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Clan Gregor participation in Montrose's Campaigns - 1644-46


By Peter Lawrie, ©2018

Background
The National Covenant was created in 1638 in protest against the attempted imposition by King Charles I of a uniform Episcopacy across his three kingdoms of Britain. James Graham, 5th Earl of Montrose was among the first signatories of the Covenant and, for a time, was one of its most energetic champions, sharing the ill-feeling aroused by the political authority Charles had granted to the bishops.

In July 1639, after the signing of the Treaty of Berwick, Montrose was one of the Covenanting leaders who met Charles. His change of mind, eventually leading to his support for the King, arose from his wish to end the political power of bishops without giving that same power to the presbyters.

In the Scottish Parliament which met in September, Montrose was opposed by Archibald Campbell, 8th Earl and 1st Marquis of Argyll, who had gradually assumed leadership of the Presbyterian and national party, and of the estate of burgesses. Montrose, on the other hand, wished to bring the King's authority to bear upon Parliament to defeat Argyll, and offered the King the support of much of the nobility. However, he failed, because Charles could not even then consent to abandon his bishops, and because no Scottish party of any weight could be formed unless Presbyterianism were established as the ecclesiastical power in Scotland.

Rather than give way, Charles attempted in 1640 to gather a military force from England to enforce his will on Scotland but was unable to find sufficient support to do so.

Montrose was of necessity driven to play something of a double game. In August 1640 he signed the Bond of Cumbernauld as a protest against the ambition of Argyll. On 27 May 1641 he was summoned before the Committee of Estates and charged with intrigues against Argyll and on 11 June he was imprisoned in Edinburgh Castle. Charles visited Scotland to give his formal if most reluctant assent at the Parliament on 17 August to the abolition of Episcopacy and acceptance of the Covenant. Upon the King's return to England Montrose shared in the amnesty accorded to all Charles's partisans.

Across his three Kingdoms, relations between Charles I and many of his subjects continued to deteriorate until by 22nd August 1643, Charles resorted to raising an army against Parliament in England. Throughout his reign Charles refused to abandon the concept of his divine right to rule in spite of opposition from his subjects.

From his initial support for the Covenant in Scotland, James Graham, Earl of Montrose moved increasingly towards support for the King. Ultimately taking up arms for the King against the Covenant.

Murdo Fraser argues that far from aiding the King, Montrose's actions may have caused the King to maintain his intransigent attitudes until it was too late. Without Montrose, there might not have been a regicide in 1649, a Cromwellian Commonwealth, and perhaps no incorporating Union in 1707.

For the Scots commonweal, Montrose's rebellion alone, adding up the contemporary estimates, may have cost the lives of up to ten thousand fellow Scots, with many others crippled by injuries and economic devastation. What had been the benefit?

In addition to those casualties, four to five thousand may have died at Dunbar and Worcester, while Cromwell is reported to have captured up to twenty thousand Scots, most of whom were transported to the English colonies in the Caribbean as indentured servants - effectively slaves. Estimates based in the 1691 Hearth tax suggest that the population of Scotland in the mid century may have been around a million.

However, this paper is not about "What-ifs", nor broadly about the religious wars of the mid-17th century, but to what extent our MacGregor ancestors became involved - and with what consequence.

King Charles I by Van Dyck
A brief summary of Montrose's campaign
Montrose failed on his first attempt to incite a Royalist uprising against the Covenanters but returned to Scotland in August 1644 where he joined forces in Atholl with the Antrim MacDonalds led by Alasdair MacColla.

With MacColla's Irishmen and a band of Athollmen as the nucleus of his army, Montrose achieved a spectacular series of victories, discussed below, against the armies of the Covenant across the Highlands culminating at Kilsyth, north of Glasgow in August 1645.

News of Montrose's victories in Scotland had kept up the morale of the Royalists in England. However, when Montrose moved into the Borders in preparation for an advance into England to join with Charles's army, MacColla left him with most of his Irish troops to continue his feud with the Campbells in Argyll. Montrose's much diminished army was surprised and decisively defeated at Philiphaugh in September 1645.

To Argyll's great annoyance, however, Montrose himself escaped. He remained in Scotland for a further year but was no longer able to pose a significant threat to the Covenanters. In July 1646, King Charles, having surrendered himself to Leslie's Covenanters ordered Montrose to cease hostilities. Montrose sailed into exile on 3 September 1646.
Charles II in exile 1653 by De Champaigne The sequel
The Covenanters ultimately handed the King over to the English Parliamentarians. However, to their horror, this led to his execution in London in January 1649. Regicide had never been the object of the Scots Covenanters who promptly declared the King's son as Charles II.

In March 1650 Montrose returned to Scotland via Orkney but was overwhelmed and defeated on 27th April at Carbisdale, Sutherland. Afterwards, when he looked for shelter at Ardvreck Castle, MacLeod of Assynt handed him over to the Covenanters. Montrose was executed on 21st May in Edinburgh and his head stuck on a spike of the Tolbooth.

Charles's son landed in Scotland on 24th June and resided for a time at Falkland Palace. Oliver Cromwell invaded Scotland and inflicted a disastrous defeat on David Leslie and the army of the Covenant - after it had been purged of malignants with impure thoughts by the ministers - at Dunbar on 3rd September 1650.

On 1st January 1651, Charles II was crowned at Scone - the last coronation to take place in Scotland. Cromwell's army remained in Scotland and on 1st August captured Perth. Rather than face Cromwell, the remainder of the Scots Army invaded England in the forlorn hope of finding Royalist support for Charles, but went down to utter defeat at Worcester on 3rd September 1651, exactly a year after Dunbar. The King escaped and went into exile. Around 2000 Scots were killed and 10,000 captives sent to the Americas as indentured servants. According to some accounts, MacGregors were at Worcester, but as I argue here that is incorrect

The following has been edited, from Amelia, Vol II, ch 8 along with supporting extracts from "The Rivals" by Murdo Fraser.
On 19th January 1644, under the terms of the Solemn League and Covenant a Scots army of 20,000 foot and horse led by David Leslie crossed into England to join the Parliamentary forces which had come to an open rupture with the King. Charles elevated Montrose to Marquis and appointed him commander of Royalist forces in Scotland with the Marquis of Huntly as his deputy, although he had no force to command and only the promise of 10,000 Irish from the Earl of Antrim.

In April 1644 Montrose entered Scotland, with a small body of troops from Cumbria. Despite being warmly welcomed by the Provost of Dumfries, he found little practical support and, being threatened by a substantial Covenant force, retired to Carlisle. Meanwhile Argyll had collected a large force with which he advanced to Aberdeen to oppose Huntly's rising in the North-East.

On 2nd July the Royalist forces in England suffered a serious defeat at Marsden Moor by a Parliamentary army which included the Scottish Covenanting army under Leslie. Montrose himself was not present, but shortly afterwards was given permission by Prince Rupert, Captain-General of the King's army to go to Scotland and raise the King's banner.

"1644 August.
"Royal Commission to the Marquis of Montrose to raise troops in Scotland.

"Patrick McGregor of that Ilk soon after received from Montrose a Warrant to raise his friends and followers in his Majesty's defence, as appears from a renewed Warrant to that effect 3rd July 1645, which referred to the former warrant.
In August 1644, Montrose returned to Scotland but with just a few companions. In Perthshire with the assistance of his cousin, Graeme of Inchbrakie he raised a small force of Highlanders. He joined at Blair Atholl with Alasdair MacColla Chiotach McDonald of Colonsay commander of a body of 1600 Irish troops sent by the Earl of Antrim. Montrose soon raised a further 800 men from Atholl, who were put under the command of Inchbrakie, as the Earl of Atholl was at that time only 13 years of age. Montrose now had 3000 men under his command and raised the Royal standard. [1]  

Tippermuir
The first victory of Montrose and Alasdair took place at Tippermuir near Perth on September 1, 1644. Despite the Covenanting army under Lord Elcho outnumbering the Royalists two to one, the battle was short, bloody and decisive leaving the Covenanters utterly routed with as many as 2000 casualties. It does not appear that any of the Clan Gregor fought on this occasion.

Aberdeen
Montrose, faced with three further Covenanting forces in the field, marched to Aberdeenshire where some of the Gordons joined him in a crushing defeat of Balfour's army outside Aberdeen following which he allowed his Highlanders and Irish to sack the city for three days. Soon the approach of a larger Covenant force commanded by Argyll forced Montrose to abandon Aberdeen.

James Graham 1st Marquis of Montrose
Fyvie
At the end of October, although lacking MacColla's Irish, Montrose faced Argyll near Fyvie Castle in an inconclusive, defensive engagement, following which both retreated. Montrose did not possess sufficient military strength to take the fight into the Lowlands and some of the Lowland gentlemen who had joined him in August now left with their men. Montrose had no option but to withdraw deeper into the Highlands.

In December Alasdair MacColla rejoined Montrose at Blair Atholl, bringing not only his Irish, but also 500 MacDonalds along with MacLeans, Stewarts, and Camerons. Some MacGregors probably joined Montrose's army at this time - perhaps attracted by the thought of revenge on Clan Campbell. On December 11, at the urging of Alasdair MacColla the army left Blair Atholl and proceeded through Breadalbane, looting and burning Campbell of Glenorchy's properties on both sides of Loch Tay on their way into the enemy's own country of Argyll.

Archibald Campbell 1st Marquis of Argyll The ravaging of Argyll
"1644 November, and December.
"The army commanded by James Marquis of Montrose as His Majesty's Lieutenant General over his whole kingdom was, on its march from the Brae of Atholl toward the country of the Marquis of Argyll who headed the insurgents, joined by the Clan Gregor and the Clan Nab.

"'Ye heard before of Montrose's march into Atholl,' says Spalding, between 8th and 22nd December 1644. 'He took the Laird of Wemyss, Menzies, captive, and other outstanding rebels; he goes to the Laird of Glenurchie's lands, burns wastes and destroys his country, being one of Argyle's special kinsmen." The Red-Book of Clanronald agrees with these intimations, and further specifies 'both sides of Loch Tay.' [2]  

"Much of Breadalbane was in possession of Sir Robert Campbell of Glenurquhy an active Covenanter. His brother Patrick of Edinample was with Montrose and signed the Kilcummin Bond. The MacGregors and MacNabs joined soon after," i.e. November 1644. "Montrose divided his army into three parties, the first commanded by the Chief of the MacDonalds and third by himself. With these he descended on the enemy's fields and ravaged the whole district of Argyll. This devastation of Argyll "lasted from the middle of December 1644. to the end of January 1645." [3]

The Band of Union
In Montrose's 'Band of Union' dated February 2nd 1645, 'Patrik McGregre of that Ilk' was included in a list of 52 leading men. The full text is in the footnote. [4]

Inverlochy
In January 1646, the Royalists in Scotland were faced by three Covenanting armies - Seaforth was in Inverness; Baillie in Perth; and Argyll in the West. Montrose planned to first attack Inverness, held by the Earl of Seaforth which he considered the weakest of the three. Then he learned that Argyll's main force was much closer that he had thought, at Inverlochy [now Fort William] and with defensive positions on the approach down the Great Glen. Montrose was at Kilcumein, [now Fort Augustus], at the SW end of Loch Ness and had only about fifteen hundred men with him, the remainder being dispersed. By a forced march through Glen Roy he arrived in Glen Nevis before Argyll knew of his approach, Montrose gained an overwhelming victory over Argyll's army which was commanded by Campbell of Auchinbreck. The Battle of Inverlochy on Feb. 2. 1645 was a disaster for the Covenanters with up to 1700 killed, most of them Campbells. The clash saw not just the defeat of a Covenanting army, but the blackest day in the history of Clan Campbell with MacCailean mor watching it all from his galley.

“Patrik Macgregor of that Ilk, surnamed popularly Caoch, led a party of his Clan in the Battle of Inverlochy." [6] Eoin MacInvallich in Culcrieff, the uncle of Alexander Drummond of Balhaldies who was elected 17th clan chief in 1714, is known to have been among the few of Montrose's army killed at Inverlochy. This is an indication of Clan Gregor involvement 'in the front line' with Montrose.

Inverness
By the time Montrose reached Inverness, preceded by the news of Inverlochy, Seaforth's army had disintegrated and the Earl himself made peace with Montrose. At Elgin 300 Grants and 200 Gordon cavalry joined Montrose as he made his way through the Mearns into Angus.

The sack of and flight from Dundee
Montrose allowed his Highlanders to storm and loot Dundee, but then was surprised by a large Covenanting army under Baillie, he was fortunate to extricate his men without significant losses.

Balquhidder
In April 1645 Montrose desperately needed more troops. Lord Gordon was sent to Aberdeenshire and Alasdair MacColla to the west on recruiting drives, while Montrose remained near Crieff with a small force. Baillie with a large army at Perth, attempted to surprise Montrose by a rapid night march; but the Royalists withdrew by Loch Earn to Balquhidder as far as Loch Katrine. Baillie, finding it useless to pursue them into the Highlands, returned to Perth.

Reference is made to the short visit to Loch Earn in the following passage.
"Montrose retreated from Crieff up the Earn by Comrie, and south of the loch to Loch Earn Head. At the head of Loch Earn three ways lay open, by Glenogle, Strathyre, or Balquhidder. By the last he recruited from the MacGregor lands." [7]  

Auldearn
Hearing that another Covenanting army under Hurry was preparing to attack Lord Gordon, Montrose returned through Balquhidder and marched with rapid strides along the side of Loch Tay and through Atholl and Angus, being joined by the Athollmen and other Highlanders, who after short campaigns loved to return home for a time. In the North East, 1000 Gordon infantry and 200 cavalry joined him, doubling the size of the army and allowed him to confront Hurry, By good fortune he won another great victory at the subsequent Battle of Auldearn, May 1645. [8]  

Auldearn was the hardest fought and closest run of all Montrose's battles, but at the end of it around 2000 of the Covenanters lay dead for the loss of around 200 of the Royalists.

A promise of Royal restitution of Clan Gregor lands
"1645. June 7th.
"Wheras the Laird of McGregor and his friends have declared themselfs faithfullie for his Majestie and doe follow ws in his service These ar therfor be power and warrand granted be his Majestic to ws to certify and assure theme, that whatsoever lands and possessions belonged justlie, to the said Laird of McGregor and his predecessors in Glenlyon Rannoch or Glenurchy, or whatsoever lands belonged justlie to his freinds and their predecessors and ar now in the possession of Rebells and Enemys to his Majestie's service; They and ther Heirs sall have the same Disponed to them and confirmed be his Majestie under his hand and seal, when it shall please God to put an end to thes present troubles, Providing always that the said Laird of McGregor and his said freinds and their foresaids continow faithfull and constant in his Majestie's service, otherwise these presents shall be null.
“Subscribed at Kinady in Cromar the seventh day of June One thousand sex hundreth fourtie fyve yeires." (Signed) "Montrose." [9]  

Alford
On July 2, 1645, Montrose won another victory over Baillie's Army at Alford, on the river Don, with perhaps 1000 of the Covenanters killed in the ensuing rout. Lord Gordon however was killed during the battle. Montrose then marched through Angus and Blairgowrie to Dunkeld, and was rejoined by the Highlanders according to the following narration.

"July 3rd, day after Battle of Alford.
"Wheras the Laird of McGregor hes received a former Commission from his Majestic for raising his Freinds Followers and these of his Name, We therfor by power and Warrand granted to ws be his Majestie, Doe by these presents in his Majestie's name and be his Authoritie, Renew the forsaid concession, and we do of new again give and grant to the said Laird of McGregor the like power and warrand to raise his wholl Freinds Followers and these of his Name for assisting of his Majesties service Willing and ordaining him to obey and fullfill the forsaid comission and to do therein accordinglie in everie thing Subscryved at Kinady in Cromar the third day of July Ane thousand sex hundreth and fourtie fyve yeires." (Signed) "Montrose." [10]  

Note connected with foregoing :.
“MacGregor had, like others of the commanders of corps, retired to recruit, and had again joined the army with a greater force than he had originally furnished. An eye witness and actor, Clanronald's Bard, after describing the battle of Alford fought 2nd July, says Alexander McDonnell' (meaning Colkitto's son, Major General since the beginning of the campaign) came from the west, with a great army of men, namely John Muidertach, with a band of good looking young men of his own country and kin, and Donald his son along with him, the Clan MacLean from Mull, the Steuarts of Appin, the Clan Gregor and others. MacLean, according to the same author, had before the battle of Inverlochy, joined Montrose with twelve men only, for a body guard. 'When they reached Montrose's camp' says this writer, 'they were joyfully received, and made heartily welcome by him, and by all the rest, and each Clan set in proper order by itself.' [11]  

According to the Abbé Salmonet, the MacGregors joined Montrose, when he had reached Angus on his way south.'

Naseby
Although Montrose had won a string of victories for the Royalists against the Covenanters in Scotland, In England the Royal cause suffered a crushing defeat on 14th June at Naseby.

Montrose marches into the Lowlands
"July. In the mean time Montrose entered the shire of Angus, where he met Inchbrakie at the head of the Atholemen, and MacDonald with a good number of Highlanders with whom had joined Mackclean, a powerful man in the Highlands with seven hundred men, and Glengarry, with as many; the Clans of Macgregor and Macknab, with a good number of that of the Farquharsons of the shire of Mar, and some others of Badenoch, all which joined Montrose about the same time. [12]  

With 1400 men under Alasdair MacColla and more Gordons raised by Lord Aboyne, Montrose had a total of 4500 foot and 500 cavalry with which he felt strong enough to confront Baillie and the last Covenanting army in Scotland, which had around 6000 foot and 800 cavalry.

Kilsyth
Montrose for a time remained at Little Dunkeld. The only obstacle to the entire subjugation of Scotland to the King being the army of Baillie. An interesting contemporary account discussed the battle of Kilsyth -

“16th August Battle of Kilsyth.
"Montrose having resolved to pass this beautiful and rich River of Forth, he marched from Kinross, and incamped about three miles from Stirling. The next day having sent away his Foot before him, he followed them with the Horse, which he kept still in the Rear, suspecting that the enemy was pursuing him, Nor was he deceived in that suspicion; for some spies that he left behind brought word that Bailly was advancing with a powerful Army; and soon after his Scouts began to appear. One of the foremost having been taken prisoner and brought to Montrose confessed to him frankly, that in his opinion the Covenanters were resolved to pursue him the whole night, in order to bring him to a battle as soon as possible before the troops of Fife which by no means would pass the Forth should leave them.

Wherupon Montrose having incouraged his men to continue their march, left the town of Stirling on his left hand where there was a strong garrison, and passed the river that same night about four miles above the town. By break of day he was got six miles on this side of Stirling, where having halted, he understood that the Covenanters had not passed the River the night before; but they had incamped about three miles from Stirling on the other side. Nevertheless Montrose still marched on till he came to Kilsyth, where he incamped and ordered his troops to be in readiness, either to fight or march as occasion should offer. In the meantime the Covenanters taking a shorter and more easy way passed the river at the Bridge of Stirling, and incamped about three miles from Kilsyth. During the march of the two armies, the Earl of Lanrick having got together a thousand Foot and about five hundred horse was incamped about twelve miles from Kilsyth, and on the other hand the Earls of Glencarn, Cassils and Eglinton were hastening the levies in the Western shires, which was going on the more easily that that country had not as yet felt any of the inconveniencies that attend War.

Therefore Montrose resolved to fight Bailly; for though he was much stronger than he, and that his army consisted of six thousand Foot and eight hundred Horse, Montrose having only four thousand five hundred Foot and five hundred Horse, yet he considered that the Match would be still more unequal if he should wait there till these Earls joined him with their forces; in which case he would be forced, with the danger of losing the reputation he had formerly gained, to betake himself to the mountains. On the other hand the Covenanters thinking that Montrose had passed the Forth more of fear than design, their chief aim was to deprive him of all hopes of a retreat. In order to compass that, by break of day which was the 15 of August, having drawn up their Army, thay began to march directly to the Royalists; which Montrose having perceived, and sensible that the good or bad success of the King's affairs in Scotland depended upon that day, he forgot nothing that a great General could do, for incouraging his soldiers.

He ordered them all, as well Horse as the Foot to throw off their doublets and every man turning up his shirt sleeves, by that resolution to strike tenor into the enemy and let them know that they were resolved either to conquer or die. In the Field of Battle there were some cottages and Gardens adjoining them, Montrose drawing up his men, posted some musketeers there; but before he had done putting the rest of his men in order of Battle, the Covenanters charged these musketeers very smartly in order to drive them out of that post; but thay received the Enemy without giving ground, and after this first heat was a little cooled, they fell upon them, put them to flight and laid some of them dead upon the spot, which so heartened the Highlanders whereof there were about a thousand in Montrose's advanced Guard, that without waiting the General's orders, they ran desperately up a little hill, within pistol shot of the Covenanters and exposed themselves to be cut in pieces, if the Enemy's Horse had surrounded them. But their advanced Guard waiting for that of the Rear, which was advancing but slowly, Montrose had time to relieve these rash men.

For as the Covenanters had caused these troops of Horse, followed by two thousand Foot to advance, in order to attack them, he ordered the brave Earl of Airley to go to their assistance with his Brigade, which he did with so grat courage, that after a sharp ingagement, his Horse which consisted for the most part of gentlemen of his own name of Ogilvie routed the Enemy's Horse and made them fall foul upon their Foot. This advantage continued to animate Montrose's men, so much that with a great shout, they rushed in amongst the Enemy, and charged them with so much fury, that their Horse having given ground the Foot threw down their Arms and fled.

The Victorious pursued them hotly for fourteen miles and made so great a slaughter that, about four thousand of them lay dead upon the place, and all their cannon and baggage were taken, besides a great number of Prisoners Montrose only lost six men, three of which were Ogilvie's who paved the way to that great victory, which was a grat check to the Covenant." [13]  

"August 15th. "Extract of Red Book of Clanronald describing the Battle of Kilsyth.
"'The men of Donald son of John Muidartach, and Patrick Caoch MacGregor's men, made but one regiment. They gained the trenches. Donald was the first that leapt over them, and his men followed; and, by the rush of the rest of the army who followed close the great army of the enemy was routed The keys of the great castle were sent from Edinburgh, and all Scotland yielded.' [14]  

On September 1st, while camped at Bothwell, Montrose received a letter from Charles appointing him Lieutenant-Governor and Captain-General in Scotland. Charles was desperate following the defeat at Naseby and requested Montrose to bring his army into England. However, many Highlandmen were reluctant to do this and 'melted away'. Alasdair MacColla took most of his men to continue their depredations on the lands of Argyll, leaving Montrose fatally weakened.

Disastrous defeat at Philiphaugh
A much diminished army, including a few hundred Antrim men under O'Cahan, was surprised and decisively defeated at Philiphaugh ion September 13 1645 by Covenanter forces commanded by Major-General David Leslie which had returned from England. Following the battle many of the prisoners, especially the Irish and 300 of their women and children camp followers were murdered out of hand. Noble captives were taken to Edinburgh and most of them beheaded. Argyll celebrated the victory as "God's work".

To Argyll's great annoyance, however, Montrose himself narrowly escaped with less than 30 men. He returned to Atholl "where he induced about four hundred Athollmen to follow him in search of further reinforcements with the promise of the whole joining him on his return". He remained in Scotland for a further year but was no longer able to pose a significant threat to the Covenanters.

Defeat of the Campbells at Callendar
The following is quoted from Browne's “Highlanders."
"1645. December. When marching through Strathspey, Montrose received intelligence that Atholl was threatened with a visit from the Campbells, a circumstance which induced him to dispatch Graeme of Inchbrakie and John Drummond younger of Balloch to that district. The inhabitants of Argyle, on hearing of Sir Alexander McDonald's arrival in their country after the battle of Kilsyth, had fled to avoid his vengeance and concealed themselves in caverns or in the clefts of rocks; but being compelled by the calls of hunger to abandon their retreats they had been collected together by Campbell of Ardkinlass to the number of about twelve hundred and had attacked the MacGregors and Macnabs for favouring Montrose"

Being joined by the Stewarts of Balquhidder, the Menzieses and other partisans of Argyle, they meditated an invasion of Atholl and had advanced as far as Strathample, with the intention of carrying their design into execution when intelligence was brought to Inchbrakie of their approach. Inchbrakie and Balloch had by this time collected seven hundred able-bodied men, and with this force they immediately proceeded to meet the Camphells, who had laid siege to Edinample Castle. On being apprised of the advance of the Athollmen the Campbells retired to Menteith whither they were hotly pursued by the Athollmen who overtook them near the village of Callender. After crossing the river Teith they halted and prepared for battle, having previously stationed a large party of musketeers to guard the ford of the river.

Having ascertained the strength and position of the Campbells, Inchbrakie ordered his men to advance to the ford as if with the intention of crossing it in order to draw the attention of the Camphells to this single point, while with the remainder of his men he hastened to cross the river by another ford, higher up and nearer the village. This movement was immediately seen by the Argylemen, who, alarmed at such a bold step and probably thinking that the Athollmen were more numerous than they really were, abandoned the position and fled with precipitation towards Stirling. As soon as the Atholl party stationed at the lower ford saw the opposite bank deserted, they immediately crossed the river and attacked the rear of the retiring Camphells. They were soon joined in the pursuit by the party which had crossed the higher ford, but as the Atholimen had performed a tedious march of ten miles that morning they were unable to continue the pursuit far. About eighty Camphells were killed in the pursuit"

Allusion to this skirmish is made in the following:- [15]  
The survivors of Argyll's men driven from absolute necessity or fear of Macdonald's power and threats of annihilation had left their own country and made a raid on the MacGregors and Macnabs, Montrose's friends. …. They laid siege to Edinample but decamped and were defeated by the Athollmen near Callender."

Clan Gregor with Montrose after Philiphaugh
This from the Parliamentary record in 1649 shows that the MacGregors were active with Montrose in the Southern Highlands during late 1645 and early 1646 following the defeat at Philiphaugh.
“1649. March 15th. "Act in favouris of George Buchannane fear of that Ilk.
"The estates of Parliament, Taking to their consideratioune The Supplicatioune given be George Buchannane fear of that ilk, Makand mentioune That James Grahame haveing conceaved ane deadly hatred and malice againes the said supplicant, for his fidelitie and constant service in the publict caus, sent some of the rebelles and took away the haill guids that wer vpone the supplicantes landes, and herried the same in august 1645 Lykas in November that same yeere he came againe with his haill forces, horse and foote and brunt and waisted his haill landes murdered and begg(ar)ed his freindes and tennentes man, wyff and childring without respect of sex or age besydes his hous. Whill the Estaites sent vp for the must pairt of their Armie vnder the Command of the Erle of Callander, Generall major Midletoune and generall major Howburne, who wer ey witnesses and forced the enemie to retire And thairefter ordanit the supplicant to keepe ane garisone in his hous for the vse of the publict. Lykas also the said James Grahame in the moneth of Januar thairefter sent the Clangregour and the Macnabes to the rest of the supplicantes landes of Stroshire, Strathire, and vtheris in Perth and Stirling Schires possest thamselves thairin, herrieing and waisteing all whaerever they came placed tennentes of thair owne and removed his exacted in his laite Majesties’s name The haill few dewties at ten merk alledging thame to have ane gift thairof wherby ever since the supplicantes haill landis hes bene altogether vnproffitable to him [16]

Montrose ordered to disband his army and retire to France
In May 1646 the king desired Montrose to disband his army and retire into France. In July a cessation of Arms was arranged between Montrose and General Middleton the Covenanting Commander and on the 13th July the Royalist Leader addressed his army and formally disbanded them, himself sailing to Norway in the following September.

"1646 July 24th.
“Wheras the Laird of McGregor has been engaged in his Majesteis service during thes troubles wherin he hes aquitted himselfe most Loyallie and Faithfullie Thes ar therfor not onlie to witnes the same but also to assure him That whensoever it shall please God to restore his Majestie and render to him his just Rights that he shall be thankfullie and amplie rewarded according to his deservings and merits Gevin at ….. the twentie fourth day of July Ane thousand sex hundreth and fourtie sex yeires." (Signed), " Montrose." [17]  

"1648. February 17th. "Act anent Gregor McGregor.
"The Committee of Estates ordaines the Laird of Buchanan to delyver Gregor McGregor and his adherents prisoners within the hous of Buchanan to the Laird of Ardkinlass or to the Commander in Chiefe of the regiment upone the place; And ordaines the Officeris To send thame in speedilie and saiflie to Edinburgh That course may be taken with thame according to Justice."-Record of the Committee of Estates.

"1648 May 16th.
"The Committee (of Estates) doe seriously Recommend to the Collonells and Comittees of Warre of the schyre of Perth to grant Sir Robert Campbell of Glenvrquhy, John Campbell fear theirof, Colonell James Campbell of Lawers, Alexander Menzies of Comries and James Campbell of Clathik such ease in the present leveyes as thair Lands quhilk have bene destroyed ther yeires bygane, be not now Layed waist be want of tennents." -Record of Committee of Estates. [18]  

"1648 May 19th.
"The Commitee of estaites Declaires that efter the last of this moneth They will no longer intertaine the garisons of nynescoir men quhilk ar within Glenorquhy, Lawers and the Laird of Weemes bounds And ordains the sojours that ar now in anie of these garisons to repair furthwith to thair Regiment with thair armes and stay with thair Regiment As they will be answerable.

"1648 July 11th.
"Jon Mcpatrik alias Mcgregour in … declared a fugitive for breaking up the gates and doors of Rothie, or Rotheis, pertaining to Mr Wm. Leslie of Aikmotie (?) in September 1645."-Record of Justiciary.

“1649. January 30th. King Charles I. was put to death in London.

Within Clan Gregor, it is likely that the leading men, - among them Padraig ruadh the chief, Domhnall glas in Glengyle, Iain MacPhadraig aldoch, and Padraig MacEoinvallich in Roro - were aware of the issues at stake, but for the majority called out to fight on the command of their chief, it was a chance for booty and to take revenge on the hated Clann Diarmaid.

In August 1649, many of the Clan Gregor continued to be described as the enemy by the Estates in session at Perth. 148 individuals were named in the Act as being responsible for " skaith, violence, wronges and oppressions of all rebellious, lawlesse and malignant persones." [19]   .

According to Fergol, [20]   On 11th June 1651, the King and Committee of Estates ordered Calum and Ewan MacGregor to bring their servants and followers to Stirling on the 17th. Fergol states ‘they appear to have complied with alacrity and fought as a clan regiment at Worcester from which few if any returned home’. However, Fergol appears to be wrong in this as I argue in my paper on the Battle of Worcester.

Following the defeat at Worcester, Scotland was occupied by an English army as part of Cromwell's Commonwealth. Resistance to that rule arose in 1653 in the form of the Glencairn Rising, but this collapsed following the Battle of Dalnaspidal on 19th July 1654. I discuss the Clan role in the Glencairn rising and the Restoration of 1660 here.

[1] Spalding, Memorialls, Vol I, page 130

[2] Amelia, Vol II, ch 8, page 91

[3] Memoirs of Montroas," 1639-1650, latin history by Bishop George Wishart, translated and edited by Rev. Alexander Murdoch, F. S. A., Canon of St Mary's Cathedral, and H. F. Morland Simpson, 1893.

[4] Band of Union quoted in Amelia, Vol II, ch 8, page 91-92
"1645. February 2nd.
"Ane band of unione amongst all his Majesty's faithfull subjects, as also of mutuall assistance and defence.
"Wheras his sacred Majestie for the vindication of his oune honor and just authoritie and the happines and recoverie of his thralled and oppressed subjects, hat been from all reasone and necessitie constrained to oune himself and ther miseries, by declaring by open Proclamations the horrid courses of the rebellious factione that now so raigeth within this kingdome, to be most wicked and traiterous, as they are most unjust and unnatural, willing and requiring all his Majesties faithfull and loyall subjects to yield by no means ther obedience thereto, Bot on the contrarie to joyne themselfs with Prince Maurice his Majesties Nephew and Captain Generall ower this wholl kingdome, or James Marquis of Montrose his Majesties Lieutennant Generall of the same, and to use ther best and most vigorous oppositione, against the Actors and Instruments of all those abominable and monstrous crymes: Witt ye ws, therfor Wndersubscryners, out of the deep sense of our deutie to God, our consciences, King, and native countrie, yea to all Lawes and Justice divine and humane by these presents; To bind and obleige ourselfs, Lykas we ar by God and Nature tyed, with our lyfes, fortunes and estates to stand to the mainte(na)nce of the honor and authoritie, of our sacred and native Generall, contrarie to this present perverse, and infamous factione of desperat Rebells, now in force against him, And that we shall, upon all occasions, according as we ar required by his Majestie or any having his authoritie, or as the opportunitie shall offer, be ever readie to wse all our best and most active endeavors for that effect. As also each and everie one of ws do falthfullie promeis mutuallie to assist one another herein, as we shall be desyred or the occasion requir All which befor God and his angells, we most solemnlie, and from our Consciences, and just sense, voluntarlie and sincerlie vowe and promeis firmlie till adher to and never to suerve from As we would be reputed famous Men and Christians, and expect the blessing of Almightie God in this lyf or his eternall happines heirafter. In witness whereof we have subscrynit these presents at Killiwherme [Kilcumein, later Fort Augustus] the penult dayis of January …. the yeir of God Ane thousand sex hundreth fourtie fyve yeirs.

(Signed)
1. Montrose.
2. Airly.
3. Seaforth.
4. Grahame.
5. Lo Gordon.
6. Thom: Ogilvy.
7. L McLaine of Dowart
8. J. Mcoronald of Eyellanttirrem.
9. E. McDonald apirand of Gleugarrie.
10. Alexander McDonell.
11. Duncane Steuart Fiar of Appen.
12. Donald Camronne Tutor of Lochiell.
13. Nat Gordon.
14.. Gordon of Knokespic
15. Donald Robertsone Tutor of Strowane.
(D.?) Mcpheirsone.
16. P. Campbell of Edinampil.
17. P. Graeme.
18. Johnne Drummond.
19. J. Grame.
20. James Grant of freuchie.
21. Robert Gordon.
22. D. Farcharson.
23. J. Grant of Moyne
24. J. Kinnard of Coulbyne.
25. G. Innes Yungr of Leuthars.
26. Wm. Dow of (Orchardwall?).
27. J. Gordon of Letterfurey.
28 Donald MacDonald of Ceippec ftom the beginning.
29. W. Gordon feyve.
30. A. Gordonne of fyvie Vounger.
31. Alex. Dunbar of (Teikbork?).
32. J. Martine of Kempkairne.
33. J. Abereromby.
34. R. Gordone.
35. W. Innes.
36. P. Gordonne of Kirkhill.
37. T. McKenzie of Pluscardin.
38. Johne Innes of Leuthars.
39. Hugh Innes.
40 T. Mowat of Balquhol.
41. J. Gordon of Carnborrow.
41a. (Name illegible).
42. Patrik McGregre of that Ilk.
43. Murich McLean of Lochbuy.
44. W. Douglas Glenbervy.
45. R. McGwir of Montdow.
46. Wm. Chisholme fiar of Cromlix.
47. F. Hay.
48. Alexr Robertsone of Doune.
49. J. Robertsone fiar of Doune.
50. David Moray of Colquhalzie.
51. L. McPhersone.
52. J. Mceadam.

[6] Amelia, Vol II, ch 8, page 100, From the Red Book of Clanronald, as cited in a Process in the Court of Session, MacDonald of Glengarry versus MacDonald of Clanronald, 1824-5."

[7] Amelia vol II, ch 8, p96 - Deeds of Montrose.

[8] Amelia vol II, ch 8, p95 - This account is abridged from Browne’s "Highlanders."

[9] Amelia vol II, ch 8, p100 - [Transumpt in the Collection of MacGregor of Balhaldies.]"

[10] Amelia vol II, ch 8, p101 - [Transumpt in the Collection of MacGregor of Balhaldies.]"

[11] John Muidertach, as he was styled popularly, who signed the Bond for, King Charles I., as "John M'Orronald of Island Tirrem." See page 92.

[12] Amelia vol II, ch 8, p96 - Deeds of Montrose.

[13] From History of the Troubles of Great Britain, Account of remarkable passages in Scotland, 1633 to 1650, and Montrose's Battles. Written in French by Robert Monteth of Salmonet. Translation by Captain James Ogilvie, printed by the Bannatyne Club.

[14] Amelia vol II, ch 8, p103 - Extract of Red Book of Clanronald describing the Battle of Kilsyth

[15] Deeds of Montrose

[16] Amelia vol II, ch 9, p107 - March 15th 1649, Record of Parliament."

[17] Amelia vol II, ch 8, p104 - [Transumpt in the Collection of MacGregor of Balhaldies.]"

[18] Amelia vol II, ch 8, p104 - Record of Committee of Estates."

[19] Amelia vol II, ch 10, p115-120 - Record of Committee of Estates." 1649. August 28th, at Perth.

"Anent the Precept issued foorth from the Estates of Parliament Against the persones underwritten Makand Mentioun That the Estates of Parliament taking into their consideration that the peace and quiet of the Kingdom this tyme bypast had beene much disquieted and disturbed, and manie thiftes, murthers, wronges, oppressions, burnings and depredations have been done and committed by the rebellious insolencies, outbreakings, ryseing in armes and wicked practises of Highlanders, Islesmen and uther disaffected persones in the Kingdome And Lykewayes considering the laudable course formerly sett doune and prescryved in diverse actes of Parliament maid anent the quieting of disorderlie subjects in the Highlands and elsewhere; As also that the Estates of Parliament be their Act in the last Session thairof ordained Precepts to be issued foorth for citing such persons as were upon the late engagement in England, or others, as they should think expedient To Compear before them, or their Committees, To give suretie and subscribe the Bond and Declaration for keeping the peace of the Kingdome and not disturbing the peace and quiet thereof, Thairefore the Estates of Parliament being carefull to prevent any danger that might arise to the Kingdome, and to secure the subjects from the skaith, violence, wronges and oppressions of all rebellious, lawlesse and malignant persones Did find it necessarie and ordaine That all such persones within the Isles and Highlands and other places as have been accessorie to the lait troubles of the Kingdome and all Landslords and Baillies of Lands where broken men do haunt and dwell, Chiftaines of Clannes & all Sorners or Oppressers who by the said slaughters or depredations have troubled the cuntrie bee cited to appeare before the Committee of Parliament having power and Commission for that effect, at the Toune of Perth at ane certain day or dayes to be appointed for that end with continuation of dayes To underly and obtemper such orders as the said Committee should prescryve unto them for the peace of the Kingdome, according to the power granted to the said Committee for that effect With certification if they failzied they should he esteemed as enemies to this Kingdome and proceeded against accord¬inglie and should be ordained to be denounced Rebels, and Letters to be issued out against them for that end; As the Precept ordaining the persones underwritten to be charged to the effect and with certification as is before specifeit personallie if they could be apprehended & failling thereof at their dwelling places where they dwell and repaire or where they dwelt and repaired of before, and at the Market Croce of the heid burgh of the Shyre or uther Jurisdiction quhere they presentlie dwell or repair or dwelt or repaired of befoir; And if there were not tutus accessus to their said dwelling houses at the market Croces of the heid Burghs of the Shyre or uther Jurisdiction quhere the dwelling wes or quhere they did most haunt Admitting the Charge and Citation to be used in manner foresaid to bee als valid as if they and everie one of them were apprehended at mair lenth beares And ANENT the Charge given to

1 John Dow Drummond alias McGregor in Ardtrostan,
2 Patrik McCondochie VcGregor in Dundurne,
3 Duncan Roy McGregor his sonne there,
4 Patrik Mcean there,
5 Duncan his sonne there,
6 & 7 John and Donald McOndy voir in Glenleidnoch,
8 Finlay Moreson there,
9 John McConochie Vcean there,
10 & 11 Patrik and Donald McNivens, in Glenartney,
12 Donald McEwen in Tullibannecher,
13 and Patrik McCondochie VcGregor in Dalveich.

And siclyk anent the charge given to
14 John McGregor VcAlaster galt now in Glenalmond,
15 James McGregor there,
16 Neill Mcconneil Vcneale there,
17 Malcolme McGregor at the west end of Loch Earne,
18 & 19 James and Robert McQweanes calling themselves McGregors in the heids of Menteith,
20 and David Malloch in Corimuclach, at their respective dwelling places and Market croces underwritten respectively
And in like manner anent the charge given to
21 Kallum McConnochie Vcewin Tutor to…children to umqull Laird of McGregor,
22 Ewin McConnochie Vcewin in Atholl,
23 John McEwin VcAllaster phudrach in ….. sonne to Kallum McGregor in Culchra.
24 Donald M'Gregor sonne to Duncan McRobert VcCole and his four brethren in ….
25 John McCulcher in …..& his two brethren there.
26 John dow McGillespick VcConnochie VcGregor in Rannoch,
27 Donald McGregor his brother there,
28. ... sonne to oge Mcoule Vcewin in ….
29 Alaster McAlester vig VcGregor in Fernan,
30 Gregor McGregor his brother there,
31 John Dow McPatrik Roy VcGregor there,
32 Alaster McGregor his brother there,
33 John Dow Findlay there,
34 Donald …. his brother there
35 Donald McGilliechallum vcGregor in Culdrye,
36 Kallum Mcean VcGregor there,
37 Duncan his brother there,
38 Duncan Mceandowie VcGregor in Edramuckie,
39 Gillespick Mceantyre in Kallilichan,
40 Donald Mceantyre there,
41 Gregor Mceandowie VcAlaster in ….
42 ......McGregor sonne to Alaster McConnochie VcAllaster in ….
43 John dow roy McGregor in Innervar in Glenlyon.
44 John dow McGregor in Belnick,
45 Gregor and ……sonnes to John dow McGregor in Belnichanick,
46 Gregor McConnochie VcGregor in Rora,
47 Ewin McGregor his brother there,
48 Donald McGillichallum VcGregor in Leodnick,
49 John dow McGillechallum VcGregor in Forse, Foss.
50 Donald McGregor his sonne,
51,52,53 Donald, Alaster and Neale McGregor sonnes to John Neale McGregor in Strathtay,
54 Duncan McConnochie VcConochie Vcean in Rannoch,
55 Duncan bane McGregor in Fernan,
56 Allaster McCoull VcConnochie VcGregor in Glenlochie,
57 ……. McGregor sonne to Kallum bane McGregor there
58 Duncan McCallum bane VcGregor in Rannoch,
59 Gregor and John sonnes to umqule Gregor vig McGregor in Rannoch,
60 John dow McChallum Vcneale VcGregor in Fernan,
61 Callum Connonach McGregor in Rannoch,
62 …. McGregor his brother there,
63 Patrik McConnochie Vceandowie VcGregor there, Leader to these and many more McGregors,
64 Kallum Mcphaile in Forse,
65 Angus Mcphail his brother there.
66 William Stewart sonne to John Stewart in Urquhillblaries,
67 James Stewart sonne to John Stewart callit the page now in Atholl,
68 Neale McConnochie Vceanduywie in Rannoch,
69 Duncan Clerach bedall in Killin,
70 Finlay Clerache in Garth,
71, 72 Duncan buy Clerach and Duncan dow Clerach his brethren in …
73, 74 Gregor McGregor and Duncan McGregor sonnes to Robert Abroch ..
75 Duncan Fletcher McGregor in Rannoch, -~
76 John Mceanduwie VcEwin McGregor, Vagabond.
77 John dow McGregor in Dundurne,
78 Patrick McConnochie VcAllaster there.
79 McGregor his son there,
80 Patrick McConnochie vig McGregor in Balquhidder,
81 Patrick McConnochie VcPatrik there,
82 Gregor McConnochie VcEancham in Rannoch,
83 McGregor his son there,
84 John dow roy McConnochie VcEancharn in …
his three sons,
85 Kallum ure McConnochie VcGregor in ….
86 his sonne in ……….
87 Gregor McPatrik VcConnochie Reach in…
88 Patrik dow McGregor in ….
89 Allaster Dow M'Gregor VcPatrik in Strathspey
his sonnes in …..
90 Duncan reach beg McGregor in Strathspey,
91 John McCallum VcConnachie reach there,
92 his two brothers there,
93 Gregor McPatrik aldoch in Garth,
94 John McConnochie VcPatrik Aldoch there,
95 Kallum McGregor VcCoull in Glengyle under the Laird of Buchannan,
his nyne sons there.
96 Duncan roy McGregor sonne to Donald McGregor alias Mcillihuas in ….
97 Alaster McCheller alias McGregor in ……
98 John dow McAlaster pudrach in ……
99 John dow McPatrik ewin VcGregor in Innerveik,
100 Alexander McGregor his brother in …….
101 Donald Mcilroy servitor to the said Kallum McGregor Tutor aforesaid,
102 Duncan roy McGregor sonne to Patrik McConnochie VcGregor at the end of Loch Earn. 103 John McGregor McConnochie vaine in ….
104 John buy McGregor in ….
105 John Glasse McGregor in Menteith, under the Earl of Perth,
106 Neale McConnell VcNeale VcGregor in Glenalmond,
107 Patrik Drummond in Ardlarich,
108 John dow Drummond in heides of ……
109 John McGregor VcPatrik in Tombay,
110 Donald McGregor Vcpatrik and Donald Clerach in Tombay,
111 Robert McClairen in Corriechrombie,
112 John Mcpatrik in Anie,
113 Archibald McLaran his brother there,
114 John Dow McRobert VcCleran in Stank,
115 John Dow McPharlan alias Ariach in Lark,
116 Alexander Fergusone in Innervuckling,
117 Donald Fergusone in Lagan both in Strathyre,
118 Duncan Lamb Mcpatrik dow in …
119 Mcarthur tailzeour in Bracklan,
his two sons,
120 John Mceanwire in Dullater,
121 Duncan McCoull in Kilmore,
122 John McArlich VcGregor and
123 Charles McArlich his sonne in ….
124 John McDuff sometime in Tom carron in Strathbrand,
125 Donald McGillechrist VcKier in Tullibannocher,
126 John Comrie sonne to Alaster Comrie in Mewie
127 Dougall oge McCallum VcCoull in Balquhannan,
128 John dow McCallum VcCoull in Innerlochlarich, in the Bray of Balquhidder,
129 John Dow Fleiger there,
130 Kallum his sonne there,
131 Patrik roy sonne to Neale McGregor there,
132 Kallum oge McCoull in Craigruy,
133 John McGregor VcEan in Rowfan,
134 John McGillphatrik in Bray of Leny, servitor to McCanter ther who was at the burning of the house of Aberurchill
135 Duncan and William Drummonds in Achalavich,
136 John glasse Drummond there,
137 Callum McCondoy glas VcGregor in Garriechrew at Mewie,
138 Gregor McGregor brother to Kallum McGregor under the Laird of Buchannan, likewise in Glengyle.
139, 140, 141, 142 his foure sonnes callit John, Callum, Gregor, and Donald McGregor,
143 Callum McGregor guerr McCoull in Killetter in Glenfalloch,
144, 145 his two sonnes there,
146 John roy McIllmichael and
147 William Mclllmichael under the Earl of Perth in Glenlichernie.
at the Market Croces of the Burgh of Dumbartan heid burgh of the Sherreffdome of Dumbartan, at the Market Croce of Sterling heid burgh of the Shereffdome of Sterling, at the Market Croce of Dumblane heid burgh of the Regalitie thereof at the Market Croce of Creif heid burgh of the Stewartrie of Stratherne, at Tapali¬tanum the Castle of Doune held place appointed for proclamations within the Stewartrie of Menteith, and at the Market Croces of Perth and Dunkell respective quoniam non patebat tutus accessus to manie of their dwelling places, and in regard manie of them have no certaine dwelling places or places of residence To have appeared before the said Committee of Parliament at Perth at ane certaine day bigane with certification and to the effect before mentioned as in the Execu¬tions and Indorsations thereof at mair length is contained Which Haill Persones abovenamed being ofttymes called at the Haill Window of the Lewetennent Generall's House in Perth, where the said Committee sate for the time And they nor nane uthers in their name compeirand And the said Committee of Estates having at length considered the said Certification and Charge given upon the said Precept in manner foresaid and being fullie therewith advised They Do Find that the foirnamed persones and ilkane of them because of their not compeirance have incurred the paine contained in the Certification And therefore the said Committee of Estates do hereby Declare the said haill abovewritten persones and ilk ane of them to bee enemies to this Kingdome and Ordaines them to bee proceeded against accordinglie Declareing alwayes Lyke as it is hereby Declared That if betwix and the first day of November nixt the said persones shall subscribe the Band for the peace of the Kingdome enjoined bee and conteined in the Act of Parliament of the 26th of Januarie last and shall in like manner subscribe the other Band enjoined bee the said Committee to be subscribed bee Landlords Chiftaines of Clannes and Baillies quhere broken men do reside and dwell bee act of the said Committee of the 27th instant and find suretie and caution for that effect as is thereby prescryved The said persones or such of them who shall so subscryve and find suretie shall be exonered Lyke as the said Committee in that caice doth hereby exoner them of this present Decreit and of all that may follow thereon." -Record of Committee of Estates, in which the foregoing paper is titled "Decreit contra the McGregors and utheris."

[20] E.M. Fergol, A Regimental History of the Covenanting Armies, 1639-1651’, (Edinburgh 1990)