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Amelia Volume 2 chapter 22

Other Branches of MacGregor

[page 304]
SEVERAL other well-known families remain to be noticed, but the details in regard to them are less full.


The lands of Brackly in Argyleshire belonged to Gregor Aulin XII., whose second son John is the first designed of Brackly. On his succession to his eldest brother Malcolm as MacGregor of that Ilk the lands passed to his second son Gregor, afterwards known as Gregor Mor XIV., the father of Duncan Ladosach who gave Brackly to his youngest brother John the actual founder of the family of that Designation. [1]  

The name is not heard of again till it appears in the list of chief families of the Clan Gregor, sent to Sir John Murray of Tullibardine the end of the 16th century, where the first name under the "House and Gang of Gregour McAne” is that of" Gregour McAne in Brackley in Glen¬urquhy." He was Captain of the Castle of Glenurchay under Sir Colin Campbell, 1570. [2]   The next mention is 1629, July 26th, when "Johne Grahame alias McGregour of Brackly complained against Christian Comrie, Relict of …. McGregour in Glenogill, her son Patrick McGregour having slain Johne McGregour Dow McGregour son to Johne in Dullatur, Sister Sone to the Complainer." In 1635 Sept. 4th," Patrick Graham sumtyme McGregour, eldest son and nearest heir of umqle James Graham sumtyme of Bracklie" has a precept of "Clare Constat" of the two merk land of the same. This Patrick figures in several little borrowing trans¬actions or "obligations." In 1674 Patrick McGregor of Brackly gives [page 305] an obligation and his name appears in a list of families summoned to Inver¬lochy to give a Bond to the Commissioners of Council 1679, while in Sept. of that year “McGregor of Brackland" is named in a Commission of Fire and Sword given to Campbell of Laweris against the Clan.

In 1682, Patrick McGregor of Bracklie gave a disposition of the lands to John his eldest son. In a Latin confirmation of this disposition, April 11th, 1683, it is stated that Patrick McGregor had inherited Bracklie from his father, James Graham or McGregor, of whom no other mention is made. In 1685 there occurs an adjudication against John McGregor of Braiklie and John his eldest son. As the following year John obtains Sasine of the estate, on the previous disposition, it is to be inferred that Patrick died about this time.

In 1686, 28th August, Resignation of the lands of Bracklie by John MacGregor of Bracklie and Patrick Graham his father, [3]   to John Earl of Breadalbane.

In 1687, March 26, there is an obligation by John MacGregor Fiar of Braiklie - and in 1690 in an act for sequestrating "Rebels' Rents" “McGrigor of Braikley" is amongst the names, which shows he must have been on the Loyalist side in the previous wars.

In 1714, when Balhaldies was elected chief he bound himself" if the Government were pleased to allow him a pension to destinate a third part of it to the following Heads of families " …Glengyle, Gregor McGregor of Bracklie, head of the Family of Bracklie, and to Roro….." Gregor McGregor, head of the family of Bracklie, signs the Bond of Election to Balhaldies," and some persons overlooking the fact that Bracklie was given to a younger son some generations previously, infer from this signature that the older family- i.e. the House of Duncan Ladosach - agreed to the Election. Bracklie however was a junior branch, and had not in reality any promi¬nent position in the Clan.



This property is situated on the right hank of the River Earn near where it emerges from Loch Earn, and near the hill of Birran or Dundurn north [page 306] of Glen Artney Deer Forest. The first mention of the family who held it is in the Record of Justiciary, August 14, 1527, where the names appear of "Patrik Duncansoun in Dundwrne and James his brother. [4]  
It is possible that Alexander Mcphadrick Roy, and Duncan his son, killed in 1529 by Duncan Brek, as recorded in the Chronicle of Fortingal, [5]   may have been of this family; also later, in 1589, Duncan Mcpatrik alias McGregour on the Lands of James, Commendator of Inchaffray. [6]  

In the lists of Horning 1586 [7]   and of proscription after the death of Drummondearnoch, Febr. I589-90, [8]   we find in the first Johne MacGregor in Dundurn and Duncan Roy his brother, also Duncan MacAllaster in Dundurn and John his brother there: in the second, Patrick Maceanroy MacGregor in Dundurn; whilst, April 7th, 1590, [9]   the Commendator men¬tioned above was charged to be surety, amongst others, of "Duncane McAllaster in Dundurne, John McAllaster his brother yair," who were already named in the proscription. In March 1612, Duncan and John Drummond in Wester Dundurn, also Malcolm McAndrew [10]   took part in a skirmish under the Earl of Perth against certain other MacGregors. In Novr of the same year Duncane Drummond McAllaster in Dundurn was fined by the Justices of Perth for shooting Roebucks, [11]  
July 11th, 1626." Johnne McCoullill VcAllaster and Johnne Drummord in Dundurne, sumtyme called Johne McGregor, were placed on a Commission for the reconciliation of MacGregors and Buchannans. In 1647 Haldane of Gleneagles complained of Duncan Roy Drummond, Patrick McEane Drummond and Duncan, Patrick's son-all in "Dundurren." In 1661 Patrick Drummond alias McGregor in Dundurn was charged, with certain other chieftains, for neglecting to obey a citation. In Sepbember 1669, "Patrick Drummond alias McGregor in Dundurne' is named in the Com¬mission of Fire and Sword given to Sir James Campbell of Laweris against the Clan. In 1669, Octr - the Parliament held In Edinburgh, [page 307] a Ratification in favour of James, Earl of Perth of the Barony of Dundurne, Charter dated 20th Jan' 1664. "Duncan Campbell in Dundurne," June 8th, 1669, was surety for Gregor McGrigor in Ardtrostane that he "should carry himself peaceably and deutifullie to King William and Queen Mary." In the same month "Gregor McGregor principall," evidently the same "Gregor in Ardtrostane," and Coline Campbell in Dundurne, cautioner, that the peace shall be kept.

This is the last entry regarding Dundurn found in these Records, possibly more may be forthcoming later.


The first proprietor of Corerklet, or more correctly Coirairclet was "Gregor McGregor in Dow of Glengyle" son of Gregor styled "a chnoic," ie of the Rock, 2nd son of Gregor Dhu in Glengyle III of the line.

On Jany. 18th, 1670, Gregor oig or Gregor McGregor in Dow of Glengyle acquired from John Buchanan of that Ilk the land of Easter Corerklet. He left three sons, John, Gregor and Archibald - the details as to the pro¬perties acquired by the eldest son John are given in the account of the Younger Branches of Glengyle, pages 261-262, and it is there stated in a note that, according to a MS. account, John had a son James who married a daughter of Campbell of Airds and sold his lands to the Earl of Montrose. The second son of Gregor oig was the Father of Rob Roy's wife. It has also been stated, page 262, that the lineal descendant of John Graham or MacGregor of Corerklet was Gregorson of Ardtornish.

In 1829, John Gregorson, [12]   Head of that Family, had a correspondence with Sir Walter Scott regarding the story of a massacre of Students at Glenfruin alleged to have been perpetrated by Dugal Ciar, who lived more than 100 years previously. Mr Gregorson warmly denies the possibility of his ancestor having been guilty of such an outrage, which has already been discussed in vol. i., and relates his own ancestry in the following words
"My Grandfather James McGregor of Correctlet (sic) was of the 7th generation born there. His Father was John McGregor Oig, a man celebrated for his probity and justice and activity in repressing all lawless proceedings within the sphere of his influence. [page 308] John's Father was Gregor Oig whose Father was also Gregor, and the Father of this last Gregor was John the Grandson of Dugald Ciar."

The generations quoted by Mr Gregorson agree very well with those in the Memoir previously given, as may he here shown

On Professor Gregory’s Authority. Mr Gregorson's Pedigree.

I Dougal Ciar, Founder of House

II Malcolm II Name not given
III Gregor dhu III “John Grandson of Dougal Ciar”
IV Gregor a Chnoic IV Gregor [13]  
V Gregor Oig 1st of Coirarklet V Gregor Oig
VI John Graham of Easter Coirarklet VI John
VII James VII James

The chief discrepancy is in the third generation where Mr Gregorson gives a John instead of a Gregor.

Mr Gregorson’s letter to Sir Walter continues

"My Ancestors were proprietors of Craigroistan. The Hero, that is Rob Roy, of your Novel, first got Craigroistan as an assumed Curator of my Grand-father who unfortunately by the death of his excellent Father John in pupilarity, and engagements for Rob Roy, and his mismanagement of his affairs, obliged my Grandfather to part with his interest in Craigroistan and to call up from Montrose money held in Wadset. Having previously married Marjory Camp¬bell daughter of Alexander Campbell of Airds in Argyllshire, my Grandfather about a hundred years ago went into Argyllshire and received the reversion of his property in a wadset of the lands of Clocha and Balnagown in Lismore from his brother-in-law Campbell of Airds. He died in the 63rd year of his age in 1759 being born in 1696 and the 8th in the descent lineally from Dugald Ciar." There follows an argument on the number of generations to show the approximate date when Dugald Ciar flourished. Referring to that well known Ancestor, Mr Gregorson con¬tinues-" He was a son of McGregor of Glenorchy and acquired large possessions in the braes of Buchanan and Craigroistan and from him are descended the Glengyle family and my ancestors the McGregors of Correctlet and Craigroistan as well as many others." "There is a correct account of his origin in Buchanan of Achmar's Surnames; and Douglas's Baronage of Scotland will show that my Uncle Licut. Alexander Gregorson was the representative of the MacGregors of Craigroistan and the 'Cean tighe' of that Family."
[page 309]
Another portion of this letter may be quoted:-
"I beg leave also to state that the wife of Rob Roy who you represent as a horrid fiend both in your works of fiction and professed truth, was a woman of totally different character. It is a fact that in the days of her widowhood and adversity the tenants' wives of Craigroistan were in the habit of going to her with Kaine Sheep, Hens, and eggs, and this tribute of respect they paid to her, as being herself a descendant of the MacGregors of Craigroistan as much as being the widow of Rob Roy who had only an ephemeral interest in the lands of Craigroistan."

The answers of Sir Walter Scott were naturally most courteous. [14]  



I. A gentleman of the name of MacGregor, a son of Roro in Glenlyon, came down to the Boyne, Anno 1500 and married a daughter of the Laird of Finlater. By her he had two sons:
II. James surnamed Gregorie "and settled by Finlater as his Chamberlain at Woodland in the parish of Udney." He married Agnes More, Sister to William More of Ferryhill, and died in Decr 1584 leaving
1. James
2. Thomas
and a daughter Janet.

III. James was a Saddler in Aberdeen and several times Deacon Convener. He married Margaret Barber, a Merchant's daughter, by whom he had two sons,
1. John, born 1598, and
2. James. "This last was a merchant in Aberdeen in 1701 aged 90 years."

IV. John was educated at Schools and College of Aberdeen, and studied Theology at St Andrews. "He was minister of Drumoak from the 22nd year of his age, and died in 1652 aged 54 years." He married Janet Anderson, daughter to David Anderson of Finzauch, and left
1. Alexander.
2. David.
3. James, of whom later, and two daughters.

[page 310]
V. Alexander, born 1623, married Jean Ross, daughter of a minister in Aberdeen. He was murdered by Francis Crighton, brother to the Viscount Frendraught, in March 1664, and left no issue.
V. David, born 1625. "He was bred a merchant in Holland, where he spent a great part of his life." He returned to Scotland in his latter years. He married, 1st, Jean Walker, daughter to Patrick Walker of …., merchant in Aberdeen. He married, 2dly, Isobel Gordon, daughter to John Gordon, Bailie and Merchant in Aberdeen. By his first wife he had fifteen children and by his second wife fourteen. "He lived to the age of ninety-three, and had the singular fortune of seeing three of his sons, David, James, and Charles, all Professors of Mathematics at the same time in British universities."
1. David.
2. James.
and 2 daughters, the others having died young or unmarried.
By 2d marriage
1. John.
2. Charles.
3. George.
"and four daughters who came to age, of whom Margaret was mother of the celebrated Dr Reid of Glasgow."

VI. David received the early part of his education at Edinburgh. "Being possessed of the mathematical papers of his Uncle James, of whom afterwards, he soon distinguished himself likewise as the heir of the genius of that celebrated man. In 1683, when in the 23d year of his age, he was elected Professor of Mathematics in the University of Edinburgh, and had the merit of being the first who introduced the Newtonian Philosophy into the schools by his public lectures at Edinburgh. In 1691 he was elected Savilian Professor of Astronomy, and died in 1710 at Maidenbead in Berkshire, in the 49th year of his age. To his genius and abilities the most celebrated mathematicians of the age have given ample testimonies." He was born at Kinairdy, Banffshire, and in 1695 he married Elizabeth, daughter of Mr Oliphant of Langtown in Scotland, by whom he had four sons.

[page 311]
VII. David, the eldest, was appointed "Regius Professor of Modern History at Oxford by King George I., and died in 1767 at an advanced age, after enjoying for many years the dignity of Dean of Christchurch in that University."

VI. James, second son of David (No.5 above), "succeeded his brother David in the Professorship of Mathematics in Edinburgh in 1691, which office he held for thirty-three years, and retiring in 1725 was succeeded by the celebrated MacLaurin. In 1698 he married another daughter [16]   of Oliphant of Langtoun, and by her had two sons and five daughters."

VI. Charles Gregory, third son of David (No. 5 above) and brother of the two preceding professors, James and David, was created Professor of Mathematics in St Andrews in 1707 by Queen Anne. This office he held with reputation and ability for thirty-two years, and resigning in 1739 was succeeded by his son.

VII. David Gregory, "a gentleman of great worth and agreeable manners and remarkably endowed with the talent of communicating the knowledge of his science to his pupils." Professor David Gregory of St Andrews died in 1763.

We now return to the uncle and granduncle of the five preceding Professors.

V. James, third son of John [17]   (No.4 above) - one of the most distinguished mathematicians of the seventeenth century, born at Aberdeen 1638. His grandfather, Mr David Anderson of Finzauch, possessed a singular turn for mathematics and mechanical knowledge. This mathematical genius was hereditary in the family of the Andersons and from them seems to have been transmitted to their descendants of the name of Gregory. "The mother of James Gregory inherited the genius of her family and observing in her son, while yet a child, a strong propensity to mathematics, she instructed him herself in the elements of that science." In 1663, at the age of 24, he published "Optica Promota," in which he described his invention of the reflect¬ing telescope, to which we [page 312] owe many triumphs of modern discovery. This was followed in 1667, during his residence at Padua, by his "Vera Circuli et Hyperbolae Quadratura," wherein he devised a new method of ascertaining the areas of orbits. Professor Gregory, upon his return to England, was elected a member of the Royal Society, to the "Transactions" of which he contributed several valuable papers. He also wrote various treatises on mathematical subjects, which were highly esteemed. The attention these publications received through¬out Europe brought their author into correspondence with the leading scientists of his day, including Newton, Huygens, Halley and Wallis. "In 1668 he was elected Professor of Mathematics in the University of St Andrews, an office which he held for six years. While there, he married Mary, the daughter of George Jameson the celebrated painter. By her he had a son, James, and two daughters. In 1674 he was called to Edinburgh to fill the chair of mathematics in that University. This place he held for little more than a year, when, in October 1675, being employed in showing the satellites of Jupiter through a telescope to some of his pupils, he was suddenly struck with total blindness and died a few days after at the early age of 37." His only son
VI. James, born in 1674, was "Professor of Medicine in the University of Aberdeen, and married, first, Katherine, daughter of Sir John Forbes of Monymusk, by whom he had only one son who lived"
1. James.

He married, secondly, Anne Chalmers, daughter of Principal Chalmers of King's College of Aberdeen, by whom he had two sons
2. George.
3. John, born 1724

VII. James, upon the resignation of his father a short time before his death, was appointed to succeed him in the Professorship of Medicine in King's College, Aberdeen. He died in 1755. His brother

VII. George, "a young man of the most promising abilities, in the course of a very liberal education to the profession of medicine, went to France in 1741 and died of a consumption at Amiens."

VII. John, the youngest son of Dr James Gregory (No. VI. above), after studying medicine for several years at Edinburgh and Leyden, was elected Professor of Philosophy in the University of Aberdeen in 1747. "He resigned this in 1749 his views being turned chiefly to the practice of physic. In 1752 he married Elizabeth, daughter of William Lord Forbes. On the death of his brother, James, he suc¬ceeded him in the Professorship of Physic in Kings' College of Aberdeen, to which office he had been elected while he was in London where he had practised for about a year with success. He remained in Aberdeen till the year 1764 when he changed his place of residence for Edinburgh. In 1766 he was elected Professor of the Practice of Physic in that University, and was appointed first physician to his Majesty for Scotland the same year. He died on the 9th Febr 1773 leaving three sons"
1. James.
2. William, Dean of Canterbury, "he died in 1803 leaving four sons
1. James, assistant clergyman in one of the Episcopal Chapels in Edinburgh.
2. George, a physician in London.
3. William, an engineer in His Majesty's service.
4. John, in the Commissariat Department."
3. John, who died in 1783.

[page 313]
VIII. James, eldest son of Dr John Gregory, M.D., was born 1753, "he became first Professor of the Theory and afterwards of the Practice of Medicine in the University of Edinburgh, and was first physician to His Majesty for Scotland." He married, in 1796, Isabella, daughter to Donald McLeod, Esqr, of Geanies. He died in 1822 leaving seven children
1. John, an advocate, born 1797.
2. James, a student of medicine, born 1801.
3. William, also a student of medicine (with Donald - twins, born 1803
4. Donald, studying the law
5. Duncan, born 1813.
and two daughters.
Their subsequent careers belong to a later period

[1] Vol I, pp 12, 22, 44, 46, 47 volume 1 Chapter 2

[3] See Appendix J. volume 2 Appendix

[12] This correspondence was kindly copied by Miss Gregorson, his daughter, for the Editor.

[15] Abridged from a MS Memoir, Edinchip Papers

[16] Sister of his brother David's wife.

[17] The minister of Drumoak