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Amelia Volume 2 chapter 5

More Troubles in the North, 1635

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From the “Chartulary”:- In the former volume in the genealogical notice of MacGregor of Roro the last of the family mentioned is Gregor MacGregor IV. of Roro, son of Duncan III. and it is also stated that this Duncan Gregor married the daughter of the Laird of Weem. He appears to correspond with Gregor Duncanson whose death at Roro is recorded in the Chronicle of Fortingal as having taken place at Roro 1515. [1]  
There seems to be no positive proof that his wife was a Menzies but tradition is the usual guide as to these alliances in the early days. In the Red Book of Menzies in recording the children of Sir Robert Menzies, who lived from 1433 to 1523, a daughter [2]   who married the "Chief of the MacGregors" is quoted from the "Lairds of Glenlyon," [3]   but that work only states that Menzies gave his daughter to MacGregor of Roro who was a Cadet of the Clan. On October 2, 1510, a Charter from King James IV. to Sir Robert Menzies mentions among the properties "The Roras and Glenlyoun," [4]   and it appears to have been made over by the Menzies Chief to his second son William. There was an express stipulation, 2nd February 1518, as to the letting of Roro docqueted "The oblygatioun that Rorow sall nocht be set to the Campbells na Scheyff of Clan Gregor." "We William Menzies and Janet Campbell my spouse binds and oblissis vs, and the langer levand of vs twa to ane honorable man Schir Robert Menzies of that Ilk Knycht that we sal gif na takkis nor set in assedatioun the tuelf merkis land of Rorowis, with the pertinentis, liend in the Barony of Menzies ans Schirefdom of Perth quhilkis we haif of the said Robert, to nane berand surname of Campbell, nor to the Cheif of ClanGregor vndir pane of one [page 46} hundreth pundis to be payt to the said Robert for costis, scathis, and expenses.”

But in point of fact Roro or a part of it was held by the original family for another hundred years.

In the MS. account by Lieutenant Alexander MacGregor in Innerhaddon [5]   an error occurs which has been followed in the "Lairds of Glen-lyon." Innerhaddon says:-

"V. Gregor MacGregor of Roro who married a daughter of Sir Colin Campbell of Glenurchy by Lady Catherine Ruthven. According to tradition he was betrayed by his Father-in-Law who took advantage of the permission he had received from the Privy Council against the Macgregors, and had him beheaded on the stump of an old tree between Taymouth and Kenmore. The song composed by his Widow on this mournful occasion will be found in Turners Collection of Gaelic Songs. He was the immediate progenitor of the Balhaldie family."

Here there is a confusion as to individuals which can be shown. We know that Duncan MacGregor Ladosach and his son Gregor were decapitated by Colin Campbell of Glenurquhay and others, June 1552. [6]  
Also that April 1570 "Gregor of Glenstra was heddit at Belloch," [7]   and in Vol.1. the probability has been discussed that the well known lament for Grigor MacGregor, "Cumha Ghriogair MhicGriogair," refers to this last MacGregor who is known to have married a daughter of Campbell of Glenlyon. [8]   It is also currently believed that the other beautiful song "MacGregor of Roro" was composed after the executions following Glenfruin in 1603. [9]  

1554. January 26. Mention is made of the “Death of Ewine McCondoquhy VcGregor of Roro at Crythgarff in Parish of Fortingal." He is previously mentioned as Ewine McDonachie VcGregour de Roro, June 1552, he having slain – Gregor-a-clerk. The following year we have this entry is 1556, "Death of Mariota Barre wife of quondam Gregor [page 47} Duncanson of Roro and afterwards wife of McAllexander VcJames.” This shows that within the last, say, fifty years there had been a "sometime MacGregor of Roro who had married a Barre," whether after or before the traditional Menzies and Campbell ladies cannot be known.

Whether a second Gregor immediately succeeded Gregor IV. or not, it appears certain from the entry of January 1554, that Ewin son of Duncan III. existed and he was succeeded by Duncan.

VI. Duncan, so numbered in Innerhaddon's collection. He is specially mentioned in a letter of Escheits Jan. I562-3 [10]  
and as a witness to a Deed by Gregour McGregour of that Ilk, Nov. 1563. Also in Queen Mary's proclamation of September 1563-4.

Innerhaddon relates, "Duncan was a man uncommonly athletic and his con-duct through life was the boast of his friends and the terror of his enemies, and the admiration of both. He married a daughter of McDonald of Keppoch by whom he had issue two sons-
John called dhu more MacGregor in Roro who was executed on July 29, 1612. [11]  

VII. Gregor MacDhonchie in Roro so styled in the Act of Privy Council Feb. 4, 1589, after the murder of Drummondernoch. He is stated to have married a daughter of Duncan Campbell of Glenlyon by whom he had three sons.
1. Duncan his heir.
2. Alexander who joined his Mother's relations and was killed at the Battle of Inverlochy, Feb. 5, 1645.
3. John dhu Sinclair mentioned in a Bond by his eldest brother.

Gregor married secondly Janet daughter of McMartin alias Cameron of Letterfinlay, by whom he had issue.

Gregor MacConaquhie in Roro is mentioned frequently in all the transactions of the Clan, i.e. "List in Letters of Horning 1586, with the addition of Head of House, and under the Laird of Weyme." In the proscription after Drummondernoch Feb. 1589-90. In a charge to under¬lie pain of Rebellion Nov. 1590. In the "Remittance of the alleged [page 48} murder of Drummondernoch Jan. 4, 1591-2." In the List of Chief Families of the Clan in Letter to Sir John Murray of Tullibardine in which list he heads the three names for “The gang and Hous of Roro," and finally in the list of Executions 1604 after Glenfruin. It is evident that Gregor followed and supported Glenstray on every occasion. If it is correct that Gregor married a second time, the Lament must have been composed by Janet McMartin, or at least ascribed to her.

VIII Duncan MacGregor in Roro. Innerhaddon notes regarding him "Who sold his property and granted a renunciation of the Lands of Roro in favour of Duncan Menzies of Comrie Feb.24, 1613, but Menzies having died without filling his engagement, MacGregor entered into an agreement with his son Alexander Menzies of Comrie and granted a second renunciation dated April 24, 1633, on which day Duncan MacGregor took a wadset of the Mains of Roro from the said Alexander Menzies as security for £1000 Scots being the balance due to him for his property at that date as in the Records of the Register Office.

A copy of the actual Deeds here follows.

From the "Chartulary ":-

"1633. April 25. Renunciation of the Lands of Roro. in Glenlyon by Duncan Gordoun alias MacGregor in Cambsericht to Alexander Menzies of Comries dated at Balloch 25. April 1633. and referring to a former renunciation by the said Alexander to the said Duncan for £1000 Scots of same date, and also to a former renunciation of the said Lands to Duncan Menzies of Comres, father of the said Alexander, dated 24 Feb. 1613.

"1633, the 11 June at Edinburgh the Renunciation underwritten was produced by Andrew Darling writer of Edinburgh and registrated in the Book of General Register of Session appointed for the Registration of Saisings, Reversions, and other writs in the 36th Book thereof and in the leafs following conform to the Act of Parliament made thereanent in Inno 1627, whereof the tenour follows:-
“’Be it known to all men by these present letters Me Duncane Gordon alias MacGregor in Cambserieht forsomuch as Alexander Menzies of Comries by his hand and obligation subscribed with his hand the day and date of these presents is bound and obliged to content and pay to me and others specified in the said band upon the provisions, and conditions at length specified and contained therein; all and baill the sum of one thousand pounds money good usual of this realm as principal, together with the sum of one hundred pounds as for the annual of the samen yearly so long as the said principal sum remains unpaid together with the sum of two hundred merks [page 49} money of liquidated expenses as the said band and obligation more fully purports, and also for other pleasures, gratitudes and good deeds done by the said Alexander Menzies to me before and at the time of the making hereof, Therefore Witt ye me to have disponed, transferred, freely renounced, quytclamit and overgiven Like as I by these presents dispone, transfer freely renounce, quit claim and over give from me, my heirs and assignees and successors, kin and friends, claim and kindness and right from me or any preced¬ing or succeeding me to the possession of the Lands of Roro all right, title, interest, claim of right, kindness, property, possession, occupation, setting and using of the said lands of Roro with the pertinents by and in the centre of Glenlyoun and Sherrifdom of Perth, In and to the person of the said Alexander Menzies, his heirs, executors and successors my only cessioners and assignees thereto. And grant and confess myself lawfully removed from the same and that the said Alexander's possession thereof is lawful and never shall be called nor pursued by me nor my heirs nor by any others whom I may stop or let directly by way of ejection, spuilzie, wrongous intrusion, or any other manner of way in any time hereafter, sumand and transferring the same from me and my said heirs and all others whom I may stop or let as said is in the person of the said Alexander Menzies and his foresaids together with all right, title, interest, claim, kindness, property or pos¬session, petitor heritable or possessor which I my predecessors or successors had to the samen Lands with the pertinents in any time hereafter Surrogattand and substitand them in me and my said heirs our full right and place of the samen for ever. With power to the said Alexander Menzies and his foresaids to use, let or occupy the samen lands as his own proper Lands and heritage in time coming at his pleasure. And for the said Alexander Menzies better security I by these presents, faithfully bind and oblige me and my heirs to renew this present dis¬position, Renunciation and transaction or whatsoever right I can make of the foresaid lands of Roro so oft as needs be, ay and until the said Alexander find himself sure in the premises keepand always the substance abovewritten and now as then and then as now, binds and obliges me and my heirs to warrant these presents from the facts and deeds of me my said heirs or any others whom I may stop or lett directly or indirectly in time coming under the pain of perjury and infamy Like as I oblige me and my heirs to notify and approve this renunciation in the haill heids, clauses, articles and condition abovewritten as oft as we shall be required thereto by the said Alexander Menzies and his foresaids and for the more security I am content and consent that 'this presentis' be inserted and registrated in the Books of Council and Session to have the strength of a Decreet of the Lords thereof interponed thereto, with all letters and executionals necessary to pass there¬on, and the horning to be on a simple charge of six days only, and for that effect constitutes ………………lawful pror, &c In witness whereof written by Walter Dalgleish, Notar Public, I have subscribed these presents with my hand at Balloch the 25 day of April 1633
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before these witnesses Mungo Campbell fear of Laweris, Archibald Campbell brother german to Sir James Campbell of Laweris Knight, Thomas Mackie and Donald Stalker servitors to Sir Coline Campbell of Glenurquhy Knight and further I the said Duncan Gourdoun declare hereby that these presents shall nowise be hurtful nor derogative to a former renunciation granted by me to umqle Duncan Menzies of Comrie and his heirs of the date 24 February 1613. But rather in corroboration of the samen which I have subscribed before the forenamed witnesses sic sub. Duncan Gordoun alias MacGregor above named with my hand at the pen led by the notaries undersubscryvand at my command because I cannot write myself. Ita est Walterius Dalgleishe notarius publicus de mandato dicti Duncani Gordoune alias MacGregor scribere nesscien ut asserint teste manu mea. Ita est Joannes Balvaird connotarius premisso etiam scribere de mandato dicti Duncani Gourdoune alias MacGregor scribere ut asseruit nescien. Test manu mea M. Campbell witness, Donald Stalker witness, Thomas Mackie witness."-Register of Sasines.

Innerhaddon continues:-

This Duncan occasionally resided in Camuserrochd, it was during his lifetime in 1624 that the Earl of Moray brought three hundred of the ClanGregor com¬manded by Roro's son and MacGregor in Glengyle, from Menteith and Balquhidder against the ClanChattan in order to protect his property in Morayshire from the depredations of that lawless Clan. Terrified by their appearance the ClanChattan yielded to the noble's proposals, and assured him that they would always be ready to join their good friends the MacGregors in protecting his Lordship's person and property. Glengyle's conduct on this occasion gave so much satisfaction to the Earl that he granted him a farm at the Bridge of Turk in Perthshire as reward for his services, which still remains in the possession of the family of Glengyle."

In 1629, in a conference to dctermine what satisfaction Lenie and others should give to the children of Patrick and Callum Aulich slain in a skirmish at Leny, the name appears of Duncan McGregor in Rora [12]  
for himself and taking burden on him for John Dow McGregor his brother.

In 1639, May 31, in an action of Horning Duncan McGregour Roray and his brother Johne Dow McGregor are defendants.

It has been mentioned above that Roro's son joined the Earl of Moray in 1624, and it seems probable that Duncan of Roro's brother John Dow may have been identical with the Father of Para, or Patrick Gearr.
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Patrick Gilleroy had however also a brother John Dow; was Gilderoy also a brother of Duncan of Roro?

From Innerhaddon:-

"In Feb. 1633 Gilderoy, in attempting to avenge Para Gearr's death [13]  
was apprehended by the Forbesses of Corse in July following where he was tried. In August, John-Dhu-Gearr father of Para Gearr took arms against the Forbesses and in an action at Yarmoth Speyside, in the month of Nov. following, was shot by Alexander Anderson, and only twentyfour of his followers escaped.

"In October 1634 about 600 Highlanders of the Clan of MacGregor, Clan Cameron, and others, openly declared their intention to take part with Adam Gordon of Park, John Gordon of Invermarkie and others, the friends of the lately burnt Laird of Rothiemay, and to revenge his death on Frendraught who they believed set his house on fire on purpose to destroy Lord Aboyne and John Gordon of Rothiemay in the month of October 1630. In consequence of this friendly service rendered to the Gordons, they prevailed on two of the sons of Roro and other leaders of the ClanGregor to settle on their estate. The descendants of these gentlemen are still in that part of the country, of whom are Sir James M'Gregor, &c.,

From the "Chartulary."

"1635. January 13. Charges against informers anent disorders in the north. In the list of those summoned before the Lords of Council ‘Gregour M'Gregour and Patrik his brother’ not compeirand denounced rebels &c" - Record of Secret Council, Acta

"Jan.26. at Edinburgh. "Anent the supplication presented to the Lords of Secret Council by Johne Murray alias McGregour of Glenstrae making mention That whereas for obedience of the said Lords their ordinance he came to this burgh upon the 11. of January instant [14]  
where he has remained since attending the said Lords their will and pleasure towards him and now it is of truth that his wife and bairns are presently sick of a fever and have directed a post to him to come and visit them which journey if the supplicant had licence he would undertake and also bring and present with him his brother Patrik at such a day as they shall prescribe Humblie desiring therefore said Lords to grant unto the supplicant licence to go home Like at more length is contained in the said supplication which being read heard and considered by the said Lords and they advised therewith the Lords of Secret Council give and grant liberty and licence to the said supplicnt to pass home to his own house and to visit his wife and children he acting himself for his own compeirance and for exhibiting his brother Patrik upon the 17. March next under the pain of 5000 merks,"-Record of Secret Council, Acta.

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"March 19. McGregours Act.
"The which day in presence of the Secret Council compeired personally Johne Murrey alias McGregour of Glenstrae for obedience of the Act whereby he was obliged to appear himself and exhibit his brother Patrick this day And he produced a testimonial under the hand of the minister of Comrie and others bearing that his brother was heavily diseased of a fever which testimonial the said Lords find insufficient in regard the same is not made upon soul and conscience And therefore the said Lords ordain the said Johne to act himself to compeir personally and exhibit his brother Patrick before the said Lords upon the first Council day of June next and that the said Johne shall answer to any complaint to be made against him by the Earl of Rothes under the pain of 1000 merks In obedience of which ordinance the said Johue being personally present acted himself to the effect fore¬asid And declared that he was contented presently to assign the sum of 1000 merks addebted by Sir Robert Spotswood president of the College of Justice to him and to make the same liable and forthcoming Likeas he presently assigns the said sum to the effect foresaid. in case of his failing and nonperformance of the premlses." - Record of Secret Council, Acta.

1635. Vpone the tent of Marche, the ClanGrigoor took ane Donald Coming in Glenraness who wes with James Grant at the slauchter of Patrick Ger. And in the same place quhair he wes schot thay cruellie slew him with durkis. They also vpone the 18th of Merche slew Fyndlay McGrimmon ane follouer of Carroun's and who wes the instrument of his death, for Carroun manteyned him aganis Ballindalloche as wes said, and he, weill worthie of deith, as a gryt Lymmer wes thus cot off. [15]  

"Thir lawless McGregour, wnder culloor of seiking James Grant opprest the countrie up and down, sorning and taking their meit without punitioun quhairever thay went.

"The McGrigour oppressis the landis of Balveny. The Laird sendis for ane commission and in Aprile he sendis out his eldest sone with ane company, who chassit thame, and put thame all to flight, quhilk the ClanGregor forgat not as ye sall heir."

"Ye heir how the McGregour wes cheasit be the young laird of Balveny for the quhilk thay cam to the toun and landis of Avach perteiniug to him, and violently took and callit away, fra thrie pure tennantis occupearis thereof, thair haill horss, nolt, [page 53} scheip, ky and vther goodis; and sic bestis as wold not call thay cruellie killit, and left thame behind lying on the ground, quhilk Balveny could never get repairit"

From the “Chartulary"-

1635. March 25. Finlay McGrinnan's head exhibited. The which day in presence of the Lords of Secret Council compeired personally Johne Grant apparent of Ballindalloch and reported and declared to the said Lords that he was informed by a letter from his wife That the persons underwritten viz
Johne Dow McGregour,
Patrik Roy McGregour,
Robert McGregour,
… McInstalker
and Donald Mcinstalker his brother
and …. McArthur
being in pursuit of James Grant rebel and his complices and not daring to set upon him in respect of his forces being sixteen or more in number and they only six they attended the opportunity till the said James's company should dissolve And accordingly pursued Finlay McGrinnan and ….. Coming in Belrymes of Strathdoun killed the said Finlay and sent his head here to be presented to the Council; Took the said ….. Coming alive and carried him three miles of purpose to have caused exhibit him to the Council But the country rising and pressing to relieve him they were forced to kill him which report being heard by the said Lords and Finlay McGrinnan’s head being presented before them They all of the said persons, their taking and killing the said Finlay McGrinnan and …. Coming, find that they have done good service there Exonering them of all crimes and offence that may be imputed to them for this cause Likeas the said Lords ordain the hailies of Edinburgh to cause affix the said Finlay McGrinnan’s head upon the nether bow port And the said Lords ordain Johne Earl of Traquair his Majesty's depute Thesaurer to deliver to the party bearer and inbringer of McGrinnan's head the sum of 100 merks in satisfaction of his hazard and charges and for encouragement of others cheerfully to go on in the like service in time coming." -Record of Secret Council.

"1635. June 2. The which day in presence of the Lords of Secret Council compeired personally Patrik Murrey brother to Johne Murrey alias McGregour of Glenstrae for obedience of the Act whereby his said brother was bound for him to that effect. And the said Patrik acted, bound and obliged himself to compeir upon Thursday next under the pain of 3000 merks and to find caution that day for his compeirance in time coming without prejudice of the former Act found by his said brother for his compeirance this day."-Record of Secret Council, Acta

"June 16. The which day Patrik Murrey alias M'Gregour compeiring personally before the Lords of Secret Council acted and obliged himself that he shall compeir personally before the said Lords, upon the 28. of July next and exhibit his [page 54} brother Johne Murrey with him under the pain of 10,000 merks."-Record of Secret Council.

"July 28. The which day in presence of the Lords of Secret Council com¬peired personally Sir Johne Grant of Freuchie and became acted and obliged as cautioner and surety for Johne Murrey of Glenstrae and Patrik Murrey his brother that they shall compeir personally before the said Lords upon Thursday next under the pain of 5000 merks."-Record of Secret Council.

"July 30. The which day Johne Murrey alias McGregour; Patrik Murrey his brother; Rannald McRannald younger of that ilk; Angus Camerrun tutor of Glenneveis; Allane Mceanduy of Lochyell; Johne Cameroun his son and Allaster McDonnald of Glencoe were committed to ward within the tolbooth of Edinburgh till they find caution for ohserving of the Acts of Parliament conform to the General Band and the said Lords declare them free of all arrestments during their remaining in the said ward for this cause."-Record of Secret Council.

"July. 'Item to Johnne Roy servitor to the laird of Ballindalloch for bringing in of Finlay McGrimmon his head as his acquittance producit vpon compt beiris £13 6s 8d." - Lord High Treasurer's Books.

"August 7. Proclamation against the ClanGregour. - Similar preamble to that of 19. June 1634. New prorogation to the 1. Dec. next 'To the intent they may be inexecusable if now they shall any longer contemn this favour Certifying all and sundry persons of the said Clan who shall not precisely keep the said diet that they shall not only be denounced rebels and put to the horn but with that they shall he pursued with fire and sword as rebels and traitors. to God and man with all rigour and extremity. " - Record of Secret Council, Acta.

"August. Item to George West Messenger passing from Edinburgh with letters to charge the Constable of Dundie the Lairds of Powrie Fothringham, Edzell, mylord Ogilvie and the haill name of ClanGregour at the market Crosses of Dundie, Perth, Dunkeld and Cowpar in Angus to compeir to answer for their men-tenants and servants in manner and to the effect foresaid- £14, 10s.

"Item to Robert Glen messenger passing with letters to charge Archibald Lord Lorne Walter McCaulay of Ardincapill, and Shenff of Bute to cumpeir before the Council to the effect foresaid and with letters to denounce the name of Clan Gregour, Walter McFarlane and the Laird of Buchannan younger for not finding caution for their kin and friends-£14 10s.

"The Earl of Perth and Laird of Glenurchie to answer for their tenants.

"1635. November 4. letters of intercommoning against McGregors.

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Forasmuch as Gilroy McGregour, Johne Dow McGregour his brother and Mcinstalker McGregour common and notorious thieves being wearied with the peace and quietness which of late years under his Majesty's blessed government was established in the Highlands of this kingdom and preferring the wicked and thievish trade of their infamous predecessors to the obedience of the law and to all good order and honesty they have broken loose and associated unto themselves a lawless byke of infamous and thievish limmers with whom they go ravaging athort the country and in all places where they may be master they sorn upon his Majesty's good subjects taking from them all and everything that comes nearest to their hands and where they find any opposition or resistance they threaten his Majesty's subjects with all kinds of extremity and sometimes with death and whereas the reset, supply and connivance given to these limmers encourages them to continue in their thievish doings and to sorn and oppress his Majesty's good subjects at their pleasure whereas if the Landlords and Bailies of the hounds where they haunt, did their duties and diligence in the pursuit, following and hunting of these mischants they neither durst nor would presume to run loose as they have done. Therefore the Lords of Secret Council have resolved and concluded to call these resetters, connivers and suppliers to their answer and after trial to censure and punish them accordingly And for this effect ordain letters to be directed to command, charge and inhibit all and sundry his Majesty's lieges and subjects by open proclamation at all places needful that none of them presume nor take upon band to resett, supply nor have intelligence by word or writ with the said persons nor their infamous accomplices nor to furnish them meat, drink nor harborie, nor any other thing comfortable unto them, but to raise the fray, hunt, shout, follow and pursue them with fire and sword as thieves and traitors to God, their king and country and until they be apprehended and exhibited to their trial Certifying them that shall do the contrary that they shall be called pursued and exemplarily punished to the terror of others. "-Record of Secret Council, Acta.

"December 1. 'Denunce the ClanGregour.' Preamble: the Acts of Parliament 1633 as on 19. June 1634 and 7th August 1635 and the different prorogations 'Qlks being callit and nane of the name of McGregour compeirand the Lords of Secreit Counsall ordains lettres to be directed, charging officers of armes to pas to the mercat croces of Perth, Dunkelden, Cowper in Angus, Stirline Tilliclay in Downe of Menteith, Dumbartane and other places needful and there be opin proclamatioun to denounce the said haill surname of McGregour our souerane Lords rebells and putt them to the horne and to escheit."-Record of Secret Council, Acta.

[2] By D. P. Menzies, Esq., F.S.A Scot., 1894, page 161.

[3] By Duncan Campbell, Esq. page 58

[4] "Red and White Book of Menzies," pages 160-65.

[5] MS. collection of biographical notes by late Lt. Alexander MacGregor, Royal East Middlesex Regt. of Militia, residing on Innerhaddon

[6] Vol. i., p. 64, "Chronicles of Fortinga1.” volume 1 chapter 6

[7] VoL i., p. 66, "Chronicles of Fortingal." volume 1 chapter 6

[8] Vol. i., pp.158 and 160. volume 1 chapter 15

[9] Vol I, Appendix E. volume 1 APPENDIX

[10] These dates are easily found in vol. 1. Therefore to avoid constant repetition the actual pages of reference are not here given.

[11] Vol I page 401 chapter 31volume 1 Chapter 31

[12] Page 30 chapter 3volume 2 Chapter 3

[13] page 39 chapter 4volume 2 Chapter 4

[14] This has been mentioned of page 15

[15] "1635. 17th March. John Dow McGregour, Patrick Roy M'Gregour with the McInstalkers, slew Finlay McGrimmon and sent in his head.” -Privy Council Records.