James Graham Monttrose, marquis of, a Scotch soldier, born at the family estate of Auld Montrose in the autumn of 1612, hanged at Edinburgh, May 21, 1650. At the age of 14, on the death of his father, he became fifth earl of Montrose. He was educated at the university of St. Andrews, and travelled abroad for some years. Being ill received by Charles I. when he visited the court after his return, he joined the Covenanters. His name was put upon the tables of committees for the popular cause, Nov. 15, 1637, and he was prominent in preparing the covenant. On the renewal of the contest in 1640, the earl led the vanguard of the Scotch infantry, but he soon changed to the royalist side, and was imprisoned in Edinburgh castle by the Covenanters. After his release he remained for some time on his estates. In the spring of 1643 he joined Queen Henrietta Maria in England, but could not induce her to authorize energetic measures in Scotland, and returned home. The Covenanters vainly endeavored to win him back, and in the summer he again served with the king's army. Early in 1644 . he was created marquis of Montrose, and appointed the king's lieutenant general in Scotland. Working on the hatred of many of the highland clans for the Campbells, he raised a force there, and was joined by some Irish infantry.
He then commenced a series of brilliant operations, but circumstances prevented them from becoming useful to the king. On Sept. 1 he defeated the covenanting army under Lord Elcho at Tippermuir, and took Perth. On the 12th he destroyed another army in the battle of Aberdeen, and took that town. He ravaged Argyle's country, and defeated the Campbells at Inverlochy, Feb. 2, 1645. Receiving large accessions of force, he stormed Dundee, but abandoned it on the approach of the enemy. On May 8 he encountered Sir John Urrie at Auldearn, and won the most brilliant of his victories. The victory of Alford was won July 2, over Gen. Baillie; whom he again met and conquered at Kilsyth, Aug. 15. But the highlanders formed an unstable force, and Montrose found himself almost without men when he marched to the border. On the morning of Sept. 13 he was surprised at Philiphaugh by David Lesley, and his army routed. In July, 1646, he capitulated to Middleton, and on Sept. 3 he sailed for the continent. He was made an Austrian marshal, and authorized to raise regiments for Charles I. After the death of that monarch, Charles II. renewed his commission.
Having received some arms and subsidies from Denmark, Sweden, Holstein, and Hamburg, he landed in the Orkneys early in 1650, and proceeded thence to Scotland at the head of an ill-organized force of 1,500 men, but was speedily defeated and made prisoner. Sentences of excommunication and forfeiture had been passed upon him by the general assembly in 1644. He was executed with every species of indignity. His head was placed on the Tolbooth, and his limbs were sent to various parts of Scotland. After the restoration Charles II. reversed the sentence of forfeiture, and his remains were buried in state in St. Giles's cathedral. - See "Montrose and the Covenanters," by Mark Napier (2 vols. 8vo, London, 1838), and Grant's "Memoirs of the Marquis of Montrose" (Edinburgh, 1857).