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Clan Gregor in the 1715 rising

By Peter Lawrie, ©2018
The Earl of Mar raised the standard of "James the 8th and 3rd" on 6 September 1715 at Braemar. In northern Scotland, the Jacobites quickly took Inverness, Gordon Castle, Aberdeen and further south, Dundee. They were unable to capture the garrison at Fort William. Lord Drummond attempted under the cover of night to take Edinburgh Castle, but the Governor successfully defended it.

By October Mar's forces, which had grown to nearly 20,000, had taken control of all Scotland above the Firth of Forth, apart from Stirling Castle and Fort William. However, Mar was a politician, not a general. He was indecisive and the capture of Perth as well as the crossing of the Forth and into the North of England by 2,000 men were probably decided by subordinates. Mar's indecisiveness gave the Hanoverian forces under the command of the Duke of Argyll time to increase their strength. Reinforcements were brought over from Ireland to boost Argyll's numbers.

On 22 October Mar received his commission from James appointing him commander of the Jacobite army. The Jacobite army now outnumbered Argyll's forces in Scotland by three-to-one and so Mar decided to march on Stirling Castle. On 13 November at Sheriffmuir, a few miles North of Stirling, the two armies joined in battle. The fighting was indecisive but at the end, the Jacobites still on the field outnumbered the remnants of the Government army by a large margin. Argyll retreated to Stirling and it was later reported that he had lost 660 men, three times as many as Mar. However, Mar, instead of continuing his advance on Stirling, ordered a retreat to Perth. On the same day as the Battle of Sherrifmuir, Inverness surrendered to the Hanoverians, and a smaller Jacobite force led by Mackintosh of Borlum was defeated at Preston.

During the Rising, Rob Roy and the Clan Gregor were reported to have raided the Lennox; guided the Jacobite army as it marched from Perth towards Stirling; guarded the Fords of Frew against a flanking attack by Government forces; and been a part of the Highland Force which occupied and looted Fife during January 1716. Amelia states in her "History of the Clan Gregor" that Rob Roy had also raised the MacGregors in upland Aberdeenshire, but I can't find the source she used for that.

In 1716 Rob Roy moved to Glen Shira for a short time and continued to live under the protection of the 2nd Duke of Argyll, [John Campbell also known as Red John of the Battles, Iain Ruaidh nan Cath]. Argyll tried to negotiate an amnesty and protection for Rob and granted him permission to build a house in the Glen in return for the surrendering up of weapons. [Traditionally the story goes that Argyll only received a large cache of rusty old weapons.] A sporran and dirk handle which belonged to Rob Roy can still be seen at Inveraray Castle. Rob Roy only used this house occasionally for the next three or four years.

Rob Roy did not lead the MacGregors who participated in the '15, although his name is most often mentioned. Wodrow letter 3 dated September 27 mentions "Macgregor of Bohaldies", "Gregor Macgregor of Glengyle, alias Ghlun-dhu" and "Rob Roy, the uncle of Glengyle". Bohaldie was 52-year old Alexander Drummond of Balhaldies (near Dunblane) who had been elected 17th chief of the clan in 1704, in order to share in the Government bounty. Balhaldies was married to a daughter of Cameron of Lochiel. "Ghlun-dhu" was 26-year old Gregor Glun dubh MacGregor of Glengyle (alias James Graham), the nephew of Rob Roy, Wodrow letter 24, referring to the occupation of Fife in January 1716, described him as "Greiger MckGreiger governour in Falkland, whose sub deputy Rob Roy was". At the time of the Rising, Rob Roy was aged 44.

In December, a raid on Drymen mentioned in Wodrow 16, stated that "they were commanded by Rob Roy and McGregor of Marchfield". Marchfield was Malcolm MacGregor, father of Griogar Boidheach of Inverarnan and great grandfather of Gregor, the future "cacique of Poyais" and liberator of Venezuela. Inverarnan House, which was originally built around this time is now the popular "Drover's Inn" on the A82.

Rob Roy was the only MacGregor specifically excluded from pardon by the Indemnity Act. That Act effectively pardoned anyone not named who had taken part in the Rising. Thus as Glun dubh, Balhaldies and Marchfield were not so named they were forgiven. However, in 1691, following the battle of Killiecrankie [1689], the entire Clan Gregor had been proscribed again, and the outlaw status of the clan would not be finally lifted until 1774.

Rob Roy's loyalties were probably split between his heart - his Jacobite leanings - and his head, as the Duke of Argyll had supported him in his conflict with the Duke of Montrose and had sheltered Rob from his enemies before the Rising and would continue to do so afterwards. At the battle of Sheriffmuir it seemed that Rob Roy preferred to be an onlooker, rather than join the line against Argyll's army in the battle itself. However, the oft-repeated claim that he was secretly working for the Government have never been proved. If Rob Roy had been a double-agent perhaps he could have received some benefit from any such treachery - instead he was exempted from the Act of Indemnity and thus subject to a charge of High Treason; subjected to arrest by Atholl while meeting under trust in June 1717; [see details here] and only in 1727 did he finally receive a pardon from General Wade.

Reports specific to the Clan Gregor in the '15.
If no endnote reference is given, the quotation will have been taken from The History of The Clan Gregor, by Amelia Murray MacGregor Vol II Chapter 20

References below to the extracts concerning Clan Gregor in the Wodrow correspondence will cite the number of the item in the correspondence, but not be specifically endnoted on this page.

Raiding in the Lennox
At the end of September, 1715, according to the account of the Loch Lomond Expedition the MacGregors raided the Southern end of Loch Lomond, collected all the boats which they could secure and took them to Inversnaid.

Rae in his "Rebellion" reported [as quoted in Amelia, ch 20, page 284]
“This Clan of the McGregours had about the End of September, broke out in Rebellion under the Command of Gregor Mcgregiour of Glengyle, Nephew to that notorious Robber Rob Roy, and in a considerable Body made an excursion on their neighbours, especially on Buchannan and the Heads of Monteith, and, coming on them unawares disarmed them. Upon Michaelmas day [29th September] they made themselves Masters of the Boats on the Water of Enrick and Loch Lomond, and about seventy men of them possessed themselves of Inchmurrin, a large Isle in the said Loch whence about midnight they came ashore on the Paroch of Bonhill three miles above Dumbarton but being alarmed by the ringing of bells in several paroches, and the discharge of two great Guns from the Castle of Dumbarton, to warn the country, they made haste to the boats and returned to the Isle where they did considerable Damage. And having taken up all the boats on the Loch and drawn them up on the land at Innersnait, soon after they went in a body, with their fellows to Mar's Camp, but in a few days after, returned to Craigroyston and the adjacent places on the North-East side of LochLomond, where they mustered their forces, on the 10th October."

In the Wodrow correspondence, letter 3 and note 2, it was reported on September 27 that "This day the clann Grigor in this bounds marched off. Any of that name, who made any demure of riseing, were threatned with present death if they refused. The laird of Bohaddie, Rob Roy, and Glengyle review them this day at Corerclett. I hear they threaten many of the Duke of Montrose men to joyn them, but none of them as yet have stirred, except some of the McGrigors, who have gone off with the rest of their friends. Macgregor of Bohaldie and Gregor Macgregor of Glengyle, alias Ghlun-dhu, Rob Roy, the uncle of Glengyle, appears in the beginning of the month, in a list of persons to be cited under the new act of Parliament, along with many of the Jacobite leaders."

Wodrow 7 reported "On September 30 we find that these people are nestled in the island of Inchmurren, and are reckon’d to be 9 score of men". and in Wodrow 8 it was reported on the same day, "in the morning, of great numbers of men in the town of Dumbarton; but it would seem to prove nought, only some of Rob Roy’s party seeking for armes, and plunder the chief of their game. " The report goes on to mention the Duke of Douglas's men meeting "a brother of Bardowe’s, formerly a lieutenant in a man of war, ... they have carried him to Stirling with them." This Bardowie was either the father-in-law or brother-in-law of Griogar glun dubh, perhaps indicating the pro-Stuart sympathies of that family, although they are not mentioned again and do not appear to have suffered in the aftermath of the Rising.

On October 1st, Wodrow 8 has: - "yesterday the Highlanders were in great numbers in Dombritton Muir, [Dunbarton] which proved to be Glengyle, with some say 110, some 180 men, who had taken out of Abberfoyle 19 guns of the Government's only, (but took not the old ones the people had,) and 3 out of Buchanan ; and it seems, advancing towards Dombrittan, the drums beat, bells rang in Bonill, and they retired to Inshmerry isle." [Inchmurrin in Loch Lomond].

Wodrow Note 4 states "the Earl of Kilmarnock the Master of Ross, with several gentlemen and half­pay officers to the number of 50 or 60 horse, going along- with them for their encouragement and convoy. That night, they arriv’d at Drymen, about 18 miles from Glasgow, where they found very bad entertainment; (being a very disafected and malignant place) and being inform’d that 5 or 600 of the M'gregors and their associates were lying within two or three miles of the place, they placed strong guards, and lay upon their arms all night."

"Upon Monday the 3d of October, they march’d to their garrison at Gartartan, the Earl of Kilmarnock with 12 horses accompanying them to the place, and having possess’d themselves of the house, .... This was by far the most dangerous of the three garrisons, as well because of the slenderness of the house itself, as of its vicinity to the M‘gregor’s country; and chiefly because it was the only pass by which the rebels could penetrate into the west and south country, all the other passes and foordable places of the Forth, betwixt this and Stirling, being guarded by order of the Duke of Argyle. ” [Rae’s Hist, of the Rebellion, 4to, p. 226.]

"About the 6th of October the Earl of Hay was sent by the Duke of Argyle, his brother to command the loyal posse of that country, at the earnest desire of that people who requested that one of the stock of that family would come to head them. About the same time McDonald Captain of Clanronald with about 700 men came to Strathphillen in Perthshire where Glengarry, who sometime before was reinforced with 300 of the Mcgregours and Glencoe Men together inforc'd with the Rebels formerly with him, join'd him.

The Hanoverian interest determined to recover the boats, so as reported in the Loch Lomond Expedition and in Amelia, ii-chap20 quoting from "Rae's Rebellion" "It was resolved by his Majesty's friends in those parts, to retake the Boats from them, if possible, by which they kept the country round in a terrour, not knowing where they might make their Descent In order to which, three long Boats and four Pinnaces were brought from the Men of War then lying in the Firth of Clyde with four Pateraroes, two gunners, and about 100 Seamen, stout and well armed, under the command of Captain Field, Captain Parker, and four Lieutenants, and a large Boat with two screw Guns under the command of Captain Clark, came over from New-Port-Glasgow and rendezvoused with them at the Key of Dumbarton, on the 11th at night; and being joined by three large Boats belonging to that place, next morning about Nine of the Clock they put off from the Key, and being drawn up the River Levin, by Horses, to the Mouth of the Loch, the Pasley Volunteers, in number about 120 Men, commanded by Captain Finlayson, assisted by Captain Scot, a half Pay Officer, who had been posted at Dumharton for some time before, and as many more as the Boats could conveniently stow, went on Board. And at the same time the Dumbarton Men, under the command of David Colquhoun and James Duncanson of Garshaik, Magistrates of that Burgh, with the Men of Easter and Wester Kilpatrick, Rosneith, Rew, and those of Cardross, marched on Foot up the North-West Side of the Loch and after them on Horseback the Honourable Master John Campbell of Mamore, uncle to His Grace the Duke of Argyle, attended by a fine train of the Gentlemen of the Shire, viz Archibald Mcaulay of Ardincaple, Aulay McAulay his eldest son, George Naper of Kilmahew, Walter Graham of Kilmadinny, John Colquhoun of Craigtoun, James Stirling of Law, James Hamilton of Barns, with many others, well mounted and armed."

“At Night they arrived at Luss, where they were joined by Sir Humphrey Colquhoun of Luss and James Grant of Pluscarden his Son-in-law, followed by forty or fifty stately fellows in their short hose and Belted Plaids, armed each of them with a well fix'd Gun on his shoulder, a strong handsome target, with a sharp pointed steel of above half an ell in length screwed into the Naval of it, on his left Arm; a sturdy Claymore by his side, and a pistol or two with a Durk and Knife on his Belt. Here the whole company rested all night, and on the Morrow being Thursday the 13th, they went on in their expedition, and about noon came to Innersnait, the Place of Danger, where the Pasley Men, and those of Dumbarton, and several of the other companies, to the number of 100 men, with the greatest Intrepidity leap'd on shore, got up to the Top of the Mountains, and stood a considerable time beating thier Drums all the while, but no Enemy appearing, they went on in quest of their Boats, which the Rebels had seized, and having casually lighted on some Ropes, Anchors, and Oars hid among the Shrubs; at length they found the Boats drawn up a good way on the Land, which they hurled down to the Loch; Such of them as were not damaged, they carried off with them and such as were they sunk or hewed in pieces, The same night they returned to Luss and thence next day to Dumbarton, from whence they had first set out, bringing along with them the whole Boats they found in their Way, on either side of the Loch, and in the Creeks of the Isles, and moored them under the Canon of the Castle.

During this expedition, the Pinnaces discharging their pateraroes, and the Men their small arms, made such a thundering Noise through the multiplied rebounding Echoes of the vast mountains on both sides of the Loch, that the Mcgregiours were cowed and frighted away to the rest of the Rebels, who were encamped at Strathphillen, about 16 miles away from the Head of the Loch, where, being all joined as above, they continued till the 18th of October: about which time they were also joined by Stuart of Appin with 250 men, Sir John McLean with 400, McDougal of Lorn with about 50, and a part of Breadalbine's Men, making up by the modestest computation 2400 Men."
The continuation relates to the general history of the campaign, the Rev. narrator of the Loch Lomond pursuit, though faithful in the main facts, probably drew a good deal on his own imagination as to the effect produced on Glengyle’s men by the hideous noises of the "Pateraroes." [ 1 ]  

Pages 288 to 291 in Amelia quote from correspondence in the Edinchip Papers:
"1715, October 4th. Letter from the Earl of Mar to Lieutenant General Gordon, who had got charge of the expedition which had for its object to seize Inverary House and Town, and plant a garrison there. The Letter is dated from the Camp at Perth October 4th, 1715.
'Sir, "'I had the favour of yours of the 30th September last night, and am very glad you expect to be joined soon by those who ought to have been with you long ago.
"'I have ordered as you desired, Glengyll, Rob Roy, Balhaldies, and the McGriggars with them, to join you, and to follow the orders you give them.
"'Your Chief his Highlandmen were last night in Stratharle &c.
“'After you have done me the work at Inverary, which upon resistance, I think you had better do by Blocad than Storm, you may proceed Westward conform to former Orders; but by reason of my not marching from hence so soon as I had intended, you would not march so far that way, but that you can join us upon occasion nearer than Monteth, if there should be need for it' &c My service to Glengary and Glenderule, &c.' (Signed) 'Mar.'

“Letter from the Earl of Mar Directed to the Laird of Glengyll
"'I am very well pleased with the account of your securing the Boats on Loch Lomond and the other good services you have done since you was with me; General Gordon, Glengarry and Glenderule are desirous of having you, your uncle the bearer and the men with you with them on the Expedition they are going about, therefore you must lose no time in going to them and follow such orders as you shall receive, since your uncle is the bearer I need say no more.’
(Signed) 'Mar, from the Camp at Perth Oct.14.

"October 14th. Mar to the Earl of Breadalbane from the Camp of Perth October 14th.
"'I just now hear from Monteith, that the Earls Islay and Bute are certainly in Argyleshire, and that there were two men of war come into Clyde, who were sending their long boats to retake the boats on Lochlomond which Glengyle had seized. I wish with all my heart this could be prevented &c.'

"October 14th. 'Honoured Sir,
"'When I came to Argour I wrote to Lochyeal to tryst me where to meet him; he desired me to go to Achnacar, and said he would see me there in two days; But he has met with such difficulties in raising his men in Morvan, who are threatened by Argyle's friends, to be used with utmost Rigour if they rise with their Chief; he is so fatigued and angered with them, that he is rather to be pitied than quarrelled for his Longsomeness. He is mightily ashamed for his not being with you before this time. His people in Lochaber are threatened after the same manner who was mightily disheartened by people on purpose sent amongst them. He is to take other measures with them than he did at first with the Morvan men, and is resolved to be with you next week. Since I have here staid so long I incline to come along with Lochyeal. I presume to trouble you to offer my humble service to Glengary and the other Gentlemen with you. I am, to the utmost of my power, Honoured Sir, your most humble and obedient Servant,'
(Signed) 'McGregor.' [ 2 ]  
'Achnacar October 14th, 1715.

The above letter from Glengyle [Glun dubh], quoted in Note 7 of the Wodrow correspondence, is dated October 14 at Achnacary, which seems to indicate that the MacGregors had been assisting Locheil in bringing out his clan. Thus, on the 13th, there was virtually no defence of Inversnaid, and the MacGregors were neither "cowed" nor "frighted away"!

"October 22nd. 'At the side of Lochfine October 22, 1715.
“Much Honoured
"'I was honoured with yours of this date desiring to return an Receipt thereof, and by the Memorandum sent to your Excellency with Mr Duncan Comrie (which by this time is at you) tis evident that the Boat and the Freight seized will fall in the Enemies Hands, if I instantly march the men that are here, since there is no security for a small party to guard the same, the Enemies knowing of your being in this Place neither is there any Possibility to carry what was seized this night to the Camp;
Therefore, for the above Reasons, I presume to send this Express to wait your further orders, and if it shall be to march all Night, you shall find that I shall be very ready to obey. "'Pardon my freedom in this, and I allowing to subscribe myself your Excellencys most humble servant. (Signed) 'GREG. MCGREG.’ [ 3 ]  
Addressed To Lieutenant General Gordon at the Parks of Inverary.

Sir, "'Upon sight hereof, return with your own and Uncle's men to the Camp, and leave Glenco's with himself. I am Sir your humble servant.
(Signed) 'ALEX. GORDON.'
'October 22. Ten o clock.'
(Addressed) 'To the Laird of Glengyle.'

Wodrow letter 15, dated October 23rd has "Clanronnel, Glengary, M‘lean, Apine, Clenmorison, Rob Roy with the Mc Grigors, the people of Glenco, making up to the number as was thought 16 or 1700, came within 2 gun­shots of this place, [Inveraray] Thursday last about 12 of the clock". However, Lord Islay, in command of up to 2000 men, defended the town so the rebels retreated.

"November 4th. Extract Mar from 'Huntingtour Friday morning November 4th, 1715.' 'To Lieutenant General Gordon at Auchterarder.'
"'I wonder what keeps Rob Roy from coming to Perth, as I ordered him. Pray send him there immediately, for I want very much to speak to him; and if there be no alarm from the enemy, I would have you to come to Perth tomorrow morning, that I may concert some things with you as to our March.'

Amelia, quoting from Browne's "Highland Clans", reported that the Earl of Seaforth, with the northern Clans, reached Perth early in Nov. [ 4 ]   General Gordon by that time had reached Drummond Castle on his return from Inveraray with the Western Clans on the way to Perth. Mar dispatched an Express to him instructing him to join the main Highland army on the March to Dunblane, it having been resolved in a Council of War on the 9th Nov. to leave Perth. Accordingly the Army marched to Auchterarder on the 10th and was joined by General Gordon on the 11th; the Earl of Mar ordered Gordon with 3000 men of the Clans and some horse, on the 12th, to go forward and take possession of Dunblane; whilst the rest of the Army were ordered to parade on the Muir of Tullibardine, and the Earl of Mar went to Drummond Castle to have an interview with the Earl of Breadalbane. Argyle's forces had been almost doubled by reinforcements from Ireland, and he had received intelligence of Mar's advance from his spies, but not being strong enough to hold the Forth, which was now beginning to freeze, he determined to offer battle to the enemy before they could reach the river. His advance guard seized Dunblane; Gordon, on learning this, halted and sent an express to General Hamilton who forwarded it to Mar, and halted near the Roman Camp at Ardoch. On Mar's return, the Jacobites marched to the Bridge of Kinbuck, while Argyle formed his army in battle array on a rising ground above the house of Kippenross. The two armies bivouacked within three miles of each other, only separated by the Sheriffmuir, but Mar was completely ignorant of Argyle's close vicinity, imagining him to be still at Dunblane. On the 13th Nov. 1715, the Battle of Sheriffmuir commenced. The results of the Action were undecisive, the right of Mar's army having defeated Argyle's left, whilst Mar's left was overthrown by Argyle's right. Both sides therefore claimed the victory, but it was followed by the defection of many of the Clans, so the Earl of Mar consequently abandoned his intention of crossing the Forth and retired upon Perth.

Browne's "Highlanders" stated "The MacPhersons and MacGregors did not join in the contest at all, but looked on as if unconcerned about the result" [ 5 ]   Walter Scott (not the most reliable of sources) wrote "The fact is only a portion of the Clan, chiefly such as were followers of Rob Roy or of his nephew Glengyle, took up arms on this occasion, and for some reason Rob Roy chose to stand aloof". [ 6 ]  

The local tradition has it that Rob Roy stationed his small party of MacGregors at Culling, near Cromlix to the west of the battlefield and on the opposite bank of the river Teith. [ 7 ]   This would make sense if they had been recalled from their role in guarding the Fords of Frew immediately before the battle. His position raised suspicions among some Jacobite writers that it allowed Rob Roy the choice of joining either side, depending on his view of the outcome of the battle. A more honourable view was that Rob Roy considered that the addition of a small number of MacGregors to the Jacobite line would make no difference to the outcome and that the best use of his force was in guarding the fords in case of a flanking attack, or for a Jacobite retreat.

Some Jacobite writers have claimed that the reason of Rob's conduct was a subsidy from the Duke of Argyle, and great colour was lent to this supposition by the conduct of his followers who are said to have plundered the baggage and the Dead on both sides after the battle. It is probable that whether money entered into the question or not, Rob Roy must have been averse to act contrary to the Duke of Argyll's wishes, as after the quarrel with the Duke of Montrose, Rob Roy had been at pains to please Argyll.

Many of the Highlanders dispersed to their homes following the battle and there is evidence that Mar tried to bring them back in December. The following letter from Mar quoted in Amelia vol ii page229 was addressed to Duncan MacGregor of Dunan in Rannoch and Gregor MacGregor of Rora in Glenlyon. It is also evidence that MacGregors other than those associated with Glengyle were involved in the Rising.

"John Earl of Mar Commander in Chief of his Majesty's Force's in Scotland.
"These are ordering you and requiring you forthwith to raise all the fencible men of the name of MacGregor you can with their best arms and accoutrements within the Shyre of Perth whose Masters are not already in the King's service and to march them with all possible speed to joyn his Majesty's Army wherever it shall happen to be for the time. For doing whereof, this shall be to you and all concerned a suffic/ient warrand, Given at the Camp at Perth the 3d of Dec. 1715. (signed) Mar."
"To Duncan MacGregor of Dunan & Gregor MacGregor of Rora."

Back raiding in the Lennox
Wodrow item 16 included a report dated December 8th, that the previous day: "the M‘Grigors cam with a party to Drummen, [Drymen] proclamed the Pretender, tore the exciseman's book, and went away." Item 17 expanded on this report "Rob Roy with 80 came to Drymen, proclaimed the Pretender, rifled the gauger's house. On Thursday he cross’d the Loch, came to the minister of Luss’s house who escaped; they rifled it: they went to Auohengan, where Humphrey Noble of Kyppermynshock lives, took a horse and mare from him, and carried off his half brother and his wife’s brother, at reprysals for the 4 in Dumbarton prison; afterward to the toune of Luss, where they took some linins, arms, &c. They were commanded by Rob Roy and McGregor of Marchfield. "

Wodrow 18, dated December 13th, has "The clan M‘Gregors upon Saturday’s night last came to John M‘Lachlen of Achintroig’s house, brother in law to young Kepedorroch, hes taken him and his two sons with them, and 20 cows and his horses. .... The country does not oppose these banditti, for they are either of their interest, or indifferent generally. " Wodrow 19 has a report dated the same day that "100 mariners came yesterday to Dumbarton, to be joyned by some of the militia, to goe in quest of Rob Roy and his banditti,"

Wodrow 20, dated December 17th reported that "Rob Roy has dismissed Mr. Lecky and Boyd, whom he took in the parish of Luss: he took the former’s ready penny and watch. He has also return’d 48 of Auchintroig’s sheep, some cows, and 4 horse. It’s said that Rob Roy and his gang are summoned to Perth."

Falkland - Fife
Note 9 in the Wodrow correspondence inluded a quote from the Glasgow Courant, dated "Edin. Jan. 9" "We are advised that Rob Roy, is come with about 150 of his banditti to Fife, and has taken possession of Faukland."

On 17th January 1716, Wodrow 21 reported [wrongly] that "... Rob Roy and his garison at Faulkland was surprised, diverse killed, and himself made prisoner, but this day it's said that he had sent out a party to plunder some gentlemen’s houses; which Sir R. Muntgumerie hearing of sent out a party, killed 4 or 5, and took the rest prisoners". However, in Note 9, Wodrow quoted from a later report in the Glasgow Courant, dated Jan. 24. "Tis said that Rob Roy, with about 150 men, came down to a place called Merkins, [Markinch] where about 39 of the Swiss and country militia were going to take up garrison at Balgownie, and took them prisoners to Balgownie, and that this day Sir Robert Montgomerie of Skelmorlie has ordered 100 men to go and retake them".

Wodrow item 22 gave more detail of this encounter on the 18th January, "This garison of Leslie thought to have prevented them, and this morning they early-detached 12 Switzers, 25 Kirkaldie men; and when they cam to Markingh, ther is 150 rebels in the toun, which they knew nothing of till they ar in among them; who presently surounded them, and took them all prisoners, and carried them to Balgonie with them. Severall Kirkaldie men is wounded, on of them is mortaly wounded, and two Switzers dying in ther wounds at Balgonie;"

27. January 1715 - Directed to the Laird of Glengyll Commanding Officer of the Garrison of Falkland.
"'John Earl of Mar &c Commander of in Chief of his Majesty's Forces in Scotland These are ordering you and requiring you with the Battalion of the name of MacGregor, to go to the Adjacent Country of Cambus Wallace where you are to put yourselves as you shall find most convenient, for this service and there you are by all possible means to prevent any party of the Enemys carrying off any forage as provisions &c from that Country and the neighbourhood and if necessary you are hereby empowered to call for a reinforcement from the Garrison of Braes, in case you shall not find yourself in a condition to prevent the Enemy's carrying away the forage and Provisions mentioned, you are to drive them off and hring them into the Camp for the use of his Majesty's forces in Scotland. These are ordering you and requiring you upon sight hereof forthwith to call in all the parties you have out as in Garrisons or elsewhere, or order them immediately to join you on your march and to march with them and the whole garrison under your command to Naughton and in conjunction with that Garrison to march to the water side of Dundee, where boats will be ordered to be in readiness to transport you to Dundee, and there you are to observe and obey such other orders as shall he transmitted to you. This you are to do with all possible care and expedition as you shall answer to his Majesty's at your highest peril.
"'Given at the Court of Scoan [Scone, Perth] this 27. January 1715. 16.'
(Signed) 'Mar.'

Wodrow 23 reported on February 9th, "for about 2 a’cloak in the morning, we hade the good news that Roey [Rob Roy] and all his men were fleed to Dundie [Dundee]. And his fleing was after this maner, about 12 a’cloak at night, he had all his men save a few drawn out befor the palace of Fackland in arms, to com to Leslie for its ruin; and just when he is coming off, ther coms two expreses to him that the king’s armey was aproaching Perth. Upon which he changed his resolution, and presentlie went of for Dundie; as did all the garisons of rebels in Fife, so that I supose in 24 hours ther was not a hiland man left in Fife; and ever sine we have been in peace and quiet, and all the kings garisons in Fife are given up, save Burntisland." ... "Thes in Fackland continued ther about a month, and for ordinar they wer but about 150 at most; in that time they eat and destroyed three thousand sheep, in Fackland and the ajacant parishes next to it."

Wodrow 24, dated March 28 reported at length of the Highlander's depredations in Fife during January and early February. Referring to the MacGregors who had levied. "... double cess on all dissaffected persons to them; and after all that, ten firlots of meal on every plough or four oxengoing of land, besides corn and straw and hay to their magazins; and all this payed by a bit of paper, with two lines of a recept under such a man’s hand for so much meal, corn, &c. One of which recepts I saw yesterday, subscrivit by Greiger MckGreiger governour in Falkland, whose sub deputy Rob Roy was; whose men on a Saturdayes night, after they went out of Leslie town, 36 well armed with sword, gun, durk and target, drave 123 sheep from two of my lord’s tenents in our very vew, threatening (because the town of Leslie that night resisted, and dar’d them to their very faces) to return with a better back, and to spoil and burn the whole town." .... "For Rob Roy told George Swan they behov’d to set fire to the countrey, if they were not more loyall and obedient to them. This he said to George when he came in to Falkland, seeking back two good horse they took from him, and that after he had payed his sess; yet this exeem’d him not, and George told me, had it not been Rob Roy that pleaded for him, they had laid him in prison. And yet he heard honest Robine say, that he never desired a more pleasant and satisfying breakfast every morning, than to see a Whigg’a house in flames; and yet George told me he was the fairest and most discreet among them that he saw, and so I leave any unbyassed person to judge of the rest. "

The capitulation at Preston occurred the day before Sherriffmuir, and at the same time Inverness was captured by the Government troops. The Chevalier landed at Peterhead on December 22nd attended by the Marquis of Tynemouth, son of the Duke of Berwick, and Lieutenant Allan Cameron, a son of Locheil. He remained several days at Fetteresso, the house of Earl Marischal, and there received on the 27th a body of gentlemen who rode out from Perth, and after kissing the King's hand, they proclaimed him at the gates of the house. On the 6th January 1716 the Chevalier made his entrance into Dundee. He slept one night at Fingask and then took up his abode at Scone. On Monday 10th January the Chevalier made his public entry into Perth. From Scone several proclamations were issued, and it was intended the Coronation should take place there on the 23rd January but before that date arrived, the Chevalier and his friends had resolved to abandon the contest as hopeless.

During January, Rob Roy and his men had been raiding in Fife to obtain supplies for the Jacobite army and there they ambushed, at Markinch, a party of Government troops. Upon 'misinformation' that Highlanders were plundering the place, a party of 12 Swiss mercenaries and 18 of the Kirkcaldy militia were sent out to deal with them. 'Owr men came up and fyred briskly and kild two of the rebels, but when they saw themselves surrounded by 160 armed men they all asked qwarters but two of the Swiss quho were at lenthe desperately wounded and taken and ane of them us since dead'. [ 8 ]

Argyll received large reinforcements from abroad, whilst the Jacobite forces and ammunition had diminished; the weather was very severe and the troops in Perth were entirely cut off from coals, as they had been obliged to relinquish all the towns they had secured on the Banks of the Firth of Forth. The Duke of Argyll was advancing on Perth, and after a Council of War held at Scone by the Jacobite leaders it was resolved to march the Highland army northwards and then disband them. The march to Montrose was commenced on Jan. 31, they arrived there on Feb. 3, and to keep up their hope that they were only moving to a stronger position, the troops were ordered to continue on, in the direction of Aberdeen the same night.

Meanwhile the Chevalier was induced to leave the country; it was pointed out to him, that his followers might obtain better terms if he went away, and although he was very averse to leaving those who had risked their all in his service, the Prince was prevailed upon to depart on board a small French vessel with a very few followers. Meanwhile the Jacobite army received at Aberdeen a letter from the Chevalier thanking them for their services and explaining that he was forced to give up the attempt at that time. The troops marched on to Badenoch and there quietly dispersed. Thus ended the Rising of 1715.

End of the Rising
Note 12 of Wodrow included a report from the Glasgow Courant, dated March 23 "Upon Wednesday- night last, seven of the M‘Greigors, under the command of Alester Dou M'Alister, came to the Aber of Kilmaronock, and extracted two shillings sterl. and a peck of meal, of every cottar in that place; and would needs have a bond bearing interest from one Margaret Anderson a widow, who was obliged to compound with them for half a crown.—

Wodrow 26, dated April 9, with the Rising over, reported "Last week we had a report of a skirmish betwixt a party of the regular forces and Rob Roy’s men; 8 of the former are said to be killed and as many wounded, and of the latter 14 killed; the forces burnt Rob’s house."

Wodrow 27, dated August 4.— "I hear that some of the Mcgrigors are levying contributions about Montieth. ... A merchant had been at Stirling selling wool, who luckily left his money in Stirling except 10 or 12 shillings for his pocket: he was attacqued in his way by the son of Alester Dou Mcalester and his gang, who took his ready penny, and afterward wrot him a pass."

In October 1716, quoted in Note 13 to Wodrow, was a report from the Flying Post, Oct. 18, 1716, the Hanoverian authorities attempted vengeance on the MacGregors. "Some days ago a party was ordered from Perth, another from Stirling, and a third from Glasgow, towards the house and haunts of that notorious robber and rebel Robert Roy Mac Gregor, with a design to have surrounded him and his men; but one of the parties being prevented by the waters being out, from coming up in time enough to the rendezvous, the design miscarried; and tho’ our men came within sight of him, he and his clan escap’d to the mountains. Our men shot at them, but ’tis not certain whether any of the rebels dropp’d. They fir’d again and kill’d one of our grenadiers, so that all our men cou’d do was to burn his house, and what was not worth or capable of being carry’d off."

Act of Attainder for High Treason
Amelia states, on page 288, Notwithstanding Rob Roy's caution at Sheriffmuir he was included in the Act of Attainder and the house in Breadalbane which was his place of retreat, was burned by General Lord Cadogan who marched through the highlands to disarm the Clans. "But upon going to Inverary with about forty or fifty of his followers, Rob obtained favour by an apparent surrender of their arms to Colonel Patrick Campbell of Finnab who furnished them and their leader with protections under his hand. He established himself again at Craigrostan and resumed his old quarrel with the Duke of Montrose keeping a force of some fifty men in his employ."

"List of persons attainted of High Treason by the Parliament of Great Britain for being concerned in the Rebellion 1715.
"The Duke of Ormond and Viscount Bolingbroke unless they shall surrender themselves to justice by 10th September 1715."
-Parliamentary Record An. I Geo. R. Sess. 2. Parl. 4.

"Thomas Forrester Esquire and William Mackintosh commonly called Brigadier Mackintosh having escaped from prison after receiving their indictments."
- Parliamentary Record An. I. Geo. R. Sess. 1. Parl. 5.

"William Murray Esquire commonly called Marquis of Tullibardine and James Drummond commonly called Lord Drummond."
-Parl. Record An. I. Geo. R. Sess. 1. Parl. 5.

"An Act declaring the persons following to stand attainted of High Treason from 13th November 1715 unless they surrender themselves to Justice by the last day of June 1716.
George Earl Marischal
William Earl of Seaforth
James Earl of Southesk
James Earl of Panmure
William Viscount of Kilsyth
James Viscount of Kingston
Robert Lord Burleigh

Kenneth Lord Duffus James Ogilvie commonly called Lord Ogilvie
William Sutherland Laird of Roscommon brother to the Lord Duffus
Lieutenant General George Hamilton
Major General Thomas Gordon Laird of Auchintool
Colonel John Hay son of the Earl of Kinnoul
Major William Clephan
Sir David Threipland of Fingask
Sir Hugh Paterson of Bannockburn
Sir Donald Macdonald of Slate
Mr John Paterson of Prestonhall
Sir John Mackenzie of Coull
Mr James Malcolm of Grange
Mr John Stuart of Innernytie
Mr Alexander Robertson of Strowan
Mr John Walkingshaw of Scotstown
Mr George Mackenzie of Delvin
George Mackenzie of Ballamachie
Alexander Mackenzie of Fraserdale
Roderick Mackenzie of Fairburn
Alexander Mackenzie of Applecross
Donald Mackenzie of Kilcowie
John Mackenzie of Avach
John Sinclair Esquire commonly called Master of Sinclair
Alexander Farquharson of Inveray
John Campbell of Glendaroul
John Cameron younger of Locheil
James Stirling of Keir
William Graham of Duntroon
Robert Campbell alias Macgregour commonly called Rob Roy
John Oliphant late Baillie in Dundee
Robert Stuart of Appin
Hugh Ross Laird of Clova
John MacDowall of Lorn
John Grant of Glenmoriston
John Mackinnon Laird of Mackinnon
Roderick Chisholm of Strathglas
Alexander MacDonald of Glenco
Alexander Mackenzie of Davachmaluack
John Mackra of Davachcarty
Alexander MacDonald Laird of Glengary
Ronald Mackdonald Captain of Clanronnald."
[Parliamentary Record, An. 1. George I., Sess. 1. Parl, 5.]

Amelia says "Balhaldies, who had been so recently elected by certain of the Clan to be their Chief, does not appear to have taken an active part in the field in this campaign as far as is mentioned in contemporary memoirs and dispatches, although the letter signed MacGregor" in accordance with that election, shows that he was in some way employed. His devotion to the Jacobite cause was strong and faithful, and he was probably considered as of most use as a private diplomatist and organiser". [ 9 ]  

According to Wodrow 3, Balhaldies was mentioned along with Glengyle and Rob Roy when they raised the clan for the Lennox raids on September 27th. He was not subsequently mentioned and is not listed among the above names attainted for High Treason. It seems probable that he stayed at home!

Amelia, in vol ii, chap 20, page 293 quoted from a little Pamphlet, entitled "Dunblane Traditions," (published in 1835), in which, after stating that Balhaldies as a mere youth had been conspicuous for his gallantry at Killiecrankie, it gave a fanciful but patently untrue account of his bravery in single-handedly fighting off a party of dragoons at Sheriffmuir.

After the rising in the interests of James VIII. had miscarried Balhaldies continued to correspond with friends of the Stuart Family, and was greatly trusted by all. He educated his eldest son William for the service of the Royal Exile and sent him over to Paris and Rome in December 1739. James VIII. created Alexander MacGregor of Balhaldies a Baronet of the ancient Kingdom of Scotland on March 1740. He appears to have died before Dec.23, 1743.

"1740. March 14th. Patent of a Baronetcy to Alexander Macgregor of Balhaldies.
James R
"James the Eight. By the Grace of God King of Scotland England France & Ireland Defender of the Faith &c. We Taking into our Royal consideration the constant & unshaken Loyalty of our Trusty & Well-beloved Alexander MacGregor of Balhaldies as well as the eminent services done & performed by him to Us on all occasions from his early youth to an advanced old age, of which we being truly sensible, are resolved to confer on him as a mark of our Special & Royal favour the Title & Precedency hereafter mentioned, which after him will we hope descend to our Trusty & Well-beloved William MacGregor his eldest son of whose Loyalty & attachment to our Royal person and cause We have essential proofs by his signal services & indefatigable endeavours to promote our Interest and Service. Our Will & Pleasure Therefore is That Letters Patent pass under our Great Seal of Our Ancient Kingdom of Scotland, in due and competent form Making & Creating as We hereby Make & Create the said Alexander MacGregor a Knight & Baronet of our Ancient Kingdom of Scotland, To Have & To Hold to him & the lawful heirs male of his own body, with all the privileges, precedencies, & other advantages thereunto appertaining, in as full and ample manner as any other Knight & 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 the said Letters Patent to pass the Great Seal of Our said Ancient Kingdom of Scotland persaltum, without passing any other Register or Seal, & for so doing this shall be a sufficient warrant. Given at Our Court at Rome this 14th day of March 1740, In the 39th year of Our Reign. J. R."
[Original in the archives of MacGregor of Balhaldies, copied from the same by Revd. William MacGregor Stirling.]

[1] History of the Rebellion Raised against His Majesty King George I, by the Revd Mr Peter Rae, 2d Edn. London. 1746.

[2] Balhaldies

[3] Glengyle

[4] Condensed from the Account in Browne’s Highlanders

[5] Browne's Highlanders.

[6] Sir WaIter Scott - Introduction to "Rob Roy." More authoritative sources than Scott place Rob Roy and his men guarding the ford of the River Allan, as ordered by the Earl of Mar. A considerable distance from the battlefield and certainly not in the middle of the Battle line.

[7] John Monteith, Dunblane Traditions, Stirling, Aeneas Mackay 1887, pp 14-17. Quoted by Stuart Reid in "Sheriffmuir 1715"

[8] Anon, A collection of Original letters, pp 97-8. Quoted by Stuart Reid in "Sheriffmuir 1715"

[9] As far back as 1689, Viscount Dundee, on leaving the "Convention" in Edinburgh, had spent the night of March 19th at Dunblane at the house of Alexander Drummond of Balhaldies, who cheered him with favourable accounts of the loyal disposition of the Clans - as is mentioned in the "Memoirs of Locheil” written by John Drummond (or McGregor) son of the said Alexander.