"Law’s a corrupt power but one acceptable to men by reason of having arisen from men—it’s a way of getting on wi’ things, is the best ye can say for it."

"And not a mean thing to say for it, either," Fraser agreed. "The law’s a necessary evil—we canna be doing without it—but do ye not think it a poor substitute for conscience?"

Brian Fraser (also known as "Brian Dubh") was husband to Ellen and father of Jamie and Jenny. He died a few years before Jamie met Claire.

Personal History

Brian was born out of wedlock to Simon Fraser, Lord Lovat, and Davina Porter, one of the maids at Castle Downie. In 1715, Brian met and eloped with Ellen MacKenzie during the Great Gathering, which had been called to choose Jacob MacKenzie's successor. They hid out in a cottage on the edge of the Fraser lands until Ellen was obviously pregnant, forcing her brothers to accept their union. Brian's father, Lord Lovat, did not approve of his choice of bride. He tried to stop the marriage by claiming that Brian did not father Ellen's child, and when that didn't work, he broke off all contact with Brian.

By 1716, Brian and Ellen had moved into Lallybroch a week before their first child William was born. Three years later they welcomed a daughter, Janet, followed two years later by another son James.

In 1727 his eldest son, William, fell ill with smallpox and died from the disease. Nearly two years after the loss of William, Brian's wife Ellen passed during childbirth with their youngest son, Robert who was stillborn. Brian insisted that the child be baptized and then buried with Ellen.

In 1738, when Jamie left to go to university in France, Brian booked Jamie passage on a ship that sails from the harbor at Beauly, close to Lord Lovat's lands. Lord Lovat had not spoken to his son Brian since Brian married Ellen, and he had never seen any of Brian's children. Lord Lovat arrived just as Jamie was about to board the ship, and watched him go. Not a word was spoken between them, and Brian and Lord Lovat departed riding 20 yards apart with neither acknowledging that the other was there.

In 1740 Captain Jonathan Randall's soldiers ransacked Lallybroch while Brian was away at a funeral. Jamie was arrested while trying to defend Jenny and was taken to Fort William, where he was brutally flogged by Jack Randall. Brian witnessed Jamie's second flogging and thought that Jamie had been killed. He suffered an apoplexy and collapsed. He was taken back to Lallybroch but died a few days later.

Events of the Novels

Written in My Own Heart's Blood

In October 1739, Brian and his daughter Jenny welcome Roger MacKenzie to their home. After learning from Roger than he and his kinsman are searching for his son Jeremiah MacKenzie, who has been kidnapped, Brian offers what help he can and checks with his tenants to see if anyone has seen the boy, or a strange man.

While Roger is away to check on his kinsman who had taken ill, Brian continues to keep his eyes and ears out for any word about Jeremiah. Upon Roger's return to Lallybroch, Brian Fraser presents him with a set of WWII dog tags, inscribed with the name of RAF pilot J. W. MacKenzie, which were left for Roger by a redcoat captain, Jonathan Randall. Brian rides with Roger to Fort William to learn more details about the dog tags.

In December, Brian believes that he has seen the ghosts of his beloved wife, Ellen, and their eldest son William. In reality, he has seen his granddaughter Brianna and his great-grandson Jem, who are both redheads and strongly resemble the MacKenzies of Leoch, just as Ellen and William did.


When Roger seeks Brian's help in 1739, he is a kind and sympathetic man, with an interest music. Jamie remembers him as tough but fair.

Physical Appearance

He is described as having hair like a black silkie and eyes like a cat.[3] His eyes are a dark hazel. He is tall, and has a wide mouth, with a square jaw and broad brow.



  • Brian is of unknown origin, but is possibly related to the old Celtic element bre meaning "hill", or by extension "high, noble".[4]
  • Robert is from the Germanic name Hrodebert meaning "bright fame", derived from the Germanic elements hrod "fame" and beraht "bright".[5]
  • David is from the Hebrew name דָּוִד (Dawid), which was probably derived from Hebrew דוד (dwd) meaning "beloved".[6]
  • Fraser may be derived from Fredarius, Fresel or Freseau. The earliest recorded versions of the name, from the 12th century, are de Fresel, de Friselle and de Freseliere, which appear to be Norman.[7] Another suggestion is that the Frasers were a tribe in Roman Gaul, whose badge was a strawberry plant.[8]


  • Brian's mother, Davina Porter, was named as a nod to the narrator of the unabridged Outlander audiobooks.[9]
  • The tombstone for Brian Fraser's grave is shown in the Lallybroch (Episode) inscribed with a Gaelic translation of Song of Solomon 4:6: Gus am bris an là, agus an teich na sgàilean. (Until the day break, and the shadows flee away).[10][11]

TV Series

Main article: Outlander (TV series)

English actor Andrew Whipp portrays Brian Fraser in the STARZ Outlander television series.


Season One



  1. Revealed in the episode Lallybroch (Episode) on the TV series. Not yet confirmed in the books.
  2. A son that died either at birth or shortly after. Name mentioned in Chapter 21 of An Echo in the Bone. Full name given in Written in My Own Heart's Blood.
  3. Outlander, chapter 24
  4. Behind the Name: Brian - accessed 12 May 2016
  5. Behind the Name: Robert - accessed 12 May 2016
  6. behind the Name: David - accessed 12 May 2016
  7. House of Names: Fraser – accessed 19 May 2015
  8. Way, George and Squire, Romily. Collins Scottish Clan & Family Encyclopedia. (Foreword by The Rt Hon. The Earl of Elgin KT, Convenor, The Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs). Published in 1994. Pages 142 - 143.
  9. Gabaldon, Diana. "Planning when to listen to audio book." MSG: 61224.58. Diana Gabaldon. Books and Writers Community. Compuserve. Published 8 November 2008. Accessed 1 December 2017. 
  10. "Dan Sholaimh [Song of Solomon]." |"Dan Sholaimh [Song of Solomon]." Leabhraichean an t-Seann Tiomnaidh. (Followed by) Tiomnadh Nuadh. 1827. Accessed 26 April 2015.
  11. Song of Solomon 4:6, King James Version. Accessed 26 April 2015.