the mourning girl’s grave

The last Laird of Foyers was born in 1760. The estate still belonged to the family then because his grandfather had bequeathed it to his son, the last Laird’s father, before he joined the Jacobite Rising in 1745. It was therefore safe, most of the other rebel properties in Scotland had been confiscated by the crown.

Simon Fraser of Foyers grew up and married a Miss Grant of Glenmorriston, a woman from the other side of Loch Ness. The couple had one daughter they loved and cherished above anything. Her name was Jane and she was engaged to be married to her cousin on her mother’s side of the family, another Grant of Glenmorriston.

Graveyards of Scotland Foyers Glenmorriston Jane Fraser memorial

The girl would often walk to through the fields south of Foyers to a wooded spot on the banks of Loch Ness where she could see the other side of the Loch and maybe catch a glimpse of her lover. The spot bears the ominous name An Creagan Dubh, the small dark peak.

Graveyards of Scotland Foyers Glenmorriston Jane Fraser memorial

Sometimes Jane Fraser would visit her husband-to-be in Glenmorriston. One day they walked through the garden there and the young man climbed up a tree to get some apples. Quite likely for young Jane. But he fell and died of his injuries. The young woman never recovered from that shock. Her lover was gone.

Her parents sent her to Edinburgh to take her mind of things where she lived among the literary élite but she was not happy. They eventually called herback to Foyers and she probably fell ill on her way home. Was it the winter weather or the psychological pressures, a flu or a depression? She was to marry another cousin, this time on her father’s side of the family, the Fraser of Balnain. The couple got betrothed in 1817, Jane died only a few months later.

The unhappy Jane Fraser was described as a very sweet and caring character. Her life was short and unhappy. Her parents had her buried on the very sport where she loved to sit and look across the Loch towards Glenmorriston.

Graveyards of Scotland Foyers Glenmorriston Jane Fraser memorial

Twenty-five years later both here parents were buried at her side. Her father Simon Fraser did not want to be interred with all the other Frasers in Boleskin graveyard. The last Laird of Foyers wanted to be with his daughter. His estate went to his brother-in-law on the other side of the Loch, to the Grants of Glenmorriston.

Liked the read? There’s more here...

Scotland is a country full of history, stories and secrets. Often, the three cannot be separated. That is what makes this country so wonderful and unique. The stories of this book have been discovered and gathered for Erkenbach’s blog, Graveyards of Scotland, over many years. 

Her main sources were historical travel guides from the 18th and 19th centuries, where the finds were scary, beautiful, funny, and sometimes, cruel.This unusual approach to a country’s history has produced amazing results. You don’t have to share the author’s passion for cemeteries to enjoy this book; only a small number of the stories in this collection take place in graveyards, though they do all end in them, so perhaps it helps.

The fairy hill in Inverness, a nitrate murder on Shetland, a family of left-handers, wolves, Robert the Bruce and William Wallace shown in a new light, the secret bay of the writer Gavin Maxwell, a murdering poet and so many things you didn’t know about Scotland, its clans and its history.

sources and further reading:

canmore.org.uk

women of Scotland.org.uk

Neil Fraser-Tytler: Tales from Loch Ness’ East. 1920s

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