The man who set the town on fire!

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The man who plundered Dundee and burned most of Brechin in 1645, James Graham, Marquis of Montrose, is nevertheless held in high esteem particularly in the burgh of Montrose where a few years ago a statue was raised in his honour.

The Marquis, who was initially a supporter of the Covenant before becoming a champion of the royalist cause, was an outstanding general who, unfortunately, in 1650 was executed by his former allies for treason.

On Tuesday, March 24, he will be the subject of Mary Liddiard’s talk, the third in a season of presentations produced by The Friends of Brechin Town House Museum.

However, Mary, a retired teacher, will be looking at the personality of the man rather than at his military skills.

Her talk will begin at 2 p.m. in Brechin Town House Museum and is open to the public. Admission is free and light refreshments will be available.

* The execution of Graham was marked by the poet William McGonagall, and the flavour of his effort may be judged by these mercifully brief extracts:

After partaking of a hearty breakfast, he commenced his toilet,

Which, in his greatest trouble, he seldom did forget.

And while in the act of combing his hair,

He was visited by the Clerk Register, who made him stare,

When he told him he shouldn’t be so particular with his head,

For in a few hours he would be dead;

But Montrose replied, While my head is my own I’ll dress it at my ease,

And tomorrow, when it becomes yours, treat it as you please.