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The MacGregors of Balhaldies


John Surnamed Vallich, a younger son of Gregor MacGregor of Roro, had seven sons, of whom " Duncan M'Invallich " who as one of the principals of Clan Gregor and descendant of Duncan Lienoch was 22d April 1601 proposed Party in Bail Bond by Allaster M'Gregor of Glenstrae to the Earl of Argyle, King's Lieutenant, in the Bond of Clan Gregor ; and had before 30th August 1603 taken the Surname of Drummond. The latter circumstance appears from record of Privy Seal of the last mentioned date in which he is called Duncan M'Gregor alias M'Invallich and now Drummond. His son Patrick Drummond alias M'Invallich appears in record (particular register of Sasines, Perthshire, 17th August 1617). Patrick purchased the Lands of Balhaldie 9th August 1642 and is styled Patrick Drummond of Culcrieff. He died before 2nd July 1646, for at this date, was "John Drummond of Culcrieff," his eldest son, retoured in the "Glebe and land of the Parish Church of Monzievaird called Hert with the tythes."

To his Younger Son

III. To Duncan he had given his more lately acquired estate of Balhaldie, On the 17th of March 1658 Duncan Drummond of Balhaldie heir Mail of John Drummond of Culcrieff his brother german was retoured in the lands of Culcrieff within the Parochin of Crieff, and Stewartrie of Strathearne, in the Glebe and Kirkland of the Vicar of Monzievaird beside the Water of Turret, with teynd sheaves of the said Glebe called Hert within the Stewartrie foresaid and in 16 acres and 3 roods of land comprehending two tenements within the Burgh of Abernethie and regalitie thereof." On the 26th of July 1666 Duncan Drummond of Balhaldie heir of Patrick Drummond his Father was retoured in the three fourths of the lands of Balhaldies otherwise Bohaddies, two fifths of the said lands within the Parochin of Dunblane and Seneschalship of Strathairn.

Duncan Drummond was succeeded by his son.
Duncan Drummond of Balhaldie is celebrated as a just and benevolent character, an improver of his Paternal soil and much esteemed and beloved. He had a son and a daughter. The latter as stated in a late Memoir of the House of Drummond married Ninian Drummond of Wester Glassingall.

IV. Alexander Drummond of Balhaldie who was retoured 6th March 1685 in the fourth part of the lands and village of Sherdail called Craighedd with the half of the grain Mill of Dolorshire commonly called Rack Mill in the Parish of Dolor and regalitie of Dunfermline. He is designed Alexander Drummond of Balhaldie in a safe conduct on the third of March the foregoing year by James Earl of Perth Lord Drummond and Stobhall, Lord High Chancellor of Scotland, "to travel into the Kingdom of England and particularly to the City of London about his lawful affairs." This Voucher affords a presumption that Duncan had by this time died.

On the 26th of April 1686 Alexander Drummond of Balhaldies married Margaret eldest daughter of the renouned Sir Ewan Cameron of Lochyell knight oy Isabell Daughter of Sir Lachlan M'Lean of Dowart and Morven Baronet, Chief of the M'Leans and Companion in Arms of the Great Marquies of Montrose. Lochyell was the last of the Highland Chiefs who continued Active in James VII's cause.

The election of a new chief of Clan Gregor
As Archibald of Kilmannan had gone to Ireland, Clan Gregor was without a chief. Queen Anne's government offered pensions to Highland chiefs in order to buy their support against a possible Jacobite Rising. Rob Roy and a number of leading members of Clan Gregor met to elect one from among them to be titular chief in order to claim a share of the Government bounty.

The Duke of Atholl had an interest in promoting one of his own tenants to be chief, in order to increase his influence amongst the clan. His candidate was John Roy in Glen Almond, a descendant of Alasdair Galt, one of the survivors of the family of Glenstrae. However, John Roy was unwilling to put himself forward, as a result of which Alexander of Balhaldies from the Roro lineage would be elected. It was said that Atholl was "incandescent with rage" over John Roy's refusal;

This letter from the "Chronicles of the Atholl and Tullibardine families" volume 1, refers to the succession to the chieftainship of the Macgregors.

Marchioness of Atholl to Lord Murray {extract). 25 Novr..

For yt concerning ye M'Grigors, my Ld saies you may be sur it is much against his will yt such a hott headed fellow, & one depends upon an other, shud be cheefe, but it is not in his power to help it, for John Roy was ye man yt made ye lait M'Grigor chuse him against my Lord's will & for his thankes he has cheated him, & yet ye Roy is such a bruit & soe timorous yt he will not accept of being cheefe notwithstanding all ye paines my Ld has taken with him, & tho' my Ld hector'd ye other before him, yet he has basely submitted to him, for ye other has gott ye right of ye money & ye name of M'Grigor, & all have oun'd him under their hands as cheefe, & all through ye simplicity & cowardice of John McGrigor, who my Ld beleeves was frightened out of his little witts.

The following is a copy of the original document of Balhaldies election in 1714

“Be it kend till all men be thir Presents" We the heads of the families or the Clan of MacGregor and others of our said Clan undersubscribing - Seriouslie weighing and considering the many sad sufferings, the dismall heavie calamities and oppres-sions we groan under, the many affronts and indignities put upon us espescially by such as did desert their lawfull sovereign at the tym of the late unhapie revolution and still continue in rebellion sgainst him and Albeit on all occasions we the said Clan sealled our loyaltie with our blood and the death of our best men in every battle fought by our thin (sic) gracious sovereigns of ever blessed memorie, or their Generals having their commission, which we are able to document by written testimonies under their hands, yet so great was and is the crueltie of our implacable enemies as that they used and still use their utmost endeavours to root out and render our name so extinct, as that there should not be a memorie of our Clan in this, or after ages and now the said Heads and others of our Clan of McGregor being deeply sensible that all this and more has befallen us in and through, our want of a sufficient and well qualified Chief able to protect and defend us from the malicious intendments, cruelties, oppressions and insults of these our inveterate enemies Therefore and for many other weighty considerations moving us, We the above designed heads of families of the said Clan of McGregor and everie one of us, for ourselves and taking burden in and upon us, for all descended of us and our families and their successors, from generation to generation; Do most cordially with all our hearts and souls with one mind, consent and assent, elect, nominate, appoint and make choice of the much honoured Alexander McGregor of Balhaldies, who for some time formerlie went under the surname of Drummond, our Rightful, Lawful and undoubted Governor, Head, Chief and Chiftain Of our Clan of M'Gregor, during all the days of his life as the onlie proper and fit person of our whole Clan to represent us, as head and Chief; and William McGregor younger of Balhaldies his eldest lawfull son and apparent heir, and his lawfull aires and successors to be hereditarie our Chiefs and Chiftains, and we the said Heads of Families of the said Clan of McGregor solemnlie [page 271] declare and protest, as in the presence of God, that it shall never be in any of our powers; nor in the power of any of our successors for ever, to alter this Chiefship as presentlie by us made and appointed, from the said Alexander McGregor of Balhaldies our now present Chief nor from his lawfull heirs and successors, but that the samen shall hereditarilie continue in the said Alexander McGregor his family and posteritie in all time coming so long as sun and moon endures, obliging ourselves to stand fast and bold firm be the said Alexander McGregor our Chief and his foresaids; Giving him and his foresaids all dutifull submission, subjection and obedience as becomes a submissive and dutiful Clan to their Chief and Chiftain and shall obtemperate and obey him in all cases and causes lawfull against all deadlie, the lawfull Sovereign always excepted, most humblie and cheerfully submitting ourselves and our fore¬saids, to his and his foresaids, their determination and decision in any disputes, debates, quarrels and controversies whatsoever that shall happen to be betwixt us or any of our foresaids, As we Bind and Oblige us and our foresaids to attend him and his foresaids, at hosting and hunting, on tymous advertisement; Lykas We bind and oblige us and our foresaids to maintain his Chiefship, and his foresaids their authority over us, and our whole Clan, and shall pay him such casualities as shall fall due. And in case the said Alexander our Chief or his foresaids shall happen to be commanded be the lawfull Sovereign to rise in arms and repair to the lawfull Sovereign his Standard We the said heads of families above named, oblige ourselves and our foresaids on lawfull warning to repair with all haste and diligence to any place our said Chief appoints us, and all of us as one man to appear in our best cloathes and arms not only to join our said Chief or his foresaids but also to stand be him and feight under his banner to the last drop of our blood. And Farder we the Heads of Families of the said Clan of McGregor and as taking burden as aforesaid beseich and oblist the said Alexander McGregor of Balhaldies to accept of this our decision, election, free and voluntair choice and to become our Chief all the said days of his lifetyme and his aires and successors our hereditarie Chiefs and Chiftans and we the said heads of families and our foresaids sincerely and faithlie vow and promise to hold firm & stable to every article we oblige ourselves and our foresaids unto, as above written. For the which causes and on the consideration; provisions and conditions above exprest, the said Alexander McGregor of Balhaldies Accepts and hereby becomes Chief of the said Clan of McGregor, faithfully binding and obliging him and his foresaids to protect and defend the said Clan and ilk ane of them to the utmost of his power so far as Justice, Equity and Law will allow and Finallie the said Alexander and his foresaids obliges themselves, as much as in him or them lyes to maintain the said Clan in their rights and priviledges and in all respects to behave himself towards his said Clan as a faithfull and loving Chief ought to do, and as a demonstration of his tender and earlie care of and love and favour to his said Clan he obliges himself and his foresaids that if it shall please the Govern¬ment to allow him a pension as other Chiefs get, that then and in that ease, he shall bestow and destinate a third part thereof on the Heads of Families of the Clan of McGregor, as after designed viz to Gregor McGregor of Glengyle Head of the familie of Clanduilkeir To Gregor of Bracklie head of the familie of Bracklie, and to Gregor McGregor of Rora head of the familie of Rora, to each of them a just and equal share of the third part of the above said pension, if the same be obtained and allenalie. And for the more Securitie both parties consent to the Registration hereof in the Books of Council and Session or any other Judges Court Books, competent within the kingdom to have the strength of ane decreet of either of the Judges interponed hereto so that Letters of Horning and all others needfull may, on ane simple charge of six days onlie, pass hereupon For that effect Constitutes thir Prers &c In witness whereof thir presents Written be Mr Duncan Comrie Minister of the Gospel for parish of Innerallan at Auchinsh¬callan the twentieth day of July and at Dunblain the twentieseventh day of July 1714 years Before these witnesses John Cameron of Locheil and the said Mr Duncan Comrie.

Gregor McGregor of Rora head of the familie of Rora;
Donald McGrigor consents;
Duncan McGregor of Dunan consents;
Duncan McGrigor consents;
John McGrigor of ye familie of McGregor consents.
Gregor McGregor head of the familie of Clan¬dulchier;
Robert McGregor of Craigrostan consents;
Gregor McGregor in Ardmackmuin consents;
Donald McGregor of Kyleter consents;
Mal: McGregor of Marchfield consents;
Alex; McGregor of ye familie of McGregor consents;
John McGregor of ye familie of McGrigor consents.
Gregor McGregor head of the familie of Bracklie;
Rob. McGregor consents;
Duncan McGregor consents;
McGregor of that Ilk;
Will: M'Griegor accepts
J Camerone witnes, Lochiell.
Mr D Comrie witness.

Note in the above list: "John McGrigor of ye familie of McGregor" was the above mentioned John Roy. "Alex; McGregor of ye familie of McGregor" was his brother; and "John McGregor of ye familie of McGrigor" was John Dow the son of John Roy. Note also that "Gregor McGregor head of the familie of Bracklie" is also listed, so Amelia's claim that the election was kept a secret from the descendants of Gregor McAnecham does not ring true. In the extract below, Amelia queried "who are the three signatories "of the familie of McGrigor?” As I have made clear above, these were the descendants of Alasdair Galt, survivors of the Glenstrae family who, in terms of primogeniture would be the chiefly line. As she says "they were not of the Ladasach family" - but only at the end of the 18th century did John Murray and his descendants claim that Ladasach's line was the senior lineage.

For reference, this is the extract from Amelia vol ii, chapter 19: Amelia's words are those of John Murray around 1800 when the notes which were eventually published in "The History of The Clan Gregor" were compiled. - "This Bond of Election was kept a profound secret from the rest of the Clan. Gregor in Ardmackmuir, Donald in Kyleter and Malcolm of Marchfield were all of the Glengyle family. Ardlariach and Leragan did not sign and probably did not hear of the proceedings. The family of Bracklie were a junior branch of Ladosach. A question arises who are the three signatories "of the familie of McGrigor?” It may be stated decidedly that they were not of the Ladosach family amongst whom there was no Alexander - neither were they of Ardlaraich. In the original signatures, "McGregor of that Ilk, Will: McGregor accepts" appear in one handwriting, possibly "Younger" was omitted and that the names both belong to William son of Alexander of Balhaldies. - The latter may have signed “McGregor of that Ilk" his son signing underneath but in the original, the handwriting of both appears to be the same."

Mandate from the Old Pretender to Balhaldies in 1740.
Balhaldies attached to the Royal House of Stewart both from inclination and marriage had received the following Mandate

(Seal) " James R."
James the Eighth By grace of God King of Scotland, England Franoe and Ireland Defender of the Faith &c. We taking into our Royal consideration the constant and unshaken Loyalty of our trusty and well beloved Alexander M'Gregor of Balhaldie as well as the eminent services done and performed by him to us on all occasions from hia early youth to an advanced old age of which we being trulv sensible are resolved to confer on him as a mark of our Special and Royal favor the Title and precedency hereafter mentioned which after him will we hope descend to our trusty and well beloved William MacGregor his eldest son of whose loyalty and attachment to our Royal Person and cause we have essential proofs by his signal services and indefatigable endeavours to promote our Interest and service.

Our Will and pleasure therefore is:. That Letters: Patent pass under our great Seal of our Ancient Kingdom of Scotland in due and competent form Making and creating as we hereby make and create the said Alexander M'Gregor a Knight and Baronet of our said Ancient Kingdom of Scotland to have and to hold to him and the lawful Heirs male of his own body with the privileges precedencies and other advantages thereunto appertaining, in as full and ample manner as any other Knight and Baronet of our said Ancient Kingdom holds and enjoys the same. And we hereby dispense with all informalities (if any be) herein contained and ordain in the said Letters Patent to pass thr great Seal of our said Ancient Kingdom of Scotland pr. Saltum, without passing any other register or seal, and for so doing this shall be a sufficient warrant. Given at our Court at Rome this 14th day of March 1740 in the thirty ninth year of our Reign.
(Signed) J. R.

Alexander M'Gregor of Balhaldie had by his Lady Margaret Cameron issue six sons and five daughters
1st. William, his heir.
2d. Margaret, who died unmarried.
3d. Elizabeth, born 9th Septr. 1689, and married to Drummond of Colquhalzie issue two sons that died unmarried and two daughters Margaret married to --- Young Esqr. and by him mother of two sons, who died in France, and Mary Wife of Philip Robertson to whom she brought three sons, John, Philip, Richard, and 3 daughters, Janet married to John Robertson Esqr. Merchant London, Margaret to Robert Keith Esqr. of Granada,, and Ann to Andrew Farquharson Esqr. of Breda Aberdeen Shire.
4th. Ewan, named after his Maternal Grandfather and died without issue as did his Brothers.
5th. John.
6th. Alexander.
7th. Duncan and Sisters
8th. Helen.
9th. Isabella,
10th. Jacobina,, born 3d March 1710 and married James Wright Esqr. of Loss, but died childless.
llth. Donald, born 12th Septr. 1713 was bred a Sailor and resided at Piteeapsy New York when migrating with other Loyalists to Nova Scotia, in 1782 he lost what property he had acquired. He had married Miss Ann Grosbeck of New York and by her had children,

a Son, Alexander who died in the West Indies unmarried and five daughters
1. Ann, married to Lieut, M'Gibbon and mother of two sons Alexander and John and two daughters.
2. Margaret, unmarried.
3. Mary, married on Christmas 1781, the year before her family had. left New York, to her Paternal Cousin German Alexander M'Gregor of Balhaldie.
4. Jacobina, married to Lieut. Dougald Campbell late of the 42d Regt. of Foot and mother of three Sons Alexander, Patrick, Ludlow, and two daughters Jacobina and Ann.
5. Susannah, married to Captain M'Lean and mother of two sons and three Daughters.
Mrs Ann Grosbeek relict of Donald Drummond Esqr. younger son of Alexander Drummond (properly M'Gregor) of Balhaldie died in 1818 aged 84. Alexander was succeeded by his eldest son.

V. William M'Gregor of Balhaldie was born 8th May 1688. He had early in 1740 the year in which his Father was created a Baronet carried to Rome an instrument Signed by his Cousin german Donald Cameron of Lochyell and six others of distinction who had thus solemnly bound themselves to endeavour in Arms the restoration of the exiled House of Stewart. In this Service had William M'Gregor of Balhaldie Esqr. on the 23d of Deer. 1743 received the following Commission

" James R."
James by tne Grace of God King of Great Brittan France and Ireland Defender of the Faith &c.
To our Trusty and well beloved William M'Gregor of Balhaldie Esqr. Greeting. We reposing a Special Trust and confidence in your loyalty and good conduct Do hereby Constitute- and appoint you to be a: Colonel in our Service, and to take your Rank in our Army as such from, the date hereof. You are therefore carefully and diligently to discharge the duty and trust of a Colonel aforesaid by doing and performing every thing x belonging thereunto. And we hereby require all and Sundry, out' Forces to respect and obey you as such, and yourself to observe and follow all such orders, Directions, and commands as you shall from time to time receive from us, The Commander in Chief of our Forces for the time being, or any other your Superior Officer according to the rule and description of war.
In pusuance of the Power and Trust hereby reposed in you.
Given at our Court at Rome the 23d day of December 1743 In the 43 year of our Reign. (Signed) J. R."

When in 1745 Prince Charles had come to win his fathers Crown or perish, Lochyell with his warriors joined his banner and when they had reached Dunblane his Royal Highness lodged in the family Mansion of Balhaldie Lochyells' Son in Law. The appartment used as the Royal Levee Room on the evening of the llth and morning of the 12th of Septr. had till lately remained as it was. It is now modernized. The bed the Prince had slept in is preserved in the family of Balhaldie. William M'Gregor of Balhaldies had been abroad since 1740 but the habits in which Balhaldies had been with the Chevalier de St George may De estimated by the following Letter-

Rome, 3d December 1748.
I received last week yours of the 4th Novr. I had already heard of Lochyells death it is a loss to the cause, and I am truly concerned for it, If my recommendation to the Court of France comea in time, and has its effect, Young Lochyell will have his Fathers Regiment and on this and all other occasions I shall be always glad to shew him the great sense I reatin of the merits of that family. Poor Lochyell did not long out live his friend Lord Sempil in whom I have also lest a very zealous subject, and who had given many Proofs of his being so, I wish I could have been able to be more kind to his family. But the truth is my straits were never so great as they are now, and therefore I cannot authorize you keeping up a correspondence the expences of which I am not able to defray. The Prince in his present situation, can best judge of what use it may be and I have always approved of what you do in that respect by his directions.

I desire Lochyells Lady his Brother and his Son may find here my Compliments on their late loss which I sincerely share with them and have nothing else to add at present but to assure you of my constant kindness and regard for yourself. For Mr M'Gregor. (Signed) JAMES R.

William M'Gregor of Balhaldie had in 1757 married Janet daughter of Lawrence Oliphant Esqr. of Gask by whom he had one son his heir.

VI. Alexander M'Gregor of Balhaldie was born 7th October 1758 and early entering the British Army he had attained the Rank of Captain in the 65 Regiment of Foot, when he died of Military fatigue in the West Indies in 1794. His Gallant conduct at the capture of Martinique and Guadaloupe were repeatedly mentioned in terms of high approbation in the general orders of the late Sir Charles afterwards Earl Grey Commander in those well known expeditions. Balhaldies had on the 25th of December 1781 married his Cousin german Misss Mary Drummond 3d daughter of Donald Drummond Esqr. of New York by whom he had five sons and four daughters. He was succeeded by his eldest son.

VII. William Oliphant McGregor of Balhaldie, he had in 1796 when Fifteen received an Ensigncy in the Regiment in which his Father had bravely fought and honourably died. Having served fourteen years in India and obtained a Majority in the 77th Regiment of foot. He died in 1810 leaving a Widow but no children. He was succeeded by his Brother.

VIII. Donald M'Gregor of Balhaldie, The 3d Brother Alexander, Assistant Commisisary General in the West Indies, had in February 1815 married Miss Charlotte Houstoun of the Island of Tobago where he died 19th October 1821 without leaving issue. 4th James, and 5 Robert Keith, both of them died young. Miss Ann M'Gregor only surviving daughter of the late Alexander M'Gregor of Balhaldies married on the 5th April 1826 John Murray Esqr. of Liviland Stirling.

The Family Mansion in Dunblane has been sold several years, but the Estate of Balhaldies, distant four miles North East of Dunblane remains in the family.