Baron Fraser of Lovat, near the eastern bank of the Beauly, Inverness-shire, where stood the tower and fort of Lovat founded in 1230, believed to have been conferred by James I., on Hugh Fraser of Lovat, grandson of Simon Fraser, the first of the Frasers of Lovat.
Simon Fraser fell at the battle of Halidonhill, 19 July 1333, married Margaret, an heir of the earl of Caithness, and acquired, in consequence, large possessions in the north. He is supposed to have been a branch of the Frasers of Oliver castle in the county of Peebles, as his son had possessions in that county. This son, Hugh Fraser of Lovat, had four sons; Alexander, who died unmarried; Hugh, created a lord of parliament, under the title of Lord Fraser of Lovat; John, ancestor of the Frasers of Knock in Ayrshire; and another son, ancestor of the Frasers of Foyers.
The first Lord Lovat, Hugh, was one of the hostages for James I., on his return to Scotland in 1424, and in 1431 he was appointed high sheriff of the county of Inverness.
The second Lord Lovat, son of 1st Lord Lovat, also named Hugh, was father of Thomas, third lord; Alexander, ancestor of the Frasers of Fanaline, the Frasers of Leadclune, baronets; and other families of the name.
The third Lord Lovat, Thomas, held the office of justiciary of the north in the reign of James IV., and died 21 October 1524. He had four sons; Thomas, master of Lovat, killed at Battle of Flodden, 9 September 1513, unmarried; Hugh, fourth Lord Lovat; Alexander, fifth lord; and William Fraser of Struy, ancestor of several families of the name in Inverness-shire.
The title descended in a direct line for nine sequential generations from 1458 until the death of the ninth Lord in 1696. He was succeeded by his great-uncle, the tenth Lord. In 1697 the latter's son, Simon Fraser, known as Simon "the Fox", kidnapped and forcefully married the late ninth Lord's widow, the former Lady Amelia Murray, only daughter of John Murray, 1st Marquess of Atholl. However, Lady Lovat's powerful family, the Murrays, were angered, and prosecuted Fraser, who fled the country. Fraser was convicted in absentia, attainted, and sentenced to death. In 1715, however, Fraser supported the Government against the Jacobite uprising and was rewarded by being pardoned for his crimes. In 1730, he won litigation seeking to confirm his title of Lord Lovat. In 1745, however, Lord Lovat participated in The '45 against the Crown and was therefore sentenced to death. He was beheaded on 9 April 1747, aged 80, on Tower Hill in London, becoming the last man to die in this manner. His titles, furthermore, were forfeit. (Fraser was also created Duke of Fraser, Marquess of Beaufort, Earl of Stratherrick and Upper Tarf, Viscount of the Aird and Strathglass and Lord Lovat and Beaulieu in the Jacobite Peerage of Scotland by James Francis Edward Stuart (titular King James III of England and VIII of Scotland) in 1740.)
His eldest son and namesake Simon Fraser became a General in the British Army. He obtained a full pardon but was not restored to the title. His younger brother Archibald Campbell Fraser was a Colonel in the Army and would have succeeded but for the attainder. On his death in 1815 the title was claimed by his kinsman Thomas Fraser, a descendant of Thomas Fraser, second son of the fourth Lord. In 1837 he was created Baron Lovat, of Lovat in the County of Inverness, in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. However, it was not until 1854 that the attainder of the eleventh Lord was reversed, and Thomas Fraser became the twelfth Lord Lovat. He was succeeded by his son, the thirteenth Lord, who served as Lord Lieutenant of Inverness. His eldest son, the fourteenth Baron, was a soldier and politician and notably held office as Under-Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs from 1926 to 1927. He was succeeded by his eldest son, the fifteenth Baron. He was a prominent soldier and distinguished himself during the Second World War. As of 2010[update] the titles are held by his grandson, the sixteenth Lord, who succeeded in 1994.
The Conservative politician Sir Hugh Fraser was the younger son of the fourteenth Lord. Another member of the family was Sir Ian Fraser, Chairman of Rolls-Royce Motors. He was the son of Hon. Alastair Thomas Joseph Fraser, younger son of the thirteenth Lord.
The Lordship of Lovat has for some time been linked to the Chiefship of Clan Fraser. The former family seat was Beaufort Castle in northern Scotland. The numbering of the Scottish Lordship used by Clan Fraser differs from the legal numbering in that it ignores the attainder of 1747—1854, with the result that the 16th Lord is termed by them "18th Lord Lovat".
Lords Lovat (1458); Barons Lovat (1837)
- Hugh Fraser, 1st Lord Lovat (d. c. 1460)
- Thomas Fraser, 2nd Lord Lovat (d. 1524)
- Hugh Fraser, 3rd Lord Lovat (d. 1544)
- Alexander Fraser, 4th Lord Lovat (d. 1558)
- Hugh Fraser, 5th Lord Lovat (1544–1577)
- Simon Fraser, 6th Lord Lovat (c. 1572–1633)
- Hugh Fraser, 7th Lord Lovat (d. 1646)
- Hugh Fraser, 8th Lord Lovat (1643–1672)
- Hugh Fraser, 9th Lord Lovat (1666–1696)
- Thomas Fraser, 10th Lord Lovat (1636–1699)
- Simon Fraser, 11th Lord Lovat (c. 1667–1747) (Lordship forfeited in 1747)
- Simon Fraser (d. 1782)
- Archibald Campbell Fraser (d. 1815)
- Thomas Alexander Fraser, 12th Lord Lovat, 1st Baron Lovat (1802–1875) (Lordship restored in 1854; Barony Lovat created in 1837)
- Simon Fraser, 13th Lord Lovat, 2nd Baron Lovat (1828–1887)
- Simon Joseph Fraser, 14th Lord Lovat, 3rd Baron Lovat (1871–1933)
- Brigadier Simon Christopher Joseph Fraser, 15th Lord Lovat, 4th Baron Lovat (1911–1995)
- Simon Fraser, 16th Lord Lovat, 5th Baron Lovat (b. 1977)
The Heir Presumptive is the present holder's younger brother: Hon. Jack Fraser, Master of Lovat (b. 1984)