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Amelia Volume 2 chapter 19

Election of Balhaldies

[page 266]
THE various most important branches of the Clan Gregor have been passed in review in the previous chapters. The last of the descendants of Alastair V of Glenstray through his second son, the Tutor, brother of Gregor nam Bassingeal, ended with Archibald MacGregor of Kilmanan, whose death took place between 1707 and 1714. The House of Ardlaraich may have been related to this line but there are some links wanting as to their ancestor. Whatever may have been the original claims of "John Makewin VcAllaster McGregour” mentioned in the Black Book of Taymouth to the position of Chief, which distinction remained in his line for nearly two hundred years; after the death of Archibald of Kilmanan the line of Duncan Ladosach was certainly by birthright the representative of the old Chiefs and of Gregor, Aulin McAne Chaim vic Gregor who died in 1415.

That representative was at this period

From the "Baronage:-
"XX John Og, of MacGregor alias Murray son of John XIX. He was commonly designed of Glencarnoch a man of great prudence and sagacity who amassed a very considerable fortune. It is said he was of essential service to the attempt in 1715 but was cautious of embarking publickly, and therefore none of his Clan took arms excepting Dugald Ciar's tribe under Rob Roy who, as he was known to he personally brave, gave proof at Sherriffmuir that he could not withstand a golden bait. [1]  
This Rob Roy being ill-used by some great families in the neighbourhood was in use to take revenge in his own way to which, though by no means justifiable, he was spirited by another powerful family who was at variance with them.

"By these means however, practices of that kind became natural to him and he did not even spare those of his own name, for this John having purchased an estate in Balquhidder where Robert and some of his friends were tenants, he kept them five years [page 267] out of possession by open violence and one way with another put him to an expence and loss of above 30,000 merks.

"But what was still worse, though he never had above a dozen of fellows with him and those always of the tribe of which he was himself, yet his continual depredations in all corners of the Country made people believe that the whole Clan were equally bad with himself, tho' in fact by no people were his practices more heartily detested." [2]   John married Catherine Campbell of Lix by whom he had five sons
1. Robert his heir
2. Peter who married and left one daughter married to Mr John Gregorson an officer in the 2d Royal Americans.
3. Duncan sorely wounded at the Battle of Preston 1745 by which he was lame of a leg. He eventually became representative of the family.
4. Evan, of whom afterwards
5. John, do., do.
John of Glencarnock died 1744 as appears from the inscription on a flat stone in the little Burying Ground at Invercarnock at the Head of Loch Doine, Parish of Balqubidder Here Lies
John McGregor of Glenk……..
who died 18th Sep. 1744 aged 76
years. a man in high esteem
for all virtue. he built this Chapel
for himself and family and spouse
Cath; Camp; dr of H. Campl
of Lix and of Beatrix Campl
dr of Archd Campl of Torrie, son to
Dunstaffnage, by Janet Buchanan
of Leny heiress of Leny
and niece of the 1st Earl of Louden
She died 14th May 1774 aged
92 years a woman of
excellent virtue.

[page 268]
John did not embark publickly in the Rising of 1715, but there were those in the Clan who were impatient of inaction. As early as 1707 an emissary from James VIII, or the old Chevalier, was sent to Scotland to sound the leaders in anticipation of a landing which the Chevalier proposed to make in Scotland in August of that year, but the French King postponed his assistance from time to time on various pretences. In March 1708 a French Fleet under command of the Chavalier Forbin set sail from Dunkirk with the Chavalier on board the principal ship. They had arrived off the firth of Forth with the intention of landing somewhere near Stirling, when the arrival of the English Fleet and a violent storm of wind in their teeth, compelled the French vessel to return to Dunkirk.

It has been shewn that MacGregor of Roro was, as is believed, the nearest Cadet of the Clan, that is to say entitled to succeed to the Chief¬ship if all the race of Duncan Ladosach came to an end, and in like manner if Roro and all its numerous junior branches became extinct, Macgregor of Balhaldies would rank as the Cadet of Roro, but except for such a contingency Balhaldies had no inherited right of blood whatever. [3]   It has been already stated that Alexander Drummond of Balhaldies VII of his house was served heir to his father, March 1685. He married, 1686. Margaret eldest daughter of Sir Ewan Cameron of Locheil. Balhaldies was a man of great talent undoubtedly devotedly attached to the Stewart interests, and thoroughly loyal. He is said to have engaged in trade in Stirling in his youth and was a rich man. About the period above mentioned, when Jacobite plans were much dreaded by the Government, certain of the Highland Chiefs had pensions bestowed upon them by Queen Anne to secure their interest.

The following, taken from "A collection of Original Letters relating to the Rebellion 1715," a pamphlet printed at Edinburgh 1730, gives par¬ticulars as to this.
“Account of the Bounty money bestowed by Queen Anne on the Chiefs of the Highland Clans.
Sir. I give you this trouble, in order to satisfy you in that affair you was desirous to know of me. [page 269] - I heard there was a desire of settling a pension upon the Heads of the Highland Clans a thing very much for the service of and security of her Majesty's Government; there was likewise a list of them made. I never enquired or heard further of that affair, until the end of Nov. 1715 coming from the north to Edinburgh, I received a Letter by a footman from Stewart of Appin; telling me that Her Majesty had heen pleased to cause put me, in the List, with the other Clans; and that I was desired to be against a certain day at Innerlochy, where all the rest of the Clans were to meet, in order to sign a letter of thanks to her Majesty, a Draught of which letter of thanks, he said, was sent them from Court, together with a Letter to them from my Lord Treasurer Oxfoord assuring them of his friendship and protection. I wrote back to Appin that I would set out in a few days for London where I should have an occasion to see their Letter of Thanks to her Majesty.-And after I had been about three weeks at London mylord Duplin Sent for me to his House and presented me the said letter to sign which I did accordingly. In April 1712, 1 returned to Scotland; some few Weeks thereafter there came orders down for each of the Heads of Clan to receive from Sir P. M. of A, [4]   -Three hundred and sixty Pounds Sterling and a draught of the receipt, which was in these terms: 'I A. B. grants me to have received Three hundred and sixty Pound Sterling as a compleat Years Payment of the Bounty money Her Majesty has been pleased to bestow upon me.' I have reason to believe all of them received on May 1712, the like sum. Soon after I was surprised to hear that Allan Cameron brother to Locheil, was carrying an Address through the Highlands to be signed by all the Clans; for hitherto Stewart of Appin had been intrusted with the management of their affairs at Court. The said Allan having got all his subscriptions to the 'Sword in hand address' as it was commonly called, he carried it to London and presented it to her Majesty, being introduced by my Lord Treasurer and had ever afterwards the Trust of the Clans' affairs. at Court.

This system of pensions appears to have existed for some time, as even the gallant old Chief, Sir Ewan Cameron of Locheil, is said to have accepted an annuity from the government, against whom he had fought since 1690. It became a strong cause in the minds of half-ruined men, why a strong Chief should put in a claim and draw a subsidy. It must be supposed that certain MacGregors considered the Chiefship to he elective, and even Rob Roy, who, as a younger son of a Cadet House could have no possible Blood Claim, is said to have intended to put him¬self forward, but is asserted to have been bought off by "The much Honoured Alexander McGregor of Balhaldies," [page 270] who for some time formerly went under the name of Drummond, and was elected by fourteen of the Clan to be their hereditary Chief. He obliged himself and heirs to pay to Gregor McGregor of Glengyll, Gregor McGregor of Brackly and Gregor McGregor of Roro, "If it shall please the Government to give him a pension as other Chiefs get, then and in that case he shall bestow and designate a third part thereof to each of them, as a just and equal share of the said pension."

The following is a copy of the original document of Balhaldies election

“Be it kend till all men be thir Presents" We the heads of the families or the Clan of MacGregor and others of our said Clan undersubscribing - Seriouslie weighing and considering the many sad sufferings, the dismall heavie calamities and oppres-sions we groan under, the many affronts and indignities put upon us espescially by such as did desert their lawfull sovereign at the tym of the late unhapie revolution and still continue in rebellion sgainst him and Albeit on all occasions we the said Clan sealled our loyaltie with our blood and the death of our best men in every battle fought by our thin (sic) gracious sovereigns of ever blessed memorie, or their Generals having their commission, which we are able to document by written testimonies under their hands, yet so great was and is the crueltie of our implacable enemies as that they used and still use their utmost endeavours to root out and render our name so extinct, as that there should not be a memorie of our Clan in this, or after ages and now the said Heads and others of our Clan of McGregor being deeply sensible that all this and more has befallen us in and through, our want of a sufficient and well qualified Chief able to protect and defend us from the malicious intendments, cruelties, oppressions and insults of these our inveterate enemies Therefore and for many other weighty considerations moving us, We the above designed heads of families of the said Clan of McGregor and everie one of us, for ourselves and taking burden in and upon us, for all descended of us and our families and their successors, from generation to generation; Do most cordially with all our hearts and souls with one mind, consent and assent, elect, nominate, appoint and make choice of the much honoured Alexander McGregor of Balhaldies, who for some time formerlie went under the surname of Drummond, our Rightful, Lawful and undoubted Governor, Head, Chief and Chiftain Of our Clan of M'Gregor, during all the days of his life as the onlie proper and fit person of our whole Clan to represent us, as head and Chief; and William McGregor younger of Balhaldies his eldest lawfull son and apparent heir, and his lawfull aires and successors to be hereditarie our Chiefs and Chiftains, and we the said Heads of Families of the said Clan of McGregor solemnlie [page 271] declare and protest, as in the presence of God, that it shall never be in any of our powers; nor in the power of any of our successors for ever, to alter this Chiefship as presentlie by us made and appointed, from the said Alexander McGregor of Balhaldies our now present Chief nor from his lawfull heirs and successors, but that the samen shall hereditarilie continue in the said Alexander McGregor his family and posteritie in all time coming so long as sun and moon endures, obliging ourselves to stand fast and bold firm be the said Alexander McGregor our Chief and his foresaids; Giving him and his foresaids all dutifull submission, subjection and obedience as becomes a submissive and dutiful Clan to their Chief and Chiftain and shall obtemperate and obey him in all cases and causes lawfull against all deadlie, the lawfull Sovereign always excepted, most humblie and cheerfully submitting ourselves and our fore¬saids, to his and his foresaids, their determination and decision in any disputes, debates, quarrels and controversies whatsoever that shall happen to be betwixt us or any of our foresaids, As we Bind and Oblige us and our foresaids to attend him and his foresaids, at hosting and hunting, on tymous advertisement; Lykas We bind and oblige us and our foresaids to maintain his Chiefship, and his foresaids their authority over us, and our whole Clan, and shall pay him such casualities as shall fall due. And in case the said Alexander our Chief or his foresaids shall happen to be commanded be the lawfull Sovereign to rise in arms and repair to the lawfull Sovereign his Standard We the said heads of families above named, oblige ourselves and our foresaids on lawfull warning to repair with all haste and diligence to any place our said Chief appoints us, and all of us as one man to appear in our best cloathes and arms not only to join our said Chief or his foresaids but also to stand be him and feight under his banner to the last drop of our blood. And Farder we the Heads of Families of the said Clan of McGregor and as taking burden as aforesaid beseich and oblist the said Alexander McGregor of Balhaldies to accept of this our decision, election, free and voluntair choice and to become our Chief all the said days of his lifetyme and his aires and successors our hereditarie Chiefs and Chiftans and we the said heads of families and our foresaids sincerely and faithlie vow and promise to hold firm & stable to every article we oblige ourselves and our foresaids unto, as above written. For the which causes and on the consideration; provisions and condi-tions above exprest, the said Alexander McGregor of Balhaldies Accepts and hereby becomes Chief of the said Clan of McGregor, faithfully binding and obliging him and his foresaids to protect and defend the said Clan and ilk ane of them to the utmost of his power so far as Justice, Equity and Law will allow and Finallie the said Alexander and his foresaids obliges themselves, as much as in him or them lyes to maintain the said Clan in their rights and priviledges and in all respects to behave himself towards his said Clan as a faithfull and loving Chief ought to do, and as a demonstration of his tender and earlie care of and love and favour to his said Clan he obliges himself and his foresaids that if it shall please the Govern¬ment to allow him a pension as other Chiefs get, that then and in that ease, he shall bestow and destinate a third part thereof on the Heads of Families of the Clan of McGregor, as after designed viz to Gregor [page 272] McGregor of Glengyle Head of the familie of Clanduilkeir To Gregor of Bracklie head of the familie of Bracklie, and to Gregor McGregor of Rora head of the familie of Rora, to each of them a just and equal share of the third part of the above said pension, if the same be obtained and allenalie. And for the more Securitie both parties consent to the Registration hereof in the Books of Council and Session or any other Judges Court Books, competent within the kingdom to have the strength of ane decreet of either of the Judges interponed hereto so that Letters of Horning and all others needfull may, on ane simple charge of six days onlie, pass hereupon For that effect Constitutes thir Prers &c In witness whereof thir presents Written be Mr Duncan Comrie Minister of the Gospel for parish of Innerallan at Auchinsh¬callan the twentieth day of July and at Dunblain the twentieseventh day of July 1714 years Before these witnesses John Cameron of Locheil and the said Mr Duncan Comrie.

Gregor McGregor of Rora head of the familie of Rora;
Donald McGrigor consents;
Duncan McGregor of Dunan consents;
Duncan McGrigor con¬sents;
John McGrigor of ye familie of McGregor consents.
Gregor McGregor head of the familie of Clan¬dulchier;
Robert McGregor of Craigrostan consents;
Gregor McGregor in Ardmackmuin consents;
Donald McGregor of Kyleter consents;
Ma: McGregor of March¬field consents;
Alex; McGregor of ye familie of McGregor consents;
John McGregor of ye familie of McGrigor consents.
Gregor McGregor head of the familie of Bracklie;
Rob. McGregor consents;
Duncan McGregor con¬sents;
McGregor of that Ilk;
Will: M'Griegor accepts

J Camerone witnes, Lochiell.
Mr D Comrie witness.

This Bond of Election was kept a profound secret from the rest of the Clan. [page 273] Gregor in Ardmackmuir, Donald in Kyleter and Malcolm of Marchfield were all of the Glengyle family. Ardlariach and Leragan did not sign and probably did not hear of the proceedings. The family of Bracklie were a junior branch of Ladosach. A question arises who are the three signatories "of the familie of McGrigor?” It may be stated decidedly that they were not of the Ladosach family amongst whom there was no Alexander - neither were they of Ardlaraich. In the original signatures, "McGregor of that Ilk, Will: McGregor accepts" appear in one handwriting, possibly "Younger" was omitted and that the names both belong to William son of Alexander of Balhaldies. - The latter may have signed “McGregor of that Ilk" his son signing underneath but in the original, the handwriting of both appears to be the same. If so, the central "Alex McGregor of ye family of McGregor” must have been Balhaldies in virtue of his new title, and one signature that of "John" his brother, the other that of his son.

ROBERT MACGREGOR COMMONLY CALLED ROB ROY.

Another very prominent figure of the Clan must now be brought under special consideration.
Robert McGregor, otherwise Robert Campbell of Inversnaid and afterwards of Craigrostan, the third son of Lieut.-Colonel Donald McGregor of Glengyll, known as Donald Glas. Rob Roy, so called from the colour of his hair, was born in 1669 in the Parish of Callander, and was baptised in the Parish of Buchanan, by the Minister of Buchanan, with the special permission of the Kirk Session of Callander. [Actually baptised 1671 - Ed] [5]   He was undoubtedly a man of singular intrepidity, courage and ready resource. His qualities were such as to attract the admiration of brave and generous men and, taken with his romantic life and the fame to which he was raised by Sir Walter Scott's enthralling novel, have made him a most popular hero, especially in the ClanGregor. Rob Roy lived in difficult times, acts of violence, which might be condoned at the period of the fierce and unjust persecution of the Clan, were now more contrary to the changing moral sense of the country and his characteristics belonged rather to a past century. Embittered by personal troubles his hand was turned [page 274] against every man; precluded from living a peaceful life there are doubtless many excuses to be made for him; and kindness to the poor was one of his virtues. The greatest weakness of his character as alleged in more than one transaction was his vacil¬lation as a Jacobite, and his acceptance, as is strongly suspected, of bribes. Unfortunately, however, it cannot be said that he was altogether singular in this respect among his contemporaries and compatriots. In 1691, whilst his father was lodged in the Tolbooth of Edinburgh, Rob headed a party in arms in a raid commonly called "The Herschip of Kippen." The fol¬lowing particulars about this incident are abridged from a " History of Rob Roy," by A. H. Millar, F.S.A.Scot., Dundee, 1883.

In this work, which does not quote its authorities, it is stated that King James VIII. on the application of Rob Roy granted him a warrant "to plunder the rebel Whigs," and that, armed with this power, Rob summoned his personal following to mect him in battle array in Balquhidder at the close of harvest time 1691. Much of the land in Stirlingshire belonged to Sir Alexander Livingatone of Bedlormie, a scion of the family of the Livingstones of Callander. The race once devoted to the Stuarts had now turned to the side of William of Orange.

Rob Roy "had received intelligence that a valuable herd of cattle belonging to Livingstone was to pass through Kippen on the way to Stirling on a certain day and he resolved to intercept it. Taking the south road by Aberfoyle his party crossed the Forth and entered Bucklyvie by a circuitous path. No tidings had reached this spot of the expected booty and as the road to Kippen lay through the town Rob ordered his men to await its arrival there. He disposed of his men in con¬venient positions to effect his purpose of carrying off the cattle of Lord Livingstone. [6]   " But the inhabitants were alarmed at the incursion and "silently prepared to defend their hearths aud homes, Messengers were sent to Kippen and Balfron warning the Countryside of the raid and asking for assistance against the Reivers. They gradually gathered from all quarters into Buchlyvie, ready to resist the first attack upon them. As the day wore on and no signs of his intended prey appeared Rob Roy decided to leave the town and encamp on the Muir of Kippen for the night. He could not fail to mark the increased numbers of the country people who were entering the place nor to notice the menacing attitude which they had assumed. [page 275] Prudence dictated that he should abandon the lanes and narrow alleys of the town and lead his men to the heath where danger might be seen approach¬ing so he speedily withdrew before a blow had been exchanged."

"The villagers of Kippen meanwhile had been aroused by exaggerated reports of the foray and were rapidly advancing towards Bucklyvie armed with such agricultural weapons as their agricultural pursuit supplied. Rob Roy thus found himself placed betwixt two parties eager to attack him but with whom he had no quarrel. He sought to avoid a contest, knowing that the imperfect weapons they brought against him were unequally matched with the claymores of his own hardy mountaineers, but fate decided it otherwise. Just as the sun was sinking in the West the cattle of Lord Livingstone for which he had waited so patiently all day were seen slowly approaching the place which he occupied. One word to his men set them flying forward with speed to capture the quarry which had brought them from their own mountainous retreat. "The impetuous charge of the MacGregors was met by the Kippen Band who interposed between them and the herd, threatening them with scythes and clubs with which they had hastily armed themselves. Irritated by an opposition which they had striven to avoid the Highlanders sought to drive their assailants back by using only the flat of the sword; but their efforts were in vain and in self defence they were compelled to cut and thrust as well as to parry. Thoroughly roused now and with their northern blood all afire they rushed upon their opponents. In a brief space the road was cleared before them, and the helpless Lowlanders fled in dismay leaving the herd of cattle in the roadway undefended. The Keeper to whom they had been committed made a feeble attempt to resist the spoilers but he was remorselessly cut down and left lifeless on the ground. The purpose of the Highlanders was accomplished when they gained possession of the ' Guidis and gear' of the Whig Lord.

"Rob Roy's fiercer passions had been inflamed by the uncalled for interference of the Lowland Band so he decided to teach them forbearance in the future. Detaching a company of his men to guard the spoil he made his way to the village of Kippen which he found almost deserted, the panic that had seized upon its defenders had not abated, and they were afraid to return to their homes, where the head of the Band would seek them. Rob changed his conduct towards them when he saw their cowardice and taking the cattle from every Byre in the village which he could easily reach be made one vast herd of bestial and drove all before him to join his companions. By speedy by-ways and secret paths with which he was accustomed his party returned home to Balquhidder elated with their success, and laden with booty. Seldom had a Highland raid been so productive, yet so bloodless."

In the following letter mention is made for the first time by Lord Murray, [page 276] eldest son of the Marquis of Atholl, and afterwards 1st Duke of Atholl, of Robert Campbell alias MacGregor or Rob Roy. Extract- [7]  

"May 21 1695. It was late when I writ last on Saturday to my father, which made me ommitt to take notice of what his Lp writt in a former letter concerning a soldier of mine called Menzies that I spoke to at Dunkeld & another man was with him. It was not concerning aney of Broadalbane's men hut about one Rob: Cample, a son of that Livt Coll McGregor who cheated my father, and he & his family have continued to doe all they coud against me. My father is in the right that Menzies is a rogue, at least he was one, & it is hard to mend them, but I have good surety yt he will cary himself honestly in times coming. I have sent a party to aprehend that Rob: Campbel I have not yett hard wt they have dine. I belive Bread: indeed is his friend because he has taken that name & his lp has espoused his interrest when he was persued before the justiciary court, wherfor I wish none of his lps frends at Dunkeld may gett notice I imployed about him. I wish I had not seen the men at yt place, but having missed me at Hunting-touer they came there."

Rob Roy having obtained private notice of the dispatch of the party, contrived to evade them, but he must either have been captured or surrendered himself soon afterwards, as the following bond [8]   shows he made submission to Lord Murray a month later.

"Be it known to all men Be thir presents me Robert Roy Campbell, sometime McGrigor, sone to Lievt Col McGrigor, for as much as ane noble Lord, John Lord Murray, is pleased to receive me into his Lops favour, notwithstanding of my many ungratefull deportments and undecent cariages for some yeares by past, Therefor I the said Robert Roy Campbell as principal and Alexr McDonnell, Laird of Glengarrie and Alexr McDonald, brother german to John McDonald of Glencoe, as cautioners for me, Be thir presents hereby bind & oblidge us contie & satlie, our aires excutors & successours, That the said Robert Roy Campbell shall hereafter, & in all time coming, not only behave himselfe as a loyall & dutifull subject under this present government but also as ane honest, faithfull & obedient servant to the noble Lord and shall present himselfe to his Lop when ever required. & shall live honestly, peaceably & quietly in all time coming, and that under the penalty of ane thousand pounds scots money, to be payed to his Lop by us in case of failure, and I the said Robert Roy Campbell hereby oblidge me and my foresaids. To relieve my saids Cautioners and their forsaids of anie charges or expenses they shall happen to incurr by or through their said cautionerie [page 277] Wee the said Cautioners as named also oblige us and our forsaids to relieve each of us the others of our sd cawt: proportionally and prorata. Consenting thir presents be registered in the Books of Counsell or Session, or others competent to have the strength of ane decreit of the Lords or Judges thereof interponed thereto that horning on six dayes & others necessar, as efferes pass hereupon. and constitute … our prot yrfor;

"In witness whereoff Wee have subt thir presents, written by Alex. Kirkwood, servant to his Lop att our desire, with our hands at Edr the twentiesecond day of June 1695 yeares, before thir witnesses-
Leonard Robertsone of Straloch, Lievtennant Simon Fraser of Beawfort, and the sd Alexr Kirkwood.
Leo. Ro'sone, witnes; Robert Campbell;
Sim Fraser, witness; Alexr McDonel Caut:
Alex Kirkwood, witnes; Alexr McDonell Caut:

Notwithstanding this submission and promises of amendment, Rob seems to have been again in trouble the same year.

1695. Dec.19. The Privy Council ordered "Robert McGregor prisoner in Glasgow to be sent along with some others to Flanders." Probably he in some manner or other contrived to escape this sentence, but we have no particulars on the subject.

The popular histories of Rob Roy, based for the most part on tradition, much of which may be true, but which, as everyone's experience shows, is often highly coloured by prejudices and imagination, [9]   relate very remark¬able tales of Rob Roy's strength, presence of mind and hairbreadth escapes whilst he was still a very young man, but as dates are seldom given it is probable that these incidents were spread over a large part of his life. Rob commenced life as a cattle dealer and is said to have taken a large tract of land in Balquhidder as a grazing. He is supposed to have been an authorised member of a Watch Company [10]   for the protection of the district at one time: at all events he enforced contributions of "Black Mail" for the benefit of himself and followers. The rescue of fifteen head of cattle carried off from Finlarig by a party of Macras and restored by Rob to the owners was one of his first exploits. [page 278] Rob Roy married Mary McGregor, daughter of Gregor McGregor of Comermore, and she survived him several years. Her father was Gregor MacGregor, second son of Gregor McGregor of Easter Corerklet. [11]  

It has been already stated that in 1701 Archibald McGregor or Graham of Kilmanan, with consent of his eldest son, resigned in favour of Robert Campbell or McGregor the lands of Craigrostan which he had purchased from Colquhoun of Luss. In 1704 he impignorated also to Rob Roy the lands of lnversnait, and in June 1706 gave him a confirma¬tory charter of Craigrostan. In the Atholl Papers there is incidental mention of Rob in a letter from Mr Scott, an agent to the Duke of Atholl, dated Edinburgh, Feb.22, 1704.

“I am sorry Robert Roy's declaration was so ill writt. I did it in hast not think-ing it would be sent away. He is not now in town so cannot make it up and I really took it for stories of his own making & not materiall, which made me write it so carelessly and that it was all hearsay, Kilmanan is still in town and I have been several times calling for him & either miss'd him or found him so drunk as I could not understand what he said. If I remember, all Robert Roy's stories was hearsay from him, or a man I think of one Graem, in the head of Monteith, and what I remember most material if true, was that Beaufort being sollicited to write, Robert Roy answered he could not trust him, for that he would deliver him up to your Grace, But I know he was actually writ to by Beaufort but that he happened at the time to be out of the country."

Letter from Rob Roy to the Duke of Atholl.
"Glengyle, ye 20. of May 1704
"My Lord, May it please Your Grace, In Your Grace's absence Fownab prest tuo of your men & sent them to Edr for recreits; yr names be John & Duncane McEune Voire, late McGrigore in Glenlyone. Duncane, liveing at ye time under ye Earle of Bradalbin was brought back. John remains still there. Your Grace was pleased to protect these two men formerly. Therefor I humblie beg that yr Grace may be pleased to liberat this poor man, who hath left a wyfe and maney smal children behind him. If not, Fownab May heirafter dispose of yr Grace's men as if they were his oune. beging pardon for this I am My Lord, yr Gr/s most humble and most oblidged servantt, Ro: Campbell."

"1704. Febr. 2d. The Duchess of Atholl wrote to the Duke from Holyrood House that she had seen Rob Roy who had given her some information about the plot, [page 279] and that she was convinced he could tell enough if he liked." [12]   - Atholl and Tullibardine Chronicles.

The Marquis of Montrose gave Rob Roy considerable countenance in his occupation of cattle dealing and advanced him sums of money, Highland cattle at that period met with a ready sale in England, and Rob became very well known throughout the country, his business dealings being honourable and straightforward. But eventually business failures involved him in much trouble, he was unable to meet the claims of the Marquis of Montrose, to whom he was eventually forced by Law to give up his lands under Wadset, and never recovered them.

In the Revd. William MacGregor Stirling's notes to Nimmo's "History of Stirlingshire" 2d edition 1817 and 2nd volume, the Story is succinctly given. Craigrostan had belonged to another family of MacGregors, whose representative now bears the name of Gregorson. [13]   Mr MacGregor of Craigrostan had become security for money borrowed by a friend, and his estate was purchased by the lender the Marquis of Montrose.

“Robert Campbell of Inversnait, had with one MacDonald, borrowed in 1708, a sum, of the Duke of Montrose, for buying cattle. Campbell's partner fled with the money; and Inversnait with all pertinents was adjucated for payment." The Duke of Montrose's "Chamberlain, Graham of Killearn, over zealous in his master's service," pushed matters very cruelly and being evidently a man of savage instincts brutally insulted Rob Roy's wife in his absence. "The date of the outrage is not known. It was probably in 1708 or the year after." "The husband, being on his return, informed of what had taken place in his absence, withdrew from a scene which he could no longer bear and vowed vengeance. He seized part of the Duke's rents, as the only way in which as he argued, he could regain any part of his own estate. On the unmanly insulter of his wife he took a personal satisfaction which marks the mildness of his character. Killearn was collecting rents at Chapellaroch, a place in Stirlingshire, when Robert arriving with an armed force, demanded his tythe. The Chamberlain endeavoured to conceal the money by throwing it upon a loft, above the room he sat in. Robert however insisted on having what he called his share; and on the pleasure besides of Mr Graham's company to the Highlands. Carrying him to Loch Kettern, now known as Loch Katherine, he confined him three days on a desert island near Glengyle."

[page 280]
Letter to the Duke of Atholl from his agent in Edinburgh, Mr Douglas.

Edin. 25th, 1712.
May it please Your Grace,- ….. I cannot forbear giving yr Grace an account of qt I hear concerning yr Gr/ affaires. And I no sooner came to town than I heared that 'Rob Roy' McGreigour had gone off wt a great dale of My lord D. Montrose, & other gentlemen's money and accordingly is insert by My Lo/ Montrose his order, in the gazette as a vagabound.
"The common Report goes yt he has gone off wt 1000lb ster; & made the best of his way over to the Pretender, & ye storrie for this wh concerns y Gr/ is that he should have bein wt yr Gr/, ye M. of Huntly & a great many others of the Highland Clans. It is reported by those who ar non of yr Gr/ friends that you should have conversed wt him after he was publickly in the gazette & known to he a declaired fugitive qk I am confident is altogether false, & I doe nott believe yr Gr/ hes seen him att all. For to my certain knowledge I have heard yr Gr/ had no kindness for ye fellow. But in case yr Gr/ hes att any time seen him, I am hopefull it was only by accident, & befor anything of this hes been discovered anent him, & ye more becaus I hear yt Montrose is making all ye search imaginable of his wayes & conversation since he went away. “Yr Gr/ would doe me ye honour as lett me know if he was near yr Gr/ or the least keind of ground for this storrie, so as I can inform those who give ear to it of the groundless aspersion I am in all duty &c. Jo Douglas."

Letter from Rob Roy to the Duke of Atholl.

Portnellan, 27th Jany 1713.
"May it please Your Grace,-I am hopefull your Grace Has heard how ye Duke of Montrose is offering to ruine me upon the accompt of cautionrie yt I en¬gadged to his Grace. I have offered to him the whole principle soume with a yeirs rent, which he positively refuses ye same. The reasone why he did refuse it was, he sent me a protectione, and in the meantyme yt I had ye protectione, his Grace thought it fitt to procure ane order from the Queen's advocate to Funnab, to secure me, and had a partie of men to put this order in executione against me. This was a most rediculous way to any nobleman to treat any man after this manner.

"Funnab is still promeseing to put this order in executione; but if I can, his Grace & he both will not doe it: God knowes but their is vast differs between Dukes. Blessed be God for that its not ye Athole men that is after me, Altho it were if your Grace wold send to me the Least foot Boy I would come without any protectione. Your Grace was alwayes charitable and kynd to me beyond my deservings. If your Grace would speake to yr advocate to countermand his order, [page 281] since its contrary to Law, it would ease me very much off my troubles, and I beg pardone for this trouble and for the superrscriptione hereof, and I am
Your Grace's servant while I am alive, Rob Roy."

From the "Chartulary"

“1713, February 28th. Adjudication Sir John Shaw of Greenock Baronet against Robert Campbell of Inversnate.

"August 3rd. Three Adjudications, viz. Duke of Montrose, Mungo Grahame of Gorthie, James Graham Writer in Glasgow against Robert Campbell.

"August 12th. Adjudication Campbell of Blytheswood against Robert Campbell of Inversnait.

"1714, February 6th, McFarlane & Buchannan against the same.

"March 3rd. Montgomery against Robert Roy McGregor alias Campbell.

"At Huntingtower April 5th 1715, [14]   In presence of John, Duke of Atholl, Sherriff principal of Perthshire, Lord of the Regalities of Atholl and Dunkeld, Steward principal of the Stewartys of Fife and Huntingtower.

"Grigor Murray, sometime McGrigor, son to Alexr Murray in Coynachan in Glenalmond, being Interrogate if he the said Grigor of himself, or by giving com-mission to any other, bought any arms or amunition at Edinr or els where these five or six months by past, and if the said Grigor was desired to list himself in the service of Robert Roy Campbell or any others, answered:

"That he had not been in Edinr these seven years bypast, neither has he of himself, or by giving commission to any other, bought either arms or amunition these 12 months bygone, except seven Targets he bought for the sd Robert, being Imployed by him, about Candlemas last, to buy Targets for his use, but he the sd Grigor hearing afterwards that the sd Robert became suspected to the Government by drinking the Pretender's health, did dispose of the sd Targets to his Grace's Tennents in Glenalmond, and that he has neither seen nor heard from the sd Robert, since the sd time, and further that the sd Robert did never list him or any other in his hearing either to his own or any other service whatsomever. All which he declares to be of truth and that he is willing to depone upon the verity of the same. In witness whereof he has subscribed these prests &c &c
Grigor Murray


[1] This is a suggestion that Rob Roy had been bribed by the Duke of Argyll not to take the field with the Jacobites at Sheriffmuir. No proof of this claim has ever been advanced. With Mar as Jacobite Commander, Argyll did not need Rob Roy’s assistance! [Editor 2002 edition]

[2] This appears to be the personal opinion of Duncan MacGregor of Glencarnaig, rather than a balanced historical view. Quite typical of the “Baronage”. It would be helpful to have more evidence in support. [Editor 2002 Edition]

[3] This argument is completely wrong. The youngest cadet branch, not the oldest, would be most entitled to succeed. Roro was among the most senior branches having branched off the main stem around 1390. Therefore Roro, like Ladasach had no claim. Ardlarich as the youngest cadet branch, around 1490, had the best claim to succeed when the Glenstrae line died out. [2002 Edition editor] - It would be the same as saying a seconf son of Victoria, for example was ahead in the present monarchical succession to Prince Charles

[4] Sir Patrick Murray of Auchtertyre.

[5] Information from the Rev. Wm. Macleod, minister of Buchanan, 1900. - [Note the minister's information was incorrect, Rob was baptised in 1671 Ed of online edition]

[6] From what precedes there is no information that the cattle belonged to Lord Livingstone, but rather to Sir Alexander.

[7] Chronicles of the Atholl and Tullibardine Families.

[8] Chronicles of the Atholl and Tullibardine Families.

[9] This sounds like a good description of the “Baronage”. [Editor 2002 edition]

[10] There is no evidence he was ever apponted to the charge of a Watch Company, and it seems more probable that he banded together his followers for his own purposes. [Amelia, It’s called private enterprise, – Editor 2002 edition]

[12] Some cabal intended to undermine the duke at Court. Atholl and Tullibardine Chronicles.

[13] See later

[14] Atholl and Tullibardine Chronicles.