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The Scottish Nation

LOVAT, Baron Fraser of, a title in the peerage of Scotland (attainted in 1747, but restored in 1857), exact date of creation unknown. It was taken from the hamlet of Lovat, near the eastern bank of the Beauly, Inverness-shire, where stood the tower and fort of Lovat, founded in 1230, anciently the seat of the Bissets, and is said to have been conferred by James I., on Hugh Fraser of Lovat, grandson of Simon Fraser, the first of the Frasers of Lovat. The latter, who fell at the battle of Halidonhill, 19th July 1333, married Margaret, one of the heirs of the earl of Caithness, and acquired, in consequence, large possessions in the north. He is supposed to have been a branch of the Frasers of Oliver castle in the county of Peebles, as his son had possessions in that county. This son, Hugh Fraser of Lovat, had four sons; Alexander, who died unmarried; Hugh, created a lord of parliament, under the title of Lord Fraser of Lovat; John, ancestor of the Frasers of Knock in Ayrshire; and another son, ancestor of the Frasers of Foyers.

      Hugh, first Lord Lovat, was one of the hostages for James I., on his return to Scotland in 1424, and in 1431 he was appointed high sheriff of the county of Inverness. His son, also named Hugh, second Lord Lovat, was father of Thomas, third lord; Alexander, ancestor of the Frasers of Fanaline, the Frasers of Leadclune, baronets; and other families of the name.

      Thomas, third lord, held the office of justiciary of the north in the reign of James IV., and died 21st October 1524. He had four sons; Thomas, master of Lovat, killed at Flodden, 9th September 1513, unmarried; Hugh, fourth Lord Lovat; Alexander, fifth lord; and William Fraser of Struy, ancestor of several families of the name in Inverness-shire.

      Hugh, fourth lord, the queen’s justiciary in the north, resigned his whole estates into the hands of King James V., and obtained from his majesty a new charter, dated 26th March 1539, uniting and incorporating them into the barony of Lovat, to him and the heirs male of his body, failing whom to his nearest lawful heirs male, bearing the name and arms of Fraser, and failing them to his heirs whatsoever. With his eldest son, Hugh, master of Lovat, he was killed in an engagement with the Macdonalds of Clanranald at Lochlochy, Inverness-shire, 2d June 1544. His brother, Alexander, fifth Lord Lovat, died in 1558. With one daughter, the latter had three sons; Hugh, sixth lord; Thomas, ancestor of the Frasers of Strichen, from whom Lord Lovat of Lovat is descended; and James, of Ardochie.

      Hugh, sixth Lord Lovat, had a son, Simon, seventh lord, who was twice married, and died 3d April 1633. By his first wife, Margaret, eldest daughter of Sir Colin Mackenzie of Kintail, he had two sons, Simon, master of Lovat, who predeceased him, without issue, and Hugh, eighth Lord Lovat, who died 16th February 1646. By a second wife, Jean Stewart, daughter of Lord Doune, he had Sir Simon Fraser, ancestor of the Frasers of Innerallochy; Sir James Fraser of Brae, and one daughter. Hugh, eighth lord, had, with three daughters, three sons, namely, Simon, master of Lovat, and Hugh, who both predeceased their father, the one in 1640 and the other in 1643, and Thomas Fraser of Beaufort, eleventh Lord Lovat. The second son, Hugh, styled after his elder brother’s death, master of Lovat, left a son, Hugh, ninth lord, who succeeded his grandfather in February 1646, and married in July 1659, when a boy of sixteen years of age at college, Anne, second daughter of Sir John Mackenzie of Tarbet, baronet, sister of the first earl of Cromarty, and by her had a son, Hugh, tenth lord, and three daughters.

      Hugh, tenth lord, succeeded his father in 1672, and died in 1696, when Thomas Fraser of Beaufort, second son of the eighth lord, became eleventh Lord Lovat, but did not take the title. The tenth lord married Lady Amelia Murray, only daughter of the first marquis of Athol, and had four daughters. His eldest daughter, Amelia, assumed the title of Baroness Lovat, and married, in 1702, Alexander Mackenzie, younger of Prestonhall, who assumed the name of Fraser of Fraserdale. His son, Hugh Fraser, on the death of his mother, adopted the title of Lord Lovat, which, however, by decree of the court of session, 3d July 1730, was declared to belong to Simon, Lord Fraser of Lovat, as eldest lawful son of Thomas, Lord Fraser of Lovat, granduncle of the tenth lord. This judgment proceeded on the charter of 1539, and though pronounced by an incompetent court, was held to be right. To prevent an appeal, a compromise was made, by which Hugh Mackenzie ceded to Simon, Lord Lovat, for a valuable consideration, his pretensions to the honours, and his right to the estates, after his father’s death.

      Thomas Fraser of Beaufort, by right 11th Lord Lovat, died at Dunvegan in Skye in May 1699. By his first wife, Sibylla, 4th daughter of John Macleod of Macleod, he had 14 children, 10 of whom died young. Simon, the eldest surviving son, was the celebrated Lord Lovat, beheaded in April 1747. the direct line failed on the death of the latter, in December 1815, and Thomas Alexander Fraser of Lovat, born in 1802, only son of Captain Alexander Fraser of Strichen, descended from Hon. Thomas Fraser, 2d son of the 6th Lord Fraser of Lovat, became the male representative of the family, and the 21st chief of the clan Fraser. On Nov. 3d, 1823, he was served nearest lawful male heir. A petition from him to the king, claiming succession to the title, was remitted to the House of Lords, and he was, January 28, 1837, created Baron Lovat of Lovat, in the peerage of the United Kingdom. By act of parliament passed in 1854, he was relieved from the effect of the attainder of the Scottish peerage, forfeited in 1747, and had the title adjudged to him by the House of Lords in 1857. He married the eldest daughter of 8th Lord Stafford; issue, with 3 daughter, 4 sons.

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