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Mini Biographies of Scots and Scots Descendants (F)
The Frasers of Hospitalfield

J.M. McBain provided a brief profile of this family in his book Eminent Arboathians [1897].

In 1653 James Fraser succeeded Simon Durie as minister of Arbroath and shortly before his marriage to Isobel Philip (d/o Dr Henry Philip), became proprietor of Hospitalfield. He continued as minister for sixteen years, but he does not seem to have got on smoothly with the civic authorities and a quarrel with the Provost prompted the Presbytery to submit the case to Archbishop Sharp at St Andrews, resulting in a temporary suspension of the exercise of his ministerial function. In the meantime, however, and evidently to save further trouble, James Fraser retired into private life, preferring rather to spend the remainder of his days as a country gentleman, than in bickering and fighting with the city fathers.

At Magus Muir in North-east Fife on 3rd May 1679, "betuext 12 and ane a clock in the efternoon" Dr James Sharp, Archbishop of St Andrew’s, Primate of all Scotland and Royal Chaplain to Charles II, was dragged from his coach and murdered by a band of Covenanters in the presence of his eldest daughter Isabella. Four years later his daughter Margaret (1664-1734) married William Fraser, 11th (now 12th) Lord Saltoun (1654-1714/5).

On his death, James Fraser was succeeded in the proprietorship of Hospitalfield and Kirkton by his son James, who in turn was succeeded by his eldest son John, but neither of these made up titles to the property. Captain David Fraser, son of John, having succeeded his father, made up a title to the estate in 1766 and 1767. He married Mary Barclay, and in 1759 had a son John, who in due course succeeded to the estate. When in 1793 war was declared by France against Britain, and an appeal was made to the country to arm in her defence, John Fraser of Hospitalfield offered his services, which were accepted, and in 1794, having locally raised a regiment of four or five companies, under the designation of the Angus Fencibles, he was appointed Major and assumed the command. During the four following years the regiment was stationed in different parts of the country. When Robert Burns died [21 Jul 1796] the Angus Fencibles were at Dumfries, and a detachment of the regiment took part in the funeral obsequies of the poet, the Major putting the first shovelful of earth on the coffin of the bard.

Major John Fraser married Elizabeth Perrot (d/o Francis Perrot of Hawkesbury Hall). Their daughter Elizabeth in 1843 married Patrick Allan (1813-1890) who had returned to Arbroath in 1841 after studying art in Edinburgh, Rome, Paris and London. One of his first commissions was a series of sketches for Cadell’s edition of the Waverley novels, adopting the name of Patrick Allan Fraser of Hospitalfield.

Marie Fraser  Clan Fraser Society of Canada

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