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Roy MacGregor 1671-1734

The character and exploits of Robert MacGregor (the 'Roy' meaning 'red' referred to his hair colour) have been more than usually obscured by later legends, stories and films. The real Rob Roy was essentially a cattle dealer and freebooter inhabiting the southern edge of the Highland Line, but his strong personality and picturesque life of banditry, capture and escape caught the imagination of the public even during his lifetime. The MacGregors had a centuries-old reputation for wrong-doing, and in 1603, the entire clan had been outlawed. Rob himself, born in 1671 at Glengyle at the head of Loch Katrine, won a reputation for himself as an expert and reasonably legitimate cattle dealer, though this was supported by a kind of protection racket common enough in that business at that time and place. Thus - for a price - he would guarantee the safety of the cattle belonging to his 'clients', and was at least as good as his word, for he gained still more of a reputation by his skill in tracking down and retrieving cattle stolen by others. The glens of the Southern Highlands were much more populous than they are today, and where now there are only scant traces of cottage foundations or vast conifer plantations, sizeable communities lived a reasonably stable existence. Far from being a kind of Highland savage, Rob Roy was a man of some substance and education, responsible for the well-being of the extended family around him. His cattle droving business prospered to the extent that his landlord, the Marquess of Montrose invested in it and reaped his share of the profits, and in 1712 advanced the then enormous sum of 1,000. This was when events took a downward turn, for the money was stolen by an associate who then disappeared and Rob Roy himself was inevitably accused of the crime. When he decided it would not be prudent to appear in response to a court summons, he was officially declared outlaw, and Montrose swiftly dispatched troops to Rob's Loch Lomondside home of Craigrostan, where his wife and children were evicted and the house set alight. Having been thus named an outlaw, and outraged at the ensuing consequences, Rob decided that he would react by accepting the role in earnest, and commenced the audacious banditry that would make him famous. Leading his followers, all of whom were adept at the guerrilla-like tactics of the cattle reiver, he chose the lands and property of Montrose as his prime targets. The political situation aided him now, for the powerful Campbell Duke of Argyll, a rival of Montrose, provided habitation for Rob and his family on his own estates. Argyll was a staunch supporter of the new Hanoverian dynasty, and it was perhaps for this reason that Rob Roy and his followers, although Jacobites themselves, played no active part in the 1715 uprising or the Battle of Sheriffmuir which ended the rebellion in the Hanoverians' favour. While these national events were happening, the private war between Rob Roy and Montrose continued. Rob and his men kidnapped Graham of Killearn, the Marquess's factor and imprisoned

him on a small island on Loch Katrine for ransom. Contrary to the myth of being bloodthirsty barbarians, which had been promoted by Montrose, Roy allowed the factor to go unharmed when the ransom demand was refused. However, things seemed to be going the way of the Marquess when Rob was captured in the Trossachs and taken towards Stirling Castle. While crossing the Ford of Frew on the River Forth, Rob made a dramatic leap from his captor's horse, and swam to safety in the gathering dusk, pursued by a fusillade of musket shots. This story would lose nothing in the retelling and added to Rob Roy's growing heroic stature; more immediately, it caused the disheartened Montrose to give up his pursuit. However, another noble adversary soon emerged in shape of the Duke of Atholl. This time, there was nothing personal involved, simply the chance of gaining reputation and advancement by bringing such a notorious outlaw to justice, while at the same time, discrediting his old adversary, Argyll. Captured again, apparently by some treachery on the part of Atholl, Rob Roy made yet another audacious escape, this time from the prison at Logierait in Perthshire, and continued his harassment of both Montrose and Atholl. There was no melodramatic finale to these events, and Rob was able to make his peace with the authorities after the death of Atholl in 1724. Contrary to all expectations, the demise of Rob Roy was not by sword, gun or gallows; he died peacefully at his home in Balquhidder, having lived well into his sixties. Even during his own lifetime the dramatic possibilities of Rob Roy's story had been recognised by no less a writer than Daniel Defoe. But he was really 'discovered' by Sir Walter Scott, visiting the area only some sixty years after Rob Roy's death. In the novel Rob Roy which Scott subsequently wrote, Rob is in fact a secondary figure in a fictional tale of romance and Jacobite plotting. Due to public interest, Scott added more factual anecdotes as addenda to later editions of the best-selling novel. The growing legend was aided by its picturesque locations in the relatively accessible areas of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs which were then finding their tourist potential (also thanks in large part to Scott). Numerous theatrical presentations and film versions followed; the most recent and by far the most successful was the exaggerated but convincingly staged 1995 film, Rob Roy, starring Liam Neeson. .

Birth: Feb. 1, 1671 Death: Dec. 28, 1734 Folk Figure. Born Raibert Ruadh M'Gregor at Glengyle, at the head of Loch Katrine, the third son of Donald of Glengyle, a clan chieftain, and Margaret Campbell. He married Mary Helen MacGregor of Comar in Glenarklet in 1693. Records name four sons; James, Ranald, Coll; and Robin Oig, or Young Rob. Although Rob was a clan war chief he was never clan chief himself, but Laird of Inversnaid a position held at the sufferance of the Duke of Montrose, his patron. Rob followed the respectable

career of cattle dealer. Between 1691-1712, Rob led a prosperous life and Montrose granted him the rights to the properties of Inversnaid and Glengyle. After 1712 a depression and famine hit the highlands and Rob lost his house, lands and the patronage of Montrose. He exchanged the life of cattle dealer for that of bandit and Montrose for Argyll. He became the Duke of Argylls enforcer and established a very early form of protection racket payment kept a mans cattle on his own lands. During the Jacobite Uprising of 1715 Rob acted as a Jacobite guide for the march from Perth to Dunblane but after the rising of 1715 collapsed, Rob wrote that the rebellion had been forced upon him. He also said that he supplied Argyll (his patron who remained on the opposing side) with intelligence as to the strength and composition of the Jacobite army. Rob continued his career as a brigand and his exploits included the kidnap of Montrose's factor, John Graham of Killearn. During his life, Rob was captured more than once but managed to escape each time. In 1726 he received a full pardon for his activities. He retired to his home, a legend in his own time. He died at home in Inverlochlarig Beg, Balquhidder, at the age of 63. He was buried In Balquhidder Kirkyard. The ornamental bronze rail round his grave gives his age incorrectly as 70. His epitaph MacGregor Despite Them is a reference to the proscription of his clan name. (bio by: Iola)

"Children of the Mist" The first Gregor in Scotland was said to have been a son of King Kenneth MacAlpin in the 8th century and the clan motto, in Gaelic, means "My race is royal". The clan MacGregor is reputed to be one of the oldest in Scotland and became established in Argyll and Perthshire, in Glenorchy, Glenstrae and Glenlochy - the clan probably built the original Kilchurn Castle at the Pass of Brander near Glenstrae. But Robert the Bruce granted a substantial part of the MacGregor lands to his close friend and supporter Neil Campbell. Over the centuries, the expansionist Campbells and the MacGregors were in frequent conflict and as the Campbell's very often had the ear of the monarch, the MacGregors were often the losers. Over the years, the MacGregors gradually lost title to their lands and became tenants of the more powerful Campbells. In order to survive, the MacGregors, like many other clans, often had to resort to raids on neighbouring land, stealing cattle and anything else worth taking. Since the MacGregor lands were on the edge of the Highlands, there were often soft targets in the richer lands of the Central Lowlands to the south, in Stirlingshire. But they were not averse to raiding other clan lands - in 1558 many MacLarens, including their chief, were murdered during a MacGregor raid. In 1590, the clan chief was held responsible for the murder of John Drummond, the king's forester (who in turn had hanged some MacGregors for poaching) - even though the chief was not involved in the killings. However, he was pardoned by King James VI in 1596. But in 1602 two MacGregors were refused hospitality by Sir Alex Colquhoun at Luss, on the banks of Loch Lomond. This may have been related to an incident in 1592 when the

MacGregors fired an arrow which killed Sir Humphrey Colquhoun. But the insult of being refused hospitality had to be revenged and the MacGregors attacked Rossdhu Castle, killed two men and removed a few hundred cows and other livestock. The Colquhoun chief took the matter to the King (with a suitably embellished story). Matters were not helped when the two clans met soon after in a battle at Glen Fruin and 800 Colquhouns were badly beaten by a MacGregor band of half that number. The matter was again reported to the Privy Council in Edinburgh and in April 1603 the name of MacGregor was banned. Anyone continuing to use it could be sentenced to death and the clan chief was hanged in Edinburgh. Rob Roy's Early Years It was against this background that Rob Roy MacGregor was born in 1671 in a cottage on the banks of Loch Katrine (pictured here) in the Trossachs area of Stirlingshire. He was the third son of Donald Glas of Glengyle and Margaret Campbell. Rob Roy would later use his mother's surname when the banning of the MacGregor name was reinforced. As the son of a senior member of the clan, he was well educated, not just in reading and writing but in the crafts of fighting and swordsmanship. While Gaelic was his native tounge, he spoke (and wrote) in English also. Rob obtained land on the east side of Loch Lomond near Inversnaid but augmented his meagre living there with both cattle rustling and cattle droving. Cattle owners who paid "black rent" or "black meal" (the origin of the word blackmail) would have their cattle protected by Rob and his fellow MacGregors. Since they were often the cattle rustlers, paying to have them protect your cattle could be beneficial! The MacGregors, including Rob Roy, continued to support the deposed King James VII against William of Orange and Queen Mary. When John Graham of Claverhouse, Viscount Dundee (also known as "Bonnie Dundee"), raised an army in support of James (and his Jacobite cause), the MacGregors joined him. Rob Roy and his father fought at the Battle of Killiecrankie on 27 July, 1689 and although both sides lost many men, Rob and Donald Glas survived. During the following winter, however, Donald Glas was captured on a cattle raid and imprisoned. To eke out their low income, the MacGregors formed the "Lennox Watch" to protect cattle and on one occasion Rob restored cattle which had been stolen (by the MacRaes) to their rightful owner, the Campbell Earl of Breadalbane. This raised Rob's status and he was called on to protect a number of other estates.


This setion of the website provides a general outline of the history surrounding this part of Scotland. In particular it details some of the key times and events surrounding Rob Roy MacGregor, perhaps the most notorious inhabitant of this region. A fuller listing of the Monarchs of Scotland may help in placing the following history in context.

Rob Roy MacGregor 1671 - 1734 1570 Gregor Roy, chief of the MacGregors executed by the Campbells at Taymouth, then know as Balloch Castle. 1603 Alasdair MacGregor fought against the Colquohouns and this led to his ultimate hanging in 1604 and the proscribing of the MacGregor clan name. 1671 Birth of Rob Roy MacGregor. 1689 Battle of Killicrankie. 1693 Rob Roy married to Mary MacGregor of Comer (cousin). 1707 Union of Scottish and English Parliaments. 1712 Rob Roy declared bankrupt by Duke of Montrose.

1713 Rob Roy moves to Auchinsallen in Glen Dochart till it was destroyed following the 1715-16 uprising. 1713 Rob Roy sheltered in Finlarig Castle by Campbell, Earl of Breadelbane. 1715 Rob Roy captured 22 government guns in Callander. 1715 Jacobite uprising. Battle of Sheriffmuir and raid on Falkland Palace by Rob Roy. 1717 Rob Roy captured at Balquhidder but escapes on way to Stirling, while crossing the Forth, recaptured in Dunkeld and imprisoned in Logierait, then again escaped. 1720 Rob Roy moved to Balquhidder. 1725 Rob Roy submits to George I via General Wade. 1730 Conversion to Catholicism at Drummond Castle. 1734 Rob Roy died in Balquhidder. Rob Roy was the third Son of Donald Glas MacGregor of Glengyle (A direct descendent of the Glenorchy branch) and Margaret Campbell. Donald Glas was a chief of the Clan. The family was involved on the land and as cattle dealers, but in addition Donald Glas was a Jacobite, a supporter of JamesVII and the Stewart line. The MacGregors were also subject to their name being proscribed on

Rob Roy MacGregor

several occasions, this effectively banning MacGregors from using their surname or entering into any legal contracts. This proscription was first established following the killing of the Colquohouns by the MacGregors in Glen Fruin in 1603. King James VI then proclaimed the MacGregor name "altogidder" (abolished). The second time the name was proscribed was in 1689 by William of Orange as a result of the MacGregors part in the Jacobite uprisings. Against this background it was difficult for Rob Roy in the earlier years to establish a stable land base from which to conduct his cattle droving and trading. Rob Roy fought with his father at the Battle of Killicrankie however following this period Donald Glas was captured and imprisoned for several years in Edinburgh. Rob Roy and his oldest brother Iain developed the Lennox Watch, a body of men that would offer protection to cattle owners in return for "blackmail". This protection was effective but where monies were not paid or where there were enemy clans there was regular cattle reiving. By 1701 Iain had died, then Donald Glas died in 1702 and Rob Roy became the effective Chief of the MacGregor Clan. In the following years to 1712 Rob Roy's reputation was growing with the other clan chiefs and cattle traders and he was working in droving and cattle dealing with the Campbells of Breadelbane and then the Marquis of Montrose. So much was he doing that the Marquis lent him 1000 to expand his activities, this being stolen by one of Rob Roy's trusted men, Duncan MacDonald. As he could not repay the loan, Rob Roy was declared bankrupt, failed to respond to a summons and declared an outlaw in 1713. Rob Roy got shelter from the Campbell's of Breadelbane at Finlarig, then fought in the Battle of Sheriffmuir in 1715, and subsequently accused of treason. All the time Rob Roy was a fugitive on the run and lost most of his earlier properties. The Duke of Montrose and the Duke of Atholl were them both active in trying to capture Rob Roy. First the Duke of Montrose captured him in Balquhidder but he made his famous River Forth escape as he was taken to Stirling castle in 1717. He was then recaptured by the Duke of Atholl in Dunkeld as a result of a trick, imprisoned in Logierait but again escaped.

With the support of the Duke of Argyll Rob Roy remained free and in 1724 with the help of the Duke, the death of the Duke of Atholl and a reconciliation with Montrose Rob Roy's days as an outlaw came to an end. He submitted a letter of submission to King George I through General Wade in 1725 this effectively resolving all the issues and allowing Rob Roy to live in relative peace till his death in 1734

Rob Roy's Grave at Balquhidder Kirk - alongside the graves of his wife and two of his sons

There is an opportunity to learn more about Rob Roy and the whole Clan Gregor by accessing the Clan's website Pass of Killiecrankie - Battle of Killiecrankie The Pass of Killiecrankie is a tree lined gorge on the River Garry where the battle was fought on 27 July 1689. The Jacobites were lead by Viscount Dundee - John Graham of Claverhouse with the support of Donald Glas, Rob Roy's father and Rob Roy, then a young supporter of the Jacobite cause. General Hugh MacKay who was moving north from Stirling to recapture Blair River Garry just south of the site of the Battle of Killiecrankie Castle led the government troops. The Government forces had 4000 men, horses and some small cannon, the Jacobites 2500 men. There were extensive losses on both sides but the Jacobites defeated MacKay who retreated and then later reformed with 400 men in Weem. The Macnab Clan During the 15th & 16th Century the Macnabs were powerful in the Killin area with an island command on the small island at the west end of Loch Tay at the point where the Rivers Dochart and Lochay enter. The

clan further south was the Neishes from Loch Earn. The Neishes were cattle thieves and regularly stool from the Macnabs resulting in a clan war in 1522 in the hills between Loch Tay and Loch Earn (general area covered on Callander to Glen Ogle section) of the Way. The clans threw off their plaids and fought naked until the Neishes were almost total destroyed. Legend has it that the lichen covered stones in the Little Port Farm area is still red in colour as a result of the blood spilt by the Clan Neish. 1612 "Tonight is the night - if the lads were the lads!" The Neishes ambushed the Christmas provisions for the Macnabs as they were being transported by ponies from Crieff to Loch Tay. Word of this arrived with the Macnabs and four of the sons set off immediately from Castle of Eilean Ran to the island on Loch Earn where the Neishes lived. This involved using a rowing boat from the Castle on the island at the mouth of the River Lochay and Dochart up to Ardeonaig, then a walk Route back from Loch Earn taken by the MacNab brother with the boat lifted over the heads up to Lochan Breaclaich before descending down Glen Tarken to Loch Earn. The boat was them launched into the Loch and rowed to the Neishes' island where the Neish clan was beheaded. The Macnab brothers returned using the boat with the skulls of the Neishes carried in a sack using the same route up Glen Tarken. The boat was now too heavy and was abandoned. The brothers this time made for the shores of Loch Tay and arrived back the next day to present their spoils. The Clan Chief was anxious about the outcome but Iain Min Macnab cried out "Dread nought" as he arrived, this now forming the slogan on the Clan crest along with a Neish head and the Boat.

The route up from Ardeonaig is on the route of the walk but in the opposite direction, and the return route by the Macnab brothers is likely to have followed the line of the Rob Roy Way from the forest above Killin along the side of Loch Breaclaich to the high point at Ceann Creagach, again in the reverse direction.

Island home of Neishes and behind and right Glen Tarken the route taken by the MacNabs

Francis Macnab - 16th Chief of the Clan 1734 - 1816 Francis was a colourful clan chief who liked to retain the Clan approach although by now most of the Chiefs had moved to a tenant relationship with the local community. He also had a lack of money to support his drinking reputation and it was through gambling and charm that he survived so long. He did not leave any direct heirs but a lot of debt, resulting in the sale Francis Macnab of almost all the Clans land and assets in 1828. Macnab Burial Ground of Inchbuie This is passed on the route that comes directly into Killin. As you cross the bridge at the Falls of Dochart there is an entrance to Inchbuie, a small island in the middle of the river. This is the burial land for the Macnab Clan and it can be accessed in the holiday season by collecting the gate key from the Tourist Information Centre.

MacNab burial ground at the Falls of Dochart

The Birks of Aberfeldy In 1787 the Scottish Bard, Robert Burn was reputed to be in Aberfeldy. He was fond of the Birks and about half way up on the eastern side there is a stone ledge know as Burn's Seat. It is thought that while here he was inspired to pen the song "The Birks of Aberfeldy". In addition to the Burn's connection the area is full of nature beauty and interest. Use the Birks of Aberfeldy link to see a map of the Birks and to read Burn's verse.

Burn's Seat on the side of the Falls of Moness

16th & 17th Century Right of Way In Ardtalnaig at the T junction there is a sign directing walkers to the Sma' Glen and Crieff. This is the route that forms a major part of the section between Ardtalnaig and Amulree (92 mile option). The route is an old drove road and track used many centuries earlier for movement up from Crieff to Loch Tay and northwards. Just to the north of this point on the shore there was a recognised ferry point across to the village of Lawers This was the route taken by the Macnabs to transport Chistmas provision to their Castle of Eilean Ran, this journey being ambushed by the Neishes in 1612. This will also be a route that Rob Roy

Direction post to Crieff from Ardtalnaig

is likely to have used regularly moving cattle to and from the English markets. The Minister of Fairyland This relates to the Rev Robert Kirk (1644 - 1692) who was Minister at Aberfoyle and Balquhidder. Balquhidder Church 1664 - 1685 Aberfoyle 1685 - 1692 In the second charge the manse was located just infront of the Doon Hill. Robert Kirk was known to go out in the evenings and to spend time with his ear to the ground on Doon Hill listening to the Fairies.

Ruins of Balquhidder Church

In 1685 it is reputed that he disappeared into the mound and was pronounced dead. His coffin was buried "without a body" and over a period of time his image was reported as returning and being seen in Aberfoyle. During his time he wrote "The Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns and Fairies" the original copy now being in the Edinburgh University Library".

Robert Kirk's Gravestone with Doon Hill in the background

Mortsafes Made of Cast Iron, these coffins were not intended for anyone to move or to enter. This was the answer to Burke and Hare and the problems of body snatching. What is unusual is the fact that these precautions had to be taken so far from the main teaching hospitals. These coffins are to be seen within direct view from the Rob Roy Way at Kirkton Church as one enters Aberfoyle.

One of Two Mortsafe Coffins at the door of Kirkton Church

The Black Watch Regiment and Memorial The Monument to the Black Watch was unveiled in November 1887 by Gavin Marquis of Breadelbane. The original muster in 1740 was on the opposite side of the River Tay but due to the possibilities of flooding the monument was sited on the "nearest practicable site". The incription reads as follows: The "Highland Watch" (or simply "the Watch") was established following the issue of commissions from King Charles II in 1667 for certain clan chiefs to raise Independent Companies to be a constant guard for securing The Blach Watch Memorial in Aberfeldy the peace of the Highlands and 'to watch upon the braes'. The dark tartans worn by the men of these companies to distinguish them from the "Red Soldiers" led to them becoming known as "Freicaadan Dubh" or "The Black Watch".

These companies were disbanded in 1717 and started up again in 1725 . Starting out as the 43rd Regiment of the Line, it became the 42nd Highland Regiment in 1749. In 1970 the Regiment was given the freedon of the Burgh of Aberfeldy. Campbells of Breadelbane The Campbells history starts in 1432 with Sir Duncan Campbell giving his younger son Colin the lands of Glenorchy. This was the start of a 500 year rise in the influence of the Campbells as they acquired the largest land holding in Britain, covering land from Argyll to Aberfeldy and north to Glen Lyon and south to Amulree. By 1676 John Campbell was granted the title of the Earl of Breadelbane by King Charles II. He was described by a contemporary 'as cunning as an fox, as wise as a serpent but as slippery as an eel'. Following the 1715 Jacobite uprising the clan system started to change and the 2nd and 3rd Earls started to look at improving the systems of farming and introduced flax growing and spinning of lint to the Loch Tay area. This was a time when Loch Tay had a population of over 5000 persons. The 4th Earl was made the 1st Marquis and at this time the Castle at Balloch was demolished and replaced by Taymouth Castle. The difficulties for the Campbells started in the 1920 with increased taxation and the lack of direct descendants. They started to sell off land and property from them until in 1948 when the last land was sold. The 10th Earl is still alive but with no family, living in retirement from a job as laboratory cleaner in London. The population on Loch Tay is now around 100

Taymouth Castle built by 4th Earl of Breadelbane, now empty and surrounded by Taymouth Golf Club.

Grandtully Castle & Pitcairn

Grandtully Castle on the south side of the Tay close to Pitcairn Church was built in the 16th and 17th Centuries, although its predecessor was thought to be built around 1414. The present castle was the seat of the Stewarts of Grandtully. The square keep incorporates a guard room and prison pit below, perhaps much in use in the time of the Jacobite uprisings and the Print of Grandtully Castle - c1880 Clan warfare. The castles other interest is the fact that it was thought to be the model for Tullyvolan in the Sir Walter Scott novel Waverley. This castle is now in private ownership. Pitcairn on the south bank of the Tay has the small white washed church of St Mary. This building has a vaulted timber ceiling with extensive 17th century Renaissance style paintings depicting scriptural scenes and armorial panels. Close by at Lundin is the site of a 2nd century BC burial ground which was excavated in 1963. Logierait Logierait is at the meeting point of the Tay and Tummel Rivers. This was the site for the Royal Hunting seat of King Robert II of Scotland (1371 -1390), it was the Regality Court of the Lords of Atholl and also contained the adjoining prison, some of the stone still being visible on the grounds of the Logierait Hotel. The Courtroom was said to be 70 feet long, and the prison must have been substantial having accommodated 600 prisoners following the Battle of Prestonpans in 1745. The Prison is perhaps more famous for an earlier prisoner, Rob Roy, who managed to escape after only one night in captivity in 1717. Lady of Lawers She lived in the mid 17th Century in Lawers on the north bank of Loch Tay opposite Ardtalnaig. She married into the cadet branch of the Campbell's and they were relatively poor having to lease there dwelling. She was however seen as a seer or predictor of the future and when her first prediction came true she became much respected. The following are a few of the predictions that affect the area around the Rob Roy Way.

A typical ruined croft on the Banks of Loch Tay These ruined crofts are to be seen at frequent intervals, reflecting two of the predictions:"There will be a mill on every stream, and a plough in every field, and the two sides of Loch Tay will become a kail garden." and later on "The homesteads on Loch Tay will be so far apart that a cock will not hear its neighbour crow."

"The ridging stones will never be placed on the roof. (this being of the new church at Lawers 1669) If they are, then all my words as false." - The First Prediction "The tree will grow, and when it reaches the gable the church will be split asunder, and this will also happen when the red cairn on Ben Lawers falls." "When the ash tree reaches the ridge of the church the House of Balloch will be without an heir."

"There will be a mill on every stream, and a plough in every field, and the two sides of Loch Tay will become a kail garden." "The lands will first be sifted then riddled of its people" "The jaws of the sheep will drive the plough from the ground" "The homesteads on Loch Tay will be so far apart that a cock will not hear its neighbour crow." "In time the estates of Balloch will yield only one rent, and then not at all." "The lands of Macnab will be joined to those of Breadelbane when two trees join together on Inchbuie and grow as one" "The last laird will pass over Glenogle with a grey pony leaving nothing behind." The only one prediction still to be fulfilled is: "The time will come when Ben Lawers will become so cold that it will chill and waste the land around for seven miles."

Rob Roy's Gravestone at Balquhidder

Rob Roy the Business Man - And Outlaw With the Jacobite cause getting nowhere, the Secretary of State agreed in 1691 that there would be an armistice - if the clan chiefs agreed to sign an Oath of Allegiance. (It was the late signing of this Oath that led to the massacre of the MacIans, a sept of the clan Donald, in Glen Coe in the following year). Initially, Donald Glas refused to sign but did so after the death of his wife. But after signing, the Privy Council demanded that he pay the cost of his imprisonment. To help pay the money, Rob undertook a raid to steal some cattle from around the village of Kippen. The men from there resisted and one was killed in the ensuing fight. Rob was married to Helen Mary McGregor (a cousin from Comer) on 1 January 1693 at Corryarklet, between Loch Katrine and Loch Lomond. The designated MacGregor chief died the following month without legitimate heir. He had been somewhat weak and had been chief in name only - Donald Glas, Rob's father, had been the real leader. During a visit to Glasgow in December 1695, Rob was arrested for an earlier misdemeanour and was sentenced to be sent to Flanders. But he escaped and returned home. Despite hard times, he managed to prosper and at least five sons survived to manhood. During this time his reputation as a swordsman was enhanced by winning a number of duels - his long arms were said to give him an advantage. As a cattle dealer, Rob was making money buying stock in Scotland and selling them at a profit after taking them to England. But after a number of years of success, in 1712 he borrowed 1,000 from the Duke of Montrose to finance a deal. His chief drover, however, appears to have run off with the money. But Montrose believed that Rob was involved in the loss and although he offered to pay back as much as possible immediately, he was taken to court and declared a bankrupt and a thief. Rather than face imprisonment, Rob head north. Montrose demanded the seizure of Rob's property. It is said that Rob's wife Mary was raped and branded when the soldiers carried out the eviction.

Rob remained at large in the Highlands, evading capture and eventually the Campbell Earl of Breadalbane (an enemy of Montrose) gave him land in Glen Dochart. Rob returned to his previous mixture of lawful "protection" and raids (paying particular attention to the lands of Montrose). During this time he earned a reputation for helping poor people who had financial problems with Montrose - earning him a "Robin Hood" reputation. Later Years Rob Roy played a part in the Jacobite Uprising of 1715 - although he and his men arrived too late for the main battle of the campaign at Sheriffmuir which, marginally, the Jacobites won. But hesitation on the part of the Jacobite leaders and the late arrival of James VIII from France led to the withering of the Uprising. Rob Roy was named in the list of those accused of treason for their part in the Uprising but an amnesty was offered to all if they surrendered. Rob Roy eventually gave up some rusty weapons to the Duke of Argyll - who gave him a house in Glen Shira. Rob Roy continued to raid the lands of the Duke of Montrose who tried on many occasions to capture this thorn in his side. Montrose obtained letters of "Fire and Sword" against Rob Roy McGregor. Montrose did manage to capture Rob Roy at Balquhidder but on the journey back to Stirling, Rob escaped. Then the Duke of Atholl tricked Rob, breaking a promise of safe conduct in the process. Rob was captured but while in prison in Dunkeld he bribed the guards and escaped yet again. In 1720 Rob Roy moved back near Balquhidder (both Montrose and Atholl had given up trying to capture him by this time) and resumed his previous life. In 1723, Daniel Defoe (author of Robinson Crusoe) was in Scotland as an English Government spy and he wrote an embellished account of Rob's adventures entitled "Highland Rogue". This, like the later novel by Sir Walter Scott, helped to enhance his reputation. The last ten years of his life were relatively peaceful. In 1730 he was converted to Catholicism - he had not been a particularly enthusiastic Protestant and his belief in the Jacobite cause may have influenced his decision. Rob died on 28 December 1734 after a short illness. He died as a piper was playing "I shall return no more" for a departing visitor. Rob Roy was buried on New Year's Day, 1735 at Balquhidder in a funeral attended by many clansmen. His wife and two of his sons were later buried in the same grave. His gravestone has a sword carved on it. The gravestone with "MacGregor Despite Them" (shown above) was added in the 1920s.