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Amelia Volume 1 Chapter 26


Trials following the Conflict of Glenfruin, 1603

[page 315}
THE following excerpts are from the collection of “Celebrated Trials in Scotland,” with critical and historical remarks by Hugo Arnot, Esq., Advocate, 1812 :-

“Alister Macgregor of Glenstra, Laird of Macgregor, for slaughtering the Laird of Luss’s friends and plundering his lands.

“1604. This trial, and the subsequent proceedings relating to the ClanGregor, afford the most characteristic evidence of the barbarous state of the Highlands in those times, of the lawless manners of the people, and despicable imbecility of the executive arm. The crimes with which the prisoner was charged resemble more the outrage and desolation of war than the guilt of a felon. He was accused of having conspired the destruction of the name of Colquhoun, its friends and allies, and the plunder of the lands of Luss; of having, on the 7. of Feb. preceding, invaded the lands of Sir Alexander Colquhoun of Luss with a body of 400 men, composed partly of his own Clan and of the Clan Cameron, and of lawless thieves and robbers, equipped in arms, and drawn up on the field of Lennox in battle array; of having fought with Sir Alexander, who, being authorised by a warrant from the Privy Council, had convocated his friends to resist this lawless host; of having killed about 140 of Sir Alexander’s men, most of them in cold blood, after they were made prisoners; of having carried off 80 horses, 600 cows, and 800 sheep; and of burning houses, cornyards, &c.

“A jury of landed gentlemen of most respectable family sat upon the prisoner . . . . . One of these persons indeed, Thomas Fallasdaill, [1]   burgess of Dumbarton, ought to have been kept far aloof from this jury. He was the special confident and adviser of the Laird of Luss; and it was in consequence of his suggestion that the Laird made the parade before his Majesty at Stirling, with the bloody shirts, stained with the gore of his followers. The jury unanimously convicted the prisoner, who, in consequence of [page 316} the verdict, was condemned to be hanged and quartered at the Cross of Edinburgh, his limbs to be stuck up in the chief towns, and his whole estate, heritable and moveable, to be forfeited. Four of the Laird of MacGregor’s followers, who stood trial along with him, were convicted and condemned to the same punishment, eleven on the 17. Feb. and six on the 1. March, and many pages of the criminal record are engrossed with the trials of the MacGregors. It became the object of national attention to break this lawless confederacy, of which the object was pointed revenge and indiscriminate plunder, supported by uniform contempt of the laws and resistance to the magistrates.”

The whole subject of the Conflict of Glenfruin has such deep interest for everyone of the ClanGregor that it is desirable to give here in full the article upon it in the records of Criminal Trials by Robert Pitcairne.

(“Mr. Williame Hairt, Justice-Depute.)
“Field of the Lennox, or Conflict of Glenfruine - Slaughter of the Colquhouns - Stoutreif - Treason - Fire-Raising, &a.’
“The proscription and the cruel and systematic persecution of the ClanGregor, for a long series of years, although, in the abstract, a subject familiar to every reader of Scottish History, has hitherto been very imperfectly explained. The Criminal Records, and the Acts of the Privy Council, throw much light on all the branches of this extraordinary event. To save the necessity of future repetition, it appears to the Editor to be necessary, at the outset of these proceedings, to give a very brief sketch of the circumstances which led to the Field of the Lennox - or ‘the Raid’ or ‘Conflict of Glenfruin’; and of those events which ultimately terminated in the Execution of the Laird of Macgregor, and of many others of his name. All the future oppression and persecution of the race of the Macgregors ostensibly take their rise from this conflict. “The ClanGregor which, from whatever causes, had been for some time looked upon as an unruly tribe, was, for some years previous to 1603, placed under the control of Archibald (seventh) Earl of Argyle, who, as King’s Lieutenant in the ‘Bounds of the ClanGregor,’ was invested with very extensive powers, and who, by his acceptance of the office, was made answerable for all excesses committed by this Clan. In these circumstances, it might be supposed that it was Argyle’s interest, as it certainly was his duty, to have done all in his power to retain the ClanGregor in obedience to the laws; but, on the contrary, it appears that from the time he first, as King’s Lieutenant, acquired the complete control of the MacGregors, the principal use he made of his power, was artfully to stir up the Clan to various acts of aggression and hostility against his own personal enemies, of whom it is known Colquhoun of Luss was one. It is to this crafty and perfidious system of the Earl, therefore, that we must solely trace the feud between the Colquhouns and Macgregors, which proved, in the [page 317} end, so hurtful to both; a result, no doubt, all along contemplated by this powerful but treacherous Nobleman. But it is unnecessary to enlarge on this point, as the Dying Declaration of the Laird of Macgregor places in a very clear light the cruel and deceitful policy pursued by Argyle, and which was too frequently resorted to by others, in those days, for quieting the Highlands. It may be remarked, that this interesting document, besides undoubtedly bearing internal evidence of truth, is corroborated, in almost every detail of it, by the Public Records.

“It is also to be remarked, as particularly worthy of notice, that at the period of this fatal conflict, both of the contending parties were, in a manner, equally armed with the Royal authority; the Laird of Luss having raised his forces under a commission, emanating from the King himself; while the Laird of MacGregor marched to invade the Lennox, under the paramount authority of the King’s Lieutenant.” [2]  

It is unnecessary to quote the repetition of refutation of the alleged murder of Sir Humphrey, which error has been sufficiently cleared up already.

“The popular accounts of this transaction charge the MacGregors with two atrocities committed after the battle, . . . . . . . and the Slaughter of a number of defenceless boys from the Grammar School or College of Dumbarton, who, from curiosity, came to see the fight, and had by Colquhoun’s orders, been put into a barn for safety; where, on the success of the Highlanders, they were said to have been murdered . . . . . . . . It is enough to state that this circumstance forms no point of any of the Dittays against those of the MacGregors who were tried for their share of the battle, although every criminal act which could be possibly adduced against each of them is carefully inserted in their Indictments. Such an atrocious fact could not have escaped the notice of all his Majesty’s Advocates, for such a length of time - and there was no lack of informers. It is thought that this massacre is alluded to in the Records of the Privy Council, Jan. 5. 1609, where it is stated that ‘Allan Oig McIntach, in Glenco,’ when aiding the ClanGregor at Glenfruin, ‘with his awne hand, murdered without pity, the number of forty poor persons, who were naked and without armour.’ ”

According to Pitcairne’s usual plan, some passages from contemporary MSS. are appended in illustration of the facts.

“1604. Jan. 20. Allaster McGregour of Glenstra, Patrik Aldoche [3]   McGregour, Williame McNeill his seruand, Duncane Pudrache McGregour and Allaster McGregour McKean. [4]   [page 318}
Dilatit, accusit, and persewit, at the instance of Sir Thomas Hammiltoun of Monkland, knycht, aduocate to our souerane Lord, &a off the crymes following Forsamekill as thay and ilk ane of thame accumpaneit with umqle Johnne Dow, brother to the said Allaster McGregour of Glenstra, and vtheris thair kin, friendis and of thair counsall, haifing concludit the distructioune of Alexander Colquhoune of Luse, his kyn, freinadis and alya, and the haill surname of the Balquhannanis, and to herrie thair landis; thay convenit to thameselffis the Clanhamrone, the Clananverich, and dyuerse vtheris brokin men and soirneris, to the number of foure hundreth men, or thairby, all bodin feir of weir, with hagbuttis, pistolettis, murrionis, mailzie-cottis, pow-aixes, tua-handit-swoirdis, bowis, darloches, and vtheris wappones, invasiue, incontraire the tennour of the Actis of Parliament : And for the performance of thair wicked conclusioune, vpon the sevint day of Februare last bypast come fordward, in arrayit battell, to the Landis of Glenfrwne, pertening to the Laird of Luse; quhair the said Laird of Luse accumpaneit with certane of his freindis, war convenit, be vertew of our Soerane lordis Commissioun, to resist the saidis persones crewall interpryses; and thair set vpone him, his kyn and freindis, and crewallie invaidit thame for thair slauchteris, schamefullie, crewallie and barbaruslie murdreist and slew Peter Naper of Kilmahew; Johnne Buchannane of Buchlyvie; Tobias Smallet, bailzie of Dumbarten; Dauid Fallesdaill, burges thair; Thomas and James Fallesdaillis his sones; Walter Colquhoun of Barnehill; Johne Colquhoun fear thairof; Adam and Johne Colquhounes sones to the Laird of Campstradden; Johne Colquhoun of Dalmure, and dyueris persones our souerane lordis leigis, to the number of sevin scoir personis or thairby; the maist pairt of thame being taen captiues be the saidis McGregouris befoir thai pat violent handis in thame, and crewallie slew thame. And tressonabillie tuik Williame Sempill and dyueris vtheris, our souerane lordis frie legis, and convoyit thame away captive with thame, and be way of maisterfull Stouthreif staw, reft and away-tuik sax hundreth ky and oxin, aucht hundreth scheip and gait, fourtene scoir of horse and meiris, with the haill plenissing, guidis, and geir, aff the fourscoir pund land of Luse; and at the samyn tyme, tressonabillie raisit ffyre in the houssis and barne-zairdis thairof, brunt, waistit and distroyit the samyn, with the coirnis being thairin. And the foirsaidis personis and ilk ane of thame ar airt and pairt of the saidis crewall, horrible and tressonabill crymes; the lyk quhairof was nevir committit within this realme; Committing thairby manifest Tressone, in hie and manifest contempt of our souerane lord, his hienes auctorite and lawis.

“ASSISA.
Sir Thomas Stewart of Garnetullie,
Moyses Wallace burges of Edr.
Colene Campbell younger of Glenorchie,
Sir Robert Creychtoune of Clwny, Knicht,
Alexander Menzies of Weyme,
Robert Robertsoun of Faskeil,
[page 319}
Robert Robertsoun of Strowane,
Thomas Fallasdaill burges of Dumbartene,
Johne Naper fiear of Merchinstoune,
Johne Herring of Lethendie,
Johne Blair younger of that Ilk,
William Stewart, Capitane of Dumbartene,
Johne Grahame of Knockdoliane,
Harie Drummond of Blair,
Johne Blair elder of that Ilk.

“For verificatioun quhairof, the said Sir Thomas Hammiltoun of Monkland, aduocat, produceit the saidis persones Depositionis and Confessiones, maid be thame in presens of dyuerse lordis of his hienes Secreit Counsall and Sessioun, subscryuit with thair handis. The Aduocat, askit instrumentis, 1. Of the sweiring of the Assyse, and protestit for Wilfull errour aganis thame, in cais thay acquit. 2. Of the sweiring of the Dittay be the Laird of Luse. 3. Of the productioune of the pannellis Depositiones to the Assyse.

“Verdict. The Assyse, all in ane voce, be the mouth of Johne Blair elder of that Ilk. ffand pronuncet and declarit the saidis Allaster McGregour of Glenstra, &a to be fylet, culpable and convict of the crymes aboue specifeit.

“Sentence. And thairfoir, the Justice-depute, finding the saidis crymes to be tressonabill, be the mouth of James Hendersoun dempstar of Court, Ordainit the saidis persones to be tane to the mercat-croce of Edinburgh, and thair to be hangit vpone ane gibbet quhill thay be deid; and thairefter thair heidis, legis, airmes and remanent pairtis of thair bodeis to be quarterit and put vpone publict places, and thair haill landis, heritageis, annuel rentis, takis, steidingis, rowmes, possessiones, coires, cattell, guidis, geir, and sowmes of money pertening to thame, to be fforfaltit, escheit and inbrocht to our souerane lordis vse, as convict of the saidis tressonabill crymes.

“Footnote. [5]  
The matter is thus noticed by Birrel and Fleming. ‘The 9. of Feb. (1603) the Laird of MacGregour with fourhunder of his name and factioune, enterit the Lennox, quhair he maid spulzie and slauchter, to the number of 60 honest men, besyid wemen and bearnis. He spareit nane quhair he come.’ - Birrel’s Diary. ‘(April 9.) Proclamatioun sumonding all the McGregouris to compere and wnderly the law for the slauchter of the Laird of Luss and men of Dumbartane.’ - Fleming’s MS. Chronicle.

“Documents illustrative, of ‘The Field of the Lennox or Conflict of Glenfrune’ and of the Proceedings against the Laird of MacGregor and his Clan.
“I. Extract from Calderwood’s MS. Church History, Advocates’ Library, vol. v. p. 677 -
“ ‘Upon the 8. of Feb. a great company of sorners and broken Highland men of the Clane of Mackgrigore, the number of 400 men, came down to Lennox to reave and [page 320} spoyle. The people of the country convened to make impediment. There were slaine of the country people, specially of the surname of Colquhoun, to the number of fourscore persons or thereby; of which number were landed men of good rank. The Laird of Luce himself, Chief of the Colquhouns, escaped narrowly. They carried away 1000 head of cattell, besides other insight and plenishing. It was reported, that that was done at the instigation of the Duke of Lennox his lady, seeking the wrack of the Laird of Luce, who held of the King and not of the Duke.’

“II. Extract from MS. History of Scotland, Anon. Advocates’ Library, A. 4. 35 -
“ ‘Now on the 2. day of Oct. (1603) the Laird of Arkinles takis in hand to the Erll of Argyill, to tak the Laird of MacGregour; and callis him to ane bankatt in his hous, quhilk hous stuid within ane Loche; and thair takis him prissoner to send him to Argyll. And putting him in ane boitt, with fywe menne with him by thame that eowit the boitt; he seing him selff betreiffit, gettis his handis lowse; and striking him our burd that was narrest him he lowpis in the watter, and out-sowmis to the land. And so escheappis wntene (untaken) for the presentt. Now the Erll Argyill, perseaffing that he was eschappit, he sendis to him; desiring him to cum to him, that he mycht confer with him, wilder promeis to let him gang frie gif thay culd nocht agrie. Wpoun the quhilk, the Laird Macgregour come to him; and at his cuming was well ressauit be the Erll; quha schew him, that he was commandit be the King to bring him in; bot he had no doubt bot his Majesty wald, at his requeist pardoun his offence; and he suld with all diligense, send tua Gentill menne to Ingland with him, and suld with all diligense follow him selff. Wpoun the quhilk fair promeissis he was content; and come with the Erll of Argyll to Edinburgh; quhair , on the 10 day he was be the Gaird conwoyit to Berwick, within Inglis grund and syne brocht back to Edinburgh. And on the 20 day he was hangit at the Corse, with tenne of his kin and friendis hangit with him to the gritt discredeit of the Erll Argyill, quha wes the doare of the samin.’

“III. Extract from Robert Birrel’s Diary, MS. Advocates’ Library (p. 138) -
“ ‘The 2 of Oct. (1603.) Allester McGregour of Glainstre tane be the Laird of Arkynles, bot scapit agine; bot efter, taken be the Earle of Argyill the 4 of Jan. and brocht to Edinburche the 9. of Jan. 1604. with 18 mae of his freindis, McGregouris. He wes convoyit to Berwick be the Gaird conforme to the Earlis promese for he promesit to put him out of Scotttis grund. Swa he keipit ane Hieland-manis promes; in respect he sent the Gaird to convoy him out of Scottis grund : Bot thai wer not directit to pairt with him, bot to fetche him bak agane. The 18 of Januar, at evine, he come agane to Edinburghe; and vpone the 20 day, he wes hangit at the Croce, and ij (eleven) of his freindis and name upone the gallous; Himselff, being chieff, he wes hangit his awin hicht abone the rest of hes freindis.’

“IV. Extract from Calderwood’s MS. Church History -
“ ‘Upon the 18 of January, Mackgregore was conveyed be the guard who attended [page 321} upon the Counsell to Berwick, because Argyle promised to him, when he rendered himself, that he sould be caried to Ingland : But post was appointed to meet him to caus bring them back againe which was done. Immediately, upon the 20 of Januar, he, and sundrie of his Clane were hanged in Edinburgh. Sevine of thair number came in, long before, as pleadges for performance of certaine conditions which were to be filled by their Chief; but they were hanged with the rest, without the knowledge of ane Assyse. They were young men, and reputed honest for them own parts. The Laird of Makgrigore was hanged a pinne above the rest. A young man called James Hope, beholding the execution, fell down, and power was taken from half of his body. When he was carried to ane house, he cryed, that “one of the Highland men had shott him with ane arrow.” “He died upon the sabbath day after.’ ”

“Footnote. Fleming in his Chronicle (MS. Advocates’ Library) thus records the event. The Laird of McGregour hangit at Edinburgh and xj of his unhappie kin. They hang all nicht on the gallous. This almost unexampled act of perfidy, on the part of Argyle the King’s Lieutenant, and the Justice General of Scotland, gives a lamentable picture of those unhappy times; and it would appear that the government seemed to think it no discredit to take advantage of such an infamous breach of trust.

“V. The Laird of McGregours Declaratioun, produceit the tyme of conviction.
“ ‘I, Allester Magrigour of Glenstra, Confesse heir before God, that I have bein persuadit, movit and intysit, as I am presentlie accusit and trublit for; alse gif I had usit counsall or command of the man that he Intysit me, I wald have done and committit sindrie heich Murthouris mair; ffor trewlie, sen I was first his Majesteis man, I culd never be at ane eise, by my Lord of Argylls falshete and inventiones; for he causit McClaine and Glenchamrowne committ herschip and slauchter in my rium of Rennoche, [6]   the quhilk causit my pure men therefter to bege and steill : Also, therefter, he moweit my brother and sum of my freindis to commit baith herschip and slauchter upoune the Laird of Luss : Also he persuadit myselfe, with message to weir aganis the Laird of Boauhanene, quhilk I did refuise; for the quhilk I was contenowalie bostit (threatened) that he sould be my unfriend; and quhen I did refuise his desire in that point, then intysit me with uther messingeris, as be the Laird of Mcknachtane and utheris of my freindis, to weir and truble the Laird of Luss; quhilk I behuffit to do for his fals boutgaittis (roundabout ways) Then quhen he saw, I was at ane strait he cawsit me trow he was my guid freind; bot I did persave he was slaw therin; Then I made my moyan to pleis his Majestie and Lords of Counsall, baith of service and obedience, to puneische faultouris and to saif innosent men; and quhen Argyll was maid foresein (informed) thereof, he intysit me to stay and start fra thay conditions, causing me to understand that I was dissavit; bot with fair wordis to put [page 322} me in ane snair, that he mycht gett the lands of Kintyre in feyell (fee feu-farm) fra his Majestie, begane to putt at me and my kin; The quhilk Argyll inventit, maist schamefullie, and persuadit the Laird of Ardkinlaiss to dissave me, quha was the man I did maist trest into; bot God did releif me in the mean tyme to libertie maist narrowlie. Neuertheless, Argyll maid the oppin bruit (report) that Ardkinlaiss did all that by falsheid, by his Knawlege quhilk he did intyse me, with oft and sindrie messages, that he wald mak my peace and saif my lyfe and landis only to puneis certane faltouris of my kin, and my innosent freindis to renunce thair surname, and to leif peaseablie. Vpone the qhuilk conditioune he was suorne be ane ayth to his freindis; and they suorne to me; and als I haif his warrand and handwrytt therevpon. The promeis, gif they be honfestlie keipit, I let God be the Juge. And at our meting in oure awin chalmer, he vas suorne to me in witnes of his awin freind. Attour, I confess befor God that he did all his craftie diligence to intyse me to slay and destroy the Laird Ardinkaipill, McKallay, for ony ganes kyndness or freidschip that he mycht do or gif me. The quhilk I did refuis, in respect of my faithfull promeis maid to Mckallay of befor. Also he did all the diligence he culd to mowe me to slay the Laird of Ardkyndlas, in lykmaner; bot I neuer grantit therto; Throw the quhilk he did invy me grettumly. And now, seing God and man seis it is greidenes of warldlie geir quhilkis causis him to putt at me and my kin, and not the weill of the resume, nor to pacifie the samyn, nor to his Majesties honour, bot to putt down innosent men, to cause pure bairnes and infantis bege, and pure wemen to perisch for hunger, quhen thay ar hereit of thair geir; The quhilk, I pray God that this faltis lycht not upon his Majestie heirefter, nor upon his successione. Quherfor I wald beseik God that his Majestie knew the weratie, that at this hour I wald be content to tak baneisment, with all my kin that was at the Laird of Lussis slaucgter, and all utheris of thame that ony falt can be laid to thair charge; And his Majestie of his mercie, to lat pure innosent men and young bairnes pass to libertie, and to lerne to leiff as innocent men; The quhilk I wald fulfill, bot ony kynd of faill, quhilk wald be mair to the will of God, and his Majesties honour, nor the greidie cruell forme that is devysit, only for leuf of geir, haueing nether respect to God nor honestie.’ “Footnote. The Original of the very interesting paper now given, is preserved in the General Register House, and is in the hand of the then Clerk of Secret Council, James Primrose. It is marked as ‘Presentit be Mr. Williame Hairt’ (of Livilands), as an article of evidence of his guilt at his trial. Glenstray had surrendered to Argyll, on condition of his being permitted to go to England; by which the former meant that he should visit the English Court and have, if possible, access to the King. It was obviously Argyll’s policy to prevent this; but that he might fulfil his promise, he sent him under a strong escort of troops, to beyond the river Tweed, at Berwick, where the soldiers wheeling to the right about, made MacGregor retrace his steps. He was two days only [page 323} in Edinburgh, after his return from England, when he was executed. - See Sir James Balfour’s Annals.

“In the Lord Treasurer’s Books of Scotland, Nov. 1602, is the following entry
‘Item to Patrik Mcomeis, messinger, passand of Edinburgh with lettres to charge Archibald Earle of Argyle to compeir personallie befoir the Counsall, the xvi day of Dec. nixt, to ansuer to sic thingis as salbe inquirit at him, tuiching his lying at await for the Laird of Ardincapill, vpon set purpois to have slane him.’ Pitcairne next alludes to the Bond of Clanship between Glenstray and MacAulay of 1591, regarding which he adds : ‘This instrument had as would seem, been discovered by the Government, and led to the suspicion that MacAulay had aided Glenstray in the feud of Glenfruin. MacAulay seems to have escaped death, by being under the protection of the Duke of Lennox, and forming one of his train or “tail” in the King’s journey to England, to take possession of the English Throne.’

“Field of Glenfrune - Murder - Fire-raising, &a.

“1604. Feb. 17. Johnne Dow McEwin McGregour, Patrik McIlvarnoch his man, Duncan Mcinham McGregour, Duncan McAllester Vrek, Allester McEwin VcCondochie, Johnne Mean VcGregour, Ewin Mccondochie clerich, Johnne Ammonoche McGregour, Duncan Beg McGregour VcCoull chere, Gregour McNicoll in Dalveich, Johnne Dow Mccondochie VcEwin.
Dilatit of certane crymes of Murthour, Thift, Soirning; and for being at the ffeild of Glenfrune, in companie with vmquhile Allaster of Glenstra, his kyn and freindis; and of the Slauchteris, ffyre raising, Reiff and Herschippis committit in the moneth of ffeb.

“1603 yeiris, aganis the Laird of Luse, his freindis and pairtakeris, viz.
“1. Johnne Dow McEwin McGregour, [7]   for his intercommuning with umqle Allaster McGregour of Glenstra, vmqle Patrik Aulauch McGregour and utheris thair complices, quha war at the tressonabill burning of Robert Wattersones barne of Kallechoit, and at the steilling of the Laird of Merchinstounes oxin; committit in Sep. last. Item of airt and pairt of the thiftuous steilling, furth of Andro Allan’s house in Kippine, of fyve ky; committit in Oct. last. Item for airt and pairt of the slauchter of vmqle Johnne Drummond in Drony of Cowgask; committit in Aug. last. Item for airt and pairt of the steilling of ane milk zow (ewe) fra Patrik McBoricht, furth of his duelling hous of Glenmawak : committit in Sep. last. And siclyk, of cowmone Thift and cowmon resett of thift.

“Patrik Mckilvarnoch, servand to the said Johnne Dow, of airt and pairt of the haill crymes aboue writtin; as being in companie with his said maister thairat.

“2. Duncan Mcinham (Mcean chain) VcGregour, ffor airt and pairt of the thiftuous [page 324} steilling fra Eduard Reidoche of fyve horse and meiris; committit in the moneth of . . . . . Im Vc fourscoir and fourtene yeiris (1594). Item of airt and pairt of the thiftuous steilling fra Allaster Mccondochie Vic James Robiesone, in Callewin, of ten horsis and meiris, committit in the moneth of . . . yeiris.

“3. Duncane McAllaster Vrek in Farne, ffor airt and pairt of the thiftious steilling furth of the Laird of Strowane’s crandoche of his haill insicht worth Imlib. Item for the airt and pairt of the slauchter of vmqle Donald Dereiff. Item for the airt and pairt of the thiftious steilling furth of the landis of Downance in Menteith, of fourtie ky, tuelf horsis, committit 1588. And for intercowmoning with the Laird of McGregour; And for cowmone thift and cowmone resset of thift.

“ 4. Ewin McCondochie Clerich. ffor his tressonabill intercowmoning with vmqle the laird of McGregour, and geving him supplie and comforte.

“5. Johne Ammonache McGregour in Kingart, ffor airt and pairt of the thiftious steiiling if sax scheip furth of Schandballie; committit aucht yeir syne or thairby. Item for cowmone Thift and cowmone resset of thift.

“6. Allaster Mcewin Vccondochie, in Couldar, ffor airt and pairt of the heirschip of the Downance in Menteith; and of the slauchteris then committit; and speciallie a the slauchter of vmple Andro Grahame.

“7. Gregour McNeill alias Cownache, ffor airt and pairt of the crewall murthour and slachter of umqle the ffidler Mckillope, within his awin hous in Dalvey, committit at Andersmes, 1602. Item ffor the thiftious ressetting and tressonabill intercowmoning (of vmqle the Laird of McGregour?) efter he wes discharget be proclamatioun.

“8. Johnne McKean VcGregour, in Glenogill vnder Tawie barne, ffor the crewall murthour, slauchter and drowning of Mckillopis wyfe that duelt in Glenartnay, being in company with vmqle Patrik Aulach committit in harvest last. Item for resset of the brokin men of the McGregouris, within his duelling-hous, and tressonable intercowmoning with thame aganis his hienes Proclamatioune.

“9. Duncan Beg McGregour VcCoull Chere, ffor airt and pairt of the crewall Murthour and slauchter of sevin scoir persones slain at Glenfrwne; and heischip than comwittit thairin, in the moneth of Feb. 1601. Item for cowmone thift and ressett of thift; And for the tressonabill intercowmoning with vmqle the Laird of McGregor eftir he was discharget be proclamatioune.

“ASSISA
Mr. Moreis Drummond of Culcherie,
Thomas Fallasdaill in Ardoche,
James Speuill ffiear of Cowden,
Dauid Muschet of Orcheardheid,
Colene Campbell of Aberuchill,
Johnne Buchannane of Ibert,
Mungo Lyndsay of Ballull,
Jacobi Edmestoun of Newtoun,
Robert Napier of Blakzairdis,
Johnne Naper of Kilmahew,
Mungo Buchannan in Tulliechewin,
Dauid Drummond in Drymen,
James Dennystoune of Cowgrane,
Johnne Muschet at the mylne of Tor,
Harrie Mitchell in Darra.

[page 325}
The Aduocat askit instrumentis of the sweiring of the Assyse; of Johnne Dowis Declaratioune, that Patrik Mcilvarnoch his man hes bene with him this tua yeir bygane, and is pairtaker of all his factis. The Aduocat, for verifeing the poyntis of Dittay, producet the Kingis Proclamatioune, Actis of Secreit Counsall, contenit in the buik of Secreit Counsall produceit, and askit instrumentis thairvpoune; And protestit for wilfull Errour aganis the Assyse in caise thai acquit.

“Verdict. The Assysis, be the mouth of Dauit Drummond, chancellor ffand pronunceit, and declairit the saidis persones to be fylet, culpable and convict of the perticular poyntis of Dittay aboue written.

“Sentence. The Justice-depute decernit and adjuget the said John Dow (McEwin) &a to be tane to the mercait-croce of Edinburgh, and thair to be hangit vpoun ane gibbet quhill thai be deid; and all thir moveabill guidis to be escheit and inbrocht to our souerane’s Lordis vse, as convict of the saidis crymes.

“Footnote. ‘The 18 of Feb. 1604. 9 of the name of MacGregor hangit quho had lain lang in the Tolbuith.’ - Birrel.

“ Field of Glenfrune - Slaughter of the Colquhouns &a.

“1604. March 1. Neill McGregour in Meirie (Mewie) [8]   Patrik Gair McGregour, [9]   Donald Roy McGregour, Duncane McGregour, Donald Graffiche [10]   McCadanich.
“Dilatit, accusit and persewit for being in company with vmqle Allaster McGregour of Glenstra and his complices, at the ffield of Glenfrwne, and of airt and pairt of the slauchter of sevin scoir persones, being all freindis, servandis assisteris and pairtackeris with the Laird of luse at the said ffield, and of the heirschippis thair committit be the said Laird of McGregour and his complices; And of the tressonabill raising of fyre and burning of dyuerse houssis, within the boundie foirsaid, committit in the moneth of Feb. 1603. And siclyk, for intercowmoning with the said Laird of McGregour and personis foirsaidis, his complices, that war at the said slaughter and heirschip, sen the committing thairof And als, the said Patrik Gair McGregour being indyttit and accuset for the hounding out of his thre sones to the said feild, and murthouris and slauchters than committit vpone the said Laird of Lussis freindis; And of Airt and pairt, red, counsall, foirknawledge assistance and ratihabitioune of the said murthouris and heirschippis; And siclyke, for the ressett and intercowmoning with the Laird of McGregour and his complices that war at Glenfrune, and resetting of thame with the bludie hand, sen the tyme foirsaid of the said heirschip and slauchteris.

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“ASSISA.
Mungo Lyndsay of Ballull,
Thomas Naper of Barriekynrayne
Johnne Buchannane burges of Dumbarton
Johnne Naper of Kilmahew,
George Buchannane in Ladrische
Johnne Sempill of Foulwoid
Thomas Fallasdaille burgess of Dumbarton
Robert Buchannane in Kippen
Constene Moirtoun,
Robert Buchannane Waltersoune
Hew Glen of Lynthillis,
Dougall Mcfarlane in Murnagane
Johnne Buntene of Ardoche,
Walter Blair of Fynnech.
Dauid Hadden (Haldene) Tutour of Glennageis.

“Verdict. The said Assye, all in ane voce, be the mouth of the said Robert Buchananne Waltersoune, ffand, pronuncet and declairit the saidis fyve persones to be ffylet, culpable and convict of the haill crymes aboue specifeit.

“Sentence And thairfoir, the Justice-depute, be the mouth of Robert Scott, dempster of Court, decernit and ordanit the saidis persones to be tane to the gallouse of the Burrow-mure of Edinburghe, and thairupone to be hangit quhill they be deid; and thair haill moveable guidis to be escheit and inbrocht to his hienes vse, as convict of the saidis crymes.

“Theft - Resett of Laird of MacGregor - Field of Glenfrune, &a
“1604. March 2. Malcolme McCoull clerich (Chere, i.e. Ciar) [11]   in Innerlochlarg; Duncan Mcfadrik VcCoull Chere, [12]   in Innerlochlarg, vnder the Laird of Tullibardin, Johnne McCoull Chere, in the Bray of Balquhidder, and Neill McWilliame VcNeill.
“Dilaitit of certane poyntis of Thift; and for intercowmoning with vmqle the Laird of McGregour, sen the Raid of Glenfrune, viz.
“1. Malcolme McCoull Cleriche (Chere) ffor airt and pairt, and being on the grundis at the crewall Slauchter of vqle Hew Stewart serveand to my Lord of Athole; comimittit threttie yeir syne or thairby. Item for Airt and pairt of the slauchter of umqle Patrik McGregour in Glenbokie; committit in the moneth of Sep. 1576. Item for geving of counsall to vqle the Laird of Makgregour, his kyn and freindis, to pas fordward aganis the Laird of Luse to Glenfrune and for convoying the said Laird of McGregour agaitward (on the way or gait) to the syd of Lochloun afoir the ffeild; And for airt and pairt of the slauchteris and heirschippis committit at Glenfrun be the said Laird of McGregour and his complices, in the moneth of Feb. 1603 Item, for the tressonabill Intercowmoning with the said Laird of McGregour, and Ressett of him and his freindis and pairtakeris that war at the ffield of Glenfrune, and geving of thame herbrie, help and supplie, in meit, drink, and bedding, wittinglie and willinglie, at dyuerse tymes, sen thai war denuncet our souerane lordis rebellis and declairit [page 327} tratouris, and sen his Majesties Proclamatioune, inhibeiting all our souerane lordis leigis to intercowmone, ressett or gif countenance or schaw fauour to the saidis rebellis.

“2. Duncan Mcfadrik VcCoull cheir, ffor airt and pairt of the slauchter of the said Patrik McGregour committit in Sep. 1576. Item for geving of counsall to the Laird of MacGregour to pas fordward to the ffeild of Glenfrune aganis the Laird of Luse, and convoying him to the syde of Lochloune, agaitward, to the said ffeild. Item for wilfull Intercowmoning and geving of counsall to the Laird of McGregoure, and convening with him at dyuerse meittingis and conventiounes, had and keipit be him and his freindis, sen thai war denuncet his Maiesteis rebellis, for the murthour, slauchteris and heirschipis committit be thame at the said ffeild of Glenfrune, incontrair to his Majesties proclamatioune.

“3. Neill McWilliame VcNeill, ffor the tressonabill Intercowmoning with the Laird of McGregour, his kin and freindis that war at the murthour and heirschipis in Glenfrune, and ressett of thame within his hous, and geving meit and drink to thame wittinglie and willinglie at dyuerse tymes sen thai war denuncet rebellis, &a.

“4. And siclyk, Johnne McCoull Cheire, ffor airt and pairt of the crewall Murthour and Burning of auchtene houshalderis of the Clanlawren, their wyves and bairnis; committit fourtie sax yeir syne or thairby; Item off airt and pairt of the Slauchter of vqle Hew Stewart, servand to my Lord of Athole; committit threttie yeir syne or thairby; [13]   And in taking pairt with the ClanGregouris at the heirschip committit the tyme foirsaid aganis the Tutour of Bofrak. Item for Intercowmoning with the Laird of McGregour and his complices that war at the ffeild of Glenfrune, sen thair denunciatioune; and geving of conforte, supplie and freindschip to thame contrair the tennour of the Proclamatioune. Item, for cowmone Thift, cowmone ressett of thift, outputing and inputing of thift fra land to land, fra cuntrey (to cuntrey), baith of auld and new.

“Verdict. The Assyse, be the mouth of Mungo Lynsay of Ballull, chancellor, ffand, pronuncet and declarit the saidis Malcolme, Duncan and Neill to be fyllit, culpable and convict of the haill crymes and poyntis of Dittay aboue writtin; And the said Johnne McCoull Cheire to be clene, innocent and acquit of the saidis crymes.

“Sentence. And thairfoir the said Justice-depute, be the mouth of Robert Scott, dempstar of Court, decernit and ordainit the saidis Malcolme McCoull and Duncane McFadrik to be tane to the gibbet at the mercat croce of Edinburghe, and thair to be hangit quhill - thay be deid; and all thair moveabill guidis to be escheit and inbrocht to his Maiesteis vse, as convict of the said crymes.”

From the “Black Book of Taymouth” :-

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“Item the said Sir Duncane (died 1631) in anno 1603 and 1604. hade great wearis with the Clangregoris at quhat tyme thay brunt to him the barronie of Monzie, the barronie of Cowledair and Tinnaiff, the tuelf pund land of Achalladar, the skaith quhairof extendit to ane hundreth thowsand markis; for the quhilkis hanous and intollerabill factis eightene of the principallis of the Clangregour wer tane to Edinburghe, and ther wer hangit and quarterit; quhais names eftir followis –

Alester Roy McGregour of Glenschray (quho wes hung on ane pyn about ane eln heichar nor the rest),
Gregor McEwin VcGregour in Moirinche,
Johne Dow McEwin his brother (tried on 17th Feb.),
Duncane McAllester Pudriche in Achatue,
William oig McNeill in Fernay,
Duncane VcAllester in Fernay,
Duncane McGregour VcNeille in Ardewnak,*
Gregour McGregour VcCondochie in Roro,*
Allester McOndochie VcCleriche in Glengowlendie,*
Allester McEwin VcCondochie in Critgarrow (tried 17th Feb),
Malcolme McCoulgeir in Balquhidder (tried 2nd March),
Duncane McGillepatrik VcCoulgeir thair (tried 2nd March),
Johne McCane VcGregour in Glenogill (tried 17th Feb.),
Patick Allachie McGregor in Corriechrankie,
Allaster McGregor VcCane in Braiklie,
Gregor McNicoll in Ardbeiche (tried 17th Feb.),
Malcolm Oig VcOlchallume Oig VcDulcheir in Balquhidder,*
Patrick McPatrik Ammonache in Glenleidnek (tried on 17th Feb.).

Besydis thir foirsaidis that wer hangit at the mercat cros of Edinburghe, thair wes sundrie otheris hangit thair and in other places, quhais names wes superfluous to wrett.” The names marked with a * do not appear in the trials recorded in the previous pages, and may have been executed without trial. Several names appear later than the 20th January, and, therefore, they could not be those executed the same day as Glenstray.

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LIST OF MACGREGORS EXECUTED EARLY IN 1604, ACCORDING TO PRECEDING PAGES.

1604. January 20 - Five persons executed.
ALLASTER ROY MACGREGOR OF GLENSTRAY, seventh of his line, Captain and Chief of the ClanGregor.
PATRICK ALDOCH (AOLADH) MACGREGOR, in Corriechrambie, younger brother of Duncan Abroch and grandson of Duncan Laddosach.
WILLIAM OIG MCNEILL, [14]   his servant, in Fernan, Loch Tay, son of No. 52.
DUNCAN PUDRACHE MCGREGOUR, in Achtoo, Balquhidder, son of No. 4.
ALLASTER MACGREGOR MCKEAN (MCANE), younger son of Gregor MacGregor of Brackly. He was second cousin of Patrick Aoladh. [15]  

1604. February 18 - Eleven persons executed.
JOHN DOW MCEWIN, second son of Ewin MacGregor, Tutor of Glenstray, No. 2.
DUNCAN MCEAN CHAM VCGREGOUR, Tutor of Roro.
DUNCAN VCALLASTER VREK, in Fernan, No. 55.
EWIN MCCONDOCHIE CLERICH, in Glengowlendie, probably son of No. 39.
JOHN AMMONACHE, in Kingart, probably son of Patrick Ammonach.
ALLASTER MCEWIN VCCONDOCHIE, in Couldar (or in Critgarrows), probably No. 43.
GREGOUR MCNEILL ALIAS COWNACHE, probably No. 81.
JOHN MCKEAN (MCANE) MACGREGOR, in Glen Ogle.
[page 330}
DUNCAN BEG MCGREGOR VCCOULL CHERE
ALLASTER MCEWIN VCCONDOCHIE, No. 43.
JOHN DOW MCCONDOCHIE VCEWIN, probably No. 71. [16]  

1604. March 1 - Five persons executed.
NEILL MACGREGOR, in Mewie (Duneira).
PATRICK GAIR MACGREGOR.
DONALD ROY MACGREGOR.
DUNCAN MACGREGOR
DONALD GRASSAICHE MCCADANACH.

1604. March 2 - Four persons executed.
MALCOLM MCCOULL CLERICH (CHERE), in Innerlochlarig, No. 29.
DUNCAN MCFADRICH MCCOUL CHERE, in Innerlochlarig, under the Laird of Tullibardine.
JOHN MCCOULL CHERE, in the Brae of Balquhidder.
NEILL MCWILLIAM VCNEILL, son or brother of No. 52.


[1] It appears from the indictment of Glenstray that David Fallasdaill, Burgess, and two sons, Thomas and James, were slain at Glenfruin - all probably near relations of the Juror. In the Assize of March 1, 1604, against five MacGregors, besides Thomas Fallasdaill on the Jury, there was John Sempell of Foulwird, the Laird who had joined in advising the display of shirts, whilst William Semphill was “tane away captive.”

[2] Vide previous Chapter. volume 1 chapter 25

[3] Younger brother of Duncan Abroch

[4] Younger son of Gregor of Brackley – he was second cousin of Patrick Aldoch in the male line.

[5] In Arnot’s edition of Pitcairn.

[6] Glenurchy introduced Keppoch and others into the Isle of Rannoch 1564, but no such act on the part of the Earl of Argyle appears on record. - Ed.

[7] Second son of Ewin, Tutor of Glenstray.

[8] Duneira.

[9] Of the Roro family.

[10] Grassaiche.

[11] Second son of Malcolm chieftain of his tribe, and ancestor of Innerardaran.

[12] Son of Patrick Roy McCoull Ciar in Strathyre.

[13] Of which he was acquitted. See Chapter XII. He was brother of Malcolm McCoull. volume 1 chapter 12

[14] The numbers refer to List of 1586, Chapter XVI. volume 1 chapter 16

[15] There appears to have been more MacGregors executed at the same time as Glenstray, but without trial. The “Black Book of Taymouth” mentions some names not tried till later, and other names which do not appear on the Trials.

[16] Eleven MacGregors are stated to have been entered and all condemned to death. Birrel only mentions nine executed on the 18th Feb. page 325. volume 1 chapter 26#page325