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Amelia Volume 1 Chapter 28

1605 to 1610

[page 346}
“1605. March. Item be commandement of the Lords of counsall to David Lindsay Keeper of the Tolbuith of Edinburgh for the entertainment of the pledges of the McGregors fra the 1. day of July 1604. to ye day of yr executioun.

“1605. April 19. The Secret Council ordain that ‘whoever should present to it any of ‘the McGregouris quik (alive) or failing thereof his heid’ shall have a nineteen year lease of all ‘Lands roumes and possessions belonging to the said McGregouris’ or else a compensation ‘for thair kindness’ to be paid by the Landlord at the modification of the Council.

“In a letter dated April 20, from the Earl of Dunfermline to the King mention is made ‘And has tayne some resolutounes with my lord Ergyll concerning the persute of the McGregouris, quhilkes hiull proceedinges I haiff written mair particularlye to my Lord of Berwick.

“Sep. 30. Horning Buchanans [1]   in Strathyre against Allaster McCondoche vic Fatrik in Strathyre Duncan and John McKirrist vic Condochie his sonis, Allaster sone to umqle Walter Stewart yair, Patrik cowle McGregour yair, molestation and oppression. - Register of Hornings, Perth.

“1606. Dec. 23. at Edinburgh. Sederunt Commissionair, Chancellair Cassilis, Kinghorne, Ochiltree, Roxburgh, Blantyre, Bishop of Dunkeld Aduocat, Collector Bruntiland, Quhittinghame, foisterhait Sir George Douglas, Clerk of Register. Anent the Clangregour Forasmuch as albeit the course quhilk wes tane for exterminioun of the wicked and thivische race of the ClanGregour, has bene mitigat and some oversight and permission granted unto them to live in the country and to enjoy the breath of their natural air upon hope that they moved with a hatred and detestation of their former evil life should have conformed themselves to his Majesty’s obedience and studied by their good and peaceable behaviour, to have buried and put in oblivion their former misrule and insolence. Nevertheless the Lords of Secret Council are surely informed that the said MacGregor has begun to renew their former misdemeanours not only by committing of Stouths, reiffs, sorning, and oppressions upon his Majesty’s peaceable good subjects but by ravishing and forcing of women and other odious and detestable villainies not worthy to be heard of in a Country, [page 347} subject to a Prince who is armed with power and force sufficient to repress and extirpate such an infamous byke of insolent lymmers and to the effect that the truth of these informations may be the better known and some solid and good course tane for remedy of these evils and preventing the farther growth of the insolence of these lymmers. Necessary it is that the noblemen, barons, and gentlemen of the bounds next adjacent to such lymmers be heard and such overtures as they can make, and give in, anent this mater be considered and embraced accordingly for which purpose ordains letters to be direct chairging Johnne Earl of Tullibardine, James Lord Ogilvie of Airly, James Lord Inchaffray, Sir Duncan Campbell of Glenurquhy &a. &a. to compeir personally before the Lords of Secret Council upon the 13. day of Jan. next to give their best advice and opinion how the misrule and insolence of the said lymmers may be suppressed and the country freed of their farther trouble, under the pain of rebellion.”

It has been already observed [2]   that from the 28th February 1603 to the 7th August 1606, two entire folio volumes of the original minutes of the Privy Council are missing, having disappeared, according to Professor Masson’s Introduction to the now published Register, “before the middle of the last century.” In the publication mentioned, all other information as to the period missed out has been most carefully gathered together, but it is satisfactory to find how well Mr. MacGregor Stirling had anticipated these labours as far back as sixty years ago. Any excerpts taken from Professor Masson’s Collections instead of from Mr. MacGregor Stirling’s MS. will be acknowledged as so quoted. “1605. The Earl of Ergyle has charged . . . . . McLarrane to appear before the Council this day, viz, 27. June instant, to answer for his resetting the following and others of the ClanGregour upon … day of … in his own house in Blarquharry, viz. Duncan Phadrik Aldoch, [3]   Patrik McGregor his brother, Johnne McEanes in Glenogill and Braggane McGildoych, and also for passing with them to the dwelling house of . . . . McGillip [4]   in . . . . and taking away the whole goods in the said house. The Earl not appearing, McLarrane being present, protests that he shall not be held to answer for them till again warned; and the Lords admit the protest. - Masson.

“1606. This year was in Scotland remarkable for a general pestilence both in town and country. All the Judicatories of the Kingdom were deserted except the Secret Council which met at intervals for a day at most, ‘to keipe’ as stated by the Lord [page 348} Chancellor Earl of Dunfermline to his Majesty ‘some face and countenance of order and government.’

“1607. Jan 7. Letter from the Earl of Dunfermline to the King ‘In the Hielandis the McGregours affairses lyis owir partlie be the seasoun of the year, and pairtly be mylord of Ergyle’s absence, whom we looke daylie for.’

“1606. Sep. 10. At the Doune of Menteith the tenth day of Sep. The quhilk day in presence of ane noble and potent Lord Archibald Erlle of Ergylle Lord Campbell and Lorne, &a. his Majesties Lieutenant and commissionair over the Clangraigour constitute be act of secrite counsalle to chairge thaim be his awine precept to compeir befoir him quhen and quhair he sall appoint with power to grant respettis, and remissiounis to sa mony of the said surname of McGregour as will renunce thair awin surnamis and find caution to be ansuerable and obedient to his Majestis and his Hynes lawis in tymes coming for pacefeing of the heylandis and pairtis next adjacent thairto conforme to the tenour of the Act of parliament haldin in July 1683. as the said act of Secrete counsalle of the date At Perth the 11 July 1606 zeirs instant mair fullie proportis Personalie compeirit the [page 349} personis vnderwritten descendit of the race and surname of McGrigour; Thay ar to say Archibald McDonche VcAllester and tuke upoun (him) selff the surname of Stewart, and siklike personallie compeirit
Gregour McPatrik . . . . . . the surname of Dougall
Allaster McEwne VcGrigour . . . . . . the surname of Stewart,
Callum McGrigour Dow . . . . . . the surname of Dougall
Neil McGrigour VcEane VcGrigour . . . . . . Grant
Gregour McGrigour Dow bruthir to the said Callum . . . . . . Dougall
Johnne Dow McGrigour VcEane . . . . . . Grant
Duncan McRobert . . . . . . Dougall
Duncane Mcpatrik Vcean in Cadderlie . . . . . . Grant
Johne Mcdougallowir . . . . . . Dougall
Johne Dow Mcdonche bain Vcrob Vcgrigour . . . . . . Cunynghame
Dougall Chaiche . . . . . . Dougall
Allaster Mcdonche bain . . . . . . Cuningham
Johne McWilliam McGregour . . . . . . Dougall
Duncane na glen McGrigour tuke to him the surname of . . . . . .
Patrik Mcdonche na glen tuke to him the surname of . . . . . .

And all the foirsaidis personis sweir that in all tymes comming that they sall call themselfis and thair bairnis efter the surrnamis respective abone written and use the samyn in all their doingis vnder the paine of deid to be execute upoun thame without favour or any of thame incaice thay failzie in the premissis. And siklyk the said Erle of Ergylie voluntarilie become actit, and obleist as cautioner and suirtie for the personis vnder written vnder the pecuniall panes efter specifeit viz. for the saidis
Archibald McDonche
Gregour McPatrik
Callum McGrigour
Duncane McRobert
Patrik McPatrik Abdoche (Aldoche ?)
Duncane na Glen.

vnder the pane of 500 merkis and for the saidis
Allaster McEwin
Neill McGrigour
Johne Dow
Duncane McPatrik
Johne Dow Mcdonche bain
Dougall Chaiche
Allaster Mcdonche bane
Patrik Mcdonche na Glen

vnder the pane of thrie hundredth merkis and for the saidis
Grigour McGrigour
Callum Bain McGrigour our

vnder the pane of twa hundreth merkis and for the said Johne McDougall vnder the pane ane hundreth merkis all Scottis money That the saidis personis and everie ane of them sall in all tymes coming behave themselffis as dewtifull and obedyent subjecties to our Souerane Lord and that themselfs and all sik personis as thay are obleist to ansuer for be the lawis of this realme and general Band sall observe and keip our Souerane Lordis peace guid reule and quietnes in the cuntrey and nawyse trouble, invaid, molest, nor opres his heynes subiectis by ordour of law and justice vndir the pecuniall panes abone written to be payit to the saidis principallis and cautionaries bot for ane failzie or ane contraventoun allenarlie conforme to the concurrence, sence, and meining of the said act of Secret Counsall And the saidis personis having interchangeit and renuncit thair surnames and now call thame selffis eftir the surnames abone written, band and obleist them frie relief and skaithles keip, the said Erll yair cautionair of ye premiss and of all yhat may result yairvpoun And for the mair faithfull observing of the premiss the saidis principall and cautionair ar content and consentis that thir pnts (pointis) be actit and regret (registered) in the buikis of our Souerane Lordis secrete counsale and sheff (Sheriff), buikis of Ergyle alternative ad perpetuam rei memorium to have the strenth of ane Decree of the saidis Lordis and Sheriff be interponing thair aucteis rexus heirto with all exellc necessary to follow heirvpoun in forme sa effeiris and the horning to be vpoun ane simple chairge of ten days allenarlie and for registratioun heirof constitutis &a thair pro : coiunctlie seuerallie In witness of ye qlk thingis written to Mr. James Kirk Shef Depute foirsaid Before thir witnes
Johne Erll of Tullibardin
Harie Stewart of Sanctcolme
Alexander Schaw of Cambsmoir
James Dog fear of Dunrobin
Willm: Stirling of Achyll. - Luss Papers.”
This paper is quoted verbatim by Mr. MacGregor Stirling as above.

[page 350}
The different sums under which different men were bound is remarkable.

Sir William Fraser in the “Chiefs of Colquhoun” alludes to an Act of the Secret Council dated at Perth, 11th July 1606, by which Archibald Earl of Argyle was appointed
“To charge them by his own precept to appear before him when and where he should appoint with power to grant respites and remissions in favour of such of them as would renounce their own surnames, and find caution to be and obedient to his majesty’s laws in time coming.”

Allusion is then made to the meeting at Downe of Menteith, but it is not given at length.

From Register of the Privy Council, by Dr. Masson :-

“Privy Council Papers. 1607 (?).
“His Majestie at the first advertisment of McGregouris apprehensioun Maid promise to give the Erle of Ergyle ane worthie reward, to remayne heretablie with him and his aires heirafter. Seing now nocht only is the said McGregour apprehendit and delyverit, bot the greite pairt of all that clan and the best and choicest men of thame, quha micht haif bein maist fearit, ar at commandiment, na doubt his Majestie wilbe moveit to continew that his resolutioun, and augment the rewaird rather than impaire the same in onyway, respect being had that, in procureing of this wark, the said Erle of Ergyle hes not only bein driven to intollerable toyll and payne in his awin persoun, bot also hes bestowit huge and greit sowmes of money, als weill in levieing of men as in particuler rewairdes to sum persones to effectuat this turne.
“The mater demandit is the gift of the landis of Kintyre; quhairin it wald be rememberit how small or na proffeitt thay evir importeit to the King, his Majestie often tymes being driven to put the cuntrey to greitar chairges in the space of thrie or four yeir forgetting in of the rent thairof, quhilk is nocht greit, than mycht half doubled the pryce and utter valew of the haill land.
“The dispositioun of it to the Erle of Ergyle will embark him in actioun aganis the Clan Donald, being the strangest piller of all the broken hieland men, quha nevir in any aige wer civill, bot hes bein the scoolmaisteris and fosteraris of all barbaritie, savaignes, and crueltye, - hes evir from the beginning bein addictit nocht only to rebellioun within this continent land and the iles, bot evir wer assisteris of the northerne Insche people, dwelling in Ireland, in all thair rebellionis. Now, this nobleman in actioun of blude being enterit with the said Clan Donald, nocht only will he procuire thair ruitteing out and utter suppressing, bot upoun that same respect will evir be ane feir to those in the northe of Ireland to rebell, haveing ane enemye lyand [page 351} sa neir to thame; quha, besydes that dewty, quhilk as ane nobleman and his Majesties subject he is bund unto, will, upoun his former embarking aganis the said Clan Donald, preis be all meanis to supres thair doingis. Quhairin the difficultye may be considerit quhilk the said Erll of Ergyle will haif in the removeing of that mischevous Clan, quhais actionis deservis na les than thair utter extirpatioun and rutting out, thay being of nowmeries sa mony and of sa greit freyndschip that hardlye without greit bluide this turne may be effectuat; and, sa lang as the said Clan Donald remaynes unremoveit furth of the saidis landis, his Majestie nor na utheris sal half any proffeit, and the uncivilitie and barbaritie sall continew nocht only thair bot in the Iles.

“The Erle of Ergyle himself had the foirfaltour of thir same landis of Kintyree, the iles of Ilay, Jura, Coloula, Sunward, and Ardwa, all offerit unto him for ten merkis, the saidis landis of Kintyre skairse ansuering to the fyifte pairt of the haill ather in valew or yeirlie proffeit, sua that the present demandit rewaird is baith meane and ressonable, - the landis of Kintyire being mair proper in his persoun than in the persone of any uther subject, be ressoun he is heretabill justice, Colonell, and Chamberlane, and his Lordshipis predicessouris had heretabill infeftment of the landis thameselfs disponeit by King James the Fourth of worthie memorye.”

“1. There is no date to this paper, nor any indication who was the writer. Evidently, however, it is written in the interest of the Earl of Argyle, urging the Earl’s claims on his Majesty for some reward for his services against the ClanGregor; & as the suggested reward - an infeftmentt of the Earl in the Lordship of Kintyre, - did not come till 30th May 1607 (see Ratification of the infeftment by the Parliament of 1617: Acta Parl. Scot. iv. 559-560), the present paper must have been written before that date. It may even have been written in some year earlier than 1607; for the opening paragraph might be read as implying that the apprehension of the chief of the MacGregors and the crushing of his clan were rather recent events in the writer’s mind. It may have taken time and argument to bring about the desired result.”

1607, in July, King James VI. granted to the Earl of Argyll> [5]   and his heirs part of the lands and lordship of Kintyre in reward for his services against the ClanGregor. The following royal letter addressed to David Murray, Lord Scone, his Majesty’s Comptroller, is given in “The Chiefs of Colquhoun” from the original in the Argyll Charter Chest :-

[page 352}
“Dauid Lord of Scoone, our Comptrollare, we great yow wele: Forasmeikle as, in consideratioun and recompance of the goode and noble seruice done to ws be our richt trusty and weilbeloued cousing and counsallour, Archibald Erll of Argyle, Lord Campbell and Lorne, against that insolent and weikit race of the ClanGregour notorious lymneris and malefactouris, specialie in the inbringing of the Larde of Macgregour, and a nowmer of the principallis of that name, quhilkis wer worthilie executed for their transgressionis, and for reducing of a goode nowmer of vthers of that Clan and thair associattis, to our obedience, we ar gratiuslie pleased to bestow vpoun our said cousing sameikle of our landis and lordship of Kintyre, as will amount in yearlie rent to twentie chalder of victuall, heretabillie to him and his airis, togidder with the sowme of twentie thowsand merkis Scottis money, to be payit to him at Martimes nixt . . . . . . .
“Gevin at our Courte in Whytehall, the nyntein of July 1607.

From the “Chartulary :-

“1607. May. In May the order prohibiting all his Majesty’s subjects except the guards, to wear guns and pistols was put in execution under penalty of imprisonment and fines. - Balfour ‘Annals,’ ii. 21.

“1607. August 11. The parliament decreed to the Earl of Argyle the twenty chalders of victual of the few farms of Kintyre according to the above letter from the King. - Mr. MacGregor Stirling.

“1609. Jan. 5. at Edinburgh. Charge against the Earl of Tullibardin.
“Forasmuch as the Lords of Secret Council are informed that John Earl of Tullibardin has lately taken and apprehended Allan oig McIntnach in Glenco a common and notorious thief, murderer, sorner and oppressor who was one of the principal and personal executors of that most odious, barbarous and detestable butchery and slaughter committed by the ClanGregor upon his Majesty’s good subjects at Glenfrone, and with his own hand he murdered and slew without pity or compassion the number of forty poor persons who were naked and without armour, and in the whole course and progress of his bypast life he has so exercised himself in theft, murder, reif and oppression as he is most unworthy to be suffered to breathe the air of this country, and therefor the Earl of Tullibardin, in regard of his own honour and credit, and for discharge of his duty to the King’s Majesty, ought and should enter and put the said Allane before the said Lords, To the effect order may be taken with him for his trial and punishment as appertains, for which purpose Ordain letters to be direct charging the said Earl as ‘haueair’ of the said Allane in his custody and keeping; at the least who had him, and in that respect ought and should be answerable for him, To bring, put and exhibit him before the said Lords upon the . . . . day of . . . . [page 353} to the effect, order may be taken with him for his trial and punishment, as appertains under the pain of rebellion &a or else to show a cause why &a with certification. - Record of Secret Council.”

The above accusation of a person called Allan oig McIntnach [6]   (there is no proof of his having been a MacGregor), as having killed forty people without armour, is the nearest judicial mention of the alleged slaughter of young school boys at Glenfruin, but, even in this document, it does not appear to have been a solid or well grounded indictment, and may be now dismissed.

“1609. Nov. 1. The samyn day Harie Grahame of Meadowlandes ofttymes callit as cautioner and souertie for reporting letters (at the instance of Craigs, &a) To take souertie of Allaster Bowie Mcgregour McIntyre domestick servitour to Abroch McGregor of and Mccaische ahochie in Drunkie for theft.”

From the “Chiefs of Colquhoun.”
“By the severe laws that had been enacted against the Macgregors, and from the rigour with which these laws were executed, the proscribed Clan were infuriated and driven to desperation. Placed beyond the pale of the protection of law, they often fiercely retaliated the wrongs which they believed had been done on them, on those who were empowered to punish them, by fire and sword. Against the Laird of Luss, who was invested with such a commission, they were exasperated to the uttermost, and they continued to harass the inhabitants of the Lennox keeping them in constant terror.” [7]  

In a letter to King James VI. in the year 1609, Alexander Colquhoun renewed his complaints of the aggressions and spoliations which the MacGregors still committed on himself and his tenantry.
“Most Gracious Soveraigne,
“May it pleas your most sacred Maiestie I hhaif ofttymes compleaned of the insolence and heavye oppressioune committit vpoun me, my tennentis, and landis be the Clangregour, And haif bene forced to be silent this tyme bygaine, Hopeing that some tyme thair sould beine ane end thairof Bot now finding my selfe disapoynted and thame entered to thair former coursses Haif tane occasioun to acquent zour sacred Maiestie thairwith, beseiking zour Maiestie to haif pitie and compasssioun vpoun ws zour Maiestie’s obedient subiectis and remanent pwire pepille quha sufferis, and to provyd tymous remeid thairin, and that zour Maiestie may be the better informed in [page 354} the particularis I haif acquent zour Maiestie’s Secretare thairin To quhois sufficiency referring the rest. And craving pardoune for importuneing zour Maiestie I leive in all humanitie in zour Maiestie’s most sacred handis.
“Zour sacred Maiesties most humble and obedient subiect,
“ALEXANDER COLQUHOUN, of Luss. Rosdo, the 13 day of Nov. 1609.”

The version of the letter above given is taken from the “Chartulary” where it is entitled “Original of Letter preserved in Advocates’ Library, Edinburgh, in Sir James Balfour’s Collections”; it differs very slightly in spelling from the copy given by Sir William Fraser in the “Luss Papers.”

“Influenced by these and similar complaints, the Privy Council continued to adopt other severe measures against the ClanGregor. Formerly, this clan when pursued betook themselves to the Lochs of Loch Long, Loch Goil, and Loch Lomond, and having the means of transportation to and from these Lochs, they found themselves secure, and defied the might of their enemies. The Lords of the Privy Council anticipated that now when the means of punishing them were put into active operation, the MacGregors according to their wonted manner would seek shelter in these lochs and would thus frustrate the measures of the Government against them. They therefore on 6 Sept. 1610 [8]   ordained that by public proclamation all his Majesty’s subjects who were owners of the boats and skows upon these lochs, should be prohibited from carrying any of the ClanGregor, their wives, bairns, servants, or goods over for them, upon any pretence whatsoever, under the pain of being reputed and punished with all rigour as favourers and assisters of the said Clan in all their criminal enterprises.” [9]  

From the “Chartulary” :-

A Series of Proclamations and Edicts were made at this time.

“1610. April. Horning Patrick Sqwar in Cumbuswallace against ‘Patrick McGregour sone to umquhile Patrick Aldech McGregoure’ and two others his servandis rebellis persones with their complices. - Leny Papers in ‘Chartulary.’

“May 15, at Edinburgh. Letters mentioned at the instance of Patrick Squyer in Cambuswallace against Patrik McGregour sone to umqle Patrik Aldoche McGregour Neill Bowie McGregour Mcincaind and John Caldoche his servants (for theft). - Record of Justiciary.

“1610. June. In Juneii this zeire, his Maiestie intendit to have imployed the Master of Tullibardin against the Clangregor; bot he hauing drawin vpe suche ane extraordinarey draught of a commissioune, that rather or his Maiestie should condescend to suche a one, the Lordes of his priuey counsaill, by ther letters, humbly [page 355} intretted the King to take some other course against them, then to give way to that wich might alienat the hearts of his best subiects, and wrong his awen royall authority so muche. - Balfour’s ‘Annals of Scotland,’ 1435.”

It may be from this inferred that the proposals of the Master of Tullibardine were counter to those of the Earl of Argyll.

“1610. August 14 at Edinburgh. Sederunt
Chancellair President Kilsyith
Thesaurair Justice Clerk Bruntyland
Perth Clerk of Regr. Sir Johnne Arnott,
Lotheane Aduocate,

“Commissions against the Clangregour.
“Forasmuch as the wicked and rebellious thieves and limmers callet the ClanGregour who so long have continued in blood, theft, murder, sorning and oppression to the wrack, misery and undoing of a great number of his Majestie’s poor subjects not contenting themselves to live under the obedience of his Majesty and his laws when now the whole remaining Clans as well of the Highlands as of the Isles are become answerable and obedient, but preferring their bygone wicked and unhappy trade of evil doing, to civility and obedience of the law and being divers tymes dealt with to have forsaken their former lewd doings and to have embraced a peaceable and quiet form of living They do notwithstanding continue in all kind of impiety and wickedness, and have amassed themselves together awaiting times and occasions to prosecute their detestable and thievish doings against his Majesty’s poor people where they may be masters and commanders highly to his Majesty’s offence and disregard of his Majesty’s authority, and his Majesty and Lords of Secret Council having resolved to pursue this infamous ‘byke’ of lawless limmers with fire and sword, and by the force of his Majesty’s royal authority to reduce them to obedience, And understanding the good and willing disposition of the persons underwritten to do his Majesty service, and to employ their own persons and their friends in the pursuit and prosecution of the said limmers. Therefore the said Lords ordain commissions to be past under his Majesty’s signet to the persons particularly underwritten within the bounds following, viz. to William Lord Tullibardin, Sir Duncan Campbell of Glenurquhay &a &a (a long list of the commissioners and their districts follows but may be here omitted) . . . . . . . Giving, granting and committing to the Commissioners particularly above written within the bounds particularly above specified full power, commission and authority, express bidding and charge To convocate his Majesty’s lieges in Arms and to pass, search, seek, hunt, follow and pursue all and whatsomever persons of the ClanGregor, their followers, assisters and partakers wherever they may be apprehended and to prosecute them with fire and sword and to take them and put them to his Majesty’s Privy Council to be taken order with and punished for their [page 356} offences conforme to the laws of this Realm And if it so happen the said ClanGregor their assisters and partakers for eschewing of apprehension, to flee to strengths and houses, with power to the said commissioners to follow and pursue them, besiege the said strengthes and houses, raise fire, and use all kind of force and warlike engine that can be had for wyrnning and recovery thereof, and apprehension of the said limmers being there intill, and if in pursuit of the said limmers they refusing to be taken or besieging of the said strengths or houses, it shall happen the said limmers or any of their assisters and partakers, or any being in company with them and assisting there, or within the said strengths and houses, to be hurt, slain, or mutilated, or any other inconvenient whatsoever to follow, the said Lords decern and declare that the same shall not be imputed as crime nor offence to the said commissioners nor persons assisting them to the execution of this commission nor that they nor none of there shall be called or accused therefore criminally nor civilly by any manner of way in time coming notwithstanding whatsoever, acts, statutes, or constitutions made to the contrary whereanent the said Lords dispense by these presents . . . . with power also to the said commissioners and persons assisting them in the execution of this commission To beir, weir, and use hacquebuts and pistoletts in the execution of the said commission. And generally to do use and exerce all and sundry other thaing which for executing of the said commission are requisite and necessary, firm and stable, holding and for to hald all and whatsoever things shall be lawfully done herein charging hereby his Majesty’s lieges and subjects to reverence, acknowledge, and obey, concur, fortify, and assist the said commissioners in all and everything tending to the execution of the commission as they and each of them will answer upon their obedience at their highest peril.

“Proclamation for assisting the Commissioners against the ClanGregor.
“Forasmuch as the King’s Majesty by the power and force of his Royal authority has now reduced to a perfect and settled obedience the whole Isles of this kingdom and continent next adjacent The principals and chieftains of the whole Isles and continent are come to his Majesty’s Council and have found good surety for their obedience hereafter so that now no part of the heylands is rebellious but so much as is possessed by that infamous byke of barborous and detestable lymmars called the ClanGregor who being void of the fear of God and of that due obedience which they owed to his Majesty and preferring their bygane thievish and unhappy trade of theft, reiff sorning and oppression to the fear of punishment which his Majesty in his justice has resolved to inflict upon them and contemning his Majesty’s lenity and long patience in suffering them to run headlong so long, in all kind of impiety They do yet continue in their wicked deeds, have ammassed themselves in companies taking their advantage of every occasion to trouble, wraik, and oppress their neighbours where they may be masters and his Majesty and Lords of secret council resolving no longer [page 357} to bear with the rebellion and contempt of their rebellious and detestable lymmers but in his wrath and justice by power and force to reduce them to conformity, has for this effect given order and commission to the Sheriff of Perth and Stewarts of Stratharne and Manteith and their deputes every one of them in their bounds and to . . . . to pursue the said thieves limmars with fire and sword and all kind of rigour and extremity and never to leave off the pursuit of them until they be reduced to obedience As in the commissions granted to them respectively thereupon at length is contained. In the execution whereof necessary it is that they be well and substantiously accompanied with the power and force of his Majesty’s peaceable and good subjects dwelling within the bounds of their commissions for which purpose the Lords of secret Council ordain letters to be directed charging all and sundry his Majesty’s lieges and subjects dwelling within the bounds of the Sheriffdoms of Stewartries and cuntreys respectively abone written by open proclamation at the market crosses of the head boroughs of the same That they and every one of them well armed in their most substantial and warlike manner prepare themselves and be in readiness to rise, concur, fortify, and assist the said commissioners in all and everything tending to the execution of this commission and for this effect To convene and meet them at such days, times, and places and with so many days victuals and provisions as they shall be advertised by their proclamations, missive letters or other wise and to follow their direction in everything according as they shall be commanded in the execution of this commission as they and every one of them will answer &a &a,” the usual clauses at the end.

“Proclamation that none resett the ClanGregour.
“Forasmuch as the King’s Majesty by the power and force of his royal authority having now reduced to a perfect and settled obedience the whole Isles of this kingdom, and continent next adjacent The inhabitants whereof being void of the fear and Knowledge of God and of that due reverence which they ought to have carried to their Sovereign Prince, and consequently exercising themselves in blood, theft, reiff and oppression are now most happily brought to a reasonable conformity both in the one and in the other, and chieftains and principals of them are come to his Majesty’s council and have found good surety for their obedience hereafter So that no part of the Highlands is rebellious and disobedient but so much as is possessed by that infamous byke of barbarous and detestable thieves and lymmars called the ClanGregour who some years ago having felt the weight of his Majesty’s heavy wrath and displeasure against them by the apprehension and execution to the deid of a great many of the principal ringleaders of that infamous society and it being thought that the remanent who were spared at that time should have ‘preissit’ by their peaceable and quiet behaviour to have averted his Majesty’s displeasure against them that thereby they might have been suffered to have lived in the country in the rank and condition of [page 358} lawfull and lawbiding subjects, Nevertheless such is the perverse and wicked disposition of that barbarous and wicked society that being careless of the vengeance taken upon the rest of their fellows and preferring their unhappy trade of theft, reiff, and murder, sorning, and oppression to the fear of punishment which his Majesty in his justice has resolved to inflict upon them, They have continued and do yet continue in their evil doings taking their advantage of every occasion to trouble, wrack, and oppress their neighbours where they may be masters whereunto they are the rather encouraged by the unworthy behaviour of a great many of the barons and gentlemen of the country who not only most unlawfully are assured and under bands of friendship with the said thieves, but by their connivance and oversight, they have free passage through their bounds, and country in their theftuous deeds, and are resett, supplied, protected and maintained by them, as if they were lawful subjects, highly to his Majesty’s offence, and to the shame and discredit of those who are assured with them, and who are their protectors and resetters. And his Majesty and the said lords finding it a discredit to the country that a handful of miserable caitifs shall he suffered longer to have continuance within the country Or that any lawful subjects shall be under assurance with them Therefore ordain letters to be directed to command, charge and inhibit all and sundry his Majesty’s lieges and subjects of what estate, degree, quality, or condition soever they be, by open proclamation at all places needful, That none of them presume nor take upon hand to resett, or supply any of the ClanGregor, their wives, children or servants, nor to intercommune with them, nor yet to resett, hoard, or keep their goods or geir, or to ‘bloke’ or bargain with them thereanent, nor keep trysts, conventions, nor meetings with them under the pain to be reputed hald and esteemed as art and parttakers with them, in all their theftuous and wicked deeds, and to be pursued and punished for the same with all rigour and extremity to the terror of others, And the same to command and charge all and sundry his Majesty’s lieges and subjects who are under assurance or bands of friendship with the said thieves and lymmars, To renounce and discharge the same bands and assurances, and to enter into no such fellowship, or society, with them hereafter, but to repute and hold them as traitors to God, their prince, and country, and accordingly to pursue them with their whole power and forces, Certifying them who shall stand and continue under the said assurances, and bands of friendship, with the said lymmars after the publication hereof that they shall be repute, holden, and esteemed as guilty with them in all their evil deeds, and shall be punished therefore accordingly. - Record of Secret Council Acta.”

The above proclamations show, indeed, that war with the small “handful” of the doomed Clan who survived, was to be waged without respite. The Chiefs of the two principal Houses had fallen, together with [page 359} many of the other most valiant and experienced leaders, but the spirit of a brave race remained unbroken, and still struck terror into their enemies. Evidently there were many friends who, whether from sympathy with their courage, or from timidity, still gave them shelter and countenance, which secret favour alone can explain their having contrived to subsist, when every way of living honestly was denied them.

[1] Probably the family of MacGregors who had adopted this name.

[3] Son of Patrick Aulach.

[4] The Fiddler, McKillipe in Dalney (Glenartney ?)., vide page 324 volume 1 chapter 26

[5] For the Earls’ claims, see previous page.

[6] McIan Tuagh of the axe. See page 295 volume 1 chapter 26

[7] Vol i. Page 214. volume 1 chapter 18

[8] See chapter xxix. volume 1 chapter 29

[9] Chief of Colquhoun, Vol. I, page 215.