John Graham, Laird of Claverhouse and 1st Viscount of Dundee, was regarded as "Bonnie Dundee" by his Jacobite supporters and "Bluidy (Bloody) Clavers" by his enemies. He reputedly saved the life of William of Orange while fighting on the continent but ended up regretting this when he became one of the few Scottish nobles who remained loyal to James VII of Scotland (James II of England) when William landed in England at the beginning what is now known as the Glorious Revolution.
On July 27th 1689, he commanded the Jacobite rebels at the Battle of Killiecrankie and while the Jacobites won the day, amongst their casualties was ‘Bonnie Dundee’, mortally wounded by a musket ball.
A short distance north of the village of Killiecrankie there is a standing stone in a field still visible from the road. This is known as ‘Claverhouse's Stone’, and tradition relates that the wounded viscount was sitting against it when he died. While he probably died from a shot in the armpit his armour, preserved at Blair Castle, is shot clean through the middle of the chest. An armpit wound wasn’t a very noble cause of death so the Duke of Atholl had his ghillie shoot the hole, though he clearly aimed from inside the breastplate.
‘Bonnie Dundee’ was buried in the vault underneath St Bride's Kirk at Old Blair 3 days after his death. The present building dates from the 16th century and is now roofless and preserved as an ancient monument.
More than a century after his death, Dundee was immortalised in a poem by Walter Scott which was later adapted into a song. This song has been used as a regimental march by several Scottish regiments in the British Army and was adapted by Confederate troops in the American Civil War.