Sir Simon de Fraser, IV

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Sir Simon de Fraser, IV

Also Known As: "11799", "Fraser"
Birthdate: (45)
Birthplace: Oliver Castle,Tweedmuir,Peebleshire,Scotland
Death: circa 1291 (37-53)
London, Middlesex, England (Beheaded)
Immediate Family:

Son of Simon Fraser and Grizzle Flava
Husband of Beatrix Fraser; Beatrix le Chen and Maria Fraser
Father of Simon Fraser, of Brotherton; Sir Simon Fraser of Brotherton, Sheriff of Kincardine; Margaret de la Hay, of Oliver Castle and nn Partner of Thomas de Somerville
Brother of Andrew Fraser

Managed by: James Fred Patin, Jr.
Last Updated:

About Sir Simon de Fraser, IV

Sir Simon Fraser, the gallant patriot, and the friend and companion of Wallace, who was executed at London by Edward I., with circumstances of shocking barbarity. By this marriage the Hays obtained the valuable barony of Neidpath, and other lands on Tweedside, which remained in their possession until the year 1686.

Sir Simon Fraser of Oliver and Neidpath, Knight Banneret fought in the Wars of Scottish Independence.

Early life

Simon Fraser was born in Peebleshire (now Tweeddale), where the Clan Fraser was dominant and held power as the Lords of Oliver Castle.

Wars of Independence

For a time he fought alongside Andrew Moray, and after that man's death, William Wallace. He led the Scottish victory at the Battle of Roslin alongside John III Comyn, Lord of Badenoch (also known as "Red Comyn"). Consequently the English King, Edward I, marched north through Stirling taking Perth. As Edward approached Dunfermline, the Bishop of St Andrews and the bishop of Glasgow along with Red Comyn met his army and submitted. Simon refused to swear fealty to the English King and did not attend. This defiance would later lead to his execution.

In 1304, Fraser fought with William Wallace at Happrew and was defeated.

Later Fraser fought for King Robert I of Scotland. He escaped from the King's defeat at the Battle of Methven, but was captured in 1306 at a subsequent engagement at Kirkencliff near Stirling by Sir Thomas de Multon and Sir John Jose. Fraser was sent to London, and hanged, drawn and quartered in September 1306. His head was impaled on a spike on London Bridge, as were those of his brother, John Fraser, and William Wallace.


Sir Simon Fraser of Oliver acquired the Bisset Lands around Beauly when he won the hand of its heiress, a young Bissett. King Alexander III granted the right of the "Lordship of Loveth, vulgo Morich," in the Aird, in 1253, and the corresponding lands, to Simon Fraser of Lovat, either his son or cousin, from whom the Clan Fraser claims descent. Sir Simon held other lands in Kincardineshire, which were given to his eldest son (or cousin), Sir Alexander Fraser of Cowie. It is from Alexander that the Frasers of Philorth descend. The next century in 1336, Thomas Fraser of the Frasers of Muchalls, gained the estates of Stonywood and Muchalls in Kincardineshire, and soon erected a towerhouse stronghold overlooking the North Sea; it is not clear whether this towerhouse was an expansion of an earlier structure on the site. This towerhouse was further greatly expanded in the early 17th century, and became known as Muchalls Castle.


History An early castle was probably built here by Simon Fraser of Oliver Castle between 1263 and 1266, while he held the office of High Sheriff of Tweeddale.The barony of Neidpath was acquired by the Hay family, through marriage to the Fraser heiress in the early 14th century. Sir William de Haya (d.c.1390) probably built the present castle in the late 14th century. It was held by them until the 17th century, although Sir William's grandson, Sir William Hay, married the daughter and heiress of Sir Hugh Gifford of Yester, acquiring Yester Castle, which became the principal family seat, although Neidpath continued to be used. It was visited by Mary, Queen of Scots in 1563,[citation needed] and by her son James VI in 1587

In 1645, Neidpath was garrisoned against the Royalist forces of James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose, although the following year, John Hay of Yester joined the King's party, and was created 1st Earl of Tweeddale by King Charles II. During Oliver Cromwell's invasion of Scotland in 1650, Neidpath was attacked. Mike Salter states that the castle was surrendered without a fight, although other sources suggest that it required the longest assault on any stronghold south of the River Forth to force it to surrender. James Taylor, writing in 1887, states that the 13th-century tower was demolished by artillery during the siege During the 1660s, the 2nd Earl of Tweeddale remodelled the castle, and constructed outbuidings. The 2nd Earl was an agricultural "improver", who planted an avenue of yews, of which one side remains. However, he was declared bankrupt, and sold Neidpath to William Douglas, 1st Duke of Queensberry in 1686.

In 1693, Queensberry gave the castle to his second son William Douglas, later the 1st Earl of March. His son William, the 2nd Earl, made alterations to the castle in the 18th century. The 3rd Earl inherited the title and estates of the Duke of Queensberry in 1778, and subsequently let Neidpath to tenants. These included the philosopher and historian Adam Ferguson. The castle suffered neglect, however, and by 1790 the upper storeys of the wing had collapsed. William Wordsworth and Walter Scott both visited the castle in 1803. On the death of the Duke in 1810, the castle, along with the earldom of March, was inherited by the Earl of Wemyss, although the dukedom went to the Scotts of Buccleuch. Neidpath still belongs to Earl of Wemyss; the Earl's heir takes his courtesy title, Lord Neidpath, from it.


Entrance to Neidpath Castle Neidpath Castle is a tall L-plan tower house, one leg of the L being very short. It has rounded corners. The battlements are roofed and the sentry walk is a balustraded balcony. There are few windows, and two still have their iron bar protection. Inside, the basement and the first-floor hall are vaulted, and the hall is further divided by a wooden floor into two storeys. Other features include a pit dungeon, and some small exhibitions of artifacts found in the locale. There are remains of a partly walled garden. The archway is decorated with both the goats head emblem of the Hays and the strawberries of the Frasers.

Traditions The castle is said to be haunted by the ghost of Jean Douglas, referred to by Walter Scott in his poem as "the Maid of Neidpath", the youngest daughter of William Douglas, Earl of March. Forbidden to marry the son of the laird of Tushielaw, who was considered below her station, she dwined while her lover was sent away. When he returned she was so wasted that he did not recognise her, causing her to die of a broken heart. She is reputed to appear clad in a full-length brown dress with a large white collar

Recent history Neidpath has been used as a location for many films and television series, including Merlin: The Quest Begins starring Jason Connery and directed by David Winning, which was filmed in September and October 1997. Wikipedia Added by Janet Milburn 12/30/17 Sir Simon de Fraser, IV is my/our 23rd great grandfather.

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Sir Simon de Fraser, IV's Timeline

Oliver Castle,Tweedmuir,Peebleshire,Scotland
Age 20
Age 23
Tweedsmuir, Peeblesshire, Scotland
Age 23
Age 25
Oliver Castle, Tweedmuir, Peebles Shire, Scotland
Age 45
London, Middlesex, England