Thomas Graham

Thomas Graham raised the 90th Regiment of Foot, which later formed part of The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles).

Graham was born in 1748, and succeeded to the Balgowan estate on the death of his father in 1766. He was educated both at home, and later at Christ Church, Oxford.

He married the Honourable Mary Cathcart in 1774, a woman famed for her beauty. Mary suffered very bad health, and died in 1792. Her death is said to be the event that led Thomas Graham, at the age of 46, to change his life by raising a regiment.

On 10th February 1794, Graham received a commission as Lieutenant- Colonel of the new regiment. They would be known as the ‘90th Perthshire Volunteers’, and often referred to as the ‘Perthshire Greybreeks’ owing to the trousers they wore. Graham later became Colonel of the regiment.

Graham led the 90th on active service in Egypt, Malta, Canada and France. Graham was made a full General in 1821 and, in 1829, became Governor of Dumbarton Castle. Graham was rector of Glasgow University from 1813-1815, and, in May 1814, was made Baron Lynedoch of Balgowan.

Thomas Graham died in 1843, aged 95, and was buried alongside Mary.

Thomas Graham portrait magnify
Thomas Graham, Lord Lynedoch, by Joyce Aris

Thomas Graham, Lord Lynedoch, by Joyce Aris after a miniature in the Southill Park Collection by Richard Cosway. This painting hung in the Officers’ Mess of the 1st Battalion The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles), in Hamilton, for many years.

Mrs Mary Graham portrait magnify
Mrs Mary Graham

The Honourable Mrs Mary Graham, after the painting by Thomas Gainsborough.