'Fraser, James (1634–1709)’

Research output: Other contribution


Scottish Episcopal clergyman and traveller, was, according to his own account, born on 1 January 1634, almost certainly in Kirkhill, 7 miles to the west of Inverness (Fraser, Chronicles, 268). He was one of twenty-four children of the Revd William Fraser (d. 1660), of Phopachy, and his wife, Alison Fraser. He was educated at Inverness grammar school and, between 1651 and 1655, at King's College, Aberdeen. On leaving the university, Fraser returned to Inverness from where he began a journey that would change the course of his life. His desire to travel was motivated, as he later wrote, by a conviction that Scotland could never give him access to ‘all the world’, and that Britain comprised ‘an Island … divided from parts of the world’ whose people were ‘lost and oft in need of forrein travels’ (Fraser, Triennial Travels, 1, fol. 1). In June 1657 he obtained a passport that enabled him to embark on a ‘grand tour’ of a kind and scale unique for a Scottish highlander of the period.
Original languageEnglish
TypeBiographical article
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages2
Place of PublicationOxford
VolumeOxford Dictionary of National Biography
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Oct 2015


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