Thomas Graham Soldier and Politician


Thomas Graham, 1st Baron Lynedoch: A soldier (Lieutenant General) who was born (1748) the son of the Laird of Balgowan (Thomas Graham). He raised a regiment of infantry (90th Light Infantry Regiment) which fought in the Napoleonic Wars – raised as the 90th of Foot (Perthshire Volunteers) in 1794, they became the 90th Light Infantry in 1815 – there is a monument to the 90th on the North Inch. Thomas Graham fought at Quiberon and Minorca (1798), Valetta (1800), Coruna and Walcheron (1809) and at Barossa (1811) – after this he became known as the Lion of Barossa – where he scored a victory over the French Army. He also took part in battles at Ciudad Rodrigo (1812), Badajoz and Salamanca. At Vitoria in 1813, Thomas Graham commanded the left wing of the British forces their assembled. After this his military exploits included the capture of Tolosa and San Sebastian. In Holland he was part of the victory at Merxem but failed at Bergen-op-Zoom in 1814. That same year he became Baron Lynedoch of Balgowan as a reward for his military victories. During the Peninsular War he rose to second in command in Portugal to the Duke of Wellington. It is to him that responsibility goes for the founding of the United Service Club in 1817. Graham married Mary Cathcart in 1774 – considered a beauty Gainsborough painted her four times; one of these paintings hangs in the National Gallery in Edinburgh. She died in 1791. Perth Museum & Art Gallery is home to an 1815 portrait of Thomas Graham. Graham was active politically and became Whig MP for the County of Perth in 1807. Amongst his economic interests were farming, planting, stock breeding and agriculture which were manifest on the Graham estate at Pitcairngreen. Dalcrue Farm is connected to Thomas Graham.┬áBoth Thomas Graham and his wife are buried beside Methven Church where a large mausoleum stands.

Two biographies of him have been written, that by Graham (2nd edition 1877) and Delavoye in 1880. See entry on Methven and Logiealmond Church as well as Dalcrue Farm. In May 0f 2006 a plaque was unveiled on the Lynedoch Obelisk on Murrayshall Hill in Scone. The stone column had been erected in 1853 to Lieutenant General Lynedoch but the original plaque had weathered badly.

“The 90th of Foot (Perthshire Volunteers) also known as the Greybreeks saw later combat during the Crimean War and during the Indian Mutiny. In 1881 amalgamation with the 26th of Foot (The Cameronians) created a new regiment, The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles). This regiment was disbanded in 1968.”