Glen Discovery in GlenLyon
Discovery
About us
Tour Guide
Testimonials
History
Contact

Amelia Volume 2 chapter 30

Robert MacGregor of Glencarnaig and his Brothers

[page 388]
FROM the "Scots Magazine"

"1746. Sep. 9. James Campbell McGregor, Glengyle's Piper, pleaded guilty of having been engaged in the Rebellion 1745 and was executed accordingly. Patrick & Duncan MacGregor, who had surrendered under the Duke of Cumberland's proclamation were acquitted.

“Malcolm Graeme MacGregor was discharged. From his place of residence at the North east of Ben Lomond he was called Callum Comar; and was soon after active under the direction of Nicol Graham Esq of Gartmore in exterminating Reivers.

“John MacGregor of Perthshire and of Perth's Regiment was executed at York on the 8 Oct 1746.

“Wiliam Drummond of Balhaldie otherwise Bohaldy, Gregor MacGregor otherwise James Graham of Glengyle, Robert Murray of Glencarnock, were with many others excepted from the Act of indemnity, William Drummond's indictment was returned "Ignoramus," Glengyle's a True Bill. No Bill of Indictment had been presented against Glencarnock. On the 18. August Alexander Earl of Kelly, Alexander Cameron of Dongallon, Alexander MacDonald of Glencoe, John MacDonald of Glengarry and Robert Murray of Glencarnock petitioned the Court of Justiciary praying for letters of intimation to be made to the King's Advocate that they be brought to trial within sixty days or Set at liberty. This the Lords granted. After running their letters the petitioners were liberated on the 11 Oct. 1749. Scot Mag"; They had all lain in Edinburgh Castle since 1746 on suspicion of treason.

Robert Murray or MacGregor of Glencarnaig, who with his brother Evan had been wandering among the hills since April, surrendered to General Campbell, afterwards Duke of Argyll, on the Sep. 18, 1746 and was imprisoned in the Castle of Edinburgh for three years, i.e. till Oct 11, 1749. He was uninfluenced by feelings of ambition or of gain. Like many other Highlanders, [page 389] he embarked in the cause of his hereditary Sovereign because he believed it to be his duty, and although he suffered severely in fortune, his loyalty ennobled the sacrifice. During Glencarnaig's incarceration, several of the Gove rnment officers whom he had befriended when they had been prisoners at Inverness, wrote strongly in his favour, which letters are here given as showing that he had a kind heart as well as a brave spirit.

Letter from Mr Campbell of Carsaig to Mr John Campbell, Deputy Chamberlain of Argyle
Sir,-You'll remember how that I and several other gentlemen of Argyleshire Levies were surprised and taken prisoners last year by the Rebels and were carried to Inverness where we were confined in a mere dungeon. In this situa¬tion we continued for some days and we are very certain Robert Murray of Glencarnaig gave himself a great deal of trouble and used his kind endeavours to get us removed to a better prison nor indeed did he rest here but continued to us good offices thereafter, & supplied to my certain knowledge some of us with money. I know Mr Murray surrendered himself to General Campbell last harvest, and as I now learn that he is called from thence I thought it my duty to let you know this of the gentleman & please return him my grateful acknowledgements for his kind offices.
I am Sir &c David Campbell.
"Carsaig 14. Feb 1747."

Letter from Dugald Campbell, Brother to Inveraw, to John Campbell Provost of Inverary and which he gave to General Campbell Sep. 17.1746.
"I always entertained grateful sentiments of the good offices Robert Murray of Glencarnaig did for me and the other officers of the Argyleshire Levies who were taken at Rannoch and kept prisoners at Inverness. When we came to Inverness we had no money, anything that was about us, even part of our clothes being taken from us when apprehended. We were put into a dungeon without any subsistence for some days & lay there neglected. Mr Murray was the first who invited us, of the rebel officers & the only one who took compassion on our circumstances He gave us money, regretted greatly to find us in such a miserable prison & never ceased his importunity till he got us removed from it, wherein had he not prevailed we could not live there, nor was his care confined to us, he visited & supplied our private men with money & when notwithstanding he gave them money they could get no meal for it, he also procured that for them. Now that I understand he has surrendered himself to General Campbell I could not forbear doing the man [page 390] the justice to mention this to you, earnestly entreating you'll acquaint the General of it, I think this the least I can do in return to his good offices to the other officers and myself & herewith send you to be given to him, the money I had from him myself.

Letter from Mr Campbell of Ballachoyle to John Campbell, Deputy Chamberlain of Argyle and which he gave to General Campbell 16 Sep. 1746.
"You know I had the misfortune amongst others of the Argyleshire levies to be taken prisoner at Rannoch by the Rebels and was carried to Inverness where I and the other officers were most inhumanly treated and confined in a dungeon. There we lay for some days neglected without either subsistence or money to procure it as when we were apprehended all our money was taken from us. In this miserable condition the first, and I may say the only person, who commiserated our circum¬stances was Robert Murray of Glencarnaig He liberally supplied not only us the officers with money & laboured with all his power to remove, and at last prevailed to get us removed, from the dungeon where we lay to an easier prison, where he visited us & continued to supply us. I understand he has now surrendered to General Campbell. I could not allow myself to dispense with informing you in hopes of your communicating it to the General, of this goodnatured behaviour of the man and assuring you that but for his good offices, I really believe some of our private men and even of us officers, must have starved which was very near being the case, when he first noticed us. If he should now stand in need of money gratitude obliges me to desire you to supply him which I shall repay you.

Glencarnaig married a third time in 1751, and as his wife, Miss Drum¬mond of Hawthornden, was an heiress, his circumstances may have again been comfortable. [1]   His only son John went out to America “as a volunteer about 1756, under the eye of General Lord Loudoun, he highly distinguished himself upon several commands and was appointed a Lieut in Colonel Fraser's Regiment of Highlanders. At the Siege of Louisburg 1758 he gave signal proofs of his bravery, but having with more boldness than prudence jumped upon the breastworks to view the enemy he was laid prostrate on the bed of honour by a cannon ball which carried off his head; deservedly regretted by all his acquaintance and most sincerely lamented by all relations." -"Baronage."

Excerpts from the only letter from John, only son of Robert Murray or MacGregor of Glencarnaig, which has been preserved.
"My dearest Sir,-About six weeks ago I wrote from Boston by Captain Noble bound for Clyde, I was sent from Halifax to Boston to provide quarters for Collonel Fraser's Regt who I believe My Lord Loudon intends should winter there, but he has [page 391] since ordered them here where I expect them daily, and I believe they will winter either at Philadelphia or this place. I long vastly to see Collonel Fraser to thank him for his kindness in appointing me one of his officers and in hopes of receiving letters from you by him, As I have not had one single line from any of my friends since I arrived on this continent which I assure you my dear Papa has given me very great uneasiness often, I hope I shall not for the future have the same cause. In my last by Captain Noble I gave you my journal since my arrival in this country since which letter nothing remarkable has happened me, My Uncle [2]   is very well and writes you by this packet, but of an older date than mine, he is about forty miles above this, on his way to Albany where I believe the Regt will quarter this winter as will likewise Lord John Murray's who are all well and at present between Albany and Fort Edward. In short every body that I recollect and that you are acquainted with are in perfect good health, As for me I never was better in my life than since I came to this country Except one Touch of Dissentry, altho I have gone through some very quick transitions of Climate first from heat to cold and then from cold to heat And indeed every body that I know are in the same way, for there never was such a number of Troops together with so few deaths amongst them as there is here. As for news I entirely refer you to the Publick Papers, indeed there is none, for everything is in the greatest tranquillity here at present, except now and then a Back Settler scalped by the Indians which we are so familarized to, as to think nothing of it, I dare say not near so much as most people at home do. It is very usuall for people who come to a strange Country to make some remarks about the inhabitants, their manners, Customs, & trade &c &c But you have seen many much more distinct accounts of all these things than I could pretend to give as my unsettled way of Life and the Company I mostly kept have prevented my coming to the thorough knowledge of them.

"However that I may not seem entirely ignorant of the people amongst whom I have lived above a Twelvemonth I will sett down a few things that must appear obvious to every person who comes here.

"The face of the country in general is woody but very fertile when cleared which is but a very small proportion of the whole, yet is for the most part very pleasing to the Eye, The produce I dare say you are thoroughly well acquainted with therefore will not detain you on that head

"Just now I received a letter from my Uncle he is extremely well. In the list of Captains for Lord John Murray's additional Company there is one James Murray which I think is very probably my uncle as there is not a James Murray in the army, some think it is Lord John's Nephew. But a little time will soon determine us. [3]  
[page 392]
"It is reported here that there is to be another Highland Regt to be raised and the command to be given to Locheil who I'm told is at London, If so I should imagine it was possible to procure me a company in it But of this and the method how to apply for it, you are the best Judge.
"Believe me my dear Sir the greatest pleasure it would give me would be that I should be enabled to assist you in your difficulties, I pray God you may have no need of it, But I beg you may do me the justice to believe that if it shall be ever in my power I will perform it with a grateful and dutiful heart.
“I hope this will find you reconciled to Mr Drummond and Sir John Miln as I dare say it would extricate you out of some of your difficulties, I beg you will write me by every packet let me hear how your affairs are and how you and Mama keep your health with everything else concerning you and my other relations, as l assure you your long silence has given me great uneasiness, I always untill I met my uncle flattered myself with the hopes of your letters having been miscarried But he inforrned me neither you or he ever wrote any.
"If it were convenient for you to get a letter of recommendation from Mr Hugh Forbes to his brother the Coll; who is Adjutant Generall here I should be greatly obliged to you and I believe it might be of service to me, not that I think it could procure me a step, hut it may be of use in severall other cases, I am pretty well acquainted with him, and go pretty often to see him he is at present very well. I have not heard one word from Mrs Brand since I came here yet, and very seldom of her. I beg you may remember me to all my relations, friends, and acquaintances in the proper manner and with my duty, love to &c &c. I am My father’s most affect. & loving son
John Murray.
"New York Oct. 18th 1757.

"PS-Always send your letters by the Packet and direct them for me To Lieut John Murray of Collonell Fraser's Reg. at New York, North America. If they are so directed they must come to hand, provided you pay the postage to Falmouth, and the freight from thence here. This is my fourth letter. Since I wrote the rest of my letter I am ordered by Lord Loudon, to go to Connecticut Collony and take up quarters for Col Fraser's Regt as they are to be cantoned in several different villages in that Government this winter, Adieu once more my dear Father.
"Oct.20. John Murray.

Doquet:
"1757 20th Oct. My Cousin John, Younger of Glencarnock, Lieutennent in Fraser’s Regiment, New York.”
in Sir John’s handwriting, when young.
Glencarnock did not long survive his son, he died in Edinburgh, October 1758.

[page 393]
The military career of another John MacGregor, uncle of the officer killed at Louisberg, and youngest brother of Glencarnock, will appropriately follow here.
"John fifth son of John Oig of Glencarnock, [4]   'betaking himself to a military life when very young, signalized himself under General Wentworth in 1740, he was an officer in Lord Loudoun and Lord John Murray's Regiments and had much of the countenance of the first of these. Thereafter he was put in as captain-Lieutenant to Col. Perry's Regiment in America. In the last war in the unlucky attack of the French Trenches at Ticonderago 1759, he received two musket wounds yet could not he prevailed upon to retire but marched on sword in hand with the boldness of a lion encouraging his brave men, till a third ball killed him on the spot; deservedly regretted by all his acquaintances for his amiable character and by his superior officers in command 'as a Brave and experienced officer' nor less by the soldiers for his humanity and benevolence."-" Baronage."

XXI. Duncan Murray or MacGregor succeeded his brother in the representation of the Family of MacGregor. As has been seen he was out in the "45" with his brothers, and was severely wounded at the Battle of Preston Pans. [5]   His heel was shot away which left him permanently lame. He had been brought up to the Law in Edinburgh and continued to make it his profession. He married Beatrix MacNiven, daughter of Mr David MacNiven, a branch of the family of MacNaughtane, [6]   and had two children
1. "John, who was an officer in the Royal Navy, proceeding to the East Indies he attained the rank of Commodore in the Bombay Marine, and received the thanks of Sir Eyre Coote for his services on the coast of Coromandel. Returning from Bencoolen, whither he had conveyed his cousin Alexander, [7]   he landed at Batavia to wait upon the Governor and died there after 24 hours' illness." This took place 23rd March 1784. John left everything of which he died possessed, to his Sister's son John Paul, with the condition that he should take the Surname of MacGregor.
2. Drummond Mary. She married first Mr Paul whose family name had been Mcphail, by whom she had a son Lt. CoIonel John Paul MacGregor, [page 394] who assumed the latter name in pursuance of his Uncle's Will. He was afterwards Deputy Auditor-General of the Bengal Army and will be noticed later.
Drummond Mary married secondly John MacGregor of the Commercial Bank, and had a Son Major Duncan MacGregor, 78th Reg., also to be noticed later. They had two other sons, Alexander and James, and two daughters Mary and Felicite. [8]  
Duncan MacGregor of MacGregor died in Feb. 1787, and was succeeded by his nephew afterwards 1st Baronet. Several of Duncan's letters are extant. A great deal of the family history in the Article in Douglas's Baronage was communicated to his nephew Sir John, by him. In one letter Duncan alluding to some reproduction by a Mr Auld, remarks that there is no harm in it.- but that he is entirely averse to "republishing what relates to the Clan in the Baronage –
“for several reasons, First because all the subscribers are served with their numbers already and who are only gentlemen who mind very little any errors that may happen to be therein, which almost every publication is liable to in less or more degree, being furnished with materials from a variety of people who may through inadvertency or willfully mislead an Author without any sinister design of his." Duncan adds "it is well known that I am always ready to serve any of the name without distinction on every occasion in a lawful way." "Dun. MacGregor." [9]  

Evan, fourth son of John Oig of Glencarnaig, was born in 1710, "he was of a very active and martial spirit" and was a brave and distinguished officer. He married early in life Janet MacDonald youngest daughter of John Macdonald, son of Sir James Macdonald of Slate by his second wife, Evan's marriage must have taken place in 1739, the marriage contract framed several years after is dated 1744. [10]  

When the Standard of James VIII. was raised in Scotland and Evan's eldest brother Robert MacGregor of Glencarnaig took the Field in command of a Regiment of MacGregors, Evan was attached to it as [page 395] Captain, and in the narrative by Duncan Macpharie it has been related that he brilliantly distinguished himself at the Battle of Preston Pans, after which Prince Charles made him his Aide-de-camp and he became Major in the Corps. When the campaign was over he had to wander among the hills with his brother Glencarnoch for some months, at which time both brothers destroyed almost all their papers from motives of precaution, Major Evan must eventually have effected his escape from the neighbourhood.

A situation in the French service was kept open for him for some time, but he declined it both because he felt resentment at the Prince's having been duped by the French Government and because he would not serve any foreign power against his own Country. After suffering various distresses he was appointed an officer in the 88th Reg., in the seven years war.

This war, it may be remembered, commenced in 1756 between Austria with her allies, France, Russia, Saxony and most of the States of the Austrian Empire, against Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, who had the alliance of Great Britain through the Hanoverian connection. In 1757 the British and Hanoverians in West Germany kept France at bay. The coalition of great Powers having dissolved from various causes and Austria being unable to maintain the struggle alone, The Peace of Hubertusberg, in Saxony, ended the war in February 1763.

Some letters from Major Evan, mostly to his wife, during the war refer to this period, and the following excerpts are interesting.

Letter to John MacKenzie of Delvine.
“Kirkdinker Camp 13. July 1761.-Dear sir,-Our army has been for twenty day's past marching from place to place in order to bring the French to a general action but hitherto they have declined to face us. There have been small skirmishes frequently, in which the Enemy was always beat back and yesterday afternoon they sent 3 or 4 thousand men with several pieces of cannon, with an intention I appre hend to surprise us in camp; but being observed by some of our reconoitering parties, Lord Granby in person came and ordered out the two Highland Regiments to attack them, which was done accordingly with the greatest resolution and steadi¬ness; and though the enemy were placed in a Bush of wood with their Cannon in their front playing upon us, they were soon put to flight. In this skirmish poor Capt. Gunn was killed, Capt. Gorrie, Lieuts George MacKenzie and Rose wounded but not dangerously.

[page 396]
Lord Granby was eyewitness of the Highlanders performance and approved greatly of their bravery."

Letter to Mrs Murray or MacGregor.
"Camp at Sando 11th August 1761. This is my fourth letter since I had the satisfaction of yours of the 17 June which makes me quite uneasie as you wrote me that you was in a bad state of health, I pray God this may find you and your young folk in a good way
"There has been nothing extraordinary that has happened since the 15 and 16 July. Excepting two smart attacks that the two Highland Regiments and some other Reg: had with M: B: last week. In both of which we succeeded with out any loss from the two Highland Corps except 5 men wounded. Our army has been ever since in motion, and this day we have marched about twenty miles and we are now in sight of the Enemy, Both officen and men are in good spirits and we have the good fortune to be commanded by experienced Generals, so that 1 am hopeful one hearty blow will at least afford us some time to rest, if not a peace.

“I wrote to Lady Margaret McDonald the other week, and thanked her ladyship in regaird to Sandie, [11]   of whom I long to hear. I likewise wrote Mr McKenzie of Delvin and sent it with Major Wedderburn to London. I should be glad if you wait on him without loss of time as it concerned some business that I intend to put into execution and which will not admit of any delay; Mr MacKenzie will let you know the affair when you see him and in case he approves of the scheme and that he does not choose to solicit the gentleman that I made mention of Mr James Scott Merchant in the Lockenhooth is a most proper hand to procure the letter I wanted from Sir Alexander Dick of Breastfield [12]   to his nephew Col: Keith; I am very well with the Col. myself, but a letter from his uncle would go a great length; I likewise desired you in one of my letters to procure a letter from Col; Beckwith's Lady who is a third Cousin of mine and told you the proper persons to apply to. Likewise a letter from Mr Alex: Maxwell Wine merchant in Leith to his brother Col Maxwell would be of use to me, I am pretty well acquainted with the Col. and dined with him and Major Preston yesterday who is very civil to me, owing to my good friend Abernethie in procuring a letter in my favour from the Major's sister. In short I am very lucky, as to good companions and the officers of the Regiment I belong to regards me much beyond what I merit. I wrote Mrs Drummond Abernethie, [13]   some time ago to whom and the Doctor please offer my dutifull compts as also to &c &c Make my complimts to Capt: Campbell of the City Guard and tell him his son who is a pretty lad, and Lord Colin Campbell are both well, as all the other officers are and those that were wounded upon the 15th and 16th are mend¬ing fast.

[page 397]
You can see a copy of the thanks that the Duke was pleased to give to the two Battalions of Highlanders for their bravery with Capt Campbell of the Guard. I thank God I never had my health better, but I am plagued with a severe pain in my back owing to fatigue."
(Messages to the young folk follow.)

From the same to the same.
"Frankenberg Camp at Rilpenrote Nov.17. 7762. 1 dare say my long silence has caused you apprehend that I forgot you entirely but the case with me all this campaign has been such, that I had scarce time to sitt down owing to the continual hurry and fatigues our Brigade has been exposed to and my own disorder made me almost thoughtless. I thank God I have now got the better of my ague thoroughly and am beginning to turn lusty, Sandie is very well and likewise excus¬able for not corresponding with you having the same reasons that I make use of, Excepting that or being in a bad state of health; he hat marched every step all the campaign and has no complaints of the fatigues he has undergone; as there has been no vacancy in Col. Keith's Reg' he is as yet unprovided for however I have the pleasure to tell you that Lord Granby has been pleased to promise to do for him whether there is peace or war, I am to dine with him tomorrow when I shall put his Lordship in mind of him, the boy has the goodfortune to he pretty well known to the first men here and vastly well liked, which you may believe affords me no small satisfaction. I've not allowed him to touch one single farthing of his pay since he joined his Regiment so that he can safely say he is the only one of his rank who has done the same. 1 had my own reasons for this, not that I had too much cash to line his pockets. Col. Keith dined with me this day and is to carry Sandie with him the first day he pays a visit to Lord Granby, no man can he more desirous of promoting his volunteer than he is; be his luck what it will I don't repent nor grudge sending for him. I would write to you after the 21 Sep. had I been with the Begiment but being ordered with a detachment from the Guards, the two Highland Regt. and 100 Hanoverians, in whole making 200 privates and five officers which I had the honour to command, to reinforce one Capt Kruse of the Brittanick Legions 'who was appointed Governor of the town Amineberg with 300 of the Legions under his command; twixt the 17 and 20th of Sep. the enemy made several fruitless attacks and on the morning of the 21. do, they opened a battery of eight pieces of 24 pounders and four large howitzers upon the place and at the same time endeavoured to force a pass at a Bridge, where we had a post; the attack upon both the town and the Bridge was made about 5 oclock in the morning and lasted till 9 at night without the least intermission In short it was allowed the like was never seen by any person in life. The French at this time, found that it was impracticable for them to force their way being so nobly [page 398] defended by the British, and a Regiment or two of Hanoverians & Hessians that relieved in turns, but after the firing ceased at the Bridge they continued cannonading the town and throwing shells which made several Breaches. I had the charge of the Ramparts round the whole place and notwithstanding that the Enemy made a very formidable attack thinking to storm the town, I had the good fortune to repulse them, killing thirtythree on the spot and took a Captain and 50 private prisoners, the officers and men I had with me behaved with the greatest coolness and bravery and they are pleased to report me to their Commanding officers, greatly beyond what I could pre-tend to merit, however this affair did me no hurt, the next morning about 10 oclock Prince Soubize the Commander-in-Chief of the French Army summoned the Governor to surrender the place, giving him to understand that all the deserters he had would not suffer, that the officers' and soldiers' effects would not be touched, but they be-hooved to be prisoners of War. Upon receiving this message Captain Kruse sent for me to inform me of the proposals made by Soubire and insisted upon my opinion, as this was a critical case I was somewhat backward about giving him any, and told him that he no doubt Knew what orders he had received from Duke Ferdinand and for my part that I was determined to maintain my post to the last Extremity provided he had no objection. This made the Gentleman a good deal uneasie, finding me so unwilling to give up the place, I knew well that the place could not hold out for any time having nothing hut small arms within to guard it, but my chief view was that it would oblige the French to separate the army they had, with an intention to cross the Bridge. Consequently that Lord Granby's Corps would be more able to maintain their position, making use of these arguments. The Captain sent to Soubize to demand of him that he and all the Garrison would be allowed to march out of the town with all the Honours of War, but this being refused he accepted of the former. I was three days a prisoner of War but Lord Granby was good enough to procure my parole the third day, the other gentlemen did not receive theirs so soon, the french General and Officers showed the greatest civility to us I procured my Leave to go home this winter but as a cessation of arms is this night published by the Duke to the whole army, I have reason to think the whole British troops will be ordered home very soon, in that event I wo'nt go till the whole goes, I write to Lady Erskine and her Brother Col. Wedderburn in favours of Sandie to see and get him in to an old Corps, and I wish you to get Lady Chesterhall to second my application, Wait on Mrs Beckwith and thank her in my name, Col. Beckwith has shewn the greatest friendship to me and Sandy, and will go any length to serve us, meantime if Mrs Beckwith would not think it troublesome, would she repeat her desire in doing for Sandy, it is unlucky for me the peace happened so soon. Sergt' McGregor is in perfect good health and begs to tell his wife that he sent her Ł5 by one Serj. Farquharson who went home with Captain [page 399] Farquharson and with him I sent Old Duncan Aberoch [14]   and the silver mounted sword Belt I had, which I dare say the lad delivered carefully. Assure Jackie [15]   that I have the same regard for him as if I corresponded with him, however I think he ought to write to me frequently, Remember me to my old Mother and Brother [16]   and I am glad his son is sent to sea.

Evan Murray." From the sarne to the same.
"Frankenburg Nov 20. 1762. I wrote you the 16, current which I delivered to Lord Granby's Secretary but there has been no messenger sent off by his Lordship to England since. I'm afraid the letter will not reach you so soon as I intended, ….. I wrote you a long letter wherein I told you how far I had the luck of having the Countenance of Lord Granby and all his suite, to whom I can never return all the Civility they always shewed me, and in consequence of such good acquaintances, not that my merit deserved their favour, I have the satisfaction to inform you that Sandie is recommended by Lord Granby for a Pair of Colours in the 50th Reg. which indeed is by far the genteelest Corps of Officers I know in any one Reg whatever, I expect his notification in a fortnight at farthest when he'l have I dare say a call to join his Reg. You may believe it affords me infinite pleasure to have him provided for at the beginning of a peace and the more so, to be appointed with such a fine Corps of Gentlemen and I am very hopefull if he lives that he will turn out a credit to his friends, You may believe that equipping him out will be very hard upon me, however I shall not fail to fitt him out, I doe assure you Coll. Keith is as glad of his being provided for, as I can be and likewise all my good friends here, I have very great reason to thank God that I was preserved from the many dangers I have been exposed to since I left you and now in good health, which, and the assistance of my worthy freinds here, procured Sandie such genteel livelihood, I may indeed call them my friends though not my rela¬tions …… The whole army decamped yesterday and the Brigade I belong to is thus far on our way to Winter Cantonments which is to be in Munsterland and against the 5. Dec. we arrive at the different Quarters appointed for us, we seem to be afraid to be ordered how soon we land in Britain, to go to the right about, for which I am using all my little interest to try and get into an old Regiment or some other better berth than a broken officer, as I forsee that half pay will not enable me to support you and our family, till I have it in my power to clear my debt, which takes many hours rest from me but I shall always live in good hopes-"

As Major Evan, who in the British army only ranked as a lieutenant, rightly anticipated, he found on his return to Great Britain that [page 400] he could only drift more hopelessly into difficulties on half pay. Early in the spring of 1763 be applied to friends to try and obtain for him something of a factorship, but a friend wrote that that appointment which appeared to answer to that of steward in England, was in that country generally given to an attorney. His anxiety for work and his difficulties are well explained in the following memorial and letter which Lieut. Evan addressed to Capt. Murray of Strowan in July 1763.

Copy of letter from Lieutenant Evan Murray, dated Edinburgh, 20th June 1763, to Captain Murray of Strowan, eldest son of Lord George Murray, and afterwards 3rd Duke of Atholl,

from the Duke of Atholl's Papers.
"Honrd. Sir,-You may remember Sir that I did myself the honour of waiting on you at London in March last, when I told you that the situation of my family required a better support than a Lieutenant's half pay, aud beg'd of your honour to take the trouble of to look for a more advantageous berth for me, to which you was pleased to tell me you should be glad to serve me. it's true Sir, my misfortune is to be but slightly known to you, but you'll take the trouble to ask my Character of your Cousin Major Murray, he can inform you about me. I have used the freedom to inclose you a sketch of a memorial, which will inform you note particularlie what difficulties I have wrestled throw, which I hope you'll please take the trouble to informe with his Grace the Duke of Atholl, [17]   and the Lord privie Seal, who I dare say will visit you. The Office which the Memorial mentions, I was told a letter from the Duke, or from the Lord privy Seal to the Provost and Magistrates of this City (at whose disposal the said Office will be when it falls vacant) and which it is thoght will happen soon, would obtain the request. But if his Grace and you should be scrupulous in asking a favour of this kind, dare I use the freedom to intreat of you to scheme some thing or other for me, that will make me to support my small family, and whatever station you will be pleased to appoint for me in the character of a gentleman, will be satisfying, and will ever be grateful for it, which at present is all in my power, in hopes you will pardon this freedom as nothing but mere Necessity would force mc to presume it, I beg you'll do me the justice to believe that I am with profound respect to his Grace, Lady CharIot and you.
"Honrd: Sir,
"Your most obedient and most obliged Hubl: Servt:
“Edr: 11. July 1763. Evan Murray.

[page 401]
"PS.-pray excuse the unconectness of this long narration being in great hurry if I am honoured with a return please direct for me at Forest's Coffee house here."

"Memorial for Lieutenant Evan Murray of Colonell John Campbells highland Regiment, and Brother German of the deceast Robert Murray of Glencarnoch.
"The Memorialist, who was not in very opulent circumstances, married Mrs Janet MacDonald daughter to the late John MacDonald of Balcony Esquire, second son of the deceast Sir James MacDonald, a family of a respectable Charac¬ter; By his said Spouse the memorialist has a numerous family, none of whom can do for themselves for some time to come. "That though the Memorialist thus married when but in low circumstances, yet he had a good deal of Credite, and was likely to thrive and provide for his family in a genteel way, but when he was in hopes of wrestling through the world with some satisfaction, was kicked in the face by Madam Fortune, and embarassed in a series of misfortunes, one in particular was, that he had his House which consisted of 14 fine rooms, and was neatly furnished together with a pretty large sum of money all destroyed by accidentall fire. "By this and many other misfortunes, the memorialist was reduced to very indigent circumstances, in so much that it was with the utmost difficulty he could get credite for as much as maintained his Family, and continued in that situation till the above Regiment was raised, in which he got a Lieutenancy; His recruiting men laid the memorialist deeper under water than he was before, as there was no levy money allowed for that Regiment, and each man cost the memorialist at least six guineas.
"The memorialist served in the said regiment as a Lieutenant, and was in Germany with it till the whole British Forces came home, and the above regiment was broke at Linlithgow upon the ninth day of May last; and it could not be expected he could live on a Lieutenant's pay in the Seat of War, a Foreign Country, and where all necessaries of life must have been extravagantly dear, while at the 'same time he was oblidged to maintain and educate his family in Scotland, so as to make them as useful members of Society as possihle.
"In these perplexing circumstances the memorialist's at a loss how to behave, and knows not what to turn his hand to, in order to support his family in a decent way, and if possible to do his benefactors justice, which it is impossible he can do in his present Situation having nothing to depend upon but his half pay. There is a berth that in all appearance will soon fall vacant in this City, vizt a Captaincy in the Town Guard and which would suit the Memorialist's circumstances very well, and might enable him to maintain his family in a decent manner and through time do justice to his Creditors.

[page 402]
"This Berth he makes no doubt might by the application of well disposed people of weight be obtained for him, from the Provost & Magistrates of Edinburgh, at whose disposal the said office will be when it falls vacant."

After some little time a licutenancy fell vacant in the 41st regiment for invalids at Jersey, and Major Evan, through the interest of the Marquis of Granby and friends of the Marquis of Rockingham, obtained the much-coveted berth. There he and his wife lived in retirement, but comfortably. Before April 1776 their sons, who had employments in India, discharged all their father's debts, which was a great relief to his mind. Major Evan died in Jersey, Oct.29, 1778.

The following inscription was copied from a stone over the grave in the Churchyard of St Heliers in 1856, but in 1869 the stone could no longer he found, as the graves had all been removed, and the bodies taken to a new Cemetery:-

"Here Iieth interred the Body of
Evan MacGregor
Lieutenant of Invalids
who departed this life
29 October AD. 1778.
Aged 63 years
He was an indulgent Father;
A tender and affectionate Husband
and universally beloved.
This Stone was erected by his disconsolate Widow
Janet MacDonald Daughter of John MacDonald Esqre
of Balcony."


Major Evan MacGregor left four sons, viz..-
1. John, who eventually on the death of his Uncle Duncan, succeeded to the Representation as Chief of the Clan, and in June 23, 1795, was created a Baronet of the United Kingdom. His memoirs belong to Vol.III.
2. Alexander, eventually Colonel Commandant of the Clan Alpin Fencibles, and left issue, to be mentioned in next vol.
3. Peter, a Colonel in the H.I.C.S. See eventually Vol. III. He married, but left no children.
4. Robert, an officer of the Bengal Cavalry, and afterwards Lt.-Col. in the Clan Alpin Fencibles. He left two daughters.




[1] See Appendix S. volume 2 Appendix

[2] John, see page 393. volume 2 Chapter 30

[3] Lord John Murray was the half brother of Dukes William and James of Atholl- the James Murray mentioned as Captain, was Lord John's nephew, second son of Lord George Murray.-Ed.

[5] he had eleven wounds

[6] Her mother was Mary, fourth daughter of Hugh Campbell of Lix and he was therefore first cousin to Duncan, whose mother was Catherine Camphell, see page 267.

[7] Afterwards Col. Alexander Murray, next brother to Sir John Macgregor Murray.

[8] These particulars are taken from notes by Sir Evan Murray MacGregor in Family copy of Baronage.

[9] The dubious reliability of the ‘Baronage’ as a historical source is here proved by the persons who wrote it! Gregory and MacGregor Stirling were serious historians who went to great lengths to obtain authentic material and provided full references to their sources. But statements from the ‘Baronage’ need to be fully corroborated before being relied on – [Comment by Editor of 2nd Edition, 2002.]

[11] Alexander, 2nd son of Major Evan.

[12] Prestonfield

[13] His brother Glencarnock's widow

[14] Evidently referring to the two handed broadsword which Major Evan had cut down, see page 375.

[15] His eldest son afterwards Sir John MacGregor Murray.

[16] Duncan, Head of the Family - his son John had entered the East Indian Company's Navy.

[17] Captain Murray of Strowan's uncle and father-in-law.