Graham, Robert (d.1797?) (DNB00)

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For works with similar titles, see Robert Graham.

GRAHAM, afterwards CUNNINGHAME-GRAHAM, ROBERT (d. 1797?), song-writer, only surviving son of Nicol or Nicolas Graham (d. 16 Nov. 1775) of Gartmore, on the borders of Perthshire and Stirlingshire, and Lady Margaret Cunninghame, daughter of William, twelfth earl of Glencairn, was educated at Glasgow University. In early life he was a planter in Jamaica, and for some time held the office of receiver-general in that island. He was chosen rector of Glasgow University in 1785, in opposition to Burke. He represented Stirlingshire in parliament from 1794 to 1796. He was the mover of a rejected Bill of Rights, which to some extent foreshadowed the Reform Bill of 1832. He was an earnest advocate of the principles of the French revolution. He wrote various lyrical pieces, the best known of which, 'If doughty deeds my lady please,' is deservedly famous. In 1796 (see Foster, Members of Parliament, Scotland), owing to the death of John Cunninghame, fifteenth and last earl of Glencairn, he succeeded to the Finlaystoun estates, and assumed the additional surname of Cunninghame. He married, first, Anne, daughter of Patrick Taylor of Jamaica, sister of Sir John Taylor, bart.; secondly, Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Buchanan of Spital. He left two sons, William, his heir, and Nicol, maréchal-de-camp in the Austrian service, and two daughters.

[Private information; Scott's Border Minstrelsy; Palgrave's Golden Treasury of English Songs and Lyrics, p. 126.]

W. B-e.