Graham, John (1775/6–1844), clergyman and writer, was born in Co. Fermanagh or Co. Longford, son of James Graham, gentleman. John, most likely a younger son, was educated by a Mr Robinson, and entered TCD in 1794, graduating BA (1798) and MA (1815). While in college, he joined (1797) the Orange Society and the TCD yeomanry. In August 1798 he went to Killala to be ordained, but instead joined a troop of dragoons, and on 8 September 1798 was present at the battle of Ballinamuck, Co. Longford, against the French force under Jean Joseph Amable Humbert (qv); afterwards he counted 700 corpses on the field, most of them Irishmen who had joined the French. In February 1799 he was finally ordained in the chapel of TCD by the bishop of Clonfert, and became a curate in Kilrush, Co. Clare. There he met his future wife, Elizabeth E. Johnston, youngest daughter of William Johnston of Carrigaholt Castle, Co. Clare. He was curate in Pomeroy (1800), Maghera, Co. Londonderry (1809), Tamlaght O'Crilly Lower (1815), Clonleigh (1820), and on 27 April 1824 he was installed as rector of Tamlaghtard (Magilligan), Co. Londonderry.
It is said that he had been impressed by the centenary celebrations of the siege of Derry in 1788, and presumably his experiences in 1798 confirmed him in his political views; he was a strong supporter of the protestant interest, and equally strongly opposed to ‘popery’. His views are apparent in verses on Orange topics, which were popular in his own day; they appeared in several anthologies and periodicals, sometimes signed ‘An Apprentice Boy’. He is said to have written witty parodies of all of Thomas Moore's Irish melodies. Graham wrote Annals of Ireland, ecclesiastical, civil and military (1819), and Derriana (1823), an account of the siege of Derry based on contemporary journals. Some of his own poems, originally included in Derriana, were published separately (1829). His History of Ireland 1689–91 appeared in 1839 and Ireland preserved . . . in 1841. The latter has valuable notes and includes a reprint of Robert Ashton's (qv) popular Battle of Aughrim; it draws on contemporary accounts, an anonymous prose drama, and an anonymous verse narrative.
Graham and his wife had eight children, including two sons who became clergymen. He died 6 March 1844 and was buried in Tamlaghtard graveyard; his wife died 7 March 1845.