Glen Discovery in GlenLyon
About us

Campbell of Glenorchy Letters 174 - 199 7th October 1570 to 29th January 1581

Date: 7 October 1570
REF: GD112/39/11/5 (SHS ed. No. 174)
Place: Perth
From: William, 4th Lord Ruthven
To: Katherine Ruthven, Lady Glenorchy
Address: To his sistir ye Lady Glenorquhay

Sistir eftir maist hertlie commendatioun.

I ressavit zour letter quhairby ze declair yat ze Laird wes advertesit zat ye letters and charges quhilk I obtenit at my Lord Regentis Grace was nocht camit to ye Glenfarland(sic).

And yairfoir desyrit to knaw quhat officer yai ver derectit with becaus ye sen yat he hes nocht done hes dewtie. [1]

For ansuer quhairoff ze sall vnderstand yat yair wes na Pursyfand nor Officer off Armis in Edinburgh wald tak in hand to execut yat charge becaus yai knew nocht ye way.[2]

Quhairfoir I spek my Lord Regent and causit his Grace command ye Treasurer to wret to ane Officer of Armis dwelland in Glasgow to pas and execut yat charge quhilk ye Treasurer tuik in hand and assurit me on ye morne yairefter yat he had derectit ye saidis chairgis to yat officer with ane serwand off his awin quha he knew well wald put ye sam in executioun.

Sua I am assurit yat ye chairgis are put in executioun bot as on ye mater be ye Treasurer sall mak a compt afoir my Lord Regent off ye sam.

I will onfail and ryd yis Sonday [3] as wret afoir.

Thairfor mak me adverteisment quhat ye Lard purpossis to do anent ye contentis of my former wretingis. [4]

And sua nocht myndit to truble zow with langer letter presentlie committis zow in ye protectioun of ye eternal.

At Perth ye vij of October 1570. Zour assurit broder at power, Ruthven

[1] In her lost letter Katherine had rebuked Ruthven over the non-delivery of the legal documents against the MacFarlanes, [167]; GD112/1/193.
[2] The Pursuivants based in Edinburgh did not know the way to the MacFarlanes at Arrochar, so officers from Glasgow had to be used.
[3] 8 October, see [168].
[4] This probably refers to Ruthven to Grey Colin, 27 September 1570, GD112/3910/15 - not printed, and the need for Grey Colin to go to Edinburgh and make his peace with the Regent, see [156].

Date: 15 October 1570
REF: GD112 /39/11/7 (SHS ed. No. 176)
Place: Dunstaffanage Castle (Argyll) [1]
From: Dougal Campbell of Auchinbrek
To: Colin Campbell of Glenorchy
Address: To the rycht honorabill and his traist eyme Collein Campbell of Glenvrquhaye

Honorabill Sir and traist eyme efter hertlie commendatiounis.

I rasavit zour wryittyn and vnderstandis yairby that ze neither socht assurance zourself of the Clangregor nor zit desyrit my Lord our cheif to seik ze saymin of thame.

As to that howsone I schew the saymin to my Lord, his Lordship for his avin honour schew to me zour hand writ with sum articlis quhairin was contenet that ze assurance suld be desyirit and guid deid offerrit be zou to his Lordship for the performance yairof as ye saymin beiris.[2]

And nowe seyng that ze haif sent na maner ansuer to me of the articlis sent to zou I persaif it is bot wane to freindis to travell fardare betuix zou and the said Clangregor either be writte or commonyng of freindis in presence of vyeris.

And yairfoir I think nocht neidfull that ony freindis tak travell vpoun thame for that thyng that is nocht abill to be brocht to ane guid effect.

For without ze mak ansuer to the articlis sent be me to zou yairis na vyer thing as I wnderstand may be haid be ye said Clane.[3]

And gif I knew that ane middis [4] mycht be haid yairin I wald nocht spair to travell in ye fardaist parttis of Scotland for zour honour and weill.

And this I thocht guid to adverteiss zou of my mynd nochtwithstandyng that ze write nocht sa speciallie to me.

And sua I will refer to zour avin wisdoum committis zou to God.

Of Dunstafanis the xv [daye o]f October 1570.

Zouris assurit eim att all power, Dowgall Campbell off Achinbrek

[PS] And as consernyng the said Clan Gregor sen ye matter is abill to cum to the voirst amangis zou be assurit yai sall haif na fortificatioun or manteinance of me and as I persaif that nane within my Lordis boundis quhatsumever personis is sall nocht haif ony manner of thing to do with the said Clan as the deid self will declair and as ze vill knaw.

[1] Argyll was at Dunstaffnage Castle for 10-12 days, probably holding justice courts, see [164].
[2] This was Grey Colin’s reply to the memo, 28th September 1570, GD112/1/188-9.
[3] The set of articles mentioned in [171], but Auchinbreck’s considerable anger at having all his negotiating efforts with the MacGregors put at risk was very plain.
[4] Middle way.

Date: n.d. [c. 15 October 1570] [1]
REF: GD112/39/11/15 (SHS ed. No. 177)
From: Ewin MacGregor
To: Katherine Ruthven, Lady Glenorchy
Address: To ane honorabill woman and ane weilbelovit maistres Lady of Glenourquhay

Maistreis I commend me to zow to lat zour Ladyschip to wit yat I have writtin to ye Laird to ye west heid of locht [2] and yis is ye effect yairof yat I dissyre assurance for aucht dayis quhill my messischer [3] and his speik togidder and I dissire zour Ladyschip to be yair and zour bairnis.

And zour Ladyship to caus hest me my ansuer with yis berair.

Nocht ellis bot ze to be gud as my trest is in zow.

Ye eternall God have zow in his keiping. Be zowr freind and servand, Ewin Makgregor

[1] Katherine's reply, 17 October 1570 [178].
[2] Probably Ilanran at the west end of Loch Tay.
[3] Messenger.

Date: 17 October [1570]
REF: GD112/39/11/16 (SHS ed No. 178)
Place: Balloch Castle
From: Katherine Ruthven, Lady Glenorchy (draft)
To: Ewin MacGregor
Address: To Ewyn MacGregor

Efter commendatiouns.

I rassavit zour writting [1] fra yis berare makand mentioun yat ze had send ane writting to ye Lard my husband dissyrand ane assurance quhill zour messinger mycht speik ye Lard and siclyk dissyris me and my barnis to pass to ye wost end of ye loycht [2] to caus my husband to hest zow ane gud ansuer.

As to yat I can nocht assuir zow instantlie quhan I ma pass yair quhill I send to my husband first and se gif it be his will and gif it be his will(sic) yat I pass and sall gang and gif him my gud consall yat he, ze and ye commoness ma haf quyatness sua if zour offeris be godle and according to ye Lard my husbandis honour.

Ye rest to zour nixt adverteisment and sua fair ye will in ye Lord.

From Ballocht ye xvii of October be xij horis.

[1] See [177].
[2] Probably Ilanran at the west end of Loch Tay.

Date: 19 October 1570
REF: GD112/39/11/10 (SHS ed. No. 180)
Place: Dunkeld
From: William Stewart of Grandtully
To: Katherine Ruthven, Lady Glenorchy
Address: To ye Lady off Glenwrquhay

I resavit zour writis yis day and zesterday and schew my Lord of Atholl ye copy of ye assurance and requyrit his cunsal in ye mater quhay ansuerit yat ze Lard knew his awyn dwetye and promeist weil enenocht and quhen ye mater entrit in hedis he suld gif ansuer to sic as ye Lard vald adverteis hym. [1]

As to wdyr writingis ze desyrit to Lochchabir men my Lord of Atholl wald writ nayne bot sayis gif MacRennald and Donald Dow [2] be willyng to cum to ye Lard lat ilk ane of yame send ane special man to his Lordship and he sal declare yame his guid mynd to ye Lardis contentment.

As for newis thair cam ane Robeson quhome ze knaw fra ye Queine heir with writyngis fra hir to my Lord of Atholl and siclyk brocht ye copy of ye articlis desyrit be ye Queine of Ingland fra ye Quene of Scotland now laitly be Secretar Cycill. [3]

Ye hedis quhairoff wer prolixt [4] to writ bot yai ar veray hard and strange I sal do guid wil to get ye copy of yaim.

Siclyk ye assurance gifin be ye Regent for ye tua monethis is veray slycht and mony prowysionis maid yairinto swai yat it is nocht thocht veray sufficient.

I wil nocht trubbil zow with langer letter for yis present bot efter my hartliest commendatioun committis zow to ye protectioun of God.

From Dunkeld yis Thurisday ye xix of October 1570 be Zouris awyn maist assurit, W Stewart off Grantullye

[PS] It wil plaiss zow causs Thomas cum eist for ze hef halden hym lang enenocht now fra his wyf. [5] The Cuntrollar [6] ves in Dunkeld and past haime quhilk stayt me say lang for I gat nay rest nycht [or] day say lang as he wes yair. I sal writ alutheris to zow mayr largle vyth ye nixt. Resaiff zour writtis again to ... ye copeis ze send.

[1] The final stages of the negotiations for the settlement with the MacGregors, concluded on 26 October 1570, when the safe-conduct had been given and the particular points were to be discussed, see MacGregor, thesis, 388f.
[2] Ranald MacDonald of Keppoch and Donald Dubh.
[3] George Robeson brought letters at the start of October concerning the negotiations between Mary, Queen of Scots, and Queen Elizabeth, CSPSc, III, 384-5; 396.
[4] Lengthy or prolix.
[5] Grandtully’s son Thomas, who was probably only recently married to Grizel, daughter of Lawrence Mercer of Meiklelour, Katherine’s brother-in-law, see prenuptial contract, 21 March 1569, RSS, VI, 563.
[6] Tullibardine, the Comptroller.

Date: Sunday [22 October 1570] [1]
REF: GD112/39/11/18 (SHS ed. No. 181)
Place: Combre (possibly Comrie Castle at foot of Glen Lyon)
From: John MacCorcadill [2] (draft)
To: Katherine Ruthven, Lady Glenorchy
Address: Efter mest hovmeill commendations and service.

This to advertis zour Ladyship zat I have spokyn vyth Evoyn Makgregour be for his frendis and his ansuer is at [3] he vas nocht at ye makeyn of this last beyll [4] at ... ye Lard and he sayis at he vill nocht deysseyr na thyng at vill do onaye hourth or slaycht [5] to ye Lardis honour.

Of proffeyt be tayin at tak ye contrayk to my Lord of Ergill his all [6] ye heill vrytte of yat beill at cum to ye Lard as I sall schaw zow at mayer leyncht.

As for parttakaris he sayis yat thayr is monaye of taym [7] yat he voll never speyk for bot for poiyr servandis at vass ever kyndlye to heym self and his MacGregors.[8]

I beleyf on God all salbe veyll enevcht.

He send for Gregour Nelston [9] to be at heym on Sondaye that is ane test [10] betuixt Velzeim Stevart and Eveyn Makgregor on this Sondaye [11] and thayr efter I sall advertis zow of all porpass.

And ye rest refaris to zowr veillfayer ye quhelk I praye God at sa belaing.

Of Combre this last Sondaye be zowr poiyr servand at all power of service, Ze vayt quhaye

[1] This letter precedes [177-8]
[2] The enigmatic signature ‘Ze vayt quhaye’ means the author was well-known to Katherine and deeply involved with the negotiations for the MacGregor settlement.
John MacCorcadill acted as notary and attested the signatures of the MacGregors in their bond with Atholl, c. 10 December 1570, GD112/1/192a.
He had carried letters and messages for the Campbells, see [142-3; 146].
This same hand wrote the letters for Ewin MacGregor, [186; 191].
[3] In this letter the word ‘at’ frequently stands for ‘yat’.
[4] One of the sets of articles in these final stages of the negotiations for a settlement, see MacGregor, thesis, 389-90.
[5] Hurt or slight.
[6] The meaning of the first part of the sentence is obscure.
[7] Them.
[8] The vexed question of precisely which of MacGregor’s partakers should be included in the settlement.
[9] Gregor Neilston in Glen Finglas brought the articles for agreement and negotiated with Grey Colin, 26 October 1570, GD112/1/191.
[10] Test, in the sense of evidence being given.
[11] This might refer to a meeting between Ewin MacGregor and William Stewart of Grandtully who was involved in the negotiations, see [180].

Date: n.d. [c. 26th October 1570] [1]
REF: GD112/39/11/17 (SHS ed. No. 182)
From: Ewin MacGregor
To: Colin Campbell of Glenorchy
Address: To ane richt honorabill man Colin Campbell of Glenurquhay delyvir this

Rycht honorabill Sir eftir maist hertlie commendatiounis of service.

Pleis zou I hawe sene the contrak betuix us and thinkis the samyng guid in all affeiris except that my nathewe serwand and parttakaris is left out quhilk is by zour Masteris promess and ze be ramember.

Heirfoir I pray zour Mastership to caus writt ye contrak owir agane and causs specefie thairin all my nathewe servandis and parttakaris in tymes bygane to be als souire in ye said contrak as ye raist of my kin and frendes uyerwayis I can nocht wyill stand at ye said contrak. [2]

Thairfoir caus specefie all my nathewe sarwandes resetters and parttakaris thairin yat nayne be follewit in tyme to cum for na maner of cryme commitit in tyme bygane in persone or guides.

And quhen the samyng is done zour dissyre salbe fulfillit resonable in all afferis.

And mair attour exhortis zour Master for baith our weillis yat ze causs it to ye said contrak pouer yat it be wryttin in ye Serefis Buikis of Sterveling that we may be bayth ye mair sourer thairof. [3]

And thes I dout nocht bot zour Master vill do and swa committis zow to God.

Be zour servitoure at power and command, Eowin Makgregor of Glenstre

[PS] And dyssyres your ansuer in wryt heirupoun ffor giff owir dependouris be put att we can nocht mak na sowirnes for our selfis ffor thai will put at us in tymes to cum quhilk I pray zour Mastership to considdir and caus mak ane guid securatie for us all as I dout nocht bot ze vill do.

The cais I writ yis is my sowrnayme is space fit in ye contrak and nocht my assistours and parttakaris quhilk hes bene all als thankfull to me as my kin for I writ yis nocht for nay ill meineyng or ony brak of promess bot sourily bot ye wrytter has beine sum thing reckleslie in ye samyn quhilk I beleif ze suld considder.

[1] The contract and articles agreed between Grey Colin and Ewin MacGregor’s negotiators, Gregor Neilson and Patrick Johnson, were dated 26 October 1570, GD112/1/191; 193a. For details of the settlement see MacGregor, thesis, 389-90.

[2] This was a very important point — to which Ewin returned in the postscript — that not only those of his surname but all his servants and partakers must be included in the contract, which therefore had to be rewritten, see Introduction.

[3] As an added precaution, Ewin wanted the agreement entered as a notarial instrument into the Sheriff Books of Stirling.

Date: 28 October 1570
REF: GD112/39/11/13
Place: Dunkeld
From: John Stewart, 4th Earl of Atholl
To: Colin Campbell of Glenorchy
Address: To our traist freind and cousing ye Lard off Glenwrquhay

Traist cousing efter meist hertlye commendatiounes.

I haif resawit zour wryting desyring me to lat zowe knaw be wryt gif ze sall tak ye burding wpone zowe to assuir ye Clangregor in my name and for my freindis serwandis and d ependeris to ye aucht daye off December nixt yai gifand ye lyk.

As to yat I haif wryttin instantlye for ye Lairdis of Weyme Glenlyownd and Lawers quha war confideratis in yat caus to cum heir and speik with me yat I may haif yair adwyss heirinto lyk as I haif zouris all redye be yis wryt.

And efter as I haif spokin yame sall adverteiss zowe agane quhilk salbe within thre or four daies at ye farrest to ye quhilk I refar all vyer.

And sa committis zowe to ye protectioun of ye Eternal God.

Frome Dunkeld ye xxviij of October 1570. Zouris lwyfing freind and cussing Atholl

Date: 12 November 1570
REF: GD112/39/11/19 (SHS ed. No. 185)
Place: Inveraray Castle
From: Alexander MacNaughton of Dunderarve
To: Patrick MacAne MacGregor [1]
Address: ... traist freynd ... Patrick ... of Dall ...

Traist freynd efter commendatiounis.

I am informit yat ye rehersit and said yat ze saw and hard yat I gif my hand wret and consent to put down and destroy my thre broyers viz ye man yat [is] dessesit and ye tua yat is lavand with xvj men of yair best freyndis.

Yairfore uyair be ze dettour to me or elis fynd me ane dettour for I think lang quhill ze fynd ane dettour or elis zour selff. [2]

And I hard yat Gregor Neilsoun [3] wes present and said ye samen to my broyer Ewin MacGregor.

I care nocht quhat dettour ze gett to me and he wor never sa gret ane man for ye leiff of ye gentill man yat ze said yat consentit ye foirsaidis.

I am suyr yai will haif ane dettour of zow or elis of Ewin MacGregor yat rehersit ye said sinester and wrangus vitious flass revelatioun.

Send me zour ansuer in wret in all hast.

I belevit yat sic wrangus comonyng suld nocht be ye he...and of our gude cumpany and quhat never I tynit for Clangregor saike I wan never ane merk land or ony thing for putting down of ony of my breyer or ony of yair surname.

Commend me to zour bedfallow and committis zou to God. Of Inveraray ye xij day of November anno lxx. Zouris, Alexander MacNaychtane off Downderaw [4]

[1] John MacGregor’s transcript provides the full name as Patrick MacAne MacGregor of the Dall of Glenlednock, GD50/116/76; see [93].
Patrick Johnson, as he was also known, had been one of the negotiators of the settlement between Grey Colin and Ewin MacGregor, see [182]; MacGregor, thesis, 388.
[2] The accusation was that Alexander MacNaughton was going to destroy his three half-brothers, Gregor MacGregor of Glenstrae (executed on 7 April 1570), Ewin and Alastair MacGregor, see Appendix C. MacNaughton denied this serious charge which impugned his honour.
It created a debt of honour which had to be satisfied by an apology or a duel.
For most of the feud with the MacGregors, MacNaughton had been under suspicion of having assisted them, [e.g. 98].
[3] Gregor Neilson had been the other negotiator with Patrick.
[4] MacNaughton could not sign his name, see 16 June 1565, AT, V, 67.

Date: n.d. [c. 5 December 1570] [1]
REF: GD112/39/12/14 (SHS ed. No. 186)
From: Ewin MacGregor [2]
To: Colin Campbell of Glenorchy
Address: To ovr meyst asswryt ye Lard of Glenwrquhay

Rycht honourabill efter meyst hovmeille commendatiouns and service.

This is to advertis zou at ve praye zou to send vs vord quhat pleys ze vill povynt vs to cum to and hov soun ze beleyf get vs fra ye hornyng at ve ma cum ye sovnar to ovr povrpas.

And thayr for send me vord vyth this berar quhat pleyss ze vill poyint vyth vs and thayr efter ve sell keypit nocht ellis bot feill ovr meything.

Be zovr servand at all povar of service, Eveyn MacGregor

[PS] And attoveyr ze sall vayt at Makfarlanis freindis voll be vyth one at yat for gud of zovr honour and ovris as I sall shaw zov efter vord at mayr leynitht.

[1] After the initial agreement had been made with Grey Colin on 26 October 1570, GD112/1/191; 193a, and during the period of the safe-conduct allowing Ewin MacGregor freedom of movement given by Grandtully on Atholl’s behalf, 10 November renewed 5 December, GD112/1/192a; GD112/2/117/3/27; GD112/2/117/1/26-7.
Lifting the sentence of outlawry was done by two letters from the 5th earl on 16 December 1570, to the Justice Clerk, GD112/2/117/1/45, and to Grey Colin, GD112/39/11/21 - not printed. [2] This was probably written by John MacCorcadill, see [181].

Date: 16 December 1570
REF: GD112/39/11/20 (SHS ed. No. 187)
Place: Garvie (Glendaruel, Cowal)
From: Neil Campbell
To: Colin Campbell of Glenorchy
Address: To the rycht honorabill and his traist Maister the Lard of Glenurquhay

Rycht wirschipfull Sir eftir my maist hertlie and humyle comm endatioun.

The occatioun yat I wryt nocht to zour Mastership soner wes yat yair wes nane yat passit betuix.

Now zour Mastership sall wndirstand that my Lord [1] is werie weill myndit towardis zour Mastership and sayis yat his Lordship wilbe so myndit sa lang as he levis and is weill content yat ze be agreit with ye Clangregor bot zit thank God and zour self quha hes bein zour helpar and nocht we.

Forder zour Mastership sall wundirstand yat ye Bischoip of ye Ilis [2] is werie seik constantlie and hes bein sa yis gud quhill bigane and I mycht nocht get my institutioun or cullatioune be reasone of ye saming.

Bot quhow schone I get ye saming I sall cum to zour Mastership and gif fulfill my obligatioune quhilk zour Master hes of myne. [3]

And as for ye Ergill nouelis yair is nan bot yair hes bein heir ane conventioun in Carnastre instantlie of ye Clanlane and hes agreit with my Lord in all poyntis.

As for ye Clandonall they haif biddin out [4] nochtwithstanding yat my Lord wryt for yaim yair quhy is yat sum of yair awin kyne rebellis aganis James sone [5] and mycht cum quhill present ordour to ye sammen.

And this haifand na farder occatioun to wryt committis zour Mastership to ye protectioune of almychtie.

Of ye Garvie ye xvj day of December 1570. Be zouris Master humill servitour at all tymes, Neill Campbell

[PS] With my humyle commendatiouns to zour Masteris bedfallow my hussie.

[1] The 5th earl. Neil Campbell is described as Argyll’s page but was probably at least in his teens as he was receiving a benefice and going to university.
[2] John Carswell who was Superintendent of Argyll and Bishop of the Isles.
[3] The collation to the precentorship of Lismore which had been discussed in [149; 154]. The letter of collation was given by Carswell on 26 December 1570 and Neil Campbell gave a tack of the teinds to Katherine and her son Patrick on 15 January 1571, GD112/51/107/3-4.
[4] Stayed away or delayed.
[5] The convention at Carnasserie was another attempt to sort out the feud between the MacLeans and the MacDonalds over the Rhinns of Islay.
The internal divisions within the MacDonalds caused by the death of James MacDonald of Dunivaig in 1565 were still creating tensions.

Date: 7 January 1571
REF: GD112/39/13/1 (SHS ed. No. 188)
Place: Perth
From: William, 4th Lord Ruthven
To: Katherine Ruthven, Lady Glenorchy
Address: To his sister ye Lady Glenwrquhay

Sister efter maist hertlie commendatiounis.

I haif vnderstaund be yis beraris informatioun ye guid will yat MacGregor and ye rest off his surname beris to serve ye Laird zour husband and to keip ye conditiounis off yis last appoyntment [1] and yairfoir respecting yair guid mening thinkis meit and als desyris zow tobe ye instrument to labour at ye Lairdis hand to accept yaim eftir yer guid mening and tobe ane patrone and defender of yame in tymes cuming in yair guid causses. [2]

Albeit I knew ye Lairdis guid mynd be zour report in yis mater off befoir I cuild do na less nor wret being desyrit yairto seing yair request is ressonable.

And haifand na forder occatioun to truble zow with langer letter presentlie committis zow to ye protectioun off ye eternall.

At Perth ye vij of Januar 1570. Zour assurit broder att power, Ruthven

[1] A reference to the final settlement between Grey Colin and the MacGregors which was concluded between the end of October and December 1570.
[2] Katherine was being urged to act as the future patron and defender of the MacGregors and Ruthven believed that her influence upon Grey Colin was extremely important.

Date: n.d. [c. 19 July 1571] [1]
REF: GD112/39/14/1 (SHS ed. No. 191)
From: Ewin MacGregor
To: Colin Campbell of Glenorchy
Address: To ovr mest speyshall ye Lard of Gleno...

Rycht honourable efter meist hovmeill commendasiouns and service.

I have rasivit zour Mastershipis vretingis fra ye berar and quhayr zovr Master seyis at ze have send for my frendis to Ballocht ye quhilk I am veill contenit thayr of and I sell be on Freydaye at tevin in ye Braye of Boquidder and I sell send ane servand of my aveyin [2] to zovr Mastership to Ballocht vyth my haill meynd anent ye men of Rathot. [3]

And I vell vss zovr Mastership conseill vyth ye rest of ye freindis for I thyink hayve at ye men of Rannoche sould set our planness [4] on ony tovin eyster Eyregale [5] and yat be causs my Lord of Atholl thynkis at ye men vell hald ye land of his Lordsheype ye quhilk I vell never be contenynt thayr of. [6]

Bot I vss zovr Mastershipis consell in yat behalf and all oyeris at vell cum to my freindis honour and myin.

For in gud fayth geyf I vell vaquiet [7] yat rycht at I suld have in Rannocht I sell vaquiet my leyft or elles I vell have ye heill vaque be ressoun I have na uyer staykens [8] to my freindis as zovr Mastership knavest.

And ye rest rafaris to zovr in veill fay[vour.

Be] zour servandis at all povar of service Eveyin Makgregor toutour of [Glenstrae]

[1] After Ewin MacGregor had settled with Grey Colin, October to December 1570, and before the final settlement was reached with Atholl, 24 July - 4 August 1571.
The meeting of MacGregor’s friends at Balloch was the occasion for the signature of the agreement on 24 July, GD112/1/197.
The letter was written before the previous Friday, 20 July.
The scribe was probably John MacCorcadill, see [181].
[2] Own.
[3] The problem of Rannoch, both the lands and men, was part of the settlement between Grey Colin and the MacGregors which also involved Atholl and James Menzies of Weem.
When he arrived in Balquhidder on Friday evening Ewin was going to send a servant to Grey Colin to discuss the matter.
[4] Possibly ‘plenishing’.
[5] Probably a (ferm)toun east of Argyle.
[6] Ewin was determined to resist the suggestion that Atholl should hold the superiority over the Rannoch lands.
The final settlement with Atholl was a compromise, see MacGregor, thesis, 391-2. Weem finally gave a tack of Rannoch lands to Ewin on 23 April 1572, [194], MacGregor, thesis, 393.
[7] Vacate.
[8] Stakes or resources.

Date: n.d. [bef. 23 April 1572] [1]
REF: GD112/39/12/5 (SHS ed. No. 194)
From: Colin Campbell of Glenorchy (draft)
To: James Menzies of Weem
Address: Honorabill Sir eftar hartle commendatiounis.

Ze sall wit yat sowm off MacGregoris freindis come heir latt yestreyne yat spak with zow dessyrrand zow to subscrif ane letter of tak to yame of ye landis of Rannoch and yat yai mycht putt out and in putt subtenenttis as yai thocht gud sua yat yai wor nocht of na hear degrie nor Ewyn MacGregor him self.

And yai hes schawn to me yat ze haf rasaffit yame to subscrife ye letter of tak quhilk I thynk yat is bot lyttill destance betuixt ye latter and ye wyer.

Ye quhilk I thynk saifand zour awyn jugementt yat yairis lyttill vp or down in durand yair taikis yat yai haf power to sett tenenttis at yair awyn plesour sua yat yai be nocht of heiar degre nor ye said Ewyn MacGregour and als yat ye ar nocht obless for ye tennenttis of ye Rannoch for yair gud rowill bot hes ane discharge of ye actoretie in du rand yair takis. [2]

And now I persave yat MacGregour thynkis it hewy yat ze haf nocht subscirwit his letter of tak considering yat he hes fownd zow cattioun yat ze and zouris suld be skaythless of him and his serwandis in tymes commyng and als for gud payment of yair garssowmess. [3]

Yairfor I wald pray zow to subscrive yair letter of tak and gif ze do vthir wayis I tak God to wettiness and zour self gif yai brak vpone zow in zour awyn defalt yat I haf na wytt yairof.

Bot I watt consydering ye distance is sa sobir [4] yat ze will awyce with zour awyn wysdowm.

Raffarand all vther thyngis and God presarwe zow.

Zouris, Collyn Campbell of Glen[urquhay]

[PS] I haf tane sowm panes vpone ye Clangregor sene yai haif become my servandis and wald weist zou yat ze wald do ye better to yame.

For als lang as yai keip gud rowill I will defend yame sua yat yai fall nocht to ye actorete. [5]

[1] The tack for lands in Rannoch was given by James Menzies of Weem to Ewin MacGregor on 23 April 1572, GD50/187/1; MacGregor, thesis, 393, and see [143; 191].
[2] Weem had been exempted by the government from responsibility for actions on the Rannoch lands.
[3] ‘Grassums’: the down payment for the tack.
[4] In the sense of small.
[5] Now that the feud was settled, Grey Colin was prepared to give his full backing to the MacGregors.

Date: 26 July 1572
REF: GD112/39/14/3 (SHS ed. 195)
Place: Perth
From: George Johnson
To: Colin Campbell of Glenorchy
Address: To his veilbelovit natyf maister and gossaip Collyn Campbell of Glenwrquhay

Rycht honorabyll Sir and belovit gossaip efter hartly commendatioun of service.

I hayf seyn zour vryting and quhar ze beleyf yat MacGregor letter of tak beras nocht to wt put and in bring tenandis. [1]

Ye contre is trew for ondwtis he hes powar to wt put and in bring ane or many as he plesis in durand ye twa zeir conteinyt in ye letter of tak.

And ye caus ves yat ze Lard vald nocht gif foryer yat in caice enimies vald purcess [2] MacGregor at ye horn quharhow his haill vij zeris micht cum in asches.

It vas toycht gud for MacGregoris veill and ye Lardis bayth yat ye takis swld be schort etc.

Bot I ves ordenit be ye Lard of Veym gyf onny(sic) man raquirat me to gyf ane copy in ye maist scledd or veis [3]

I mycht to ye affet yat ilk man sculd nocht knaw ye sefety of yair besenes.[4]

Bot I put zour Mastership wt of dwt yat ye tak [las] [5] no less nor full powar to wt put and in bring tenandis and yat may at MacGregor plesa[re] dwrand ye twa zeris tak etc.

Bot I hayf na commission to part wyth ye said letter on till ye tyme yat MacGregoris promissis be fulfillit.

Yat is to say ze man get my Lord Regent raquest [on daites] [6] to ye Lard in MacGregoris faworis be rasoun yat last Regentis departit.

Secundly ye grassum man be payit thirdly yair is ane exs[ept in] ye letter of tak callis Johen in pay releif yat stais ye ... eir bot I beleif sober traite [7] vill get hym ye Lardis faworis and [quhen zour Master wrytis] yat albeit ze gyf ye MacGregor nayn of zour awyn landis yat ze vill help yaim to all yair just titill I beleyf it is zour Ma steris part so to do for I am scwr ze may command MacGregor to quhatsumever purpois ze pleiss.

And I pray God yat lang mae ze be at sic unite quhow evir [ye] warld beis for I knaw non yat yai ar so meit for as for [zour Master.] [8]

And zet I knaw gyf yai hed nocht beyn bandit wyth zow yair is [none] yat vald hayf tane mor tankfull with yaim yit tingis.

And wtheris I man rafer to meting etc. A man yat is veill twnit hes oft tym ...

Nocht ellis bot God keip zour Mastership eternaly.

At Pertht ye xxvi of July. Be zour Masteris servant and goissaip, George Jonsoun Burges of Pertht

[PS] Credence to ye berer etc. [1] James Menzies of Weem and the tack of the lands of Rannoch given to Ewin MacGregor on 23 April 1572, GD50/187/1; see [194].
[2] Purchase, in the sense of obtain.
[3] ‘Slender wise’.
[4] It appears as if Johnson was acting as an unofficial notary and had been told by Weem that, if asked for copies of the tack by ‘enemies’, he was to provide as brief versions as possible so that the full details would not become known.
[5] Possibly ‘lase’ for lease.
[6] The meaning is unclear.
[7] A small negotiation.
[8] An interesting echo of the view that the MacGregors were the most suitable servants for Grey Colin, see [25].

Date: 29 January 1581
REF: GD112/39/15/5 (SHS ed. No. 199)
Place: Holyrood House
From: Colin Campbell, 6th Earl of Argyll
To: Colin Campbell of Glenorchy
Address: To our traist cusing the Lard of Glenvrquhay

Cusing eftier oure hartlie commendatioun.

We resavit zour twa letteris ane ffrome our servand Colene Leitche [1] and ane vyer frome Dowgall MacGregoure.

We vnderstand be zour letteris that ze haif grantet vnto ye ossurence betuix zow and ze Lard of Weyme to contenew vnto ye xv of Marche and hes appoyntet ane day of meitting the tent of Fabruar.

Bot now sen my Lord of Ruthvenis cuming to yis toun we haif conferrit with him at lenth towart yir changes and trewlie we persaif that on nawayis can we leif ye Kinges Maiestie ffor sic effares as ar to do quhilk ar nocht neidfull to wreit and yairfoir can nocht keip that day quhilk ze haif appoyntett. [2]

Bot sen swa is to oure opynioun gif ze wald yat maiteris touke effect schortlie it wer best gif ze mycht taik that travell to maik ye tryst in yis toun ather vpoun ye said tent day of Fabruar or schortlie thairefter or ellis yat ze nominat sum man for zow to keip ye said tryst in our plaice.

Vyerwayis gif ze think our presence be necessair and yat ze may nocht travell to yis toun it is best ze prolong yir assurance vnto Maii and lat ye day of meitting be vpoun ten or tuelf dayis warnyng swa that God willing or ye assurance ryn out we hope to haif yat lasour be ye Kinges service to keip tryst in ony rowme ze appoynt.

For now seying that gretair effares is stay vnto ws that we may nocht satisfie zour desyre zit we dout nocht bot [ze] will taik ye same in gude parte.

Ze sall lat ye Laird of Lawres knaw quhilk of yir purposes ze will taik swa that he [may] certefie ye Laird of Weyme yairof and get his mynd thairintill. [3]

F[or] we assure zow albeit ze baith refuis the chairges will pas vpoun zow as yai ar direct yairfor I think best vnto oure opynioun that ze grant thairto willinglie.

As vnto ze purpos ze [wreit] vnto ws yat ze Lard of Weyme will nocht set his land to ye [Clan]gregor but ane lycence.

It is bot ane schift ffor I haif spokin [to] sum of ye Counsall towart sic thing and it is nocht to be grantet bot is ane playne abuse zit at zour request quhat I can do vyerwayis we will nocht spair our labour.

As vnto ye Bishope of Dunkeld yair is nocht sic ane thing as ze alledge vpoun him as we haif schawin vnto zour sone Collene [4] and gif it wer we suld provyd remeid.

We remit all vyer thinges to zour ansur and to foidare occatioun and [s]wa for ye present committis zow to God.

At Hallerudhous the xxix [of] Januar 1580. Zour assuret cusing, Colin Argyll

[1] Colin MacLachlan of Craiginterve.
[2] Grey Colin’s long-running feud with James Menzies of Weem could not interfere with the delicate political situation after the ‘Ruthven Raid’.
[3] John Campbell, 3rd of Lawers, Grey Colin’s son-in-law, was to act as the go-between with Menzies of Weem. The memo of Grey Colin's negotiating points probably dates from this time, GD112/1/226a.
[4] Colin of Ardbeich, Grey Colin and Katherine’s second son. This business concerned James Paton, the disgraced Bishop of Dunkeld, who was closely linked to the earls of Argyll.