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Amelia Volume 1 Chapter 36 - Appendix

Appendix to volume i

[page 455}
A.- Introduction, page 2. Correspondence of Sir Robert Douglas, and John Murray, Esq., afterwards Sir John MacGregor Murray, 1st Baronet, 1769.

No. 1. Mr Murray's best compliments attend Sir Robert Douglas. He sends him inclosed three sheets of the scroll genealogical account of the family of MacGregor. Gathering the materials of it has cost him no small trouble for several years past, but he has the satisfaction to think his labours have not been entirely thrown away. Dr Gregory has seen and has been pleased to approve of it. As this Clan is upon a different footing from all others, and have for some ages past been the football of fortune, it became abso1utely necessary to enquire into and give a succinct account of the different causes of their misfortunes, in order to justify them, and render the remembrance of past actions less obnoxious than their enemies would chuse to paint them This has been attempted as briefly as possible, and Sir Robert is left to judge how successfully. Meantime, as it is absolutely necessary to answer these purposes that the account be inserted fully with all the notes, Mr Murray begs Sir Robert may candidly say whether he will give it room as it stands, because if he does not, he insists that no part of it at all be mentioned, for to half do the affair would be in his opinion worse than silence. He knows the printing will be above the common run of the account of other families, and believes Sir Robert can have no other objection than that of the burden of these expenses. Let him however understand, that if he otherways seems satisfied to give it room, these will be made easy to him. What remains of it will be sent in a day or two.- Friday, 21st

September 1769. No.2. Sir Robert Douglas presents compliments to Mr Murray, thinks himself extremely obliged to him for the papers he has sent him, and so far as he has read of them, has not the smallest objection; as soon as he has gone through the whole, will be glad to see Mr Murray. - Saturday, 22nd September 1769.

No.3. Sir Robert Douglas presents his compliments to Mr Murray, he has again carefully perused his account of the Clan MacGregor, and is so well satisfied with it, that he is determined to print the whole papers, without leaving out one word of it, and intends to send it to the Press to-morrow, he'll therefore please return the remainder of it without fail. -Wednesday, October 4th, 1769.

B.-Page 254. Note in reference to the Declaration dated 1599, July 24. The document here quoted and transcribed by Mr MacGregor Stirling in the "Chartu¬lary" about 1830 from an entry in the Register of the Privy Council, has only recently been published, 1898, in Vol. XIV. of the Privy Council Register taken from certain miscellaneous Privy Council papers; the earlier notice of it gives proof of Mr MacGregor Stirling's faithful search.-Ed.

C.-Page 279. Excerpt from "Glimpses of Church and Social Life in the Highlands in Olden Times,” by Alexander Macpherson, F.S.A., Scot., the following being selected from the MSS. of the late Captain Macpherson (Old Ballid), of the 52nd Regt., who died 1858.

Battle of Glenfruin

"In an account of this battle which was fought in 1603, it is stated that early in that year Allaster MacGregor of Glenstra followed by 400 men, chiefly of his own Clan, but including also some of the Clan Cameron and Anverich? armed with halberschois, pow aixes, twahandit swordis, bowis and arrowis and with hagbutin and pistoletis advanced into the territory of Luss. Alexander Colquhoun under his royal commission granted the year before, had raised a force which some writers state to have amounted to 300 horse and 500 foot.

(Sir William Fraser's account follows.)

"Here is 'Old Bailied's' account of the Battle, written it is believed about 50 years ago.

“It is rather singular that so little should be known of the particulars of the battle of Glenfruin, and the causes that led to it, when it is considered that it is comparatively of late date, having been fought between the ClanGregor and the Colquhouns in the reign Of James VI. No correct account has, however, been published, from which it may be inferred that the true history is lost among the MacGregors, for every version of the affair is more unfavourable to them than the facts would have been One account says that it was an accidental rencontre, and another that the MacGregors were treacherously waylaid by the Colquhouns. These statements are both unfounded. The battle was deliberately resolved upon for it was fought in the heart of the Colquhoun Country, which is of itself a proof that it was not an accidental rencontre, but what places the matter beyond a doubt is that MacGregor applied for and obtained assistance from the Clan Macpherson with whom he had a treaty of alliance offensive and defensive, for the very purpose of invading the Colquhouns.

"There were fifty picked men sent from Badenoch to assist the ClanGregor; but the action was over a few hours before their arrival, which perhaps was rather a fortunate circumstance, for had they taken part in the battle, it is more than probable that they would also share in the proscription. Another accounts states that the massacre of the boys was unintentional-that a house in which they took shelter was accidentally set on fire.

"That the massacre of the boys was unintentional on the part of the MacGregors is very true; but still it was the deliberate act of one individual, and no doubt the ClanGregor were in a certain degree responsible for the conduct of that individual, for although he was not of their name, yet he was under their banner at the time. He was a man, or rather a monster, of the name of Cameron, [1]   and foster-brother of MacGregor, who was sent to take charge of the boys in order to keep them out of harm's way; and strange and unnatural as it may appear, he massacred the whole of them to the number of forty, some say sixty.

"The origin of the quarrel with the Colquhouns was as follows: A party of twelve MacGregors entered the Colquhoun country in quest of stolen or strayed cattle, and in a dreadful stormy night came to a sequestered farmhouse, the landlord of which refused them admittance, although it was quite evident that they must perish in the event of attempting to reach any other inhabited place. They, however, acted with extraordinary temper and forbearance; for in place of using force (which under the circumstances would be quite justifiable), they merely took possession of an out-house, where they lighted a fire, and having in vain applied for provisions, for which they offered payment, they had no alterative but to take a sheep from the churl’s flock which they killed, and handed its value in at a window. Having thus provided themselves with food, they were sitting round a large fire and broiling the mutton, when the savage landlord stole quietly to the top of the house and dropped a large stone into the fire through the vent-hole, which burned several of the MacGregors severely. One of them, smarting with pain, made a spring to the door, and when the landlord was in the act of descending from the house, he shot him dead. After this accident (for it cannot be called by any other name) the MacGregors returned home, but the Colquhouns having seized several of that clan (who were on their own lawful business, and knew nothing of the other affair), they hanged them like so many dogs. So gross an out¬rage could not be overlooked, but still the MacGregors acted with the greatest coolness, and sent a regular embassy to demand satisfaction; but every proposition was rejected by the Colquhouns, and, after much negotiation, Macgregor intimated to Colquhoun of Luss that he must hold him and his whole clan responsible for the slaughter of the MacGregors, and he accordingly prepared to put his threat in execution. The ClanGregor entered the Colquhoun territory with fire and sword, and when they came to Glenfruin, and within sight of the enemy, they fell in with a number of boys who came out from Dumbarton to see the fight They were prin¬cipally schoolboys; and many of them of good families that probably had no con¬nection whatever with either of the belligerents. MacGregor, in order to keep them out of harm's way, directed that the boys should be confined in a church or meeting-house that happened to be close by, and sent his foster-brother (one of the name of Cameron) to take charge of them, who, from what motive it is impossible to divine, massacred the whole of them as soon as he found the armies engaged. The battle of Glenfruin was soon over. The Colquhouns were defeated with great slaughter. Their chief was killed, [2]   and the Macgregor's scarcely lost a man. When they returned from the pursuit, Macgregor's first inquiry was for the boys, whom he intended to liberate and dismiss with kindness; but, learning the horrid fact that they were all butchered, he struck his forehead and exclaimed: 'The battle is lost after all.' The fate of the Dumbarton boys was so very revolting to the feelings of every person possessing any share of humanity, that it is no wonder that it created a deep and powerful prejudice against the ClanGregor; and yet they were, at least, morally innocent, and it must for ever be a matter of regret that such heavy calamities should be heaped upon the bravest clan in the Highlands for the act of one madman.

“The ClanGregor, however, were doomed to be unfortunate, as will appear by continuing their history a little further. Gregor Our, or Gregor the Swarthy, was the second in rank to the chief, but in deeds of arms he had no superior, nor perhaps an equal, in all the Highlands. Argyle was his maternal uncle, and his valour in defence of his clan and country, when outlawed and assailed by multitudes of foes, would appear more like romance than real facts. After various desperate actions, in which the ClanGregor displayed incredible prowess, but which considerably reduced their number, they learned with amazement that Argyle at the head of an overwhelming force, was advancing to attack them. Upon receipt of this information, Gregor Our proposed to stop his uncle’s progress, and, having communicated his plan to his chief, he set out alone in disguise. After several narrow escapes, he succeeded in making his way to Argyle's tent at midnight (by telling the sentry that he was the bearer of dispatches from the Government, the delivery of which admitted of no delay), and after upbraiding him for his cruelty and injustice, told him plainly that his life was forfeited unless he instantly agreed to relinquish the expedition. Argyle knew the determined character of his nephew, and it is also possible that he might be influ¬enced by affection toward a relative of whom he might very justly be proud; but, be his motives what they may, he at once agreed to the proposed terms, and con¬ducted Gregor safely out of the camp, and soon after disbanded his troops. Nor did his good offices cease there, for he became an advocate of the ClanGregor at Court, [3]   and obtained an armistice for them as well as a protection to Gregor Our, with instructions to him to appear before the Privy Council to explain every circumstance relating to the battle of Glenfruin and the massacre of the scholars. Gregor Our accordingly set out for Edinburgh with the concurrence of his chief, but he was no sooner gone than suspicions began to arise as to the purity of his intentions. Dark hints were first thrown out, and afterwards stated boldly as a fact, that Gregor, through the interest of his uncle and his own address had obtained a royal grant of the chieftainship, as well as of the estates of MacGregor for himself. By these insinuations and reports (which no doubt had great plausi¬bility in them), MacGregor [4]   was driven to a state of absolute distraction, and, having learned that Gregor Our was on his way back from Edinburgh, he went to meet him, and, without the least inquiry or explanation, shot him through the heart with a pistol. [5]   On examining his papers, it was discovered that there was not a vestige of truth in these reports. The pardon to the ClanGregor was addressed to MacGregor. His estates were restored to himself, and Gregor Our did not secure a single benefit to himself, but what he got in common with every individual of the clan. This discovery drove MacGregor to madness, and he actually hecarne de¬ranged. The pardon was recalled, and the proscription was enforced with greater rigour than before; nor is it at all surprising that Argyle should become their bitter (as he was their most powerful) enemy."

D.-Page 300. Dr Masson, in VoL xiv. of the published edition of the Register of the Privy Council, edited by him, gives from certain miscellaneous papers a copy "of the original Edict for the Extermination of the ClanGregor, with offers of reward for the heads of Alexander MacGregor of Glenstrae and his principal followers," two certified copies of which he has found.

1603. Feb.24. Letters under the Signet as follows: James be the grace of God, King of Scottis, to oure lovittis. . . . Messengeris, our schireffis in that pairt, conjunctlie and severallie, speciallie constitute, gretting: Forsamekle as the wicked and unhappie race of Clangregour, quha sa lang hes continewit in bluid, thift, reiff, sorning, and oppressioun upoun the peciable and guid subjectis of the incuntrey, to the wraik, miserie, and undoing of mony honnest and substantious houshalderis, and laying waist of divers weleplenist boundis and possessiounis, they have now at last upoun the … day of Februar instant, in oppin hostilitie enterit within the Lennox, quhair in maist barbarous and horrible maner, without pitie or compassion, they have murdreist and slane sevin scoir of personis, without respect to young or auld, to the offence and displeasour of God, to the grete greif and displeasour of us, and to the perpetuell reprotche and sklander of the haill natioun, gif this wyld and abhominable fact be not sua exemplarly punist as the rememberance thairof sall remane to the posteriteis: And thairfore, we, with a grete nowmer of oure Nobilitie and Counsal, haveing convenit upoun this mater, it is found that God can not be appeasit, nor the cuntrey releivit of the sklander quhilk it sustenis be that barbaritie, unless that unhappie and destable race be extirpat and ruttit out, and nevir sufferit to have rest or remaning within this cuntrey heirefter; for quhilk purpois, ordour and discretioun is alreddy gevin how and in quhat maner they salbe prosequte, huntit, followit, and persewit with fyre and sword, ay and quhill they be exterminat and ruttit out; and we nawayse dout bot all guid and dewitfull subjectis will hald hand to this so godlie a work, and will refuise the resset of thame and of thair guidis, and the patronizeing of thame ony way to the hinder of this oure Service:

Our will is heirfore, and we chairge yow straitlie and commandis, that incontinent thir oure letters sene ye pas and in our name and auctoritie command, chairge and inhibite all and sindrie oure leigeis and subjectis quhatsumevir, be oppin proclama¬tioun at all mercat croceis and utheris placeis neidfull, that nane of thame presume or tak upoun hand to ressett, supplie, schaw favour or conforte to ony of the said Clangregour, thair wyffis, or bairnis, or to resett or hurde thair guidis or geir, or mak blokis or barganis with thame thairanent, undir whatsomevir cullour or pretence, nor git to entir in assuirance or freindschip with the saidis lymmairis, and gif ony assuirance or bondis of freindschip be amangis thame, that they gif up and dis¬chairge the same, reputing and estemeing thame as traitouris and enemeis to God, thair prince, and cuntrey, undir the pane to be repute, haldin and extermit as air and pertakeris with the saidis lymmairis in all thair wickid and evill deidis, and to be persewit and punist with thame thairfore with all rigour and extremitie to the terrour of utheris, besydis the confiscatioun of all thair movable guidis to the use of the challengeair.-And to the effect the saidis thevis and lymmairis sall not eschaip thair deservit punischement, that ye command, chairge and inhibite all and sindrie ferriairis, marineris and awnairis of boitis or veschellis within our realme, that nane of thame presume or tak upoun hand to ressave ony of the said Clangregour, thair wyffis, bairnis, or servandis, within thair hoitis and veschellis, nor to transport thame to or fra ferreis towardis the Illis nor to Ireland, under the pane of deid, with certificatioun to thame that sail do in the contrair heirof they salbe taikin, apprehendit, and execute to the deid without favour. And siklyke that ye command and chairge all and sindrie noblemen, baronis, and gentilmen, within quhais boundis the saidis boittis or veschellis ar that they caus diligent attendance be givin that nane of the said ClanGregour, thair wyffis, bairnis or servandis be transportit within the saidis boittis or veschellis. And, we being surlie informit that Allaster McGregour of Glenstra, cheif and chiftane of that unhappie race and clan, wes not onlie the conductair and leidair of that unhappie and mischevious cumpany, bot thairwith he with his awin handis committit the maist horrible and barbarous crueltie that fell out that day, and culd nevir be satiat in bathing of him selff, with the bluid of grit nowmeris of innocentis, thairfore we promit that quhatsumevir persone or personis will tak and apprehend the said Allaster, and bring and present him quick to us, and failyeing thairof, present his heid, that not only sall they have a frie pardoun and remissioun for all thair bygane offenssis and attemptis, albeit thay be giltie of the said barbarous and mischant crueltie committit within the Lennox, bot with that thay sall have a thousand pundis money of guid and reddy payment deliverit unto thame. And siklyke quhatsumevir persoun or personis will tak, apprehend and present to us the personis undirwritten, and failyeing thairof thair heidis,-thay ar to say, Duncane McGregour VcEwne, [6]   Johnne Dow Gair Ewne, [7]   and Duncan Pirdrachis, [8]   Robert Abroch McGregour, Patrik Aldoch, and his twa sones, Patrik Mcconnoquhy in Glen, [9]   Gregour McGregour, sone to Duncane Glen, [10]   Charles McGregour VcEane, [11]   Callum McGregour Ruy, [12]   Johnne Dow, [13]   Duncan Bane McRobertis sone, [14]   Allaster McGregour VcEane Dullihaith, [15]   and Allaster McRobert, his brother, -that not onlie sall the said apprehendair and presentair have a free pardoun and remissioun for all thair bygaine offensis, except for the barbarous attempt laitlie committit within the Lennox, bot with that thay sail have twa hundreth merkis in present and reddy payment deliverit unto thame, as alswa quha evir will bring and present unto us ony utheris personis quhatsumevir culpable of the said barbarous crueltie committit within the Lennox, or ony utheris of the name of Clangregour quha salbe denuncet fugitives and rebellis for not com¬peirance, before us and oure Counsale, that the saidis apprehendairis and presentairis sall not onlie have a free pardoun and remissioun for all offences committit be thame (except and aIwyse the attempt of the Lennox), bot with that thay sall have ane hundreth merkis of present and reddy payrnent deliverit unto thame. The quhilk to do we commit to yow conjunctlie and severallie oure full power be thir oure letteris, delivering thame be yow dewlie execute and in¬dorsat agane to the berar. Gevin under oure signet at Halyruidhouse the twenty foure day of Februair, and of oure regne the xxxvj yeir, 1603. (L.S.) Per Actum Secreti Consilii etc. Ja. Prymrois." [16]  

The introduction to Vol. xiv., from which the foregoing is quoted, gives the following comment:-
"This Edict, the ruthless vengeance of the Government upon the MacGregors for their slaughter of the Colquhouns and other Lennox men in the Battle of Glen-fruin, fought on the 7th of the same month, purports to have been the Act of the King with a number of his Nobility and Council 'convenit upoun this mater.' It is one of the very last Acts of King James, while he was King of Scotland only; for exactly one month afterwards by the death of Queen Elizabeth at Richmond on the 24th of March 1603, he was King also of England, and the news having come to Edinburgh on the 26th March, he took farewell of Scotland on the 5th of April and began his journey to London to assume his new dignity. The dating of the Edict would on this account alone be of some consequence. Yet one looks in vain for it in its proper place, in the Official Register of the Council. Several Acts are recorded there as having been passed by the King and Council at Holyrood House on the 24th of February 1603; but this is not one of them. How is the absence of so important a document from its proper place in the Register to be explained? It certainly was not because the King and Council retracted it or became ashamed of it. Although there is no Record of the Edict itself on the 24th of February, there is incidental reference to it, of an almost exulting kind, in an Act of Council passed two days afterwards, i.e. on the 26th of February, for modifying a previous business arrangement of the King and Council. An armed muster having bern ordered some time before to be in attendance on the King personally at Dundee on the 8th of March for the suppression of an intended rebellion within the bounds of Angus, this Act postpones the muster to the 1st of April, expressly on the ground that, in consequence of the late 'monstrous and cruell barbaritie' at Glenfruin, the King and Council have resolved on 'persute of that wicked and unhappie race of the ClanGregour quhill they be allutterlie extirpat and ruitit out,' and that it will be convenient at the muster on the 1st of April to conjoin this new business of the pursuit of the ClanGregor with the former business of the suppression of the rebellion in Angus. In further evidence that there was no retraction of the MacGregor Edict there are the certificates [17]   on the backs of the preserved copies of it now under notice that it was duly published at the market cross of Stirling on the 5th of March, at the Kirk of Dunkeld on the 6th of March, and at the market cross of Dumbarton on the 8th of March. Clearly the Edict was then running through the country and consideration for the methods for giving effect to it, must have continued to occupy the Council till those last days of March 1603 when the news of the accession of King James to the English throne drove everything else out of their heads. That we have not more distinct proofs of this, possibly even that the great Edict itself escaped due Registration in the Council Books about the time it was issued, may be owing to that long hiatus in the extant Official Register of the Council, extending exactly from the end of February 1603 to the 7th of August 1606, which we have so many other reasons to regret. It is not from the Register, for example, but from other sources that we learn that on the 3rd of April 1603, the very Sunday on which King James took leave of his Scottish subjects in an affec¬tionate farewell speech to such of them as were present that day in the High Church of Edinburgh, there was passed by him and his Council an Act 'whereby it was ordanit that the name of McGregoure sulde be altogedder abolisched, and that the haill personnes of thatt Clan suld renunce thair name and tak thame sum uther name, and that they nor nane of thair posteritie suld call thameselffis Gregor or McGregoure thairefter under the payne of deid.' In a footnote (in a previous volume of the published Register of the Privy Council) where mention was made of this Act, it was assumed as identical with the original Edict for the Extermination of the McGregors The assumption was natural when no copy of that original Edict was accessible or known to be extant; but it must now be corrected. We can see now the real connexion between the original Edict of the 24th of February 1603, and this Act of the 3rd of the following April. The 1st of April had been appointed for the further consideration of the Macgregor business in the muster to be held at Dundee for the business of the Angus rebellion; but when the 1st of April came the King was on the wing for london, and could not think of a journey to Dundee for any purpose whatever. In order, however, not to leave the Mac¬gregor business exactly where it was in the Edict of the 24th of February, he and his Council had been meditating a supplement to that Edict explaining that the decreed extermination of the Macgregor Clan need not be in the form of an absolute killing out of every man, woman, or child of the Clan, but might be achieved more mercifully in part by the compulsion of every man, woman, or child of the Clan that desired still to be left alive, to abjure the name of MacGregor and assume other name. By James's departure into England, the actual execution both of the original Edict and of the supplementary or interpreting Act was devolved on the Privy Council he left behind him in Scotland, and a horrible legacy it was; but both the original Edict and the supplementary Act belong really to the last weeks of King James's own residence in Scotland, and it has seemed the more worth while to explain this, because, though the original Edict of 24th February 1603 was the initiation of all the long series of subsequent Acts against the MacGregors, it has hitherto evaded search, and is now first made accessible."

F.-Page 413. Quotation from Vol. xiv. of Published Edition of Privy Council Register:

"Act of Exoneration and Indemnity to the Earl of Argyle for his services against the ClanGregor."

1613 (?). Our Soverane Lord ordanis ane letter to be maid undir the grite seale in dew forme, makand mentioun that, whereas his sacred Majestie haveing by his most prudent, wyse, and blissit governament, establisheit this estate and Kingdome under a perfyte and setled obedyence, and thair being litle or no rebellioun profest and avouit in ony pairt or cornair thairof bot in the Illis, and in the personis of that infamous byke of lawles lymmaris callit the ClanGregour, who not onlie by all kynd of villannye and insolencyis opprest his Majesteis goode subjectis in all partis quhair thay might be maisteris, but gaif occasioun to utheris Yllismen and Heylandaris in imitatioun of thame to ly oute and to attend and await the event of thair rebellioun: The consideratioun quhairof as it bred in his Majesteis royall hairt a princelie disdayne that suche a handfull of miserable catives sould be sufferrit so lang in contempt and dishonnour of his Majestie to ryn louse, so his Majestie resolvit altogidder to abolische and suppres the name, and memorie of that infamous clan, and outher haillelie to extirpt and root thame oute or then to reduce thame to obedyence: And his Majestie haveing had sindrie courses and plottis anent the executioun of this his Majesties resolutioun, in end his Majestie fand that no man wes so meete to be imployit in that service as his right traist cosine and counsellour, Archibald, Erle of Ergyle, Lord Campbell, Kintyre and Lorne, not onlie in regaird of his awne pouer, freindship, and forcis to execute the said service in suche substantious forme and maner as wes most aggreable with his Majesteis honnour, bot in regaird of the bigane proofe and experience whilk his Majestie hes had of the said Erle, his fidelitie, cair and diligence in sindrie preceding imploymentis concredite unto him bothe in the Yllis and aganis thir same lymmaris of the ClanGregour, whairin fra tyme to tyme he has had a goode and happie success; lyke as the said Erll to testifie his goode affectioun and willing dispositioun to do his Majestie service, acceptit upoun him not onlie the charge and service aganis the Clangregour, bot sindrie otheris commissionis, instructionis and directionis bothe by word and wryte aganis the Yllis and Heylandis nixt adjacent, quhairin he did mony goode officeis fra tyme to tyme . . . . he and the gentilmen of his freindship who joyned with him in that service behavit thameselffis thairin with suche wisdom, courage, foirsycht and dexteritie as divers of the Yllismen and a verie grite nomber of the ClanGregour by whome the peace of the cuntrey was chieflie interruptit hes bene apprehendit, slayne and execute be justice, to his Majesteis honour, and to the grite conforte and contentment of his Majesties goode subjectis swa that now the name of M'Gregour is in a maner abolisheit, and of that haill clan thair is not above xij personis who ar rebellis and outlawis left alive, The Act goes on to remit all crimes, transgressions and offences which the Earl and his friends may have com-mitted in the service assigned to them.

G.-Page 452. From Dr Masson's Introduction to Vol. xiv. of the Published Register of the Privy Council. “Account Book of Fines for Reset of the Clan¬Gregor 1612-1624. Through the first seven years of King James's residence in his new Kingdom of England, the execution of his two MacGregor Edicts of February-April 1603 was part of the occupation of the Scottish Privy Council he had left behind him. One of the most marked incidents in Scottish History through those years was the hanging and quartering at the Market Cross of Edin¬burgh on the 20th of January 1604 of Alexander Macgregor of Glenstrae, the head of the Clan, together with eleven of his principal clansmen that had been apprehended along with him; but the number of other MacGregors that were hunted to death through the seven years, or dispossessed of their native crofts and dispersed through different parts of the Highlands, to attach themselves to other clans and live on under changed names defies exact reckoning. So effective had been the operation of the two Macgregor Acts of 1603 that there seems to have been a lull in the persecution of the clan from mere lack of objects to persecute. But about the year 1610 the Government had to rouse itself to fresh exertions. See in the introduction to a former volume, the extraordinary series of new fulmina¬tions against the MacGregors between that year and the year 1613, and of the new Acts then passed for the future conduct of the crusade for their extermination. Our concern now is with two of those Acts in particular. One is the Royal Ordinance at Greenwich, of date 29th April 1611, committing the supreme management of the crusade thenceforward to the Earl of Argyle with full powers of fire and sword, as well as of justiciary action, against all movements of the doomed clan and their abettors, and with the escheats of all their moveable goods for his reward. The other is the Act of Council at Edinburgh, of date 21st Novem¬ber 1611, appointing so many named landlords to act as select Commissioners in each of the districts of Scotland chiefly haunted by the fugitive MacGregors or most liable to visits from them. Each set of such district commissioners was to have the duty of co-operating with the Earl of Argyle by holding courts for the trial of all persons in the district that should be named to them by the Earl as accused of shelter or reset of any of the ClanGregor, their wives, bairns, or goods, since the 1st of August 1610, and of reporting to the Privy Council the names of those that should be found guilty, together with such an estimate of the value of the property of each guilty person as rnight guide the Council in fixing the fine to be imposed upon that person. The assnmption in this Act is that the fines to be so inflicted upon resetters of the ClanGregor were like the escheated property of the culpable Mac¬Gregors themselves, to go to the Earl of Argyle; but from a subsequent minute of Council, of date 8th July 1613, we learn that the Earl then by his own voluntary offer agreed that 22 1/2 per cent. of all the moneys due to him or that might be due to on the reset-account should go into his Majesty's Exchequer. His Majesty and the Earl having thus a joint pecuniary interest in the MacGregor-reset fund arrangements were necessary for so collecting the fines and banking them, and for so keeping the accounts that the two interests should not get confused, and his Majesty's Treasurer should be able to calculate exactly the worth of this item of his Majesty's revenue. These arrangements were made on the 22nd of July 1613 when by an Act of Council, Archibald Primrose, writer, and Archibald Campbell of Glencharra¬dale were, with consent of the Earl of Argyle, appointed agents for uplifting the fines and for keeping just reckoning of his Majesty's interest in them on the one hand and the Earl's on the other."

"One might have expected, . . . , that in the course of the year 1614 it would have been possible to wind up the whole business of the fines for MacGregor-reset by settling accounts between his Majesty for his 22-1/2 per cent. of the proceeds and the Earl of Argyle for his remaining 77-1/2 per cent. But though there is evidence that by this time a good deal of money from the Macgregor Reset Fund had gone into the Earl of Argyle's pocket, and some of it into his Majesty's Scottish Treasury, there was no hurry in closing the accounts, and no possibility of hurry. For one thing, if it is easier even nowadays to impose a fine than to exact payment of it, one can see what hard work it must have been for Archibald Primrose and Archibald Campbell to 'uplift' the fines which the Council had imposed on so many Highland lairds Highland farmers and Highland cottars, and at what expense of hornings, poundings, arrests, &c, &c, they must have succeeded in ‘uplifting’ even so much as they did. In the second place the crime of MacGregor reset had by no means been stamped out in 1614. Even as late as 1617, the year of King James's one and only visit to Scotland after his accession to the English throne, did not his Majesty signalise his continued detestation of the Macgregors by causing to be passed in the Scottish Parliament held on that occasion in his own presence an Act renewing and confirming all the preceding Acts of Parliament or of Council directed against the ClanGregor? Why close the accounts of the Macgregor Reset Fund in 1614, or in any subsequent year near that date when there was still a chance of an indefinite increase of the fund by further fines to be exacted either from former offenders for relapses into their old crime or from newly discovered offenders? But in the third place, the circumstances of the Earl of Argyle from 1614 onwards were such as to postpone, so far as he was concerned, the necessity for winding up the accounts between him and the King in the matter of the Macgregor Reset Moneys. In 1615 the Earl was fully occupied with the business of his Lieutenancy for the suppression of the Macdonald Rebellion in the West; from that year to 1617 his thoughts ran mainly on the acquisition of the Lordship of Kintyre as the natural reward for that service and early in 1618 he had left Scotland and Britain altogether, to be the amazement soon both of Scotland and of England by his apostacy in Flanders from the Protestant religion and to be pursued by his Majesty on that account as a recreant and traitor."

Dr Masson proceeds to show that in July 1623 an Act was passed for the appointment of a Committee consisting of seven of the Councillors "for the audit of the accounts of the MacGregor Reset Fund as they should be tendered by Messrs Archibald Primrose and Archibald Campbell." The result was a Report and Audit, of date 31st March 1624, a copy of which is printed in VoL xiv. of the published Register of the Privy Council with full lists of the persons fined. Dr Masson condenses the amounts levied in the following table (here slightly abridged).

I. Finings in the Inverness District, concluded
30th July 1613 . . . £36,010.0.0
II. Do. in the Elgin and Forres District,,
concluded 1st Sept. 1613 £35,736.13.4
III. Do. in the Perth District,, sundry time;
concluded 31st March 1618 . £28,620.0.0
IV. Do. in Strathearn, 27th March 1614 . £5,016.3.4
V. Do. in Menteith, concluded 14th July 1613 £5,310.0.0
VI. Do. in Dumbartonshire, concluded 17th March 1614 £4,374.13.4
£ 115,068.0.0

But although this was the total amount of the imposed fines, Dr Masson goes on to explain that the amount actuaily collected fell far short of it, an authorised abate¬ment reduced it to £77,271, 4s., a residue of £32,606, 1s. 10d. remained due at the date of making up the account, and the whole available assets appear to have been £44,665, 2s. 2d. The proportion due to the King is set down at £10,050.

Reading over the long list of "Resetters," copied from the said "ClanGregor Fines Book," given by Dr Masson in VoL xiv., one cannot but admire the number of disinterested friends who had thus afforded "Comfort" to the ClanGregor, at their own serious peril.

[1] See page 296 for Sir John MacGregor’s refutation and page 295 for mention of a McIntnach instead of Cameron volume 1 chapter 24

[2] Not true – this confuses the killing of the previous chief by MacFarlanes in 1592. [Editor 2002 edition.]

[3] Allowing the MacGregors to put their side of the story to the Privy Council was the very last thing that the Earl of Argyll would wish to happen. [Editor 2002 edition.]

[4] If this relates to Glenstray, it must be absolutely untrue, and the whole of this story about Gregor Our is unknown in the clan records.

[5] More reliable accounts state that Gregor Odhar was killed by the Clan Dubhgall ciar at Craigrostan. [Editor 2002 Edition]

[6] Third son of the Tutor.

[7] Second son of the Tutor, executed 1604.

[8] Pudrach.

[9] Son of Duncan na Glen.

[10] Another son of Duncan na Glen.

[11] Not found.

[12] Uncertain.

[13] John Dow McRcb?

[14] In Craigrostane.

[15] Dougal Chaich.

[16] The occsion of this act of extermination against the long-doomed MacGregors was their armed invasion of the Lennox, with consequent slaughter of so many of the Colquhouns, Buchanans, and others of that region in the Battle of Glenfruin, on the 7th February 1603. Within six weeks after the act, King James was on his journey southwards to take possession of the throne of England; and it is memorable that the present tremendous decree - the first of a series of similarly ruthless edicts against the MacGregors which run through all the rest of James's reign - was among the last of his actions before leaving Scotland. -Dr Masson.

[17] These certificates on the back have been here omitted after the Edict as less important. – ED.