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Amelia Volume 1 Chapter 32

Remission to Robert Abroch

[page 406}
“1613. Jan 12. The quhilk day it is thocht meet and expedient be the Lordis of Secreit Counsaill That ane remissioun salbe past and exped to Robert Abroche [1]   McGregour conforme to his Majesties directioun send to the Lord Chancellor to that effect the said Robert first renunceing his name, and finding caution for his deutifull behaviour redres of pairtyis to be harmed and skaithit be him, for his personall compeirance quhen he salbe callit and that he sall not resett, supplie, intercomoun, assist, nor tak part with the ClanGregour. - Record of Secret Council.

“Jan. 14. Letter Sir Thomas Hamilton of Byres to the King.
[2]   “‘The counsall ressaved your Majesties letter concerning Robin Abroches remissioun and protection which upon hope of your Majesties gracious permission they have delayed to performe, till be thair direction to me; your Majestie may be informed be my letter, that Robin Abroch is reported to have beine the most bluidie, and violent murthourar and oppressour of all that damned race and maist terrible to all the honest men of the cuntrie who now ressaving favour above all utheris of his kin, being dispensed from compeirance before the Counsall, to mensweare his name and from finding caution for his compeirance before the Counsall, whanever he salbe chairged under competent paynes, which hes beine the ordour prescryved to all the rest of that Clan without exception. The favour grantit to him gevis him louse renzeis, discourages these who stand in feir of his barborous oppression, and may move other brokin men to stand out till they get the lyk conditions, and perhaps tempt some who stand alreddie bound to the peace, to lope furth whill thay obteane the lyke freedom, and immunitie, from all ordour, and obedience. And thairfore the Counsall most humble craives your Majestie may allow thaime to urge Robin Abroch to observe the common ordour prescryved to all utheris of his Clan, and obeyed inviolable be such as [page 407} obtained remissions. Bot if your Majestie be resolved to the contrare, upon signification of your determined pleasour they will most reddelie obey your royal commandments, and do intend for present saiftie to grant him ane protection, whill the 15 day of May. providing he forbeare to repair to the Schirifdoms of Dumbarten, Stirling, Perth and Invernes. Thairfore I most humbie beseik your Majestie to returne the signification of your good pleasour so sone as convenientlie may be in thir purposes. &a.’ - MS. in Sir James Balfour’s Collections, Advocates’ Library, Edinburgh.

“Jan. 14. His Majesties missive concerning Robert Abroch wes presented and red in counsell Bot becaus he culd not find caution for his dewtifull behaviour in tyme cuming, and for his remaining furth of the boundis, quhair formarlie he committit his insolencies, the Counsell hes superseidit the expeiding of his remissioun till the knawledge of his Majesties pleasour, And in the mein tyme thay have grantit unto him ane protectioun, to be untroubled quhill the XV day of maii next with promeis that he sall not hant within the boundis abonewritten quhill that day, and that he sall compeir befoir the Counsell gif he sall happin to be dischairgit afoir that day. The Laird of Lundie brother to the Erll of Argyll being to repair to Court, to confer with his brother anent the service of the ClanGregour as he pretendis, he hes nominat the Laird of Laweris to have the charge of that service till his returne, and upoun Laweris acceptatioun of the charge, Lundie is to have a licence for his upcuming. - Balfour’s Collections.

“1613. Jan 21. Proclamation in favour of Robert Abroche.
“James &a. To all and sundry. ‘Forasmuch as Robert Abroche McGregour being moved with a hatred and detestation of the wicked and unhappy trade of life, of the rebellious thieves and limmers called the ClanGregour, and being most desirous to become our lawful subject, and to live hereafter in the rank and condition of a humble and obedient subject, he has for this effect, not only entered in action against the said limmers and brought in some of the specials of them who have worthily suffered death, but with that he has come in to our court, and offered to employ his person in whatsoever our services, as well against the ClanGregour as others.’
“Received into favour on finding caution and taken under special protection, defence, supply, maintenance and safeguard. 21 Jan. 1613.

“Jan. 26. Proclamation that none of the ClanGregour wear armour.
“‘Forasmuch as some of the ClanGregour who are guilty of that detestable, barbarous, and cruel butcherie, and slaughter committed upon our Sovereign Lord’s peaceable and good subjects at Glenfrune and of the fire raisings, herships, and depredations committed since upon Sir Duncan Campbell of Glenurquhy, Alexander Colquhoun of Luss, and Coline Campbell of Aberurquhill, taking new breath and courage unto them, upon a foolish conceit and apprehension conceived by them that the courses intended, and in hands for reducing of that Clan to obedience were [page 408} become void and frustrated They have begun to flock together in companies armed with swords, targes, bows, darlochs, harquebuts, pistoletts and other weapons invasive, and they go athwart the country sorning, oppressing, quarrelling, and injuring his Majesty’s good subjects, in all parts where they may be masters, and commanders and their pride and insolency is come to this height, that they are become careless, of whatsoever courses are undertaken for reducing of them to obedience, so that if some strict order be not taken with them whereby they may be retained, and held under obedience and fear of the law, the estate and condition of his Majesty’s subjects dwelling ewest unto them will become as hard and worse nor at any time heretofore. Therefore the King’s Majesty with advice of the Lords of the Secret Council has statuted and ordained That no person or persons whatsomever of the ClanGregour who are guilty of the cruel and detestable crime foresaid committed at Glenfroone, and of the fireraisings, murders, slaughters, herschips, and depredations committed since upon the said Sir Duncane Campbell of Glenurquhy, Alexander Colquhoun of Luss, And Coline Campbell of Aberurquhill, shall at any time after the publication hereof, bear or wear any kind of armour except ane pointless knife, to cut their meat, under the pain of death, to be executed upon the person, or persons whatsomever, who shall violate and contravene this present act, and ordinance, and ordain letters to be directed to make publication hereof &a by open proclamation at the market crosses of Perth, Stirling, Dumbarton, Inverness and other places needful, in order that none pretend ignorance of the same and to command and charge all Sheriffs, Stewards, Justices of the Peace, Provosts and Baillies within burgh, and other judges, magistrates and officers whatsoever to take and apprehend all such persons of the ClanGregour who are guilty of the crimes abovewritten whom they shall find to bear or wear any kind of armour except a pointless knife, as said is, and to bring, present and exhibit to his Majesty’s justice, to the effect the said punishment of death may be executed upon them as the said Sherrifs &a will answer upon their obedience. - Record of Secret Council.’

“1613. Feb. 2. Letter Campbell of Glenurchy to the King.
“‘Please your excellent Majesty Your Highness’s letters in favour of Robert Abroche MacGregour now calling himself Ramsay I have received. Whereby I am willing to repossess him in whatsoever lands he hath right unto without trouble or plea in law. It is of truth that he did possess certain lands belonging to me without any right or title to them at all yea so far against my consent, that with remembrance of my very great loss I shall repent I had such a tenant. And when he, as one of the chief and special ringleaders of his viporous clan, did not content themselves to wrong me by the most barborous oppressing of my tenants, but had also overrun a great part of three or four Sherriffdoms. Then the general grief of so many dutiful subjects made the exterminion of this damnable race of people to be resolved upon, as most expedient, and necessary for your Majesty’s peace, and obedience, and the surety of your Majesty’s dutiful subjects dwelling in these parts, which work, since it took beginning, [page 409} hath been ever chargeable to your Majesty, painful to the country, and with my particular very great hurt, and skaith. Having had besides many former losses, within less than these eighteen months, two hundred merkland wasted, and spoiled by that Clan, conducted by that same man now recommended. My tenants, their wives and young children unmercifully murdered, and such of them as escaped the sword, in regard their houses were all burned, being left in the open air, both the aged, and younger sort were killed with cold. It may perhaps by some be supposed that this service is, at some good point, But when all both noblemen, barons, and gentlemen who have most interest in this work were convened, then it was among them resolved, and by them to your Majesty’s Council proposed and there also allowed of, That without transplantation of this Clan no quietness to these bounds, could be expected, so as this man’s repossession to any lands which by strong hand he held formerly without any right at all Implys a direct ranversing of whatever, was intended for the good of that service, the particular harm and inconvenience whereof being unfelt, no doubt to those who have been so earnest solicitors in the behalf of this man. So are they as far mistaken in their undertaking for his good behaviour, in time coming. In regard there is no doubt at all, but when he finds himself of new, strengthened with a fresh growth of this unhappy weed (whereof there be of male kind, some sixteen score of new arising) like enough he will put who promises in his behalf, to a personal action for their relief. And because hard experience has made me more sensible, than others, and my duty to your Majesty doth enforce me to conceal nothing of my knowledge herein, I have presumed to acquaint your Highness with the truth Assuring your Majesty on my credit, that if the ringleaders of this Clan shall have the liberty to dwell, and reside in their former possessions, this underrotting wood, shall be found hereafter more incurable. Always for my own part having life and whole estate ever ready at your Majesty’s disposing, I most humbly take my leave praying God Almighty to continue long your Highness’ prosperous, and happy reign and rests your Majesty’s most humble and most obedient servitor,
“DUNCAN CAMPBELL of Glenurquhay.

“Edinburgh, Feb. 2. 1613.’ - Balfour’s Collections.

“1613. Feb. 24. Duncan MacGregor in Cambuserich renounced the lands of Roro to Duncan Menzies of Comrie.

“March 10. Extract from original Missive from James VI. to the Privy Council.

“Right Trusty &a _________ Whereas James Campbell of Laweris hath been a suitor to us for an inheritable infeftment of the lands of Morven (being a part of our property not yet set in feu to any) and forasmuch as the said James hath done us so [page 410} good service against that wicked race of the ClanGregour as we think him worthy of a greater recompense &a &a. The King orders the signature to be passed without any composition and that Lawers is to pay no rent for ______ years after entry, on account of the trouble he would have with the barbarous people dwelling on the lands. - Original in General Register House.

“March 11. At Thetfoord. Our farther will and pleasure is, that ye dispose their (the resetters) escheits upon easy composition to the Erll of Ergyll or if ye shall otherwise dispose upon the same in favour of any other person, that ye first see the Erll satisfied of the sums wherein the said resetters have been or shall be fined. - Record of Council.

“April 13. HIGHLANDS
“Memorial concerning the Highlands by information sent from his Majesty by Archibald Campbell.
“Archibald declares that in his brother the Laird of Lawer’s name he has undertaken to his Majesty that the MacGregor’s bairns shall be put in such obedient subjects’ hands as shall be answerable for them, and make them forthcoming whenever his majesty or the Council shall call for them. That when any complaint shall be made in Council or any good subject shall dilait any violent oppression to be committed in the Highlands by any masterful outlaw, That upon any advertisement thereof to his Majesty, If he shall please to send a secret warrant or direction to the Laird of Lawers, or his brother for pursuit, and apprehension of the said rebell, they shall pursue him, and do their faithful endeavours to bring him in, either dead, or quick, Providing the direction be kept secret and not divulged to the Council or others. That the Laird of Lawers and his brother shall meet the Laird of Grant in Sanct Johnestoun within seven or eight days and appoint with him the best means of their concurrence, in the pursuit of the rebells of the ClanGregour. Archibald has promised to the Laird of Grant in his Majesty’s name and the Earl of Argyll’s that if he slay or take Allaster Makallaster or do any other notable service by himself, or his friends, he shall be worthily recompensed, and find favour for a part of the oversights committed by him, or some of his friends, in favouring the ClanGregour. Grant has promised to serve so faithfully in the particular against the ClanGregour or any other his Majesty’s rebells, as hopes to diserve both thanks, and benefit, and has willed me to advertise (him ?) of his Majesty’s pleasure and promised to write to me of his proceedings. - General Register House.

“April 28. Sir Thomas Hamilton to John Murray of Lochmaben.
“‘Archibald Campbell’s letters will inform yow of the estate of the service aganis the ClanGregour bothe young and old and of his brother’s mention how to prosecute that which rests to be done thairintill, The signatour which his Majestie signed to Lawers is stayed be ane laitter warrand, sent from his Majestie. No man will be so foolish as to aduyse his Majestie how to recompense Lawers, which his Majesty can [page 411} better consider, nor we can propose, Bot it may be trewlie affirmed that (he) hes faithfullie served, and proffitablie, with great paynes and losse, whairof no dowt his Majestie will graciouslie consider.’ - Letter in Advocates’ Library.

“April 28. An act appointing and nominating some commissioners to modify and set down the fines upon the resetters of the ClanGregor.

“Same Date. The Commission is past conforme to his Majesty’s direction for hearing, and discussing of the suspensions to be granted upon the fines of the resetters of the ClanGregouris, and the Lords of Session are discharged of all granting of any such suspensions. The Laird of Lundy who has the charge and burden of the service against the ClanGregour, in the absence of the Earl of Argyll, his brother, having desired of the Council that they would assign him a day for giving of an accompt of the proceedings in that service since the last accompt made by the Earl The Council has assigned unto him the 15. day of June next and has written to the landlords of the ClanGregour to keep that day for hearing of the said accompt made. - Minutes of Secret Council in Balfour’s Collection.

“May 9. Decreet against certain resetters of the Clangregour.

“May 14. Archibald Campbell to the King.
“ ‘Pleis your Majesty ressave a certaine accompt of your Majesties command to me. According to your Majesties directioun I brocht the Laird of Grant befoir mylord Secretar and schew him your sacred Maies: Pleasour, quha promeist to amend his bypast neglygens Lykeways Sr theare ar to the number of tuelff of the rebells of the Mcgregoris, teakin be my brother the Laird of Laueris sen your Matie: derectit me home. And the 15. of Jun nixt is appointit to the landislordis to be present before your Mateis: Counsell heir. That the Erle of Argyll and sicke utheris as your Maie: hes concredit that service to, may make their dischearge. For Sr there is not above fourtie outlawis at the writing heirof. And I hope in God theare sall be few or nane weariie schortlie. Lykwayis as your sacred Maie: commandit my brother he hes maid fast the most peart of the young ones of yat unhopie clan quhich Sr in good faith is more troublesum to him than all the rest of the service. Pleis your Matie: thairfore to aduertis gif it be your Maties pleasour that the lyke course be teaken with the young ones of those that ar cum in and fund caution : As your Matie hes commandit to be teakin with those quha hes been execute and slaine; or gif your Matie will have them quha ar cautioun for thair childering. Praying your Matie most humblie that any directioun your Matie sall be pleasit to send heiranent, that my brother may be maid first acquentit thairwith lest it suld impead your Maties good intensioun Sr I dout not bot your Matie: is sufficientlie informed of the great peace and quyatnes of the heilandes of this your Matie’s kingdom for the better continowans quhairof if it be your Maties pleasour your Matie shall have ane good overtour maid into your Matie quhich sall teake no monies out of your Matie’s, kofferis, and quhairwith your Mateis subiectis sall be weill pleasit. So humblie creaving your Maties pardone for this my boldness with all humilitie I kiss your Maties hand. Your Majesties most humell and [page 412} obedient seruant Archibald Campbell.’ - Balfour’s Collection.

“May. Item to ane post passand of Edin. wt clois lttrs to the Erlis of Murray, Perth, Tullibardin, Lord Murray Mr. of Tullibardin, lairds of Glenurquhay, Lawers, Weymes, Strowan Robertson, Garntully, Balleachan, Luss, Buchannan, McFarlane.

“1613. May 19. Edinburgh. Act against the resetters of the Clangregour.
“And thairfoir the said Lords have decerned adjudged and fined the said persons particularly underwritten and every one of them in the sums of money. Viz
Duncan Dow McAngus in Dalchrosk,
Johnne McJohnne Dow vig (bhig) there,
Johnne or McCondoquhy oig in Tullichrosk,
Johnne McInnes Vceanduy in Leshintullie,
Bane McEan in Dalquhossane,
Johnne Mcconnochy dony there,
Johnne roy the baron of Fandowy’s brother,
Allester Mcvoreis there, Tarlich Mean oig,
Duncan Dow McCondochy Dow oig there,
Allaster Stewart Temper,
Johnne Dow Mceanhassik in Kinloche,
Dougald gair Mccleriche there, Donald McGowie his sone,
George McEan VcRoberteis sone,
Donald McCaddell in Duncastell,
Allaster McThomas McJohnne McRobert there,
Johnne Stewart son to Allaster Stewart in Drumquhene,
Allaster McJohnne McRobert there.

The amount of each fine ranges from 100 merks to 500; in some cases the groups of names pay 400 merks between them. From the patriarchal style of the names, the resetters appear to have belonged to the persecuted Clan themselves.

“June 3. The Erll of Ergyll contra the Laird of Grant. Anent our soverane lordis lettres raist at the instance of Archibald Earll of Ergyll commissionar aganis the ClanGregor makand mentioun That quhair upon the tent, and threttene day of Aprile, last bypast John Dow Mceane VcPatrick bruther to the goodman of Tullichgorme sone (Ewin) Grant in Cure (Turk [3]   ) Andro Schaw in Glencairnich Johnne McCondochie in Gartenbeg Johnne McWilliam VcEane in Tulliche, William beg VcEan VcAngus in Dell, Archibald Grant bruther to Johnne Grant of Glenmorriston, Alexander Murray sumtyme callit McGregor in Ardclache, Alexander Murray his son, Duncan Grant in Lettoche, William Gow in Rothmerne, and William McFinlay VcCondochie in Drum, wer orderlie denuncit rebellis for not payment of fynes for resetting the ClanGregour. - Record of Secret Council.

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“June 8. Copy from original missive regarding the ClanGregor.
“ ‘James R.
“ ‘Right trusty and right well beloved cousin and counsellor we greet you well. Our right trusty and well beloved cousin the Earl of Argyle now going into that our kingdom to give an account of the service against the MacGregors which we think now almost at an end, we have thought good hereby to signify until you that we are well pleased that at the accompt of the said service our aforesaid cousin shall be charged, with none other but of the surname of MacGregor, seeing for them only and none other his commission was given. And seeing that such of them as are already brought in and have found caution for their good behaviour may think themselves free if they survive their cautioners, and so take occasion to return to their former trade of life, for avoiding of that inconvenience, we think it expedicient that you call before you all such as became cautioners for any of the said MacGregors and cause them bind and oblige their Heirs and successors as well as themselves, and because this case is as yet singular in the person of Gregor McCoule chere, it is our pleasure, that you cause him find new caution for his good behaviour, or else commit him to ward. And whereas we are informed that one Gregor McPatrick being brought in at the time of the incoming of Robert Abroch was delivered to the Earl of Perth and by him to the Master of Madderty we see no reason (if the said information be true) that the Earl of Argyll should be further charged with him, but you should cause the said Earl of Perth and Master of Madderty, be answerable for him in all time coming. And all these particularities commending to your special consideration we bid you farewell. At our Manor of Greenwich, 8 June 1613.’ - Register House.

“June 18. The Erll of Ergyll came heir this day in the efternoone he is to meet the morne with the landislordis of the ClanGregouris and to confer and ressone with thame anent that service whiche he hes in handis aganis the Clangregouris and upoun Fryday or Mononday nixt he is to gif his accompt how far is proceidit, in that service, sen the last accompt maid be him in the monethe of July bygane.

“June 19. A Report made by the Erle of Argyll anent the ClanGregor.

“June 2. at Edinburgh. In the Court of Justiciary of our sovereign Lord the King held in the judgement Hall of Edinburgh by Mr. W. Heart.
Duncane McPatrick Mcgregor,
Alexander cass McGregor,
Johnne Dow McCondochie vayne McRob,
Patrick Roy McCoulcheir,
Ewin crowbache McGregor,
Johnne McNeill Corroche,
[page 414}
Dilaitit of art and part of divers points of theft, slaughter, burning, and oppression contained in these dittays.”
(The names of the Assyse follow, and after another recapitulation of the names of the prisoners, the dittay continues)
“The said Duncane McPatrick McGregor for being in company with Gregor McCondochie vayne at the burning of the Castle of Achallader and lands of Glenlocht, and for being at the field of Benvek where umquhile Patrick Dow McNab, Donald Campbell oig son to Johnne Campbell and divers others to the number of seventeen persons were slain, and for art and part of the slaughter of umquhile Allane McDougall servant to the Laird of McCoule.

“The said Allaster Cass McGregor for the cruel slauchter of umqle Neill McWeyane chopman, by striking him in the belly with his own knife whereof he died. Item for common sorning theft, and oppression the said John Dow McCondochie vayne for being at the field of Glenfinlas, and of art and part of the herschip, reft, and taen away of the said lands pertaining to the Laird of Luss and his tenants. Item for art and part of the stealing of certain cows and horses pertaining to Walter Stirling of Ballaghan furth of the parochine of Campsie. Item for being in company with the rest of the ClanGregor at the burning of Aberuchle, and hership brought furth therof, as also for art and part of the slaughter of umqle John McGillop a fidler under my lord of Tulliebairne, and for common theft and sorning.

“The said Patrick Roy McCoule chere, [4]   for being in company with Duncane McEwine McGregor called the Tutor at the burning of Aberuckle where seven men were slain, three children were burnt, twenty score of cows and oxen were stolen, reft, and away taken, and for common theft sorning and oppression.

“The said Ewin Crowbach McGregor for art and part taking of the stealing of a mare from Robert McLaren and for art and part of the stealing of two horses from McInnarich in Cregan, And for breaking of a poor man’s house in Kynaldie, taking of the said poor man, and binding up his eyes, and stealing and away taking of the whole insicht plenishing of the said house, and for stealing of a cow from Donald McConeill vayne, furth of John Stewart Neilson’s lands.

“The said Neill Corroche for being in company with the said Duncane McEwen McGregor called the Tutor at the burning of Aberurckle and slaughter, and herschip above written committed by them, and for assisting and taking part with the rebells and fugitives that took in the isle called Ileandevernache and in taking in to the said isle of eight score cows, and oxen, eighteen score sheep and goats, stolen, reft and away taken from the inhabitants of the country about, and such like for art and part of the stealing of five cows from James Chisholme in Dundrwne. And for common theft, sorning and oppression as at length is contained in their several dittays above specified, were all six put to the knowledge of an assise of the persons foresaid.”

[page 415}
Recapitulation of the names of the jurors. Who after reentering the Court, by the mouth of their chancellor, found, pronounced, and declared the said six persons upon pannel, by reason of their own confessions, made in presence of the most part of the said assise, to be filed, culpable, and convicted of the whole crimes above rehearsed, for the which cause the justice by the mouth of John Dow dempster of Court ordained them and each of them to be taken to the burrow moor of Edinburgh there to be executed &a and all their moveable goods to be escheat and inbrought to our Sovereign Lord’s use. - Record of High Court of Justiciary.

“June 22. Ane Act anent the intertenying of the bairnis of the ClanGregor being in the Laird of Lawer’s handis, Ordaining ten merkis to be payit by every landislord for everie mark land pertening to thame formarlie possest be the ClanGregour for intertenying of the saidis bairnis for the monethes of Junii and Julii And ordains the landislordis who ar in this toun to consigne the soume foirsaid in the hands of the clerk of Counsell with certificatioun to thame who sall pas away without paying the said soume that they salbe compellit to mak payment of the double. - Record of Secret Council.

“June 24. There have been three meetings kept with the Erll of Ergyle anent the ClanGregour, at the first meeting which was upon the 19. of this instant, he make an accompt of that roll of 70 persons, resting upon him at his last accompt made in the month of July 1612, of this number he exhibited six notable malefactors who were all executed upon the 22 of this instant, and one of them at his execution confessed the slaying of twelve men with his hand at Glenfrone. He gave an account of five other notable limmers slain in this service since the last account, and one hanged at Striveling and he reduced the rest of the foresaid number of 70 to 28 persons or thereby, of whom there is only two notable limmers and chieftains to wit Allaster McAllaster wreck [5]   and Duncan McEanduy, the rest as the landlords have confessed, are but base followers of the other two chieftains. The Council have held them still upon the Earl until he exhibit them or make them answerable.

“At the second meeting upon the 22 of this instant his Majesty’s missive anent the boys and young ones was presented and read, and the Laird of Laweris confessed that he had in his hands threescore and ten of them being the sons of these who have been executed and slain in this service, or are presently outlaws. There was a long dispute and reasoning first among the Council themselves and then with the landlords how these young ones might be entertained, and kept in the lowlands, conform to the tenour of his Majesty’s missive, but there were so many difficulties proposed, and found out in that matter, as made that point of the service not likely to take effect, that way. It was proposed to the landlords that seeing this service which has been so troublesome and chargeable to his Majesty concerned principally them, and that the well, and benefit [page 416} thereof only redounded to them, that therefore they ought to take some burden, in this point anent the boys, and either find out the means how they might be put to crafts, as prentices in burrow towns, or then entertained some other way, and the landlords being earnestly dealt with to make some overtures anent this matter, they flatly refused to take any burden therein, seeming by the conjectures of their discourse, that the burden of that point of the service should be upon his Majesty and the country, The Council perceiving that they could not draw the landlords to any reasonable terms in this point, and the Laird of Lawers being very earnest to have the boys taken off his hands, seeing the entertaining of them, and their keepers which completed the number of one hundred persons was very chargeable unto him, the Council then laid to the landlords charge that they would take the keeping of the boys only until his Majesty’s will and pleasure were returned, what further course should be taken with them, which they likewise refused, whereupon they being removed, and the Council having at length reasoned upon that point, it was found that in reason, the landlords ought to have the burden of this matter, and therefore it was resolved that Lawers should still keep the boys, until Lammas, betwixt and which time, the farther knowledge of his Majesty’s pleasure was expected. And that the landlords should make payment every one of them of the sum of ten merks for every merkland pertaining unto them formerly possessed by the ClanGregour and that for the charges and entertainment of the boys, during the months of June and July. And they were ordained to consign that sum in the hands of the Clerk of Council to have been delivered by him to Lawers, and the double of this sum was enjoyned to those who disobeyed. This being intimated to the landlords, and they finding no means to eschew the same, they craved two days leisure to be advised whether they would embrace that condition or make some other overture how the turn might be done which was granted.

“At the third meeting upon the 24 of this instant the landlords being of new heard anent the boys, they agreed to take the keeping of them until Lambmes and that they should be distributed among them according to their merklands, allotting a boy to every four merkland. The Council accepted the condition, and has ordained them, to send and receive the boy’s from the Laird of Lawers, betwix and the first of July with this certification to the disobeyers, that they shall be compelled to pay to Lawers twenty merks for every one of their merklands formerly possessed by the ClanGregour.

“The Landlords did arnestly urge the transplantation of the whole name of the ClanGregour, man, wife, and bairn. This was thought a matter not only of difficulty but of great rigour, and extremity to transplant men, and families, who had renounced their names, and found caution to be lawful, and answerable subjects, and it was likewise thought against reason, to remove them from the places of their present abode, and to settle them in any peaceable part of the incountry, among honest and [page 417} lawful subjects, and their cautioners did likewise, propone their impossibility to answer for them if they were transplanted.

“It was demanded of the landlords if they would be content that the whole cautioners of the ClanGregour should be discharged upon that condition of transplantation, but they gave no direct answer to that proposition.

“It was demanded of them, whether or not, they had their lands now peaceable and free of the ClanGregour They all granted, that they had their lands free and peaceable of the ClanGregour.

“Because the meetings and assemblies of these of the ClanGregour who have renounced their names, was thought to be suspicious, and might give matter of new trouble proclamations are directed discharging all such meetings of the ClanGregour, in any number exceeding four persons and they are likewise discharged to wear any armour but a pointless knife to cut their meat.

“Anent that sum promised by the landlords [6]   to be given to his Majesty for making of their lands peaceable because the whole number were not here, whom that matter concerned, they are all ordained to be charged to the 22 of July next to hear and see them decerned to make payment of that sum. - Original Minutes of Secret Council in Sir James Balfour’s Collections, Advocates’ Library. “June 26. Act anent the distribution of the bairns of the ClanGregor, charge against the Landlords of the ClanGregour anent that sum promised to his Majesty by them for making their lands peaceable.” (The Laird of Lawers promised to deliver John dow McGregor’s son to the Laird of Glenurquhy who promised to send him to this Burgh.)

“Proclamation that none of the ClanGregour who have renounced their names keep meeting in any number exceeding four persons.

“The Laird of Buquhannane acted himself to enter the two sons of young Malcolm McCoull McGregour, whenever he shall be charged. - Record of Secret Council.

“June. Item to the officers of Justiciary for summoning an assise to certain of the McGregors who were executed to the death, £1. 6. 8.

“Item to Robert Scott messenger, passing from Edinburgh with letters to charge Alexander Earl of Linlithgow, Alexander Levingstoun of Belstane and James Carmichaell of Pottischaw as cautioners for Patrick and John Levingstonis alias McGregours and Alex. Levingstoun of Westquarter as cautioner for Duncan and Allaster Levingstounis sons to Patrick Aldoch To bring and exhibit the said persons for whom they become caution and present them before the Council upon the 15. day of July. next to come, to the effect new, sufficient and responsable cautioners may be found by them, upon the conditions to the said persons, should they fail in the entry of [page 418} the said persons That they shall be decerned to have incurred the pain of 500 merks for every one of them £6. 13. 4.

“Item to James Fyrie messenger passing from Edinburgh with letter to charge James Drummond of Pitzalloun to bring and exhibit Alex. Drummond alias McGregor son to umquhile John dow McAllaster McGregour before the Council the 15. day of July next under the pain of 500 merks conform to his act of cautionery with certifictation, £5. - Lord High Treasuer’s Books.”

[1] Second surviving son of Duncan Abroch. See Chapters xvi and xxvii. volume 1 chapter 16 volume 1 chapter 27

[2] It appears from this correspondence that Robert Abroch had appealed direct to the King instead of through the Council, who were, therefore, the more incensed against Robert.

[3] As appears Record of December 1612.

[4] No. 34 List of 1586; he was 6th son of Malcolm, 2nd Chieftain of his House.

[5] Breac, freckled.

[6] This sum, as appears from an “Act,” dated July 29, was a separate contribution to the King himself, and had nothing to do with the “entertainment of Bairns.”