Graham, John (d.1298) (DNB00)

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GRAHAM, Sir JOHN (d. 1298), warrior, the second son of Sir David Graham of Dundaff, by Annabella, daughter of Robert, earl of Strathearn, was friend of William Wallace. He joined Wallace at an early period in his career, and assisted him so manfully that Buchanan says of him that next to Wallace he was the most valiant of the Scots. In an engagement near Queensberry, where Wallace with a few followers was hardly pressed by several hundred English soldiers, Graham came to the rescue, and, having put the English to flight, pursued and slew their captain, Graystock. He was slain at the battle of Falkirk on 22 July 1298. Graham was one of the few still unbroken, when, as he struck down a knight, he was stabbed by a soldier from behind. His death was grievously lamented by Wallace, who is represented by Blind Harry the Minstrel as weeping over the body when found upon the field of battle. Graham was buried in the churchyard of Falkirk, where a monument was afterwards erected to his memory, which has been carefully preserved. The sword with which he is alleged to have fought is in possession of the Duke of Montrose. It is inscribed with the following lines:—

Sir John the Grame, verry vicht and wyse,
One of the chiefes relievit Scotland thryse:
Fought with this sword, and ne'er thought schame;
Commandit nane to beir it bot his name.

[Anderson's Scottish Nation, ii. 344; Lord Hailes's Annals of Scotland, i. 281, &c.; Brunton's Hist. of Wallace; Blind Harry's Wallace.]

H. P.