Perthshire Scotland > Scottish Clan Names > MacGregor

Edinample Castle - originally MacGregor lands Traditional MacGregor lands lay along west Perthshire and across to Loch Awe. By supporting Robert the Bruce, Campbells were given huge tracts of land in Argyll and Perthshire which had previously been MacGregor. MacGregors were forced to live in the poorest remoter areas of what became Campbell land. There was never really peace between the Campbells and MacGregors. During the 16thC the Campbells even tried to establish a 'tame' line of MacGregor chiefs under their control!

James VI was married in 1598. A Royal Forrester, John Drummond, was to provide venison for the feast. While hunting he was set upon and killed by MacDonalds from Glencoe. They later arrived at the Stewarts of Ardvorlich beside Loch Earn on their way home demanding refreshments. To her horror the lady of the house saw the head of her dead brother John and never recovered from the shock. Further on their journey, they met with MacGregors of Balquhidder who sided with and swore to support the MacDonalds; MacGregors had been hanged by Drummond for poaching. This act and other 'offenses' around the beginning of the 17thC resulted in more than a century of slaughter and persecution of MacGregors.

MacGregors fought in support of Montrose in his rebellion for Charles I. In gratitude Charles II later repealed the proscription on the surname MacGregor. However, with the denise of the Stuart monarchs it was re-proscribed when William IV became king.

Robert 'Roy' MacGregor (1671-1734) was given the nickname 'Ruadh' / 'Roy' because of his wild red hair. At 18 he took part in the battle of Killiecrankie where Jacobites under the command of Viscount Dundee opposed the replacement of their Stuart King with William of Orange.

Rob Roy visited the town of Crieff on many occasions, often to sell cattle. In the second week of October 1714 the Highlanders gathered in Crieff for the annual market. Civil war was expected at any time. By day Crieff was also full of soldiers and government spies! Just after midnight, Rob Roy and his men marched to Crieff Town Square and rang the Town bell. In front of the gathering crowd sang Jacobite songs and drank a good many loyal toasts to their uncrowned King James VIII.

Rob Roy unually used the surname Campbell. His wife was a Campbell and he enjoyed, to some extent, the protection of that Clan. In the 1715 he initially fought on the Jacobite side and his MacGregors raided the lands around Loch Lomond. However his benefactor the Duke of Argyll had chosen the Government side and Rob Roy with mixed allegiances was forced to miss the Battle of Sheriffmuir. Even so he became a marked man and was hunted for almost 10 years escaping capture on several occasions.

In 1725 he surrendered to General Wade, the great builder of roads in the Highlands, narrowly missed transportation to the colonies and was pardoned to end his days at Balquhidder.

The proscription of the surname was finally repealed in 1774. © 2004
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