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clan_colquhoun.svg John Colquhoun
XVI Lord of Colquhoun, XVIII Lord of Luss
I Baronet of Nova Scotia

1596 - 1650

FACTS AT A GLANCE
BORN: 02 FEB 1596
         Dumbarton, Dumbartonshire, Scotland
MARRIED 1: Lilias GRAHAM
         06 JUL 1620
MARRIED 2: Katherine GRAHAM
         1632
DIED: 1650


John Colquhoun of the Clan Colquhoun was born in Dumbarton, Scotland in 1596, the eldest son of Sir Alexander Colquhoun. His father, for reasons not apparent, gave him properties and their rents beginning as early as January 3rd, 1602, at which time he would have been only 6 years old. King James granted him a charter of the lands of Auchintorly and Dunnerbuck only a month later.

Soon after the death of his father in 1617, John began traveling abroad. Letters place him in France toward the end of 1617 and in Heidelberg in June 1619. He returned to Scotland prior to the next summer to marry Lilias Graham, the eldest daughter of the Great Montrose, which occurred on July 6th, 1620. She bore him 3 sons and 3 daughters between 1621 and 1630.

John was a member of the Scottish Parliament that opened June 1st, 1621, which is noted for ratifying the Five Articles of the General Assembly of the Church and on August 30th, 1625, John Colquhoun was made the 1st Baronet of Nova Scotia by the King.

John became infatuated with Katherine Graham, his wife's pretty sister, sometime prior to 1632 because it was in September of that year that they suddenly eloped. Humiliated by the abandonment of one sister (Lilias) and the 'abduction' of another (Katherine), the Laird Montrose uses his favor with the king have John Colquhoun charged with Incest and Malfeasance (Sorcery). Intimate relations with the brother or sister of your spouce was considered Incest under Scotish law and the charge of Sorcery implied that the Lady Katherine would never have run off unless she had been enchanted, thus keeping the dignity and honor of the Graham family intact. Both Incest and Sorcery were capital offenses punishable by death.

When John fails to appear by January 11th, 1633, he was declared a fugitive. He was excommunicated from the church and by order of the crown forfeited his title, estate and rents; which were assigned to Sir Robert Spot, the first and last Viscount of Belhaven. John Colquhoun's brother Humphrey was able to re-purchase these properties (on November 20th, 1633) before Sir Robert was able to exercise control of them. John and Katherine were in London during this time.

There are three plausible reasons why Sir John and the Lady Katherine would have decided to elope in 1632. They could have been so infatuated with each other that John was willing to give up his land, titles, reputation and family (and she hers). Other accounts suggest that one of their romantic indescressions may have been observed and they believed they were about to be publically exposed. Or finally, the Lady Katherine may have become pregnant with John's child.

William Colquhoun (1633-1675) claimed in his later years that he was the son of Sir John Colquhoun. While there are no official records to prove this relationship, William's birth occurs not long after John and Katherine's elopement and Sir John would have had motive to keep the existance of any child he had with Katherine a secret since such offspring could have been used as proof of his 'incest' with Katherine. It should be noted that William is not a name used by the Colquhouns, but is common within the Graham family.

In April of 1647, John's brothers ask the Scottish Presbytery of Dumbarton to rescind the excommunication suffered by John. By this time the church and state had become one and the enemies of Laird Montrose had risen to power. John's confession, which occured on May 11th, contained many tears and much regret but he declined to confess any specific wrongdoing with the Lady Katherine until the conditions of his estate had been settled. While there are conflicting reports of whether John was allowed to rejoin the church, it does not appear that the church nor the state had any appetite for persecuting him further. The following year, John sees his titles, estates and rents, which had been held by his brother Humphrey during his absence, passed on to his eldest son John (also known as the Black Cock of the West) who then becomes the next Laird of Colquhoun and Luss. John never makes his promised confessions regarding his conduct with the Lady Katherine or the lost years, choosing instead to remain mute on the subject.

Sir John Colquhoun dies sometime between February 1649 and May 1650. His burial place is not known.


WIVES of John COLQUHOUN
   1. Lilias GRAHAM

        1596-1650
   2. Katherine GRAHAM

PARENTS of John COLQUHOUN:
    Sir Alexander COLQUHOUN

     1573-1617
    Margaret Helen BUCHANAN
     1576-

CHILDREN of John COLQUHOUN and Lilias GRAHAM:
   1. Jean COLQUHOUN
        1622-
   2. John COLQUHOUN
        1622-1676
   3. Lilias COLQUHOUN
        1624-
   4. James COLQUHOUN
        1625-1688
   5. Katherine COLQUHOUN
        1628-
   6. Alexander COLQUHOUN
        1630-

CHILDREN of John COLQUHOUN and Katherine GRAHAM:
   ?. William COLQUHOUN
        1633-1675



COLQUHOUN FAMILY HOMEPAGE


References:
  Montrose Sisters: an account, by Phinella Henderson
  The Clan Colquhoun Journal, Vol. 2, Nbr. 2
        "Sir John Colquhoun of Luss - Necromancer?", byJames Pearson
  The Clan Colquhoun Journal, Vol. 5, Nbr. 3
        "Who was William Cahoon?", The United Kingdom Society
  Vicissitudes of Families, Third Series,
        "A Tale of Magic on Lochlomond, A.D. 1631", by Sir Bernard Burke
  An Examination into the Parentage of William Cahoon, by Gary D. Calder