The origins of the surname 'Fraser' came from France as "de Fresel", "de Friselle", of Norman origin appearing in the 12th century. Then they held land in East Lothian followed by Aberdeen shire and Kincardineshire but though marriage acquired the Bisset lands round Beauly Inverness-shire. The latter was granted by Alexander III (1249-86) to Simon Fraser of Lovat. He fought against the English for William Wallace and Robert the Bruce whose life he saved in battle on three occasions which is the origin of the three crowns on the Fraser arms.
He was captured by Edward I and executed (1306). Whilst supporting the sovereigns of Scotland became involved in inter clan conflicts with the MacDonalds (Battle of the Shirts 1544) and the Gordons (Battles of Tillieangus and Craibstone in 1571). During the Wars of the Three Kingdoms 1644–1650, the Clan supported the Royalists finally fighting at the Battle of Worcester where the King’s army was defeated by Oliver Cromwell. In 1689 James I of England (VII of Scotland) was replaced by William and Mary. This was not fully accepted by most. Highlanders who saw James as the rightful King. Bonnie Dundee raised the Royal Standard near Dundee was joined by the Frasers with a somewhat reluctant Chief Thomas Fraser They were victorious at the Battle of Killiecrankie but defeated at the Battle of Dunkeld a month later.
In the 1715 Jacobite rising the clan was split. The chief Simon Fraser (the Fox) supported the British Government taking control of Inverness whilst in the 1745 rebellion he supported the Jacobites because he was granted land and titles by the James Francis Edward Stuart (Old Pretender). At Culloden the Frasers fought in the front line but not the ‘Fox’ who was away raising support. In the aftermath he was captured and executed in London 1747. He son was pardoned and raise two regiments that fought in North America in the Seven Years war and the war of Independence.
Today the Fraser diasporas is large and world wide but particularly in Canada and the USA. The chief is Fraser of Lovat. Lady Saltoun was granted “Chief of the name and arms of the whole Clan Fraser” by the Lord Lyon in 1984. This does not make her Chief of the clan but head of the senior branch of the family.This tartan was first published in the Sobieski brothers's, Vestiarium Scoticum 1842
Choose from one of the Fraser Tartans listed below
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