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Amelia Volume 1 Chapter 12




The Reformation

[page 126}
DURING the early years of Queen Mary, internal divisions and the dread of English invasions, entirely occupied the Government, therefore little is heard of the Highlands in the Public Records except the mention of a few Chiefs at the Battle of Pinkie.

The Reformation, which attained its recognition in 1560, had little effect amongst the distant mountains, where the usual feuds continued to prevail unchecked till after the return of the young Queen, the Dauphin’s widow, from France in August 1561.

Soon afterwards the Queen’s attention seems to have been directed to the conflicts in the North, as a series of proclamations shortly appear. The Queen’s marriage with Lord Darnley took place on the 27th July 1565. On the 19th June 1566 the young Prince was born, and, on his mother’s forced resignation, he was, in 1567, crowned King of Scotland as James VI.

The following year the perplexed Queen took the fatal step of trusting herself to the mercy of her cousin, Queen Elizabeth of England, who caused her, after a lingering captivity, to be executed at Fotheringay Castle in Northamptonshire, 8th Feb. 1587.

It has been related in Chapter IX. that Duncan Ladosach and two of his sons perished in June 1552. This slaughter seems to have dismayed and disorganised the Clan, for several Bands of Manrent with Sir Colin Campbell were soon afterwards made, doubtless with the object of obtaining a temporary respite from persecution.

Band of the McOlcallums from the “Black Book of Taymouth”:-
“At the Yle of Loch Tay the thrid day of August 1552. William McOlcallum in Rannocht, Malcum his son, and Donald Roy McOlchallum Glas bindis and oblisses thame thair airis barnis, and posterite to be. . . afald seruantis to Colyne Campbell of Glenurquhay and to his airis maill quhom. . . thai haif electit and chosyn for thair [page 127} cheiffis and masteris, renunciand McGregour thair auld chief and all utheris in the contra, the authorite alanerlie except. and that because the said Colyne hes deliuerit to thame his letter of maintenians. . and als the saidis personis for thameselffis, thair airis, and successouris gevis thair calpis to the said Colyne and his airis conforme to the use thairof. . and gif it happens the saidis William, Malcum, or Donald to faill in the premissis to pay to the said Colyne and his airis the soume of ane hundreth pundis money within XV days eftir the faill be triiet and maid manifest. . and heirto the foirsaidis personis ar bundin. . . and sworn uoun the holy evangellis. . . presentibus Alexandro Menzies de Rannocht, Colyne Campbell filio Archibaldi Campbell de Glenlyoun, Patricio Campbell et Johnne Leche testibus vocatis.
“Willelmus Ramsaye Notarius.”

“1552. August 4. Malcum McAynmallicht (son of John Malloch) Donald his brother Duncane McNeill VcKewin (Ewin) William and Malcum McNeill VcEwin brothers to the said Duncane, renouncing McGregour their Chief, bind themselves to Colyne Campbell of Glenurquhay giving him their Calpes.” - B.B. of T.

“1552. August 21. Gregour McGregour son of the deceased Sir James McGregour Dean of Lismore binds himself to the same ‘taking thame for his chiefs in place of the Laird McGregour.” - B.B. of T.

“1552. Sep. 9. Donald Beg McAcrom Duncane and William his brothers duelling in the Bray of Weyme bind themselves to the same. ‘having overgiven the Laird McGregour and his heirs and successors.” - B.B. of T.

“1552. Dec. 21. Duncan McAindrew in. . . Duncane and Malcum his sons renounce the Laird McGregour and his heirs as their chief and choose the same. Dated before among other witnesses, William McOlcallum McGregour and John McYndoir.” - B.B. of T.

From the “Chartulary” :-
“1552 Nov. 24. Colin Campbell bought of Finlay McNab of Bowaine the lands (amongst others) of Ardchalzie Easter which had been in the hands of the McNabs for a long time previously. [1]  

“1554. May 9. ‘Gregourstone’ is mentioned in Charter by Queen Mary to John Creichtoun of Strathurd and Janet Ruthven daughter of William Lord Ruthven, Spouse of the said John, of the Tower, Place and Mains of Strathurd vic: Perthe as is Drumquhar then possessed by John Gregour Cokkar. - Mag. Sig, XXIX, 115.

[page 128}
“1555. May 2. William of Tullibardine ‘Plege for William Our McGregor and John McYnkeir (Lan Ciar)’ under penalty of a hundred marks each. - Records of High Court of Justiciary.

“1556-7. Feb. 1. Precept of a Charter of Confirmation of a Charter of Sale made by Janet Makgregour heretrix of the lands underwritten with consent of Malcolm McGillemichaell her spouse, to Colin Campbell of Glenurchay and his heirs male, of all and whole the 8 merk land of Kingart, lying in Stewartry of Strathearn and Shire of Perth. - Privy Seal.

“1557-58. Jan. 31. Preceptum legitimationes Gregorij McGregour et Dugall McGregour bastadorum filiorum naturalium Domini Jacobi McGregour (Sir James McGregor, Dean of Lismore) in communi forma &a apud Edinburgh ultimo Jan. - Privy Seal.

“1557-8 Feb. Menzies of that Ilk on account of the lawless and independent spirit of the MacGregor in Rannoch (as by him alleged) obtained an exemption from answering for these, under the seal and subscription of Mary of Guise Queen Regent. [2]  

“1558. Feb. 8. Death of Malcolm McNeill VcEwin at Lagfare in his own house. Pray for the soul of him who did good to God and man. . , . , . , Quhilk summer Schyr Dougal McGregour byggit (n)ew hous besyd the Kirk of Fortingall, samyn yer Schir Dougall got the sencellari. . , . . Lesmoyr fra Collin Campbell of Glenurchy. - Obituary.”

It may have been about this time that a terrible outrage on the Clan Laurane took place. Subsequently, in the year 1604, John McCoul Chere with other McGregors was tried for the slaughter of eighteen house-holders of the Clan Laurane [3]   (forty-six years syne or thereby), of which he was acquitted. It has also been alleged that Duncan Ladosach and his son Gregor were concerned in the raid, but as they were killed fifty-two years previous to this trial, the accusation does not coincide with the time supposed. There is a tradition that the immediate cause of provocation was that the McLauranes had cut the mouths of some horses belonging to the McGregors in Glen Dochart. The McLauranes, who claim to have been settled in Balquhidder since [page 129} the thirteenth century, exercised a privilege of being the first to enter the Church of Balquhidder at the Diets of Worship on Sundays. The McGregors shared this precedence, having in the fifteenth century stipulated, it is said, to be allowed to share the right, as a preliminary condition before they effectually assisted the McLauranes in a great fight with the Lenies. This right led eventually to a serious brawl inside the Church in 1532, when the vicar, Sir John McLaurane, was killed. (Taken from “Curious Episodes of Scottish History,” by Robert Fittis.)

“1559. March 2. Malcolm McCoule Keir appears as a witness in a Bond by the Clan Laurane dwelling in Balquhidder.

Sir Alexander Menzies having represented to the Queen Regent, Mary of Guise, in 1559, that he could not be answerable for the actions of the MacGregors in Rannoch, he received the following exemption :-
“Letter by Mary of Guise, Queen Regent of Scotland, exempting Alexander Menzies of that Ilk from finding caution for MacGregors his tenants in Rannoch, for seven years. 7th Feb. 1559.
“Regina. - We understanding that it is not within the power of Alexander Menzes of that Ilk to ansuer for the gud reule of the Clangregour inhabitantis of the Rannoch, and that our chozing the Erle of Ergyle and Coline Campell of Glenvrquhay hes the seruic of that clann, and that thai will do thare deligens to caus gud reule be kepit be the said clann, and for diuers vther resonable causis and considerationis moving ws, grantis and gevis licence to the said Alexander to set intak and assedatioun all and haill his tuenty-pund land of Rannock liand within the sherefdom of Perth, too the auld tenentis and inhabitantis thairof of the Clangregour for the space of sevin yeris; and will and grantis that he nor his airis sall nocht be haldyn to our derrest dochter, nor ws, to ansuer for thair gud reule during the said sevin yeirs, nor to enter thame to our lawes, our justice airis, nor justice courts for thair demeritis, nochtwithstanding the generall band maid be the lordis landit men of the said S. . . . our said derrest dochter and ws there upoun : the quhilks we dispens with hym be thir presentis a panis contenit thairin. Given under signet. Subscriuit with our hand at Edinburgh vii day of Fabruarm the zeir of God.
“MARIE R.”
- from the Charter Room of Castle Menzies.- “Red and White Book of Menzies.”

From “Chartulary” :-
“1559. March 9. Patrick McConachy YcCoull McGregour in Inwirzelly, John his [page 130} brother german, Patrick McAne McGregour in Dalmarky Johne Mane his brother german, and Malcum McCoule Kair McGregour dwelling in Balquihidder, bind themseves to render Colin Campbell faithful service when required, ay and quhill the said Colyne and his airis, stayk thame with sum rowmis or stedingis quhairby they may serve themsel upoune thair awin expensis and to give thame their Calps. - ‘Black Book of Taymouth.’

“1560. Feb. 16. John McAvyr Alexander McAlester McGregour VcNeill witness. - ‘Chartulary.’

“1561 April 17. Duncan McCoule Keir a witness at Strathfillan.

“ “ July 4. Gregour McAne and Patrik McOlane witnesses.

“1561. 14. Feb. St. Andrews. Charter of Few-farm of the lands of Dull by David Guthrie, Vicar of Dull and John Wyram, usufructuary thereof, with consent of the Lord James Commendator of St. Andrews, and of the Convent 113 in number in favour of John McGrigor. - ‘Red and White Book of Menzies.’

“1561. Augst. 24. Archibald Earl of Argyle addressed a missive from Achallader to Grigor MacGregor son and apparent heir of the late Alexander MacGregor of Glenstray narrating a grant of the superiority of the lands of Glenurchay with the islands called Elanewir and Elanduffeir, Elankilequhyrne and Elan bochtoliff, part of the lands of Auchynna with the island called Elanvoriche part of Kellan, Fernach, Inverynan, Craigbarnory, Sonnochan, Altbane and Allbre-Mnycht lying within his barony of Lochaw which were formerly hereditarily possessed by Colin Campbell and which he had resigned into the Earl’s hands as the representative of the King as Superior and which were now granted to Duncan Campbell his son and apparent heir. Amongst the witnesses is Johanne McCondoquhy Roy. - Excerpt from the Sheriff under 22d June 1584 in ‘Chartulary.’ (Translation and abridgment taken from Dr. Joseph Anderson’s note books.).

“1562 May 21. Allester McEwin Dow VcGregor slain by Patrik McAyn VcOlchallum alias McGregor Kyllejiese (Killiehassie) and buried at Foss. - Obituary.

“1562. Feb. a. Death of John Dow McCondoquhy VcGregor at Castle of Glenurquhay.

“1562. August 1. Bond by Johnne Dow McCouilaid in Braiklie at Kendlochtollive, Donald Dow Mak Couilaid and Makum McCouill Laid his brothers, to Collein Campbell of Glenurchy giving him their Calpes; signed at the Castle of Glenurquhay before these witnesses Greigour McKein Keeper of the Castle of Glenurquhay, Ewin McKein in Mourlaganmoir and John Makindovin in Portbane. - B. B. of T.”

[page 131}
It has been stated in Chapter X. that Sir Colin Campbell had made John McCondoquhy Keeper of the Castle of Glenurquhay in 1550; his son, Gregor MacIan, appears to have obtained the appointment in succession to his father, who died a few months previous to this date.

“Chartulary” :-
“1562-3 Jan. 12. Letter to Coling Campbell of Glenurquhair of the Escheit of Gregour MakGregour of Glenstray alias Laird Makgregour, Duncan MakGregour in Roro, Duncan Makandoy (Ian dhu) elder, Duncan Makandoy younger Patrik Makane McGillichallum glas, Ewin Makgregour chellych, Malcolme Makgregor alias Kendmoir and Duncan Oig alias Laddossoune [4]   for the slaughter of Tearloch (Charlie) Campbell. - Record of Privy Seal.

“1563. (Obituary). . . . . . Ane gud symmyr and gud harist, pece and rest excep the Lard of Glenurquhay, wyryth (wrath or warreth) aganis the Clan Gregor.”

Having obtained the escheit of so many of the ClanGregor, Sir Colin Campbell now endeavoured to turn it to the best advantage, and having a lease from Sir Alexander Menzies of part of the Loch Rannoch lands arranged to sublet them to MacDonald of Keppoch, to get their support against the MacGregors.
Contract between Glenurquhay and Cappycht (Keppoch) :-
“1563. April 25. At Ballocht. It is agreit betuix Colyne Campbell of Glenurquhay on that ane part and Rannald McRannald McConiglas off Cappicht on that uther part in maner following, the said Colyne havand of our Souerane Lady the gift of escheit of the Clangregour now being our Souerane Lady rebellis, of thair takis, rowmis, stedingis, gudis, and geir. And havand of the Lard of Weyme in lifrent the tuelf merkland of Rannoch on the west syde of the Watter of Erachtie, to haif sett in assedatioun to the said Rannald his airis maill, and subtenantis of nay hiear degre nor himself. . . . . . witht power to set the saidis landis to subtenantis of lawer degrie nor himself of ony surname (the Clangregour alanerlie except). . . . . during the gift of the takis of the said Colyne escheit, malis, and deweteis usit and wont conforme to the payment that McGregour suld haif maid to the Lard of Weyme. And efter the furthrinnin of the said Colyne lyfrent and takis, he and his airis sall do thair exact diligence of new takis and lyfrent upoun all the forsaidis landis, and thairefter mak [page 132} the said Rannald and his airis tytill thairof... and the said Colyne and his airis, sall defend the said Rannald his airis and subtenantis in the forsaidis landis..... For the quhilkis the said Rannald oblisses hym and his airis, freindis &a to be leill trew seruantis to the said Colyne &a and the said Rannald sall.... mak his principal residens thairupoun ay an quhill he may bring samyn to quietness for the commoun weill of the cuntre and sal nocht supper ony of the Clangregour to haif entres or intromissiounes of the forsaidis landis .... Atour the said Rannald and his airis forsaidis.....oblisses thame to .... persew at thair utermaist power samony of the Clangregour as ar now our Saurane Lady rebellis and apprehend and bring thame to the said Colyne and his airis to be punesit according to the lawis.”

The MacDonalds of Keppoch were not more famed for their docility than the MacGregors, and possibly they found the task of guarding the country uncongenial, for the following year Rannald McCouilglas of Cappicht renounced by contract his right to the 12 merkland of Rannocht. - “Black Book of Taymouth.”

“1563. May 6. Contract of manrent and protection between Collyne Campbell of Glenurquhay and John Oyg McAne Abricht of Glen cho providing that if he will not instantly serve against the ClanGregour his contract shall be void.”

From the “Black Book of Taymouth” :-
“1563 Nov. 17. Gregour McGregour of that Ilk obliges himself his kin servants, and dependants to do all the steid he may to Jhone Stewart apparent of the Appin, without exposing himself to hurt at my Lord Ergyle’s hand. subscribed at Ellan na mayn. witnesses Duncan MacGregor of Rorow Ewin McGregour and Duncan McAllaster VcEwin.”

Register of the Privy Council of Scotland. Queen Mary.
“Apud Striveling, XXIJ Septembris, anno, etc, (1563).
“The Quenis Majestie, understanaing that the Clangregour, being hir Hienes rebellis, and at hir horne for divers horrible attemptatis committit be thame hes nocht onlie massit thameselfis an greit cumpanyis, bot als hes drawin to thaim the maist part of the broken men of the hail cuntre, quhilkis at thair plesour birnis and slayis the pouer lieges of this realme, revis and takis thair gudis, sornis and oppreessis thame in sic sort that thai ar hable to lay waist the haill boundis quhair thai hant, and to bring the samyn to be inhabitable, without the hastier remeid be providit thairfoir [page 133} and knaiving that the saidis malefactouris for the maist part hantis and repairis within the boundis following, and that the noblemen underspecifiet quha ar principalis of the boundis undernamit, ar maist hable to expell the saidis evill doaris furth of thair boundis, or ellis gif thai be fundin within the samyn to apprehend and tak thame and bring thame to the justice or his Deputis to be punist for thair demeritis. Thairfoir ordainis the said noble men to expell and hald the saidis broken men furth of the bondis undernemmit in maner underspecifiet; that is to say, James Erle of Murray, furth of the boundis of Bramar, Badynoch, Lochquhabir, Bra of Murray, Strathnarne, and Stratherne, within the boundis of the Sherefdome of Inverness, Archibald Erle of Argyle, furth of the boundis of Argyle, Lorne, Levinax, and Menteith : Johne Erle of Athole, furth of the boundis of Athole, Strathardail Glensche, and Dunkeld. George Erle of Errole, furth of the boundis of Logiealmont; James Lord Ogilvie furth of the boundis of the Bra of Angus; Patrick Lord Ruthven, furth of the boundis of Strathbarne; David Lord Drummond furth of the boundis of Stratherne; Colyne Campbell of Glenurquhy, furth of the boundis of Braidalbane and Buchquhidder; and Johne Grant of Freuchy, furth of the boundis of Strathspey, Strathawn and Bra of Strathbogie. And to that effect grantis and comimittis to the saidis noble men and every ane of thame, within the boundis forsaidis, full power speciale mandiment, and charge to pass, serche, and seik the saidis rebellis, malefactouris, and oppressouris quhair evir thai may be apprehendit within the boundis abonespecifiet; and apprehend and tak thame and bring thame to the Justice or his Deputis, to be punist for thair demeritis; and to convocat and gadder oure Soverane Ladies liegis in cumpanyis and armyis; and to persew, follow, and invade the saidis tresspassouris, with fire and suerd and gif thai or any of thaim, happynnis to enter in houssis or strengthis, to lay assaige yhairto, and to raise fyre for recovering of the samyn gif neid be; and ordainis the gentilmen, induellars within the boundis specifiet upoun the command gevin to thame be ony of the saidis noble men, or utherwyise be lettres, assemble thair folkis togidder, and meit the saidis noble men ilkane within the boundis foirsaidis at sic place or places as salbe assignit to thame, and to remaine with the saidis noble men during the space thai salbe commandit. and als gevis power to the saidis noble men gif neid requiris to joine thair cumpanies togidder and pass fordwart in army or armies for persewing of the saidis evill doaris And gif any of thame happynnis to be slane or mutilat in the persewing or taking, the Quenis Majestie will and granteth that the saidis noble men, nor nane of hir Graces lieges being with thame, or ony of thame in cumpany, sall nocht be callit nor accusit thairfoir, nor incur ony skaith or danger thairthrow in thair persone, landis, or gudis in ony wyise in tyme cuming; and ordains, gif neid beis, speciale commissions to be gevin ta the saidis noble men and every ane of thame to the effect foirsaid, to be extendit in the maist ample forme, and the Clerkis of Chancellerie, to direct our commissions under the testimonial of the great seill to [page 134} every ane of the noble men above specifiet, to the effect foirsaid. And this present ordinance sal be sufficient warrand to thame to pass the saidid commissionis upoun, and siclyke ordainis the Lordis of Counsale to direct out lettres to charge oure Soverane Ladies liegis to ryise, concur assist and gang fordward with the saidis noble men in maner foirsaid, for accomplissing of the premissis apprehending or expelling of the saidis rebellis in maner abone specifiet, And that the samyn may be the mair suirlie done, ordainis the saidis noble men and baronis to cause in all the partis foirsaidis, the lieges thairof be gadderit togidder upoun the XX day of October nixt to cume, but forther delay; and to remain togidder every man within his boundis limitat as is befoir specifiet for the space of XX dayis next theireafter, to the effect that the saidis rebellis be expellit or apprehendit in maner abone mentiantat as thai will answer to the Quenis Majestie thairupoun; and under all hiest pane, charge and offence that thai, and ilkane of thame may committ and inrin againis hir Majestie in that part.”
“Apud Edinburgh, 8 Jan. 1563-64.
“( The preamble down to the words ‘bring the samyn to be inhabitable’ is the same as the last. The Proclamation continuing )
“The Quenis Majestie. . . . . . the maist part of the cause quhairof, is that in all partis quhair thai repair and hant, thai ar resett be the inhabitaris and induelleris and furnissit with vittallis and uther necessaris and in sik wyise fosterit and nurissit as gif thai wer the Quenis Majesties trew and faithfull subjects and nevir had committit cryme or offense in ony tyme bigane; quhair throw hir Hieness authorite be the saidis resettoris and furnisseris is sa contempnit that in ane maner it sal gif occasioun to hir trew lieges, quhilkes nevir myndit to mak ony brek, to becom manifest contempnaris, sornaris, thevis, oppressouris and rebellis, thinking thairby to leif idillie and wicketlie, and be furnist upoun uther trew mennis gudis.
“For remeid quhairof and stopping of the saidis rebellis to be forther furnissit be the Quenis Grace liegies in ony tyme cuming the Quenis Hienes givis, grantis and committis hir full, fre and plane power to hir lovit Coline Campbell of Glenurchy, to pass serche, &a (giving him a commission against the resetters during hir Majesties gade will and pleasure, &a.”

The Earl of Atholl [5]   objecting to the rights of search granted to Colin Campbell among his own tenants &a, made a protest of which the following was the result :-
“Apud Edinburgh, 10, Jan; 1563-64.
“In presence of the Quenis Majestie and Lordis of hir Secreit Counsale comperit Johne Erle of Atholl, and maid this offer underspecifüt, that is to say, Forasmeikle as [page 135} Colin Campbell of Glenurquhy hes impetrat ane commissioun of the Quenis Majestie for sercheing, seiking and apprehandeing of certain of the ClanGregour, and complices to thame, hir Graces Rebellis, and at hir horne, and; for inbringing of thame and resettaris of the saidis rebellis to the Justice to be punist for thair contemptioun and inobedience as the said commissioun beris; nochtwithstanding the quhilk, the said Earl, in presence of the Counsale forsaid, obliss him to ansuer for all sik personis duelland, within his boundis, rowmes and possessions, quhilkis he sall gif in writ to the said Lard of Glenurquhy, for ony attemptatis committit or to be commitit be thame, conforme to the ordinance maid be the Quenis Grace and hir Secreit Counsale thairupoun; the Quenis Majestie with advyse of the saidis Lordis hes thocht ressonable that ane exemptioun be granted to the said Erle, examand all and sindrie men tennentis, fewaris, servantis, vassallis, and occupiers of quhat sumevir landis and rowmes pertaining to him. or of quhome he hes dominioun and cure of, and of quhame and quhat landis he sall accept the burding be his said writing, to be gevin to the said Lard of Glenurquhy, that thai and ilk ane of thame, thair boundis landis, and possessionis shall be fre of the said commissioun, or any part thairof, grantit to the said Lard of Glenurquhay; and to the effect of the samyn sall na wyise strek upoune thame selfis, thair bodeis, landis, or gudis in ony wyise dischargeing alwayis the said Lard of Glenurchy and all uther officiaris or liegeis quhatsumevir, to attempt or presume ony thing contrair the saidis Erles landis, rowmes, tennentis and occupyaris thairof quhilkis he sall gif in bill as said is, thair gudis or geir, in ony wyise be vertew of the said commissioun, suspendand the effect thairof, and of thair offices in that part be the same exemptioun.”

With the object of starving out the dreaded Clan another proclamation follows :-
“Forasmekle as eftir divers slauchteris and utheris haynous and horrible crymes committit be Gregor McGregor alias Lard McGregour, [6]   Ewine McGregour, [7]   his brether, Duncan McGregor [8]   in Rora, Duncane McAnedoy McGregor, Duncan Oyg McGregor, [9]   Patrik McAne McHollonglas McColme, [10]   Duncane and Patrik McAne McHollonglas hes brether, Malcolme Cham McCandoquhy, Ewine McGillehelichy, Duncane McGillehellich his bruther, Williame McColchollum, Malcolme and George McColchollum his sonnis, and thair complices, to greit nowmer of personis; that [page 136} being callit to underlie the law thairfore, and to find cautioun to that effect in contempt of the Quenis Majestie, hir authoritie all ordour and justice, past to the horne, quhairat thai remainit thir twa yeris bigane with the mair. (Proclamation goes on to complain that I spite of the commissions and other measures taken, the Clan are still furnished with necessaries.) thairfore and to the effect that his leiges may be inexecusable of sik furnessing and mantenance of his rebellis, hir Grace ordinis lettres to be direct to hir messingeris in that part, chargeing thame to pass to the mercat croces of hir burrois of Perth, . . . . . . . and utheris places neidfull; and thair be open proclamatonn in hir Hienes name and autorite, command and charge all and sundrie hir lieges, that nane of thame tak upon hand to ressave, resset, mantane, nuriss, foster, provide or furniss, the saidis rebillis, or thair complices, in house, meit, drink, clething, armour, wappynneis, counsale or uther wayis; &a (under pain of being ‘punist with all rigour at the saidis particular Justice Courts’).”
“ Apud Perth, 18 die mensis Marchii, 1563-64.
“(after a preamble to the same effect as the preceding proclamations this continues) . . . . .
“For remeid quhairof, her Hienes hes gevin and grantit, and be the tennour heirof gevis and grantis and committis hir ful power generall and speciall command, express bidding, and charge to his traistie cousingis and counsalouris, Archibalde Earle of Ergyle Lord Campbell and Lorne, &c and Johne, Erle of Atholl Lord of Balveny &c, to convocat and assembill togidder all and sindry our Soverane ladies lieges dwelland within the bounds respective underwritten that is to say, the Erle of Ergyle within the boundis of the Sherefdomes of Ergyle, Tarbert, Dunbartane, Bute, the Stewartrie, Erledom and haill cuntre of Menteith, the landis and cuntreis of Braidalbyne, Buchquhidder, &c and samekill of the Sherefdome of Striviling as lyis be west Buchquhan; and the said Erle of Athole within the boundis of Badeynoch, Lochquhabir, Strathspey, Strathowin, Bray of Mar, Strathdone, Bray of Angus, and the haill sherefdome of Perth except Braidalbane, Buchquhidder and Menteith ‘ or any part of the saidis countreis, sa oft and at quhatsumevir place or places as he sall think convenient, and to pass serche seik, persew, and apprehend the saidis rebellis and malefactoris quhairevir thai can be apprehendit within the boundis abonewritten or farder as occasion sall occur, to be brocht to the Justice or his Deputis to be punist for thair demeritis, and falying thairof to persew thame until thai be expellit and put furth of the saidis boundis . . . . . . . .
“With power alswa to the said Erle to direct, chargis, and command mentis, to the inhabitantis of the cuntreis abone written, or quhairsumevir part or place thairof, for convening with him or sik personis as he sal happin to depute, upoun sic warning and at quhatsumevir place he sall think expedient, to pas forwart and to use the direction that salbe thocht maist convenient for resistence or persute of the saidis rebellis; [page 137} certifeing the personis swa to be warnit and chargeit be the said Erle or thame havand his power, within the saidis boundis and nocht passand forthwart to the frayis, or quhen the saidis rebellis resortis in thair boundis and shcawis nocht thair reddie service, and exact dilligence in thai behalfis to the contention of the said Erle or thame havand his power as said is, - that thai salbe repute and haldin as plane partakeris and assistaries with the saidis rebellis in thair rebellioun, and salbe callit and persewit thairfore at particular dyeties and puneist for the samyn, conforme to the lawis and consuetude of this realme and forder gewis power to the said Erle to use and exerce all and quhatsumevir uther thingis he sall think expedient for furthsetting of hir Majesties service and authorite in the said commissionn and in all thai doingis hir Hieness promettis to hald hand to him as aperentis hir of hir princelie honour, without ony contradictioun or revocation, nochtwithstanding the generalities heirof.’”

On the same day (18. March 1564) another order follows, after shortly recapitulating the commission, it continues :-
“Quilikis the saidis Erlis can nocht weill and convenientlie execut, without thais actionis, and the actionis of all sic personis dwelland within the boundis of thair present charge, as ar necessar for the present service dependand afoir the Lordis of Counsal Sessioun, be continewit, and delayit during the tyme thairof. Thair foir the Quenis Majestie be the avyise of the Lordis of hir Secreit Counsall ordainis all actionis dependand befoir the saidis Lordis of Counsall and Sessioun pertening to the saidis Erlis of Ergyle and Athole or to ony persoun or personis dwelland within the boundis abone specifiit respective quhom thai will testifie be thair writ to the saidis Lordis to be necessar for thair service, and to be actulie thairin and worthy of the privelege of this act to be continewit, supersedit, delayit, and na proces to be had thairin unto the xx day of Maii next to come, discharging the saidis Lordis of all proceeding in ony of the saidis actionis in the menetyme, eftir the sycht of ather of the saidis Erlis writtingis to be direct to thame, testifeand of the actioun and persoun in quhais favouris thai wryte.”

In consequence of the complaints made against Sir Colin for the manner in which his commission was executed amongst those who he was supposed to be protecting from the MacGregors, the following band was required :-

“Apud Perth XXIJ Marcii 1563-64. The quilkis day in presence of the Lordis of Secreit Counsall, compeirit Colin Campbell of Glenurquhy, and band and oblist him for himself, kin, friends, assistaris, and partakaris passand with him, or in his name and behalf, for persewt of the ClanGregor and utheris, the Quenis Majesties rebellis, [page 138} that thai nor nane of thame sould sorne or oppress our Soverane Ladies liegis dwelland within the boundis of Stratherne, or ony utheris partis of this realme, be ony maner of sort in bodiis or gudis in tyme cuming. And in caise complaint beis made heirefter to the Quenis Majestie and his Counsall upoun his saidis kin and friendis, assistaris an partakeris, in that caise he sall entir the persoun of personis complenit upoun befoir the Justice or his Deputiis at ane convenient day and place to be appointit thair to, to undirly the law for the crymes, sornygis, oppressionis, and offencis to the Quenis Majestie upoun his lyff and heretage, contenit in the complaint, and failying thairof, sall ansuer himself for the samyn..

“The quilk day anent the complaint presented to the saidis Lordis of Secreit Counsall be the Lordis, baronis, landtsmen, gentilmen and inhabitants of Stratherne, desyrand the commissioun gevin and grantit be our Soverane lady to Colene Campbell of Glenurquhy anent the serching and seking of the Quenis Majesties rebellis of the surname of Clangregour, and thair complices, and towart the arresting and inventure making of thair gudis, to be dischairgeit at the leist safer as the samyn can or may be extendit towart the inhabitantis of Stratherne, as the said complaint mair fullelie proportis : The Lordis f Secreit Counsall in respect of thai ressonis, quhilk wer exponit agains the samyn be the said Coleine and for utheris wechty causis and considerationis moving thame selffis, decernis the said commissioun to haif effect and strenth in tyme cuming and na wyise to be dischargeit, unto the finall repressing of the rebellion of the saidis rebellis. nevirtheless during the tyme of the persute of thame be the Erlis of Ergyle and Athole quhome to the Quenis Majestie hes grantit commissioun to that effect, the said Colene sall use his said commissioun, bot onlie upoun thau personis in quhais houssis he actualie findis the saidis rebellis, or quhairfra thai ar instantlie for the tyme departit in the sycht of him, or of thame berand his power; and as for the utheris personis resettaris, supplearis, or intercommunaris with the saidis rebellis, delatit or suspectit, yea althocht the deed be notour and certane to the said Colene swa that ony space pas owir betwix the time or the reseting of the saidis rebellis in thai partis and the cuming of the said Coline, or thame havand his power to the same, - in that cais the said Colene sall temperat the extremitie of his said commissioun notand onlie the personis resettaris, and sal use na forder executioun upoun thame unto the tyme he notifie the mater to the Quenis Majestie & counsall & ressave new and speciall direction of thame in that behalf. &a”

Soon after the arrival of the Macdonalds of Keppoch in Rannoch, they began to rebuild the dismantled fort or castle of the Isle of Loch Rannoch, which by orders of James V. had been demolished, the aim being to drive the MacGregors from the lands of Rannoch, and hold thair goods under [page 139} Glenurchy’s warrant. The Queen kindly interfered in favour of the persecuted MacGregors.

Letter from Queen Mary to Colin Campbell of Glenurchy, in reference to the MacGregors of Rannoch, &a., dated at Glentilt, in Atholl :-
“3rd August 1564. - Traist freind we greit yow wele. We remember we disponit to yow the escheitis of certaine personis of the Clangregour, duelland in the Rannoch, and be that way sute ye the entries to thair stedingis; and we ar informit that ye have plasit Makrannald in the sam yn rowmes quhairof the heretage pertenis to James Meingeis the Laird of Weym, and thairof Mackgregour had neuir takkis of him. We are suirlie informit that the said Makrannald is alreddy to big ane hous and strenth within the within the Ile of Loch Rannoch, and to laubour to grind of the lands adicentpquhilk hous was castin doun and distroyit at command of our fader of guid memory. as yourself hes dlaithe sen syne. And sen it hes allwayis bene a receptacle and refuge to offendouris we waitt nocht to, quhat effect the biging of it or any streth in the Heland suld serve without our speciall command and that the causis wer of befoir considerit be ws and oir consale. For to output the ClanGregour and impute vther brokun men of the like condition, alwwayis sic of any continewance werwer neuir permanent in our obedienc we jugeit nocht mete nor expedient to be done. And thairfoir, our pledour is that ye causs the werk begun in the Ile within the said loch to ceiss; and not that onlie, bot all vther innouatioun quhairof your nychbouris may justelie complene, especiallie the inbringing of strangeris of vther clannis and cuntres. Bot lat all thingis rest without alteratioun our returning, and than mete was other at Sanct Johnstoun or Dunde, as ye heir of our dyett, quhair we sall tak sik ordour in this behalf as apertenis to your ressonable contantament. Subscriuit with our hand, at the Luncartis in Glen tilth, the third day of August 1564.
“MARIE R.”
- Contemporary Official Copy in Charter Room of Castle Menzies. [11]  
“Complaint before the Lords of Council - ‘Menzies of that Ilk against Campbell of Glenurchy and Mcrannald of Keppoch for wrongous intrusion on his isle in Loch Rannoch and its fortification, parties cited, and charged to remove from the isle, unless cause can be showen for possession. Fortification and placing of broken men and Highlanders therein prohibited.’
“James Menzies of that Ilk recovers the isle of Loch Rannoch, seized from him at Edinburgh, 19th October 1564.

“Coline Campbell charged ‘to compeir befoir the Quenis Majestie and thair Lordschipis at Edinburgh’ on 2nd Nov. ‘to heir him be decernit to remove himself, the said Rannald McRannald, and all utheris, his partakeris, and servandis, furth of the said Ile in the said Loch Rannoch, and deliuer the samyn to the said James Menzies to [page 140} be usit be him at his plesour thairefter as his heretage.’” - Record of Privy Council.

“1564 July 9. Contract of manrent and protection between Archibald Earl of Ergyle, Colyne Campbell of Boquhane, Dugall Campbell of Auchynbrek, James Campbell of Ardinglass, John Campbell of Lochynell, Ewir Campbell of Ardgartney, Colyne Campbell Barbrek Johne Campbell of Inuerlevir, on the one part and Colyne Campbell of Glenurquhay on the other part, against all persons and specially against Gregour McGregour son to the deceased Alexander McGregour of Glenstray his accomplices and assistants, now being our Sovereign Lady’s rebels and at her Grace’s horn for suppressing and daunting of their uproarious and tyrannical attempts, and pursuing them will all rigour so long as they remain rebels to the Queen and enemies to the said Colyne and his heirs. &a Subscribed by the said parties at Inueraray.”

“1564 September 29. Summons in the name of Queen Mary and under the signet at Edinburgh on the narrative that a complaint had been made by James Menzies of that Ilk, and that whereas he had the lands of Rannoch and forest thereof in few farm heritably; and because Coline Campbell of Glenurquhay, and Ranald McRanald McConilglas, under pretext of a gift of escheat to the said Colin of the goods of the Laird of McGrigor the Queen’s rebel, and at the horn had intruded themselves wrongously in the Isle of Lochrannoch, and the said James’s lands of Rannoch ‘be-est the vatter of Erachtie’ and were bigging and fortifying the said Isle to the trouble of the whole country; the said Ranald and his complices being of the Clanrannald and Clan Chameroun and ‘ utheris of the maist broken clanns within oure realm.’ That the said James Meingeies had complained of this to the Queen at her late being in Atholle in the ‘Lunkairtis’; where being in her progress she could not take orders fors reformation thereof, but wrote to the said Coline to cease from building in the said isle, and bringing in of strangers of other clans and countries, and to meet the Queen on her return, either at St. Johnstoun or Dundie where she would such order as might appertain to his reasonable contentment; nevertheless, tha had still continued to fortify the said isle; and that when the Queen had given the said Coline, gratis the gift of escheat, it was for the expulsion of the ClanGregour and not under the pretence of it to fortifie the said isle, which strangth had been demolished in her father’s time, and again at her command by the said Colin; nor had even command been given to repair it, or occupy the James Meigneis lands, to which the ClanGregour had no right; far less would it be allowed to place in the same James’s lands the Clanrannald and Clan Chameroun, who if once permitted to get possession, would ever claim kindness thereto : that the said Coline had the Queen at her home-coming at Perth, and was [page 141} commanded by our brother James, Earl of Murray, to come to Edinburgh to answer the said complaint which he had failed to do. Summoning to the said Coline, therefore, to appear before the Queen and the Lords of Council within 10 days after warning.” - Contemporary Copy in Castle Menzies charter Room Red and White Books.

“1564. Nov. 3. Weyme contra Glenurquhay -
“The which day anent our Sovereign Ladies Letters purchased by James Menzies of that Ilk Against Coline Campbell of Glenurquhay for the wrongous intrusion of himself and of Rannald McConilglas of Keppach and others in his name in the Isle within the Loch Rannoch pertaining heritably to the said James, and fortification thereof since the Queen’s Majesty’s inhibition made to the contrary. Delayed till 25. Nov. Defender to summon witnesses to prove his exception.” - Record of the Secret Council Acta.

“1566. Letter from Queen Mary to the Laird of Weym relative to the ClanGregour in Rannoch -

“1566. August 31st. dated at Drymen. Traist freind, we greit yow weill. We vnderstand that diuerss personis of the Clangregour occupiit and inhabit your landis of the Rannoch, fra quilk thay we ejectit the tyme of thair rebellioun. Now as ye knaw, we have ressauet thame in our peax, and sen thai can not leif without sum rowmes and possesionis, we pray and effectuuslie desire yow to permitt thaim to occupie and manure the same landis and stedings quhilkis thai had and broukit of you of before, and mak thame ressonable takkis thairupoun for payment of males and dewiteis, vsit and wont as ye will do ws thankfull plesour. - And further, quhair as ye may feir to be constrenit to ansuer for the saidis personis and thair doyingis, as duelland vpoun your land, be vertew of the generall band, we be thair presentis, exoneris, relevis, and dischargis yow of your said band in that behalf, sa fer as the samyn may extend towert ony personis of the said Clangregour or otheris imputt in your landis be thame; and will and grantis that ye sall na wis be callit, accusit, or in ony wys persewit thairfoir, nochtwithstanding the said generall band thairfoir, or ony clause thairin contenit or vther lawis or ordinances quhatsumevir, anent the quhilkis we dispens be thir presentis. Gevin vnder our signet and subscriuit with our hand at Drymen, the last day of August 1566.
“ To our Traist Freynd the Laird of Weym.
“MARIE R.”
- From the Castle Menzies Charter Room


[1] Patrick MacNab of Bovaine gave to his son Finlay and heirs the lands of Bovaine and Ardkelzie Easter at Killin, 1st January 1486-7 for a pair of gloves to be given to the king at Pentecost – Register of Great Seal.

[2] See next page.

[3] A monumental stone was placed in Balquhidder churchyard, 1868, by Daniel McLaurin, Esq., of St. John’s Wood, London, a descendant of MacLabhrainn of Auchleskin, in memory of those who perished in this unhappy occurrence, with the following inscription, “In Memoriam of the Clan Laurin, anctiently the allodian inhabitants of Balquhidder and Strathearm, the Chief of whom in the decrepitude of old age, together with his aged and infirm adherents, their wives and children, the widows of their departed kindred, all were destroyed in the silent midnight hour, by fire and sword by the hands of a banditti of incendiarists from Glendochart. A.D. 1558.”

[4] Apparently Duncan Laddosach’s son; he is not mentioned in the “Baronage”

[5] John Stewart, 4th Earl of Atholl.

[6] Gregor McAllaster McGregor of Glenstray “Gregor na’m Bassan Gheal.”

[7] Ewine, afterwards Tutor of Glenstray

[8] Roro

[9] Duncan Oig, probably “Laddosoune,” mentioned 12 Jan. 1562-3, or Duncan Makundoy younger.

[10] Family of John McChallum glas, son of Callum glas (pale faced), son of Duncan - a branch of Roro, who left Glenlyon and settled at Learagan-Rannoch.

[11] Red and White Book.