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Kinship, Landholding & Crime - Clan Gregor 1583 - 1611

By Peter Lawrie, ©2002

Note - individuals have been given reference numbers in this study. Consult me for more information and genealogies.

Kinship and Clanship - what was a Highland Clan. This chapter describes an origin and genealogy for Clan Gregor to 1603.

Possession of Land by Clan Gregor. Up Until 1603, Clan Gregor had grown into a powerful landholding kindred in Perthshire. This chapter describes the extent of their holdings.

The Crimes of Clan Gregor. The growth of the power of the Scottish State under James VI and the expansion of the Campbells of GlenOrchy and Argyll, created an intolerable situation for Clan Gregor. Their violent reaction led to many mentions of the Clan in the records of the State and their neighbours.

Conclusion. What can we learn of Highland Clanship and its collision with the increasing power of the Scottish State in the late 16th century from this account of Clan Gregor.



This paper is based on a dissertation submitted for the degree of MPhil from the University of Dundee in 2002. In view of the length, it has been divided into four chapters. Please click on the link at the end of each section to continue. Footnotes are given for each section but the Bibliography is only supplied at the end of the final section.

Chapter 2 - The possession of land by Clan Gregor

When deprived of the control of territory and its resources, [78] Dodgshon claimed that clans died out or became totally dependent on the elite of more successful clans. The MacCairbres were a prominent, even expanding lineage in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, but the grant of their Glen Lochay lands to Cailean liath, laird of Glen Orchy, in 1554 brought about a rapid descent into oblivion and extinction. [79] Dodgshon commented on the chiefly display and behaviour by the Clan Gregor fine who, in 1506, ‘despite their poverty of land and resources’ [80] entertained James IV for eight days at Inchcalloun.  Dodgshon viewed this event in the light of the absence of documentary evidence for the possession of land by the Clan Gregor chiefs, rather than taking such reported behaviour as evidence of their real control of resources.

‘The way in which the clan sub-divided into a plethora of distinct lineages as it moved eastwards after 1437 perfectly illustrated the connection between rapid territorial expansion and kindred frag­mentation’. [81] There had been a close relationship between Clan Gregor and Clan Campbell up to 1550, during a period of joint expansion spearheaded by Clan Gregor military strength and settlement in a territory stretching from Rannoch to Strath Gartney, and Glen Strae to Strath Tay. [82]   James I’s elimination of the Albany Stewarts created a vacuum of power which enabled the Clan Campbell and Clan Gregor to extend eastwards. The pattern was repeated on a smaller scale in Rannoch, where James IV’s elevation of Menzies of Weem at the expense of Stewart of Fortingall created a breakdown of control from which the MacGregors profited.   The crown’s motive had been economic and failed to give due consideration to the potential local consequences of their actions. [83]  

Only 55 ‘householders of the Clangregor’ had been listed in 1592, [84] although, including all adherents, 132 are listed in 1590 and 194 in 1602. [85] Twelve different territorial lineages can be identified. There is no evidence of the ‘ideal clan’, with the chief populating his undisputed charter lands with his kindred. Instead, Clan Gregor lineages resided on the lands of various lords. These lands changed hands, by inheritance, sale or crown grant, often to lords with their principal lands elsewhere in Scotland. In 1599, twenty-two landlords of MacGregors were named, seven of them Campbell, five others with long-standing local possessions and the remainder probably lowland. [86] Few had a significant kin-based local following of their own. Cailean liath and his son and successor from 1583 as laird of Glen Orchy, Donnchadh dubh used bonds of manrent to establish dependents, but also had an impressive breeding programme intended to rectify their lack of kindred and perhaps came closer to the ideal model of clanship than did Clan Gregor.

After 1550, Cailean liath and Donnchadh dubh, established their dominance in the area around Loch Tay, displacing many kindreds completely and reducing others in status. [87] The Justiciary and Perth sheriff court extracts in the ‘Chartulary’, printed in Amelia MacGregor, [88] contain the evidence of many apparent attempts from the late 1580s to dispossess clan Gregor lineages from the lands they occupied. [89] The repetition of the same names in the same locations over many years demonstrated the landlords’ lack of success.

Land measurements derived from a medieval taxation assessment, based on productivity at the time they were made, rather than physical extent. The davoch was an early medieval form, widespread in the north and northeast, and roughly equivalent to 200 acres of arable. [90] The ounceland was the davoch by another name, in the Norse areas of the west Highlands, which paid 1 oz of silver in tax. [91] There were 20 pennylands in an ounceland. Pennylands, heavily concentrated in Argyll, [92] paid a silver penny in tax. The oxgang was reckoned as the area that one ox could cultivate in a year. There were two oxgangs to a husbandland (26 acres) and eight to a ploughgate (104 acres). Apart from four in lowland Moray, there were no ploughgates north of a line from Dumbarton to Aberdeen. [93]

Merklands, poundlands, 40-shillinglands (three merks), 40-pennylands (a quarter-merk) were assessments for ecclesiastical taxation, possibly used as early as 1199, but certainly by 1366 in Scotland. [94] The average taxation per square mile varied between £3 10s per square mile, making the merkland 120 acres, in lowland, south-east Perthshire to 2s in Argyll, setting it at 4200 acres. However, the other measures related to cultivatable land, whereas the old extent taxation system may have measured all potential farmland. Taking cultivatable land only, the merkland might be closer to the davoch measurement.   Almost all references in late 16th century Perthshire use the merkland form. Kenknock in Glen Lochay at the western end of Loch Tay was described as a two-merkland comprising 196 acres, [95] placing the merkland at around 100 acres, or equivalent to the ploughgate. The quarter merkland, known as a 40-pennyland might be the lower economic limit of a farm, equivalent to the 26-acre oxgang. A 3-merkland would be a substantial farm. The pre-1832 rural parliamentary franchise was based on possession of heritable property of at least 40 shillings (3-merklands) of old extent. The Highland economy was cattle-based and upland grazings were essential. Boundary evidence is sparse, but a clue to the upper extent of the merkland may be found in the 4-merkland of Invergeldie in Glen Lednock, whose catchment area may have been up to 10000 acres, although the arable might be only 500 acres. The 4-merkland of Kingart in the lower glen had less hill ground. Glen Lednock was one of the only sites of MacGregor settlement where a heritable crown tenancy had been obtained. Elsewhere, Clan Gregor lineages may have occupied up to 180 merklands, as tenants with little evidence of feudal possession.  

The 32 merklands of Rannoch were held of the crown by Menzies of Weem but largely occupied by MacGregors from the early 16th century. The 20 merklands of Glen Strae, held by the MacGregor chiefs since the 14th century were the subject of bitter dispute with Cailean liath of Glen Orchy who purchased the superiority from the Earl of Argyll in 1554, [96] and refused to infeft the young chief, Griogar ruadh (2111112) in 1562. This was finally settled in 1624 when Donnchadh dubh enfeoffed Griogar, alias John Murray, (211111221) grandson of Griogar ruadh, who immediately resigned them in exchange for £10,000. [97] The 30-merklands of Fearnan, held of Robertson of Strowan, were a valuable area, which Clan Gregor lineages appear to have occupied for most of the 16th century. Well-drained, gently sloping land on the sunny side of the loch, with extensive limestone geology provided unusual fertility. The 10-poundland of Easter Ardeonaig on the south of Loch Tay was a Haldane possession and the 10-poundland of Wester Ardeonaig belonged to the Napiers until Campbell of Lawers acquired both in the early 17th century. From the early 16th century, until at least 1613, Ardeonaig had been occupied by a branch of the Roro MacGregors. [98] Clan Gregor lineages were found in a variety of other places around Loch Tay, Glen Lochay, Loch Rannoch, Glen Lednock, Strathyre, Balquhidder and Strathgartney. There was significant settlement of the Glenlednock lineage and Mallochs of the Ardeonaig lineage in the Drummond lands along Strath Earn between St Fillans and Comrie.

Land ownership was significant in the context of 16th century inflation. Fiar’s prices of oatmeal in the eastern burghs rose from 25s per boll in the 1550s to a peak of 200s per boll in the late 1580s, (the peak appears to suggest unusual shortages and prices averaged around 150s a boll in the 1620s). Although the evidence of Edinburgh prices and wages is fragmentary and not directly relevant to Highland conditions, wheat bread rose from 1d in 1530 to 12d in 1600; day labourer rates rose from 1d in 1530 to 5d in 1600. [99]   While this may indicate economic distress among wage-earners, it also accounts for an increase in prosperity of those many land-owners who built new chateaux in the later 16th century, notably Cailean liath, who added to Kilchurn and built Edinample. [100] He built Balloch in 1559 on land which up to 1552 had been occupied by the MacGregor ruling lineage [101] . His son, Donnchadh dubh, built Finlarig, Achallader, Benderloch, Barcaldine and made more additions to Kilchurn. [102] Menzies of Weem could not have been deprived of income by MacGregor occupation of Rannoch since he substantially enlarged his house between 1572 and 1577. [103]    

The misery of inflation could prove a bonanza for landowners. If they borrowed to purchase land, inflation increased the land value while diminishing the real debt. Rentals in kind also left the landlord with the profit from the increase in the price of food.   The Glenorchy lairds’ modus operandi was first to acquire the bailiary and tenancy of crown demesne or former church lands for which term rentals had to be paid. Increasingly in the later 16th century these lands were granted in feu-ferm for fixed perpetual feu-duties whose real value reduced with inflation. As an illustration of the increased value of land, in 1480, 10 merklands of Morenish paid 10 merks in rent to Menzies of Weem. [104] At that time most of the remaining 20 merklands appear to have been occupied by Griogair MacDhonnchaidh bhig (312) of the Roro lineage. In 1602, Donnchadh dubh purchased the 54 merklands of Morenish, Crannich, Auchmore and Kenknock for 28000 merks. [105] Assuming a valuation of thirty times rental, [106] lands worth around 1600 merks in 1480 were worth seventeen times as much in 1602, or £345 per merkland. The sale of Glen Strae in 1624 valued each merkland at £500. 

Campbell/MacGregor expansion was both military and economic. ‘Military’ suggests a degree of violence, as in the forcible occupation of Rannoch from 1523. [107] The tenancy or at least bailiary of lands subject to Clan Gregor occupation might subsequently be granted to Campbell lords as the most able to ensure their ‘gude rewle’. The Campbells did not succeed in wresting Rannoch from Menzies. However, late in the 16th century, the Glenorchy lairds acquired lands with MacGregor tenants around Loch Tay, such as Duneaves from Moncrieff of that ilk. [108] Economic warfare reduced the income of rival lord, by the burning of crops and theft of livestock. Cailean liath was criticised for the destruction his men wrought in Strathearn under the excuse of letters of fire and sword against Clan Gregor in 1564. [109] Cailean liath had previously acquired some Strathearn lands, but more would follow. [110] Similarly, he received the manrent of the surviving MacLarens in Balquhidder in 1558, [111] shortly after the MacGregor raid that destroyed 18 MacLaren households and occupied their farms, despite the MacLaren’s long-standing dependence on Argyll. [112] It seems unlikely that this occurred without Argyll’s agreement. Lords were often heavily indebted, so that the economic damage of a major raid might induce a sale to the expanding Campbells. This must have been the intention in Rannoch though it did not happen, but the dislocation caused by MacGregor-Campbell disputes may have been the inducement for the sale of his Loch Tayside lands by Menzies of Weem in 1602.  It may have been Argyll’s intention to use the financial losses to Colquhoun of Luss caused by MacGregor raids in 1602 in order to acquire his lands.

While it appears that Clan Gregor lineages occupied all of the 32-merklands of Rannoch and the 30-merklands of Fearnan, it is less clear how much of the 30 merklands of Morenish they occupied. Menzies of Weem wadset most of Morenish to the Glenorchy Campbells (who appear to have had a residence in Easter Morenish) from at least 1488. [113] In the Chronicle of Fothergill, Gregor Duncanbegson (312) died at Morenish in 1503, and his brother Padraig ruadh (315) in 1522. [114] The lineage of Alasdair odhar (31241), murdered by Donnchadh ladasach in 1551 for giving his manrent to Cailean liath, probably held only 10-merklands of Wester Morenish.  Morenish was then held by Padraig dubh (222114) [115] and subsequently by the sons of Eoghan (2111113), ‘tutor of Glenstrae’. ‘Gregour MacGregour of Moiris’ featured in a removal process of 1595 and ‘Gregor, John dow, and Duncan MacEwne in Moirninche’, sons of Eoghan tutor of Glenstrae, are specified in a 1602 Luss list. [116] On surrender in 1611 [117] and remission by the King in 1613, [118] the designation of (21111133) ‘Duncane Dowglas formerly surnamed McGregour’ was ‘of Morinsche’. An 18th century stone in Killin old kirkyard to ‘John MacGregor Tomachrochar’ showed that MacGregors remained in Morenish.

The relative quietness of the Privy Council and Justiciary records with regard to the deeds of the Clan Gregor from the early 1570s up to the death of Cailean liath in 1583 suggest that having executed Griogair ruadh, he had achieved his objective of bringing most of the Clan Gregor into dependence upon him. It could be argued that local lordship functioned quietly and effectively in the absence of interference from the Government of the child James VI. For example a bond of Cailean liath in 1580 binds the fine of Clan Gregor to ensure that two clansmen who had taken or killed cattle from Glen Orchy would undergo two years exile from Scotland. [119] Either way there does not appear to have been a ‘Clan Gregor problem’. Among other references, ‘Gregor McDougall alias McGregour’ (411121) was presented to the office of reader at Moulin in 1576 and ‘Gregour McEane in Brakley’ (222311) witnessed Glenorchy bonds in 1578. [120] The modus vivendi appears to have changed on the accession in 1583 of Donnchadh dubh, self-styled ‘blakest laird in all the land’. [121] Among his first actions were renewals of bonds of Manrent with some of the fine of Clan Gregor and others. [122] In January 1584/5 the Privy Council fulminated, in an ominous portent, that his Majesties’

good and peaceable subjects inhabiting the countries of the Lennox, Menteith, Struilingschyre, and Stratherne are heavily oppressed by reif, stouth, sorning, and other crimes, dayly and nightly used upon them by certain thieves, lymmers, and sorners lately broke loose upon them furth of the braes of the countries next adjacent. [123]

In 1586, 103 named members of the Clan Gregor were put to the horn for unspecified acts of theft. [124]

Beginning in July 1587 [125] up until 1602, the Sheriff Court Books of Perth contain a series of actions for removal of MacGregor tenants. That these were often futile is demonstrated by the failure of Robertson of Strowan to remove ‘Allaster McGregour clerich’ (41152) from the 3-merkland of Croftnalin in Fearnan despite finding against him in 1588, 1595, 1599 and 1601; likewise Neil MacCondochy (321112) from the 5-merkland of Fearnan in 1589, 1595, 1597 and 1601; Duncan MacAllaster VicAllaster (3214113) from the 3-merkland of Fearnan Tomintivoir in 1589, 1595, 1597 and 1601; and William McNeill VcEwin (321121) from the 7-merkland of Boreland of Fearnan in 1588, 1595, and 1601. The 5-merkland of Stronfernan occupied by John dow MacAllaster (3214111) was the subject of removal actions by Strowan in 1595 and 1597. [126] He had been listed in the horning after the death of Drummondernoch in 1590. [127] In April 1601 he was specified in a bond to Argyll as a pledge for the behaviour of the clan while in July 1601 Strowan raised a further action for his removal, specifying a previous attempt in 1599. [128]   Despite the proscription of the clan in 1603 following the Battle of Glen Fruin, Eoin dubh apparently remained in possession. In November 1609, Colquhoun of Luss complained of continued MacGregor aggression against his tenants. [129] The king instituted a determined campaign [130] against MacGregor possessions as evidenced by the tax in 1613 ‘of £60 for every merkland pertaining to them which was possest by the Clangregour at the term of Whitsunday 1610’. [131] In May 1611, the brother of Campbell of Lawers sent the head of ‘John dhu McAllaster McGregour of Stronferna’ to the Council. [132]   In December, he raised an action under the act of 1605 that ‘whoever should apprehend and enter before them any of the name of McGregor ‘quick or dead’ should receive a nineteen years tack of all such lands as were possessed by the person presented’. 

Following arbitration, the Council -

awarded to Campbell a certain sum in silver to be paid by Robertsoun in full discharge of his claim. … the relict and bairns of the said Johnne Dow to be removed therefrom ‘as personis unworthie to brook ony benefit within his Majesteis kingdome’ the Lords declare that it shall be lawful to enter in possession of the said lands without any process of law, and to remove the said widow and her goods furth thereof. [133]

Even this did not remove all MacGregors from Fearnan, although their status had been reduced. In 1621, James Campbell of Lawers was charged as ‘cautioner for Malcolm Robertson in Fernar and other 13 McGregours’. [134]

Processes for removal between 1584 and 1602 named 146 MacGregors, some several times. Were these actions genuinely aimed at removal or were they intended to demonstrate to the government that these MacGregors held their lands in defiance of their landlords who should not, therefore, be subject to the provisions of the general band?

As well as the 20-merkland of Glenstrae, the 32-merklands of Rannoch and the 30-merklands of Fearnan have been mentioned. In addition we find: 10-merklands of Wester Morenish; 8 merks of Kingart and half of the 4-merks of Innerzeldie in Glen Lednock; 4-merks of Auchnacroftie at Balloch [135] ; 40-shillingland of Bynzemoir in Glen Dochart; [136] 5-merklands of Ardchoille (part of the 20-merklands in Glen Dochart); the 40-shillingland of Roro, in Glen Lyon; 5-merklands of Glenveich and 4-merklands of Mewie in Strathearn; 2.5-merklands of Stronvar, as well as Invernentie and Blairvoir, also in Balquhidder. Settlement sites of unspecified extent are also recorded, such as Duneaves and Glenalmond. The purchases of Donnchadh dubh in 1602 suggested an approximate valuation of £44,000 for 126 merklands. With the exception of Glen Strae and, for a time, Glen Lednock, Clan Gregor lineages did not possess heritable title to these lands. They occupied them as tenants but it can only be speculated whether they deprived their charter lords of the benefit of them.  No actions for removal were discovered against the Clann Dubhghaill chèir in Strath Gartney and Glengyle in Callendar parish. Stirling Sheriff Court records do not survive for this period so it is not known whether any removals were attempted in Craigrostan and Stukenroy in Buchanan parish. [137] The Clandoulcheire was included in the 1586 and 1590 hornings and ten of them were numbered among those executed in 1604 and 1612. They remained in Glen Gyle and Balquhidder until the 19th century. Members of the MacRob lineage in Strathyre were listed in 1586 and 1590, put to the horn in 1605 and summoned to compeir before the Council in 1610, but there is no record of actions for their removal and they remained in Strathyre during the 17th century, nor for Padraig aulach, in Strathyre, executed in 1604.  The extent of these lands is uncertain but may have been, at least, a further 30 merklands. No removal actions against the Mallochs in the 30-merklands of Ardeonaig could be found.

Kingarth in Glen Lednock had been held by the kindred of Padraig Chaoldich (231) as crown tenants, but Cailean liath obtained the superiority in 1566. Donnchadh dubh acquired Dalmarglen in 1596 and purchased Invergeldie in 1625. [138]    In 1591, his son, Colin of Ardbeith raised an action for removal of MacGregor tenants, which Padraig ammonach (231213) defended claiming that

Because that Duncan Paterson alias McGregor his guidsir Deit heritably Rentalit in the landis libellit to our souerane lord And the said Patrik as Air, at the leist aperand Air, to his said umquhile guidsir, as succeeding to him hes brukit the saidis landis thir diverss zeiris bygane And payit the few malles & Dewties to the comptrollers his collectouris, And therfour be the prevelege of the said rentall and daylie practis observit in faouris of all kyndlie possessouris of landis haulden of his Majestie & therefore newayis aucht to be removed. [139]

He was ‘decerned to flit’, but a May 1598 decreet for payment against his son ‘Gregour McGregour in Kingart in Glenleidnoch, son of umqle Patrik Ammonach McGregour’ [140] indicates that he had not. In 1621, ‘John Drummond of Innerzeldie, and six other McGregouris’ were cited to appear before the Council. [141] Members of the Glenlednock lineage and the Mallochs of Roro-Ardeonaig had spread throughout the Drummond lands in the strath from St Fillans to Comrie by the late 16th century. [142] The lineage became closely associated with the Drummonds with many adopting that name in 1603.

Having dispossessed the Campbell lineage of Glen Falloch, Donnchadh dubh enfeoffed his son Robert in March 1596. This was followed by actions for removal of various tenants in July 1597, including Donnchadh abrach (2221111) in the 5-merkland of Ardchoille in Glen Dochart; the Macgillecholuims in the 20-shillingland of Clachbretane in Glen Falloch, and Glenstrae’s uncle, Donnchadh na ghlinne (2111115), from the 3-merkland of Innerchaggany in Strath Fillan. These were ignored as the same three were put to the horn for non-compliance in July 1599. [143] The Glenorchy rent book of 1602 does not show any MacGregor tenants in Innerchaggany or in Glen Orchy. [144]   In April 1604, Robert Campbell of Glen Falloch ‘slew Duncane Abroch McGregour with his sone Gregore in Ardchyllie’ at the skirmish of Beinn Todhaig. [145] Glen Dochart was not included in the rental, but although still described as ‘in Ardchyllie’ in 1603, Donnchadh abrach had entered into a 19-year tack of 2.5-merklands of Lairge in Menteith from Shaw of Knokhill in 1602. [146]

Processes were raised by Donnchadh dubh against twenty-nine named MacGregors between 1590 and 1599. The first seven, in August 1590 when the entire clan had been at the horn, had been aimed at the ruling lineage in the 20-merk lands of Glen Strae. [147] It can be assumed that these processes were not successful as Donnchadh dubh burned Glen Strae in 1611 and the dispute would not be settled until 1624. In July 1595, Donnchadh dubh raised an action against ‘Gregour McEane in Brackley’, (222311) recently dispossessed as his hereditary constable of Kilchurn. The lineage had been servants of the Campbells of Glen Orchy since the 1440s. One tenant in ‘Moiris’ (Morenish on Loch Tayside) was also cited. [148] In June 1599, Glenorchy raised further actions against ‘Duncan abrach and Gregor McEane’ with his sons, and other tenants in unspecified locations. [149] It was likely that Donnchadh dubh genuinely intended to remove them and probably succeeded. [150] In his 1602 rental, only three probable MacGregors remained, all in Glen Lochay. [151] One of them, ‘Johnne dow McPatrik vy’ (?), was listed as a member of the clan in 1611. [152] Descendants of Gregor MacEane continued as feuars in Brackley and were mentioned there as Jacobites in the 1680s. [153]

Campbell of Lawers raised an action against six tenants of the merkland of Duncroisk Mylne in Glen Lochay in 1587. [154] The principal MacGregor tenant, Donnchadh odhar (2223121), remained ‘in Duncroisk’ in the horning of 1590. [155]   James, Commendator of Inchaffray raised actions in 1589 and 1598, and at least one tenant appeared on both occasions [156] . John Murray of Tullibardin raised actions against two MacGregor tenants in Invernentie, Balquhidder in 1592 and one of them is named again with five others in 1599 [157] . Menzies of Weem raised actions against 27 MacGregor tenants in May 1595. [158] He had complained about unruly MacGregor tenants since 1523, but they remained in Rannoch into the 19th century. 

Clan Gregor military capabilities proved useful to other lords, with MacGregors cited in legal actions as being in the service of Tullibardin, [159] Lord Drummond [160] and especially Argyll. [161] The Act of Council of August 1621 stated that

landlords who suffer any of the Clangregour to dwell upon their land and take maill and duty, plaint and court of them shall be answerable for them, and their doings, seeing sundry landlords set their land to the Clangregour for a greater rent, than poor men are able to pay which is easy for them seeing that they take from all men. [162]

Though from a strongly biased source, this implies the passive enjoyment of the profits by landlords as well as their active employment of members of the clan in illegal activities. The Clan’s historic role had been the exploitation of local weaknesses in the service of the expanding Campbells. Some elements of Clan Gregor may simply have found new masters for their hereditary activities. However, the evidence suggests that the majority of the clan were substantial farmers, and that state policy ultimately turned them into landless bandits. Donnchadh dubh had apparently succeeded by 1603 in reducing the status of the MacGregors remaining on his own lands, but he may have been content to use the disorder created by state sponsored actions against MacGregors elsewhere to weaken the landlords for his own benefit. The success of this policy is apparent in the vast possessions of his descendants, the Earls, Marquises and Dukes of Breadalbane.  

This review has demonstrated the remarkable lack of success of the landlords, with the partial exception of Donnchadh dubh, in removing their MacGregor tenants. MacGregor armed strength may have ensured defiant possession. However, armed occupation alone does not grow crops or rear livestock which are vulnerable to destruction and removal, demonstrated by the MacLean raid on Rannoch in 1598, for which Griogair ruadh made a successful but pointless action for restitution [163] and complained in 1604 that the raid had been ordered by Argyll in order to pressurise him. [164] The complaint of Donnchadh dubh that Clan Gregor were ‘reset by the baronis and gentilmen of the cuntry’ [165] in both Argyll and Atholl in 1590 when these gentlemen had been commanded by the Council to ‘concur, and fortifie and assist the said Sir Duncane, under the pain of being reputed art and part with the said Clan’ [166] suggests considerable support in the community which seems inconsistent with their claimed reputation for brigandage and coercion. It may be that the landlords did not intend the actual removal of MacGregor tenants, but had to be in a position to prove that they had tried. There is little doubt that Cailean liath and Donnchadh dubh intended to reduce Clan Gregor lineages into absolute dependence on themselves, but except for their vindictive pursuit of recalcitrant individuals, it does not appear that their intention was extermination.


[78] R.A. Dodgshon, 8.

[79] M.D.W. MacGregor, ‘A Political History ’, 241-2.

[80] R. Dodgshon, 85.

[81] M.D.W. MacGregor, ‘A Political History, 408.

[82] M.D.W. MacGregor, ‘A Political History, 406.

[83] M.D.W. MacGregor, ‘A Political History’, 410.

[84] NAS G.D.112/1/401, ‘Names of the Householders of the Clangregor and their landlords’.

[85] NAS G.D.50/187/2  Horning dated 10th June 1602, inhibitions, vol.1 fo.86.

[86] A.G.M. MacGregor, History of Clan Gregor, vol i, 252-253, Lord High Treasurer’s Books.

[87] M.D.W. MacGregor, ‘A Political History’, 407.

[88] A.G.M. MacGregor, History of the Clan Gregor, throughout.

[89] M.D.W. MacGregor, ‘A Political History’, 412.

[90] P.G.B. McNeill & H.L. MacQueen, (Eds) Atlas of Scottish History to 1707, (Edinburgh, 1996), 284.

[91] P.G.B. McNeill & H.L. MacQueen, Atlas of Scottish History, 284.

[92] P.G.B. McNeill & H.L. MacQueen, Atlas of Scottish History, 285.

[93] P.G.B. McNeill & H.L. MacQueen, Atlas of Scottish History, 285.

[94] P.G.B. McNeill & H.L. MacQueen, Atlas of Scottish History, 298.

[95] J. Christie, The Lairds and Lands of Loch Tayside, (Aberfeldy, 1892), 60.

[96] M.D.W. MacGregor, ‘A Political History’, 268.

[97] M.D.W. MacGregor, ‘A Political History’, 272.

[98] J. Christie, The Lairds and Lands of Loch Tayside, 75-79.

[99] P.G.B. McNeill & H.L. MacQueen, Atlas of Scottish History, 326-8.

[100] C. McKean, The Scottish Chateau, The Country House of Renaissance Scotland (Stroud, 2001), 116.

[101] M.D.W. MacGregor, ‘A Political History’, 156.

[102] C. McKean, The Scottish Chateau, 105.

[103] C. McKean, The Scottish Chateau, 131-133.

[104] J. Christie, The Lairds and Lands of Loch Tayside, 49.

[105] J. Christie, The Lairds and Lands of Loch Tayside, 44.

[106] M.H.B. Sanderson, Scottish Rural Society in the 16th Century, (Edinburgh, 1982), 154.

[107] M.D.W. MacGregor, ‘A Political History’, 126.

[108] M.D.W. MacGregor, ‘A Political History’, 211.

[109] M.D.W. MacGregor, ‘A Political History’, 331.

[110] M.D.W. MacGregor, ‘A Political History’, 215.

[111] M.D.W. MacGregor, ‘A Political History’, 218.

[112] J. Stewart, The Settlements of Western Perthshire: Land and Society North of the Highland Line 1480-1851, (Haddington, 1990), 48.

[113] M.D.W. MacGregor, ‘A Political History’, 148.

[114] J. Christie, The Lairds and Lands of Loch Tayside, 49.

[115] M.D.W. MacGregor, ‘A Political History’, 162.

[116] RPC, vol vi, 1599-1604, 484.

[117] A.G.M. MacGregor, History of Clan Gregor, vol i, 394.

[118] A.G.M. MacGregor, History of Clan Gregor, vol i, 427, Privy Seal record 21st dec 1613.

[119] NAS, G.D.112/1/225

[120] A.G.M. MacGregor, History of Clan Gregor, vol i, 170-1.

[121] NAS, G.D.112/22/2 written on flyleaf.

[122] A.G.M. MacGregor, History of Clan Gregor, vol i, 176.

[123] RPC, vol iii, 718.

[124] A.G.M. MacGregor, History of Clan Gregor, vol i, 177-180.

[125] A.G.M. MacGregor, History of Clan Gregor, vol i, 181.

[126] A.G.M. MacGregor, History of Clan Gregor, vol i, 245 and 250.

[127] RPC, vol iv, 1585-92, 509-510.

[128] A.G.M. MacGregor, History of Clan Gregor, vol i, 269 and 273.

[129] A.G.M. MacGregor, History of Clan Gregor, vol i, 353.

[130] RPC, vol ix, 1610-13, 46-49; A.G.M. MacGregor, History of Clan Gregor, vol i, 389-92

[131] A.G.M. MacGregor, History of Clan Gregor, vol i, 420, Lord High Treasurer’s Books.

[132] A.G.M. MacGregor, History of Clan Gregor, vol i, 382

[133] RPC, vol ix, 1610-13, 302; A.G.M. MacGregor, History of Clan Gregor, vol i, 394.

[134] A.G.M. MacGregor, History of Clan Gregor, vol i, 445,. Treasurer’s books.

[135] A.G.M. MacGregor, History of Clan Gregor, vol i, 170, Court of Session decreets 1574.

[136] A.G.M. MacGregor, History of Clan Gregor, vol i, 171, Privy seal.

[137] NAS; Perth Sheriff Court records for the late 16th century but Stirling Sheriff Court records have not survived

[138] M.D.W. MacGregor, ‘A Political History’, 217.

[139] A.G.M. MacGregor, History of Clan Gregor, vol i, 227, sheriff books of Perth.

[140] A.G.M. MacGregor, History of Clan Gregor, vol i, 250, court of session decreet.

[141] A.G.M. MacGregor, History of Clan Gregor, vol i, 446, payment to messenger with letters.

[142] M.D.W. MacGregor, ‘A Political History’, 98.

[143] A.G.M. MacGregor, History of Clan Gregor, vol i, 249; Reg Hornings, Perth.

[144] NAS. G.D.112/9/7, Rental book for East and West Loch Tay, and Glen Orchy.

[145] A.G.M. MacGregor, History of Clan Gregor, vol i, 335; Black Book of Taymouth.

[146] NAS. G.D.112/10/1/1/20, Tack by Shaw of Knokhill.

[147] A.G.M. MacGregor, History of Clan Gregor, vol i, 222, Court of Session decreet.

[148] A.G.M. MacGregor, History of Clan Gregor, vol i, 245, Court of Session decreet.

[149] A.G.M. MacGregor, History of Clan Gregor, vol i, 253, Sheriff Books of Perth.

[150] NAS. G.D.112/9/7, Rental book for East and West Loch Tay, and Glen Orchy.

[151] NAS. G.D.112/9/7, Rental book for East and West Loch Tay, and Glen Orchy.

[152] A.G.M. MacGregor, History of Clan Gregor, vol i, 394, Treasurers Books.

[153] A.G.M. MacGregor, History of Clan Gregor, vol ii, 179-182.

[154] A.G.M. MacGregor, History of Clan Gregor, vol i, 181, Sheriff Books of Perth.

[155] A.G.M. MacGregor, History of Clan Gregor, vol i, 207, RPC, vol iv, 453-55.

[156] A.G.M. MacGregor, History of Clan Gregor, vol i, 182 and 251, Sheriff Books of Perth.

[157] A.G.M. MacGregor, History of Clan Gregor, vol i, 235 and 253, Sheriff Books of Perth.

[158] A.G.M. MacGregor, History of Clan Gregor, vol i, 241, Court of Session decreet.

[159] RPC, vol v, 1592-99, 518. A.G.M. MacGregor, History of Clan Gregor, vol i, 252.

[160] RPC, vol vi 1599-1604, 96, A.G.M. MacGregor, History of Clan Gregor, vol i, 261.

[161] A.G.M. MacGregor, History of Clan Gregor, vol i, 246-7, Record of Justiciary.

[162] A.G.M. MacGregor, History of Clan Gregor, vol i, 442; RPC, vol xii, Aug 1621.

[163] A.G.M. MacGregor, History of Clan Gregor, vol i, 250. Court of Session decreet.

[164] A.G.M. MacGregor, History of Clan Gregor, vol i, 321, The Laird of McGregours declaration.

[165] A.G.M. MacGregor, History of Clan Gregor, vol i, 224, RPC, vol iv, 541.

[166] A.G.M. MacGregor, History of Clan Gregor, vol i, 222, RPC, vol iv, p509-10.