.
“The Last Dukes of Gordon and their Consorts 1743 – 1864” by George Gordon 1980
1st Marquis of Montrose
Lord Graham, Montrose’s eldest son, had come with his father “with the bodie of his armie”, from Elgin on 4 March1645 to the Bog o’ Gight (now Gordon Castle). While there, the son, “a proper youth about 16 yeiris old, and of singular expectatioune, takisseiknes, deis in the Bog in a few dayis, and is bureit in the kirk of Bellie, to his fatherisgryt grief.”John Graham had been campaigning with his father since September 1644 and had therefore been with the army through the hard winter campaigns. A few days after arriving at ‘Bog of Gight’, Lord Graham took ill and died.
He was buried in Bellie Churchyard, probably within the old church, now long gone. All attempts to find his grave have been unsuccessful due to later interments in the area. In March 2011, two representatives of the 1st Marquis of Montrose Society came to see the Friends and, with the assistance of Moray Council, erected a memorial stone to mark the last resting place of this young man.
In August of the same year, some 20 members of The 1st Marquis of Montrose Society, some from as far away as the south of England, travelled to the Churchyard. Together with a number of Friends and members of the Fochabers Heritage Group, they held a brief but very fitting official unveiling ceremony, followed by a happy gathering at Baxters Highland Village for afternoon tea.
This memorial is placed here in remembrance of lord john graham, a youth of only 14 years, who died at bog of gight castle in the early days of March 1645 and who was interred within the walls of Bellie Kirk.Lord graham was the son and heir of James Graham, 1st Marquis of Montrose, who led the royalist campaign in Scotland during 1644 and 1645 in support of King Charles I. A hard fought campaign, which commenced with the raising of the King’s standard at Blair Atholl on 30 august 1644, had seen royalist victories at Tippermuir,Aberdeen and Inverlochy. Lord graham had accompanied his father throughout this bitter winter campaign and it is thought that the harsh conditions which lord graham bravely endured during this time very likely contributed to his demise. The Actual cause of death however may have been typhus.
Erected by the 1st Marquis of Montrose Society, WHILST gratefully acknowledging the co-operation of The Moray Council, The Friends of Bellie kirk and Baxters.