Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Fraser, Alexander (d.1332)

FRASER, Sir ALEXANDER (d. 1332), great chamberlain of Scotland, was the eldest son of Sir Andrew Fraser, who was sheriff of Stirling in 1293. His grandfather was Sir Richard Fraser of Touchfraser in Stirlingshire, and to him he succeeded in these and other lands. In 1296 his father was carried prisoner into England, and required to reside south of the river Trent. His family accompanied him thither, and as Edward I insisted on the Scottish barons sending their sons to his court, it is probable that Fraser spent some portion of his youth there. He, however, espoused the cause of Scottish independence, and, having left England, attached himself to Robert Bruce, with whom he fought at Methven in 1306. Bruce being defeated Fraser was led captive from the field, but he succeeded in escaping, and after Bruce had resumed the campaign he rejoined him with his friends and vassals at the Mounth in the Mearns, and aided him in inflicting the crushing defeat on his enemies, the Comyns, known as the ‘harrying of Buchan.’ He was also present at the battle of Bannockburn, on the eve of which he received the honour of knighthood. Shortly afterwards Fraser married a sister of King Robert Bruce, Lady Mary Bruce, who for four years was imprisoned by Edward I in a cage in the castle of Roxburgh. She was previously married to Sir Neil Campbell, who died in or about 1315. Fraser took a prominent place among the Scottish barons in the events of his time, and in 1319 was appointed lord chamberlain of Scotland. He was one of the barons who in 1320 sent the letter to the pope asserting the national independence of Scotland, as a reply to the efforts which were made by the English court to enlist the Roman see in their attempts to secure the subjection of the Scots. His seal is still appended to the document, which is preserved in the General Register House, Edinburgh. Fraser continued to hold the office of chamberlain until 1326. In recognition of his services he received large grants of lands from Bruce, including the lands of Panbride, Garvocks, Culpressach, Aboyne, Cluny, and the thanage of Cowie, all in the counties of Forfar, Kincardine, and Aberdeen. Besides these he possessed large estates in other parts of Scotland, and was sheriff of Stirling and also of the Mearns. After the death of Bruce he took an active part in the defence of the kingdom against the inroads of the English, and was slain at the battle of Dupplin on 12 Aug. 1332. His wife predeceased him in or before 1323, leaving two sons.

[Barbour's Bruce; Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, vol. i.; Robertson's Index; Fordun's Annalia, cap. cxlvi.; Wyntoun's Chronicle; Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, i. 99–118; Lord Saltoun's Frasers of Philorth (1879).]

H. P.