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Amelia Volume 1 Chapter 30

Continued Trials of sundry MacGregors

[page 377}
“1611. March 2. Court of Justiciary. Mr. Alexander Coluill, Justice Depute.
Johnne McEwin in Kilbryde
Archibald McIlvoyll McLowrin,
Donald Mcinowie in Glencho
Duncane Caird McGregor
Patrik Mceandow McGregor
Allaster Bowie McGregor clerache
Dougall McGregor Clerache McGregor
Duncane McNeill McGregor
Donald Mceandich McGregor tane bak agane to waird and nocht put to ane assise.

Dilaitit accuset and persewit be Mr. Robert Foullis substitute to Sir Thomas Hamiltoun of Bynnie Knt Advocate to our Souerane lord for his hienes intereis, of the crymes respective following viz The said Johne McEwin for airt and pairt of the thiftious steilling of tuelf scheip fra ye Barrone McCaslane furth of his landis of Innerthonoling; committit in the moneth of August last by past, 1610 zeiris, Item for the thiftious steilling of tua gait (Goats) and ane scheip fra Adame Colquhoun in Poirt furth of the landis of Banvie in the moneth of Dec. Jvvj and sax (1566) zeiris Item for airt and pairt of ye steilling of ane pair of Pleuch irnes fra William Myller in Schennekillis furth of the Lands of Schennekeillis in ye moneth of Aprryle Ivvj and aucht zeiris (1568.) Item for commoun thift and commoun resett of thift inputing and outputing of thift &a And of daylie intercowmoning and keiping cumpanie with the McGregouris assisting and taking pairt with thame in all thair thiftious deidis, heirsehipis, robries and oppressiounes, this thre or four zeir bygane.

“The saidis Archibald McIlvoyll McLowen and Donald McInnowie servandis to Allester and Allane Mcindowie in Glencho for airt and pairt of the tressounabill [page 378} raiseing of fyre about Johnne Stewartis hous in the Camerone in the Lennox in ye moneth of Dec. last bypast assageing of Duncane, James and umqle Johnne Stewartis yawirintill. And for airt and pairt of the slauchter of ye said umqle Johnne Stewart at ye tyme foirsaid.

“The said Duncane Caird McGregor for cowinone thift and resset of thift, outputing and inputing of thift &a And for daylie Intercowmoning and keiping of trystes and consulationis with the McGregors assisting and taking pairt with thame in all and sindry thair thiftis, reiffis, and oppressionis committit be yame this thre zeir bygane.

“The said Patrik McEan Dowie McGregour for being in company with the McGregouris at the fecht or skirmisch of Bintoiche [1]   in ye moneth of Apryle jvvj and four zeiris and for airt and pairt of the tressonable raising of fyre burning of the Castell of Achallader and of tuentie houssis in Glenlochie and for the crewall slauchter of fourscore kye at ye said fecht. And siclike for airt and pairt of the slauchter of umqle Patrik Dow McNab and ane servand of ye Laird Glenvrquies namit McLayne baith slane in ye said fecht of Bintoich And for cowmon thift intercowmuning &a. the said Allaster Bowie McGregour for cowmoin thift and commone resset of thift outputing and inputing of thift fra land to land fra cuntrie to cuntrie And for intercowmoning and keiping daylie trystis and conventionis with the McGregouris and taking plane pairt with tharne in all yair and thiftious deidis thir diuerse zeiris bygane.

“The said Dougall McGregour Clerache McGregour for ye crewall slachter of umqle Gregour McGregour sone to umqle Duncane Abroche McGregour be schuteing of him with ane arrow behind his bak committit in August jvj and four zeiris 1604 Item for intercowmoning &a The said Duncane McNeill McGregour for cowmone thift, intercowmoning &a.

“The said Johnne McAndro for airt and pairt of the burning of Johnne Stewartis hous and slauchter of the said umqle Johnne Stewart committit in the same moneth of Dec. 1610 at ye least for keiping companie with the saidis Archibald McIlvoill McLaurin and Duncane Mcinnowie and ye remanent of yair complices qha cam furth of Glencho to ye doing of ye saidis crymes.”

There follows a list of the persons on the assise.

“The Assyse be ye mouth of ye said Thomas Fallasdaill chanceler fand, pronunceit, and declarit the saidis (repetition of names) to be fylit culpable and convict of seuerall crymes respective abone written contenit in zair dittayis And ye said Dougall McGregour Clerache to be fylit culpable and convict of airt and pairt of the slauchter of ye said Gregour McGregour committit be ye said Dougall he being within the age twelf zeiris for ye time.

“And siclyke fand, pronunceit, and declarit ye said Johnne McAndro to be clene, innocent, and acquit of ye burning of ye said Johnne Stewart’s hous &a.

[page 379}
“Dome. - for the quhilk cause ye said justice be ye mouth of Alex. Kenneddie dempster of Court decernit and ordainit ye saidis
Johnne McEwin
Duncane Caird McGregour
Patrik McIndow McGregour
Allaster Bowie McGregour and
Duncane McNeill McGregour
to be tane to ye Borrowmuir of Edin. and yair in ye ordinar place of executioun to be hangit quhill thay be deid and all zair landis heritages, guidis, geir, moveable and unmoveabil, &a to be forfaltit and escheit to our Souerane lordis use as convict of ye saidis crymes And superceidis the pronunceing of Dome upon the vyer thre quhill be advisit with the Lords of Secret Council yairanent And ordainit yame to be tane bak againe to yair prissone. - Record of High Court of Justiciary.

“1611. March. Item by warrant and direction of his Highness Council to Sir Alex. Colhoun of Luss Knicht in name of his friends who slew three Makgregouris, As the same warrant together with his acquittance produced upon compt bears, £200.

“Item to the MacGregours that were kept in the tolbooth of Edinburgh every week the space of ten weeks before they were executed one dozen of bread at 16 shillings the dozen, £8.

“Item to the officers of Justiciary for sommoning of an assise of the Macgregours and some of the Gang of Glencoe, £1. 0. 10.”

NOTE. - The Glencoe prisoners were evidently in no way connected with the MacGregors, but only summoned in one assise for convenience. One of them was acquitted, and the two others returned to prison, as also one of the MacGregors, viz., Dougall McGregour Clerache McGregor. His trial is altogether curious. If he killed his young clansman intentionally, however guilty he might be morally and in the eyes of disinterested persons, yet he had done the Government a service thereby. Possibly they intended to recognise this, and therefore reprieved him, but there is no explanation of why they felt called upon to prosecute him, except the tender age of his victim, as from the point of view of the Council young Gregor was a “wolf.” [2]  

Another MacGregor, Donald McEandich, was taken back from the assise.

“1611. April. Item to George Matho messenger passing from Edinburgh with letters to charge Sir Duncane Campbell of Glenurquhy to bring and exhibit before the Council Gregor McEane upon the 10. day of May next to come to the effect he may [page 380} be tried and punished for his offences conform to the laws of this realm, £6. 13. - Lord High Treasurer’s Books.

“1611. April 11. At Roystoun. From his Ma : anent Gregor McEane. ‘Right trustie and weilbelouit cosines and councellouris we greet you weele; wheras it hes bene complenit to ws by Robert Buquhannane seruand to James Buquhannane gent of our butterie That one Gregor McEane not onlie spoyled his fader of all his goodis but allsna cruellie murdereist him. It is thairfoir our plaisour (seeing the said Gregor is now apprehendit by the Laird of Glenurquhy) that you cause the said Laird exhibit him befoir you and that you cause sich order to be tane with him as his behaviour in former tyme in this and the lyke caiss do deserue whiche assuring ourselff you will see performed we bid you fareweele. from our Courte at Roystoun the 11 day of Aprile 1611.’ - Record of Secret Council. - Royal Letters.

“1611. Aprile 29. At Greenwich.
“From his Ma : anent the Erll of Ergyll.
“‘Right traist cosine and counsellour and weilbelouit Counsellour we greete you weele, The oppin and avowed rebellioun of that barbarous race of the name of McGregour is growne to suche hicht as we ar resolued by thair examplarie punishment to terrifie vtheris our evil disposit subiectis to committ the lyke insolencyis heireftir; we haif had conference with our cosine the Erll of Ergyll beirair heirof for the caus to whome we haif given power and commissioun to persew these rebellis with fire and swerd, and becaus in the prosequiting of this oure seruice thair will be mony thingis fall oute wherin oure authoritie must be joyned with his forceis and wherein he must be assisted with your aduice and counsell we will heirfoir eirnistlie desire you that, at all occasionis as he sall haif to do ayther to come or send vnto you give him that assistance aduice and counsell as sallbe most fitting for effectuating of this seruice to our honnour and the quiting of the cuntrey. and becaus the saidis McGregouris ressaueth (receiveth) grite comforte by thair wyffis who leving peceablie without trouble and possessing thair goodis not onlie suppleis all thair wantis and necessities bot furneist thame with dew intelligence making thame thairby the moir able to continew in thair rebellioun and to prevent all occasiounis of thair over thraw as lykewayes thair childrene being mony in number are lyke in few yeiris to be als grite if not a griter pest and trouble to our cuntrey nor these present rebellis ar, we will lykewayis desire you to confer with oure said cosine and aduise upoun the best meanes for preventing of these two euillis, whairin yf you find ony difficultyis or impediment Latt vs be acquentit thairwith that we may deliberat vpoun the best meanes for remedying thairof You must heirwith haif a speciall cair that these cuntrys nixt adiacent to the pairtis wher these McGregouris haif thair ordinarye dwelling and residence to be so gairdit and watcheit as they haif no ressett nor comfort thairin And so expecting your cairfull accomplishment of the premiss we bid you heartilie fairweele. frome our Courte at Greewiche the 29. of Aprile 1611.’

[page 381}
“1611. April 29. Commission to the Earl of Argyle to pass upon the ClanGregour.
“James &a Forasmuch as the open and avowed rebellion of that barbarous race of the name of McGregor is grown to so great a height as shaking off all fear of God and reverence of us and our authoritie thay become every day more insolent for remeid whereof and by their exemplary punishment to imprint fear in the hearts of all others our evil disposed subjects we have given power and commission to Archd : Erll of Ergyll and James Campbell of Laweris.

“Commission to the Earl of Ergyll against the ClanGregour James &a Forasmuch as ever since we were of perfect years and able in our own person to govern the kingdoms committed by God to our charge and government. Our chief care (next our duty to his Holy Majesty) hath been to maintain justice and govern the same in peace, and quietness, and rather by lenity than using the rigour of our authority To draw all our subjects to live in a peaceable form under the government of a just Prince. Ever preferring mercy and pardon where the same was humbly suited of us (upon assurance given by the suitors of their conformity to our laws and living as peaceable subjects in time thereafter) to the rigour of our laws, and not using the last remeid where the first was not suited in time convenient, As by example of the middle shyres of our kingdom and farthest remote parts of our Isles is evidently known, the inhabitants thereof now live in as great security without oppression or trouble as our subjects of any other parts of our kingdoms do to their unspeakable comfort; yet notwithstanding of all these premises that most unhappy and barbarous race of the name of McGregor having shaken off all fear of God and reverence to us and our authority have not only neglected that good occasion, in suiting and obtaining of our pardon for their bygane misbehaviour but as if there were not a God to punish them nor a Sovereign Prince to put his decree in execution And, as if they only, of all our subjects were able to make good against us and withstand our authority; they still persist in their most barbarous and wicked life to the great harm and impoverishing of many honest men for remeid whereof and to give example to all others our subjects to continue in our obedience and not to presume upon the impunity of the said McGregors to lead the like wicked life as they do, We are resolved to lay mercy aside and by justice and the sword to root and extirpate all of that race, their assisters, and partakers that shall be found rebellious and disobedient to us and our authority And that this our determination may be put in full execution we have made speciall choice of the Earl of Argyle.”

Next follows an iniquitous proclamation, which must leave an indelible blot on its authors.
“1611. April 29. Licence and commission to the Earl to heir the offers of the ClanGregour.
“For mitigating of the rigour of our other commission given to our said cousing We [page 382} licence and permit him to hear the offers of such of the said MacGregors as shall submit themselves in our mercy and to receive them to our obedience upon the conditions following viz that he shall humbly sute our pardon, shall before obtaining thereof enter in action and blood against any of that race and name being our declared rebels, hunt, follow and pursue them with fire and sword and never leave off the pursuit of some of them till they be reduced to our obedience or rooted out of our kingdom, and that he shall likewise either deliver to our said cousing or to the Lords of our privy Council the person or head of a McGregor of as good rank, quality and action as himsel and find caution. - Record of Council. - Commissions.

“1611. April 29. Proclamation to the Laird of Glenurquhy and such as shall be employed by him for the taking of ClanGregour, narrating the former commission to Erle of Argyle.”
“For better effectuating of which service we have appointed Sir Duncan Campbell of Glenurquhy Knight to attend upon and assist our said cousin ‘Attoure we have taken the said Sir Duncane Campbell and all such persons as shall assist him under our special protection, defence, supply, maintenance, and safeguard to be uncalled, troubled, or pursued criminally nor civilly.’ ”

In May of this year Glenurquhy burned the houses and lands of Dewletter and the Castle of Glenstray, as appears from a pardon for these acts granted in 1621 and 1627. “1611. May 24. The head of John Dhu McAllaster McGregour of Stronferna was sent to the Council by John Campbell brother of Lawers. [3]  

“1611. May 24. at Edinburgh. Certain Acts concerning the ClanGregor.
“Forasmuch as the King’s Majesty having made and constituted Archibald Earl of Argyle his Majesty’s Lieutenant Justice and commissiones for the pursuit of the rebellious thieves and Lymmers called the ClanGregour And his Majesty and Lords of Secret Council being willing to assist the said Lieutenant in everything which may further and advance the service, and considering that in the prosecution thereof he will oftimes have occasion to have sundry companies of men upon the fields who mustt have their entertainment, and victuals in the countries where they shall happen to encamp, therefore his Majesty and the Lords of Secret Council allow that the said, Lieutenant and the Captains and commanders of his camp and Host shall take vivers for themselves and their companies in the parts and countries where they shall encamp, upon the prices following viz the mairt for twenty merks, the boll of meal, for four pounds, the sheep or wedder for two merks, the stone of cheese for 24 shillings and ordain them to make present payment of the prices foresaid when they take up the said vivers and that they take no more at one time, than may serve them for meat allanerlie for the space of 48 hours and that they take not their hiall vivers and furnishing from one man but proportionally from all the neighbours of the bounds [page 383} and parts where they shall camp in, and according to the necessity of the service and state of the country and bounds where they shall encamp. The Lords ordain that the resetters of the ClanGregour, their wives and bairns shall be called before his Majesty’s council for their resetts since the proclamation in the month of last and their trial to be according to the form and order of the Council.

“The Lords remit the order taking with the wives and children of the ClanGregour to the Lieutenant himself The Lords of Secret Council ordain letters to be directed charging the Sherrif of the Shires where the wives and children of the ClanGregour have their residence as also their landlords to render and deliver them to the Lieutenant within three days under the pain of horning and they being delivered to the Lieutenant ordain him to transport them to such parts as he shall think meet and to mark the wives with a key upon the face and if they shall withdraw themselves from the places whereunto they shall be transported the Lords ordain the resetters of them to be called before the Council.

“Forasmuch as one of the chief causes which has encouraged the rebellious thieves and lymmers of the ClanGregour to continue in their thievish doings has been the comfort and supply which they have found in sundry parts of the incountry from which they are well provided and furnished with poulder, bullet, and armour and whereas they dare not come themselves to buy armour the same is bought to their use by other Highlandmen, to the great hindrance of his Majesty’s service Therefore the Lords of Secret Council ordain letters to be directed To command charge and inhibit all and sundry his Majesty’s lieges and subjects within the burrows of Perth, Stirling, Glasgow, Dumbarton and Inverness by open proclamation at the Market Crosses of the said burrows that none of them presume nor take upon hand to sell any kind of armour to any highlandmen but by the knowledge and advice of such special persons, within every one of the said burrows, as shall be appointit to that effect by his Majesty’s Lieutenant, to the effect it may be clearly known and understood that the said armour is not to the use nor behoof of the said ClanGregour. As they will answer upon the contrary at their highest peril.

“The Lords of Secret Council for the better furtherance of his Majesty’s service against the ClanGregour give power and commission to Archibald Earl of Ergyll his Majesty’s Lieutenant, Justice, and Commissioner against the ClanGregour to charge such persons within the Sheriffdom of Perth whom in his honour and conscience he shall think to be favourers, resetters, or assisters of the ClanGregor to transport themselves to the Sheriffdoms of Fife, Stirling or Forfar and to remain there for the space of two months.

“The Lords ordain a missive to be written to Sir Johnne Moncreiffe to cause the house of Garthe be delivered to the Lieutenant. The Lords ordain Sir Duncane Campbell of Glenurquhy Knight who was personally present to deliver Allaster McGorrie presently being in his hands, to the Lieutenant.

[page 384}
“Forasmuch as for the better furtherance and execution of his Majesty’s service against the ClanGregour it is very necessary that the houses of Innerdouglas pertaining to _________McFarlane of _________and the house of Fatlipps pertaining to Malcome McFarlane of __________be delivered to his Majesty’s Lieutenant to be kept by him for such space as he shall have that service in hands; therefore ordain letters to be directed charging the said ___________McFarlane and all others, havears, keepers, and detainers of the said place and house of Innerdouglas and the said Malcolme McFarlane and all others, havears, keepers, and detainers of the said place and house of Fatlipps, to render and deliver the said place and house to the said Lieutenant or any in his name having his power to receive the same, and to remove themselves and their servants forth thereof within six hours next after the Charge under the pain of rebellion &a And if they fail &a to denounue. &a.

“Forasmuch as the King’s Majesty having now resolved upon some good and substantious order and course for pursuit of the rebellious thieves and limmers of the ClanGregor and reducing of them to his Majesty’s obedience, and the forces destined for this service being now to enter to work, and to prosecute, hunt, and follow and pursue the said limmers with fire and sword and all other extremity It is therefore very necessary and expedient that all his Majesty’s good subjects in the countries and bounds next adjacent to the ClanGregor be upon their guard as well for keeping of their own bounds free of them, as to follow and pursue them as they come there; For which purpose ordain letters to be directed to command and charge the Sheriffs, Stewards and Baillies and all noblemen, barons and gentlemen and others his Majesty’s subjects in the bounds and parts where the said thieves and lymmers shall happen to resort and repair To cause diligent attendance to be given that they have no resset, comfort, protection nor maintenance, within their bounds, and if they shall happen to come there for eschewing of apprehension That they immediately rise in arms follow and pursue the said thieves and lymmers, raise the hue and cry and never leave off the pursuit of them until they be off their bounds and countries. As they will answer upon the contrary at their highest peril.

“1611. May 25. The Lords of Secret Council ordain and command Sir Duncan Campbell of Glenurquhy Knight, James Campbell of Lawers, Allane Cameroune of Lochyell, and Alexander McDonald of Gargavache to deliver unto Archibald Earl of Ergyll his Majesty’s Lieutenant in his Highness’s service against the ClanGregour all such persons of the said Clan as they have already taken prisoners or shall hereafter take prisoners during the time of the said service For the which these presents or the extract thereof subscribed by the Clerk of his Majestty’s Privy Council shall be unto them a sufficient warrant. - Record of Secret Council, Acta.

“May 25. The Council had already been taking measures to levy money from such landlords as had ‘MacGregors dwelling within their bounds, or whose grounds were [page 385} laid waste by them, in return for their efforts to extirpate them which the Government seem to have more at heart than the Landlords.’ On 25. these landlords being convened as now asserted by the Council, before the commissioners of the Highlands had promised to give his Majesty £60 for every merk land the second year after his Majesty should have rid them of the oppression of ClanGregour. From a subsequent minute of Council however (July 1613.) it appears that the number of landlords present, out of at least sixteen of the best rank and quality of these was five only and that of these Glenurquhy as one, protested against the transaction. The reluctance indeed of the landlords to go along with this measure will be illustrated in the sequel.”

Of the Landlords of the ClanGregor at this time the subjoined list is made from a comparison of the “Record of Council,” and the Treasurer’s Books (July 1613). “Earls of Argyll, Murray, Linlithgow, Monteith, Master of Tullibardin, Lord of Madertie, Sir George Buchanan of that ilk, Sir Duncan Campbell of Glenurquhy, Sir Archibald Stirling of Keir, John Napier of Merchiston, James Reidheuch of Cultebraggane, Alexander Menzies of Weyme, Robert Robertson of Strowane, Duncan Campbell of Glenlyon, James Campbell of Lawers, John Campbell his brother, Mr. James Shaw of Knockhill, Alex. Shaw of Cambusmoir, Thomas Graham of Boquhapple, Duncan Menzies.

“May 25. A motion was made in the Council for relieving the country of the wives and bairns of the ClanGregor.” - Haddington Collection, Vol. i., page 217.

Probably it was the “Overture” given in “The Chiefs of Colquhoun,” viz :-
“Ane speciall Owertour for transplanting the bairnis of Clangregour.
“Item First, the haill bairnis that is past xii zeir auld to be sent to Irland be zour Lordships warren, to sic settilmen as zour Lordships thinkis meitest that duellis thair, be quhais advysis thair names to be chengit, and to be maid hirdis, and thair to remane vnder the paine of deid.

“As anent these that ar within tuell zeir auld, that thai be zour Lordships warren be transplantit be south the watteris of Forth and Clyd, conforme to his Majestie’s will, to the Justices of Peace of these boundis, at thair nixt grate meitting, quhilk is the first Tuysday of Feb. And be thair advyssis to be placeit and sustenit in townis and parochines, and thair namis chengit, and thair to remane vnder the pane of ded, with power to the saidis justiceis of Peace to giff and allow ane fyne to evirilk ane of thame, for the help of thair sustentatioun, and quhen thai come to the age of xii zeris, that they be transplantit to Irland. [4]  

[page 386}
“May 1611. Remission for fyreraising and for all other crymes, to McRobert McGregor Grahame. - Privy Seal LXXX. 250.

“1611. May 25. A report was made to the Council that the escheats of the ClanGregor and the fines of their resetters had, by his Majesty been given to the Earl of Argyll. - Haddington’s Collections.

“May 25. The resetters of the ClanGregour ordained to be pursued and punished.
“Power give to the Earl of Argyll to command such McGregouris as has found caution, and renounced their names, to transport themselves on this side of Tay if he find it expedient . . . Granted that he shall charge the Sherrifs and Landlords of the Highlands and Brae countries to set out watches and to prepare forces to hold the ClanGregor furth of their bounds, and to pursue them if they come within the same.

“May 26. Johnne Dow Mcallester’s head sent in be Johne Campbell brother to Laweris. - Haddington Collections.

“1611. Item to the Laird of Lawers for his service against the McGregouris at command and direction of the Council, £1000.

“Several messages to various lairds paid for.

“May 28. The whilk day the Earl of Argyle’s commission against the ClanGregor was presently read, allowed and subscribed with some other letters and warrants concerning the ClanGregor. - Record of Secret Council Sederunt Book.

“June___. Item by warrant of the Council to Duncan Makfarlane in recompense of the hurt which his brother received in the pursuit of John Dow Eane McGregour as the said warrantt in his acquittance produced bears, £66. 15. 4. - Lord High Treasurer’s Books.

“1611. June. at Greenwich.
“From his Majesty anent the ClanGregour.
“‘Right Trusty and well beloved Cousins and counsellors we greet you well. Wheras we find that upon the slaughter of John Dow McAllaster some suit is made for payment of that price imposed by our Council at Stirling, upon every head of the ClanGregour but particularly of a greater rate of money upon some specials of mark and note among them, of which this John Dow McAllaster was one, we have therein thought meet to refer the interpretation of your own act wholly unto yourselves who first made the same, and as no doubt you can best deliver what was the true meaning and intent at the time of the making thereof, so we wish that you should accordingly proceed and accomplish the condition of it unto whomsoever you shall hold the same to be justly due, and in like sort should give unto every one who shall make an unlawful demand their dispatch and a direct refuse, so far as in reason they cannot justly challenge any thing which you, who were makers of the act can best determine. And so we bid you fairwell. From our Court at Greenwich the 3. of June 1611.’ - Record of Council. - Royal Letters.

[page 387}
“July 6. Commission against Gregor McGregor VcEane.
“Sir Duncane Campbell has taken and apprehended Gregor McGregor VcEane a common and notorious thief murderer sorner, and oppressour and presently has him in his hands, and keeping. Commission to Glenurquhy to hold a Court and try him.

“July 16. The Marquis of Huntlie presented a supplication setting forth that he was ‘confynit within his plais of Strathbogie and some certane bounds thereabout’ and that for many years he had not been able to visit his countries on license to the great disadvantage of his property. ‘And now as the saidis Lordis knowis his Maiesteis seruice aganis the ClanGregour is in handis and it is verie likelie that these lymmaris for thair safetie will withdraw themselffis to the said Marques boundis foresaidis whaur without all question thay will find comforte, resett, and protectioun yf he go not thair to impede and stay the same, humbly desyring thairfoir the saidis Lordis to grant and gif vnto him Libertie and License to ressort and repair to the countreis of Badyienauche, Lochquhabir, and Innerness, for the necessair, caussis foirsaidis,’ &a. He obtains leave from the 1. August to 20. Sep. and no longer.

“July 17. William Buchanan nephew and heir presumptive of William Buchanan of Drumakill and William Buchanan in Blairnamboyd got from the Earl of Argyll a licence to treat with the ClanGregor from 17. to 25- July.

“August 5. At Salisbury. From his Majesty anent McConnell duy and McRannald.
“Right trusty Cousin and Counsellor and right trusty and well beloved Counsellors we greet you heartily well. we wrote unto you before to have caused the receivers of our rents of that our kingdom deliver to Allane McConwildwy or the bearer hereof the Laird of McRannald so much money as should amount to one month’s pay for fourscore men, and that for prosecuting our service against the ClanGregour and understanding by the bearer that this money was never as yet suited by you and that the sum will amount (at to shillings a day for every man), to one hundred pounds sterling our will and pleasure is, that as soon as you shall receive advertisement from the Earl of Ergyll that the said Allane and the Bearer with their forces are gone to the fields and entered in our service against the ClanGregour you shall immediately thereafter cause the officers of receipt in that our kingdom pay unto the bearer for himself, and his neighbour Allane, the said one hundred Pounds sterling for which these presents shall be your sufficient warrant. And so we bid you heartily farewell. From our Court at Salisbury the 3. Of August 1611. Sic subscribitur,

“August 16. Complaint by (Sir Alexander) Menzies of Weyme, as follows. The Lords of Secret Council have at the instance of William Rattray of Rynnagullane, Johnne Tailyeour in Corb, and Johne Beg there, decerned horning against complainer [page 388} for not entering before the Council Allaster Menzies in Apnadow, rebel as being his man. Now Archibald Earl of Argyle, having been employed by his Highness in the pursuit of the ClanGregour, and having ‘the haill cuntrey people of the Hielandis, undir his chairge in that present service’ compliner and all his men are and must continue during that service on the fields under the said Earl so that he cannot without great prejudice to that service compeir to the effect forsaid. Farther by an act of council it is ordained that during the time of that service the persons engaged therein shall be free from all compearing before any judicatory of this kingdom. If the complainer had not been burdened with this service he would have willingly compeared and shown why he should not be urged with the entry of the said Allaster in respect that the said Allaster is not his man but is servant to the Earl of Argyll and at present with the Earl in the fields against the ClanGregour. Still the complainer has fund caution in 1000 merks to enter the said Allaster if it is found that he ought to do so. On these grounds the said horning ought to be suspended. The Lords do suspend the letters of horning, because the said Allaster is in his Majesty’s service against the ClanGregour as has been verified by a letter sent to the complainer from the Earl of Argyle. - Dr. Masson.

“1611. Sep. Complaint by Ronnald McDonald, apparent of Gargavach as follows. Complainer and Allaster McRonnald of Gargavach, his Father and Allane Camroun of Lochyell having been called to his Majesty’s service against the ClanGregour had ‘for testificatioun of thar willing obedience, to the hazard of thair lyveis and quhat ellis thay haif,’ undertaken the service with the resolution to prosequte it to the uttermost of theair possibilities ‘Accordingly Camroun and the complainer having sent out some spies against the ClanGregour had learned that Robert Abroche and 22 principal ringleaders of the Clan were in Badyenoch and had the protection there of the whole Clan Chattane and Clan Fersane, Thereupon complainer with his friends repaired in all haste to Badyenoch on 22 of July last ‘to have maid ane onset upone the ClanGregour.’ The Clan Chattane and Clan Fersane however hearing of their arrival at the head of Badyenoch rose all in arms to the number of 300 men, under the charge of William McIntosche son of the late Laird McIntosch &a and came to the place where the complainer and his company were and not only stayed them from going farther into the country for pursuit of the ClanGregour but demanded of them how they dared come there against the ClanGregour who were friends of theirs and whom they would protect against all deadly, without respect of his Majesty. Although complainer had then ‘objectit unto thame’ the directioun he had from his Majesty and the Council for pursuit of the ClanGregor defenders took 12 of his men and these they yet detain prisoners. They would not have failed to slay complainer himself if night had not come on permitting his escape. Charge had been given to certain McFersanes and McIntosches (enumerated) to answer this day under pain of rebellion and now the defenders [page 389} appearing the Lords find the complaint proven against three who are to be committed to ward in the tolbooth of Edinburgh. - Dr. Masson.”

In reference to the part taken by Locheill and Clan Ranald in pursuit of the MacGregors, a passage in Gregory’s “Highlands and Isles” has an incidental remark as follows :- In 1611

“The Clanchameron and the Clanranald of Lochaber under their respective Chiefs Allan Cameron of Lochiel and Alexander McRanald of Keppoch, instead of waging war with each other or with the captain of the Clanchattan, were employed to assist the Earl of Argyle in suppressing of the ClanGregor. Several gentlemen of the families of Locheil and Keppoch refused however to engage on this service; which indeed if carried into effect with good will by the Highland Clans employed would have speedily ended in the utter ruin of the name of MacGregor.” [5]  

“1611. Sep. Robert Abroch had his headquarters near the Laird of Grant’s house of Ballachastel.

From the “Chartulary” :-

“1611. Nov. 19. at Edinburgh. Anent the ClanGregour.
“The which day the missive letter and articles respectively underwritten sent from his Majesty were presented to the Lords of Secret Council and in open audience read of the tenour follows.
“ ‘Right trusty and well beloved cousin and Counsellor we greet you well, we send you now home the Earl of Argyle to make en end according to his promise of that service, which he has already begun. The specialities whereof we have caused to be set down in articles which we have thought good herewith to send unto you. As for the service itself We are thus resolved, that as the connivance at those and the like malefactors might justly be accounted a great iniquity, so the utter extirpation of them and all and every one in particular, would be a work too trouble some, And therefore we have thought good on some to execute justice, and the rest to take to mercy And as we will not have our justice satisfied with the meanest and basest persons, so we would have special choice made of the most notorious malefactors to be an example thereof in this present business for which effect we would have you crave the advice as well of the said Earl of Argyle as of the gentlemen and others next inhabiting unto them, and who have been most endamaged by them by whose information ye may likewise learn what particular persons are most fit to be taken to mercy and which not. As concerning all satisfaction to be made to the persons particularly interested by such as shall be taken to mercy, as it will be a matter altogether impossible, so we must in that point prefer the genenal benefit of the quietness of the whole country to the [page 390} private interest of any one man, or some few others damnified, yet will we that those who are any way able to make any satisfaction shall according to their power make present restitution and for the rest let their good behaviour in time coming be accepted in part of payment, for if we should go about to exact the extremity both would the performance of that service require longer time and be more troublesome to the said Earl and also be more chargeable to us in recompensing the same, yet do we not mean to set you down an absolute rule herein upon either side, but leave it to your discretion so to temper this business as all occasions of complaint for non restitution may be taken away, so far as may be and yet no impossibility to be thrust upon the offender which may hinder the conclusion of so good a work, But to the intent that an assured peace (and not as it were a truce be obtained, for putting over of an imminent storm) may ensue, one point is carefully to be considered and diligently executed which is, the transplanting of such as shall be taken to mercy and of the wives and children of those who are or shall be killed or executed, (for except they be transplanted out of those places wherein they have had their continual residence according as was done unto the Grahams of Eske we see not how any perfect quietness of the country may be expected.) which point, how it may be best performed ye are likewise to consult with their aforesaid neighbours whose opinions being heard ye are to give such order therein as ye and they shall think most fit and most case to be followed And all these premises recommending to your special consideration We bid you farewell from our Court at Roystoun.
‘The 23 day of October 1611.”

“1611. Nov. Some particuler headis of his Majesteis will and pleasour concerning the ordour takeing with the McGregouris.
“First that my Lord of Argyle give in a roll to the Counsall of all the McGregouris that are killed by him or his, of those that ar takin and in persone and of those that ar come in will, and of those that ar yitt rebellis and lyis out and that my lord leave the copy of this roll with my Lord Fentoun.

“His Majesty is pleasit of that nomber of the McGregouris whiche come in will to grant unto my Lord of Argyle some three or four of thair lyves and a remissioun : off the which nomber Duncane Makewin alias Duncane the Tutour to be one, in regaird that he wes chief of thame and breker of the societie : providing alwise that thay find sufficient caution and suretie to the Counsell for observing of the laweris in tyme to come, and that these suretyis be ansuerable for ony wrong thay do heireftir.

“For the rest of these that ar come in will, if ony of thame haif killed a McGregour als good as himselff (or) two thrie or four of thame which in comparisone may be equal unto him, and assuredlie knowne to be his deid, his Majestie is pleasit he haif a remissioun, with the uther thrie or four whiche his Majestie hes grantit to the Erll of [page 391} Argyll; providing lykwise that thay find sufficient surety for keeping good ordour in tyme comeing and such suryteis as sall content the Counsell. And for such as ar come in will and done no service by killing of the McGregouris nor cannot find sufficient suretie that then the law to haif his dew course, and no favour at all to be shown.

“For suche as ar yitt rebelslis and outlawis after the Counsell he considered of the roll presentit unto thame by my Lord Argyle that ther be no pardoun grantit unto any nor takin in will except he present a better head at least ane as goode als his awne or such two thrie or more as salbe enjoyned to him by the Counsall. And for Robert Abroche who is now Chief of thame that ar presently out that he be not pardoned unless he bring at least halff a dusone of thair headis.

“To such of the McGregouris that ar pardoned and hes goodis and geir sufficient to mak restitutioun to the poorest sorte and that to be done at the sight and discretion of the Counsall to those that hes most neid of it and whair thair is no guidis nor geir thair is none to be haid.

“That the Counsall advise upon some satled ordour with these that find caution ather be transplantatioun or utherwise as salbe thought best.

“For the young children and wyffis that thair be proclamatioun maid to produce theme or utherwise the resetaris to be guyltie of the crymes committed be the childrenes parentis and that the Counsal 1611 Nov. be informatioun of my Lord of Argyle and utheris of the cuntrey people learne to know of thame all, and thairefter to dispose of thame so as they sall think best for repressing such a generatioun that thay never come to such a head or insolence again. - Dr. Masson.

“His Majesty ordains that the Council take trial of the resetters and so many of them as shall be found guilty by the means and information of Mylord of Argyle shall be fined accordingly which fine his Majesty is pleased to bestow upon MyLord of Argyle to enable him the better to serve his Majesty.

“The conditions of the caution to be founden by the McGregouris who are to be received in favour.

“That they shall be answerable and obedient subjects to our Sovereign and his laws That they shall satisfy and redress all parties who shall sustain harm or skaith of them hereafter and for bygane wrongs that they shall make redress so far as they have geir, That they shall not assist nor take part with the ClanGregor, resett them, their wives, bairns nor goods nor keep conventions, trysts nor meetings with them, by word nor write ‘That they shall remain and keep ward within the Sherrifdom of Fife or any other part besouth the waters of Forth and shall not resort, nor repair, benorth the said water, and last that they shall compeir personally before his Majesty’s Council so oft as they or their cautioners shall be charged to that effect. upon ten days warning under such pecunial sums as shall be modified by his Majesty’s Council to be paid to his Majesty, in case they fail in any part of the premisses besides the satisfaction and redress of the parties skaithed. - Record of Secret Council.

[page 392}
“1611. Nov. 21. Commission for trying the Resetters of the ClanGregour.
“Forasmuch as albeit the resett of the rebellious thieves and lymmers of the ClanGregour, their wives, bairns, goods and geir has been prohibited and discharged by mans good acts and proclamations made, and published heretofore; nevertheless the chief and principal cause which has procured and still procures their continuance in rebellion and which has frustrated and disappointed the effectual execution of his Majesty’s service against them doth proceed from the resett, supply, protection, and maintenance which they find among great numbers of people as well inhabiting the countries and bounds next adjacent unto them as in some parts of the country, who in outward show and appearance falsely pretending to be unfriends to the said limmers do notwithstanding covertly and obscurely not only supply all their necessities and wants but resett there in their houses, and take their goods and geir in keeping to their own use, and behoof, so that at all tines when these fugitive limmers and thieves are pursued, or an course intended against them for reducing of them to obedience, their resetts and starting holes are so sure and certain unto them, as the most part of the courses intended against them have proven fruitless, highly to the offence and contempt of his Majesty and fostering of the said thieves in their insolencies; and whereas bypast experience in the like case gives clear evidence that nothing is more forcible against traitors, rebels, and fugitives than to cut them short of their resetts, and starting holes, cannot be goodly done, but by exemplary punishment to be inflicted upon the Resetters, Thairfore, &a.”

Thus in the autumn of the year when such comprehensive plans were laid for the utter extirpation of the race, the King and Council confess that their efforts were mostly fruitless, and this circumstance explains the comparative clemency of the first part of the proclamation of the 19th November with the object of sparing the Commissioner further trouble, and the authorities greater expense.

“1611. Dec. 13. Charges against the Earl of Tullibardine for exhibition of the Laird of MacGregour being in his hands.” “Charges against Allane McEanduy for exhibition of Patrick Aldoche and others.” - Record of Secret Council Sederunt Book.

“1611. Nov. 21. Certain Gentlemen appointed in each Sheriffdom ‘to appoint and sett courts to be halden be thame within the boundis respective at suche tymes dayis and placeis as thay salt think meet and to call and convene before thame all such persons as hes resett ony of the ClanGregor, thair wyffis, bairnis, or goodis see the first day of August 1610. or who sall resett thame during the tyme of this commissioun (the names of quhilkis resettaris with the names of the personaris resett, thay sall rassave from his Majesteis Lieutennent against the ClanGregour) and to [page 393} examine try and demand tharupoun the sams resett and gyf thay grant the same, to putt thair depositionis formerlie in wreatt and gyf thay deny the same, to ressave probatioun and witness aganis thame and to report the depositionis of the witnesses with the confessiounis of the pairties offendaries dewlie and authenticallie written and closeit unto the saidis Lordis to the effect the saidis Lordis may accordinglie pronunce and gif forth sentence against thame. As alsua that the saidis commissionaris report unto the saidis Lordis the estate and conditioun of the personis who sall grant or aganis whom the resett salbe proven, and what thay ar valiant in landis or goodis and whenas the said commissionaris sall find the said resett to be cleir and manifest outher be confession of the party or deposition of witnes that then thay sal take sure cautioun of the offendouris that thay sal satisfie the decreet and sentence to be pronunceit aganis thame be the saidis Lordis and in case of thair refusal to find this cautioun that the saidis commissionaris committ thame to waird and hald thame thairin ay and quhill otherwise his Majesty’s Lieutennant aganis the ClanGregour report unto the saidis commissionaris his warrand beiring that he hes ressaved satisfactioun of the offendour or is to employ thame aganis the ClanGregor. - Dr. Masson.’

“1611. Edinburgh Dec. 6. Complaint by Johnne Campbell brother of James Campbell of Lawers as follows.
“The Lords of the Secret Council having upon 19. April 1605. resolved that the ‘work of the exterminatioun of that wicked and unhappie and infamous race of lawless lymmaris, callit the Macgregour should be followed out against them till they had been’ alluterlie extirpat and rooted out’ had declared ‘verie solemnelie’ by an Act of Council that whoever should apprehend and enter before them any of the name of McGregor ‘quick or dead’ should receive a nineteen years tack of all such lands as belonged to the person presented or were possessed by them, or else ‘ane contentatioun and satisfaction for thair kyndnes to be payit be the landislord at the arbitriement of the Counsale’ provided that the person receiving the tack should find cautioun to answer to the laws and to pay the old maill to the landlord, and also that at the expiry of the said tack the tacksman should vacate the said lands to the landlord and claim no kidness to the same thereafter. Now the complainer to the great hazard of his life had ‘maid ane onset on the late Johnne Dow McAllaster McGregour in Stronfarnoch a chief ringleader of that Clan, slain him and presented his head accordingly but albeit the said Johnne was kindly tenant of the lands of Stronfarnoche, held by him of Robert Robertsoun of Strowane at the time of his slaughter, and albeit the said Robert, according to the said Act ought to deliver to the complainer a nineteen years tack of the said lands, yet he ‘proudlie refuses’ to do so. Both parties agreed to submit this matter to the Arbitration of Archibald Earl of Argyle and Sir Alexander Hay secretary to his Majesty, who promised to give their judgement by the 20. instant.

“1611. Dec. 19. The matter in dispute having been submitted to the appointed [page 394} arbiters with Alexander Earl of Dunfermlyne as oversman they had awarded to Campbell a certain sum in silver to be paid by Robertsoun in full discharge of his claim. As in these circumstances it is reasonable that the Laird of Strowane be possessed with his said lands, and that the relict and bairns of the said Johnne Dow be removed therefrom ‘as personis unworthie to brook ony benefit within his Majesteis kingdome’ the Lords declare that it shall be lawful to enter in possession of the said lands without any process of law, and to remove the said widow and her goods furth thereof without incurring any action of ejection, intrusion, spuilyie or wrongous intromission. - Dr. Masson.

“1611. Dec. Item to George Matho messenger passing from Edinburgh with letters to charge John Earl of Tullibardine To bring and exhibit Gregor McGregor now called the Laird and son to umqle John Dow McGregor [6]   personally before the Council the 9. Jan. next, to the effect order may be taken with him for his obedience as accords under the pain of rebellion. And likewise passing with Letters to the Crosses of Stirling and Perth and there be open proclamattion, charged Duncan, Patrik, and Gregor McGregors sons to Patrik Aldoch, Dougall McCoull oig, in Glenbotha, Johne McEwine McGregor and John Dow McPhatrik vy, To compeir personally As also charged Allane McIndowie of Lochquhaber who promised to be answerable for them To bring produce and exhibit before the council the said persons the 9. day of Jan. next to the effect order may be taken with them for their obedience. under the pain of rebellion, £8.

“Item to post passing from Edinburgh with close Letters to Allane McIndowie of Lochquhaber and with a copy of the charge for exhibition of the said McGregors for whom he promised to be answerable, £6.13.4.

“1611. Dec. 20. Appeared personally before the Council ‘Duncane McEwin McGregor sometime called the Tutor, and renounced his name of McGregour taking that of Dowglas when Argyle became his surety, that he should appear on 15 days warning under penalty of 3000 marks. The Tutor who is elsewhere styled ‘of Moirinche’ had as appears from his Majesty’s letter 23rd. Oct. surrendered some weeks at least before this.

“Dec. 24. Contract John Napier of Merchistoune on the one part and James Campbell of Lawers, Colin Campbell of Aberuchill and John Campbell of Ardewnane by which the three Campbells named became bound that ‘in case the said John Napier or any of his tenants in Menteith and Lennox shall be troubled by any of the name McGregour or any other ‘Hieland Brokin Men’ they will aid in redressing the wrongs sustained, and the said Johnne Napier becomes bound to aid the other in lawful affairs. - Archives of Lord Napier, communicated by Mark Napier, Esq., Adv.

“1611. Dec. 14. Letter from the Council to Allan MacEanduy.
“You remember that quhen you procureit the protectioun and over sicht to [page 395} Duncane, Patrik and Gregour McGregouris sones to Patrik Aldoch, Dougall McCoull Og in Glenlocha Johnne McEane McGregour and Johnne Dow McPatrik Vy. that you promeist to be ansuerable for thame and that they sould do some service worthie of his Majesties favour. And now thair being some course in handis for reduceing of that clan to obedience and a catalogue being maid of the haill personis of that name who ar ansuerable and who rebellis and disobedient we haif rankit and nomberit thir personis amongs thame who are lauchfull and answerable subjects and we will so repute and esteem thame yf be thir awne folyis they reject not the present favour offerit to thame and thairfoir these ar to desire to caus thir personis gif thair appeirance heir before the Counsall upoun the 9. day of June nixt to come to the effect thay may renunce thair names and find cautioun conforme to the rest who ar to be ressavit and hes bene alreddy ressavit into favour. yf thay sall neglect and contempte the present occasioun and comp not we will be constrayned for awne exoneratioun at his Majesteis handis to declair thame fugitives and according to give ordour for persute of thame but we hoip that they will be moir careful of thair awne weill and will not draw ony neidless trauble upon thame. &a.”

[1] See Chapter XXVII. Page 336. volume 1 chapter 27

[2] See Proclamation of 31st Jan. 1611. page 264. volume 1 chapter 22

[3] Vide the quotation from the “Black Book of Taymouth.”

[4] Copy of “Overture” at Rossdhu – “Chiefs of Colquhoun,” vol i., page 217.

[5] Gregory’s “Highlands and Isles,” page 341, where a note is added : “Many of the Clan Chattane also, particularly the MacPhersons, assisted to protect the ClanGregor at this time.”

[6] “Nan Lurach” Brother of Allaster of Glenstray