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Alexander Mackenzie.

History of the Munros of Fowlis with genealogies of the principal families of the name: to which are added those of Lexington and New England online

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Online LibraryAlexander MackenzieHistory of the Munros of Fowlis with genealogies of the principal families of the name: to which are added those of Lexington and New England → online text (page 19 of 54)
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There is a sasine on a contract of wadset by John Munro
of Newmore to Duncan Ross of Aldie, dated the 2nd of
October, 1742. He died, unmarried, in 1749, the
last direct male representative of the Munros of Newmore,
when the male representation devolved upon James Munro,
IV. of Culrain, whose great-grandson, Charles Munro,
VII. of that family — of whom presently — on the death of
Sir Hugh Munro, without legitimate male issue in 1848,
succeeded to the Baronetcy and as head of the House of
Fowlis, and on the death of Sir Hugh's daughter, Mary
Seymour Munro, unmarried, in 1849, ^^ ^^^ family estates.



200 HISTORY OF THE MUNROS.

The Colonel was succeeded in the estates of Newmore
by his eldest sister,

V. Mary Munro, who had married her cousin, Gustavus
Munro, III. of Culrain. She was an eminently pious
woman, and a faithful coadjutor of the Rev. Daniel Bethune,
minister of Rosskeen from 1717 to 1754, in his endeavours
to reform the morals and improve the spiritual condition
of his parishoners.* Mr Bethune was a frequent visitor
at Newmore Castle. His housekeeper was a Jane Munro,
" Nic-an-Fhucadair," mother of Daniel Clark, who was for
many years catechist of the parish of Fearn. Whenever
the minister paid a visit to Newmore, Mrs Munro sent her
carriage for him, and Jane would accompany him, faithfully
attend to all his wants, and bring him safely home again.
An old ash tree, planted by Mrs Munro of Newmore,
behind the Castle still stands, and is known by the name of
" Craobh-na-Baintighearna." By her marriage with Gus-
tavus Munro the properties of Newmore and Culrain were
for a time united. They had issue —

I. George, who predeceased his mother in the twenty-
first year of his age.

She died in 1764, when she was succeeded in the estates
of the family by her nephew,

VI. William Ross Munro of Aldie, who married
Margaret, daughter of William Grant of Balnaspardan,

* At the time of Mr Bethune's settlement it was customary for the people to
meet at Ardross on Sabbath to play at shinty. He resolved to abolish this
profanation of the Lord's Day. The method he adopted to accomplish his
object was as follows :— One of the Ardross men was noted for his strength
and activity, and he was the chief and leader of the shinty players. Mr
Bethune sent for him, and proposed to make him an elder. The man was
at first, naturally, not a little surprised at this proposition, but after some
persuasion he consented. Upon being, shortly afterwards, duly ordained to
the eldership, Mr Bethune informed him of the various duties connected with
his new office and that he was specially bound to put a stop to the shinty
playing on the Sunday. He promised to do so, and repaired to the playground
on the following Sabbath armed with a stout cudgel. He there and then
declared to those assembled for their usual sport that if one of them threat-
ened to lift a club he should forthwith feel the weight of his cudgel. The
players thereupon quietly retired, and never afterwards met again on the
Sunday for a like purpose.



THE MUNROS OF NEWMORE. 201

Morayshire, "a pious woman." Besides Newmore, William
possessed the estates of Balintraid and Balnaga. He is
described as " a foolish man," and endless stories regarding
his eccentricities are still current in his native parish. He
died in 1802, without issue, and was succeeded by his
cousin,

VH. Chaklls Ross, advocate, second son of Lord
Ankerville. In 18 10 he sold Newmore to Kenneth Mac-
leay of Keiss, whose son Kenneth sold it to the late
Francis M. Gillanders, Inverness, who left the property
to George Inglis, now of Newmore, the eldest son of his
niece, Catherine Gillanders, who had married William
Inglis of the H.E.I.C.S., and a brother of the late Colonel
Inglis of Kingsmills, Inverness. It has been said that
Charles Ross acquired the estate of Invercharron in payment
of a law account. He married Margaret, daughter of James
Borrowman, with issue —

1. Robert Ferguson Ross, who succeeded him in Inver-
charron.

2. Charles Ross, who died in infancy.

3. Ronald Crawford Ross, who also died in infancy,

4. Margaret Ankerville Ross, who succeeded her brother
in Invercharron.

5. Mary Ferguson Ross.

6. Elizabeth Ross.

Charles died in 1836, when he was succeeded by his only
surviving son,

VIII. Robert Ferguson Ross, who died unmarried
on the lOth of January, 1875, and was succeeded by his
eldest sister,

IX. Margaret Ankerville Ross, who, in 1834,
married Captain Joseph John Grove of the 25th Foot, with
issue —

I. Joseph Charles Ross, who served with distinction as a
Captain in the 42nd Royal Highlanders throughout the
Crimean War, 1854-5, in the Indian Mutiny, 1857-8, and
was the anonymous author of a three volume novel,
entitled "Amat," published by Chapman and Hall in 1881.



202 HISTORY OF THE MUNROS.

He married in i860, Emily Henrietta Hay, daughter of
the late William Erskine of Cardross, with issue — three
daughters.

2. Harriet Goldie Ross.

3. Amelia Donald Ankerville, who married John Sen-
house Goldie Taubman, of The Nunnery, Isle of Man, with
issue — four sons and two daughters.

Captain Grove assumed the name of Ross on succeeding
to his wife's property. He died in 1885, but the estate was
sold some four years previously to Mr Alexander Littlejohn,
now of Invercharron.



THE MUNROS OF CULRAIN.

The male representative of this family, Charles Munro,
having in 1848 succeeded to the Baronetcy, and as head of
the family of Fowlis, the Munros of Culcairn, who would
have succeeded before those of Culrain, having died out in
the male line in 1821, gives the Munros of Culrain a place
and prominence which they would not otherwise have
attained to. The first of the family was

I. George Munro, third son of Sir George Munro, I. of
Newmore, from whom he received the lands of Culrain, in
the parish of Kincardine, and of Culcairn, in the parish of
Rosskeen, George resided in the mansion-house of Cul-
cairn, the site of which is now occupied by the farmhouse.
He married first, Catherine, daughter of Lodovic Dunbar of
Grange, Morayshire, with issue —

1. George, his heir and successor.

2. Christian, who died unmarried. There is, dated the
3rd of January, 1728, a "sasine on disposition by Mistress
Christian Munro, eldest daughter of the deceased George
Munro of Culrain, in favour of David Rose of Holm, of the
town and lands of Culrain " and others. David Rose of
Holm was married to Margaret, daughter of Lodovic
Dunbar of Grange, Christian Munro's aunt.

George married, secondly, Ann, daughter of Sir John
Cunningham, Ayrshire, with issue —

3. Gustavus, who succeeded his brother George.

4. James, who succeeded his brother Gustavus.

5. Barbara, who was betrothed to William Macleay of
Polio and Portleich, parish of Kilmuir-Easter, but died in
Caithness a few days before the date appointed for their
marriage ; and to keep her memory green Macleay changed



204 HISTORY OF THE MUNROS.

the name of the village of Portleich to Barbaraville, by
which it is now known,

6. Elizabeth, who married the Rev. John Munro, minister
of Rogart from 1725 to 1753, with issue — three children.
She died on the 3rd of February, 1756, and is said to have
been a very wicked woman and "an awful thorn in the side
of godly Mr Munro."

7. Esther, who married, without issue, David Ross of Mid
Fearn, fifth son of Andrew Ross, VIII. of Shandwick —
marriage contract dated the 23rd of October, 1727. She
died in 1740 "in a melancholy manner" in Orkney. In
1745 her husband is a prisoner in Nairn, He died on the
2ist of May, 1768, and was buried at Kincardine.

8. Isabella, who married, with issue.

9. Janet, who married William Munro, Edderton, with
issue, one of her grandchildren being the late Alex-
ander Ross, mason, Kincraig. She died at Milntown of
New Tarbat, at the extraordinary old age of 108,

10. Ellen, also married,

George Munro married, thirdly, Agnes, daughter of Hugh
Wallace of Inglistown, without issue.

He died at Culcairn in December, 1724, as in that month
and year the Kiltearn Session records show that "the
Laird of Culrain " paid 5 marks for the use of the velvet
mortcloth for his father. He was buried in Rosskeen
Churchyard,

His widow married, as his second wife, Malcolm Ross,
V. of Pitcalnie, without issue.

He was succeeded by his eldest son,

11. George Mukro, who only enjoyed the estates of his
family for seven years, and of whom it is said that during
that short period " he spent the half of them, and if he had
lived other seven he would have spent the whole." It is
traditionally said of him that "he was so overgrown with fat
that he could not turn in his bed without two or three men
assisting him, and that for years before his death he never
left it," He married Mary, daughter of Hugh Wallace of
Inglistown, a sister of his father's third wife, without issue.



THE MUNROS OF CULRAIN. 205

He died " unlamented " in 173 1, and was buried at Ross-
keen, when he was succeeded by his brother,

III. GUSTAVUS MUiMRO, SO named after Gustavus
Adolphus, King of Sweden, under whom his grandfather,
Sir George Munro of Newmore, served for so many years
on the Continent. He also resided at Culcairn House, and
married Mary, daughter of George Munro, HI. of New-
more, with issue, an only son —

[. George, who was facile and died before being served
heir to his father.

After his marriage Gustavus took up his residence at
Newmore Castle, where he and his wife lived so unhappily
that, after some very unedifying family wrangles, they
separated, he going to Culcairn, where he continued to
reside during the remainder of his life, she remaining at
Newmore.

He died, without surviving male issue, in 175 1, when
he was succeeded by his younger brother,

IV. James Munro, who during the lifetime of his two
elder brothers occupied the farm of Daan, in the parish
of Edderton. He married Ann, daughter of James
Graham, Edderton, a beautiful woman, but in comparatively
humble cir-cumstances. The marriage so highly incensed
his two elder brothers, both living at the time, that they
resolved upon separating them, and to this end they forcibly
carried her away privately during the night, and got her
sent across to America, to the then penal English settle-
ment of New York, where she remained for many years,
her whereabouts being kept entirely secret from her
husband, who was much attached to her, and still resided
on his farm of Daan. The treatment which she received
naturally • displeased her relations, and they ultimately
applied to the head of their family, Graham of Drynie, in
the Black Isle, to call the Munros to account for their
conduct towards their relative, with the result that the
charges made against them were investigated. The usual
means were taken in America to obtain information regard-
ing the missing woman, and one of the notices circulated



206 HISTORY OF THE MUNROS.

happened to come under the eyes of the gfentleman in
whose employnrent the Lady of Daan at the time was.
He was already aware that she belonged to the North
of Scotland, and naturally asked her if she knew anything-
about the person enquired about. She replied that she
did, and that she was herself the lady in question. Com-
munication with her husband was at once entered upon.
He thereupon petitioned Parliament to have his wife
returned to him, with the result, it is said, that a man-of-war
was ordered to New York to bring her home ; in due time
the ship returned, and arrived in the Cromarty Firth,
where the heartlessly exiled Mrs Munro was safely landed,
at Ballintraid, and joyfully welcomed by her devoted
husband, after which they lived happily together for many
years, having had issue —

1. Charles, his heir and successor.

2. Ann, who died, unmarried, in London.

James Munro died about 1760, but his wife survived him
for several years, dying at Kilmachalmaig, parish of Kin-
cardine, where she is said to have been born. He was
succeeded by his only son,

V. Chakles Munro, who, on his accession found the
estates of his family burdened with a debt of ;^ 5800 sterling,
so that he was obliged to execute a deed by which he
appointed as trustees for the purpose of paying his debts,
Sir Hugh Munro of Fowlis, Sir Hector Munro of Novar,
Donald Macleod of Geanies, Provost Andrew Robertson of
Dingwall, grandfather of the Right Hon. William Ewart
Gladstone, ex-Premier of Great Britain ; and John Mont-
gomery of Milntown. In 1778 he joined the 71st Regiment,
then known as Lord Macleod's Highlanders, in the first
battalion of which he was appointed Lieutenant. He after-
wards took a very active part in recruiting for the regiment,
and it is said of him that while thus employed he pressed
several men "taking them out of their beds to make up his
company." He accompanied his battalion to Jersey, and
thence to Portsmouth, where in January, 1779, it embarked
under the command of Lord Macleod, and arrived in



THE MUNROS OF CULRAIN. 20/

Madras Roads on the 20th of January, 1780, where in the
following- July it joined at St. Thomas' Mount, near Madras,
the army under Sir Hector Munro of Novar.

Lieutenant Charles Munro of Culrain was engaged in all
the battles fought against Hyder Ali in the Carnatic, which
will be found described at considerable length in our notice
of Sir Hector Munro under the family of Novar, and was,
for his services during this campaign, promoted to the rank
of Captain. He was fatally wounded at the capture of
Benares, from whence he was removed to St. Thomas'
Mount, where he died of his wounds in 1782.

Sir Hugh Munro of Fowlis declined to act as a trustee.
Sir Hector Munro of Novar, who had lent Captain Munro
;^5000 to pay his debts, and for which sum he received
a bond over the estate of Culrain, was permitted by the
others to relinquish his trusteeship, in order that he might
legally take possession of that property. This he succeeded
in doing by consent of his remaining colleagues, in gross
breach of faith towards the truster and his son, the latter at
the time being a minor, for the very inadequate sum of
;^5000 already advanced by him, as above mentioned. The
minor, George Munro, on attaining his majority, refused to
recognise the sale to Sir Hector Munro of Novar, or to
grant a discharge to the other trustees, and so the matter
remained and will probably continue to remain.

Charles Munro married Mary Ann, youngest daughter of
David Ross, H. of Inverchassley, sister of David Ross, Lord
Ankerville, with issue —

1. George, his heir and successor.

2. Ann, born in 1766, and married Charles Munro, Ross-
keen, with surviving issue — a son, David, who died in 1863.

3. Christina, who was born in 1767, and married John
Fitzpatrick, a non-commissioned oflficer in the Cromarty
Rangers, with issue. For several years after the death of
her husband, she resided at Invergordon, where she was
popularly known as " Lady Culrain." She died there, in
humble circumstances, in 1838, and was buried in the family
burying-ground in Rosskeen Churchyard.



208 HISTORY OF THE MUNROS.

Captain Munro, who died in 1782, was succeeded by his
only son,

VI. George Munro, who was born on the 12th 01
November. 1769. Like his father he entered the army, and
was a Captain in the Fraser Fencibles, raised in 1794 by
Colonel James Fraser, VII. of Belladrum, who had served
under his Chief, General Simon Fraser of Lovat, in Canada
during the Seven Years' War. Captain Munro distinguished
himself with his regiment in Ireland during the rebellion
there. He retired in 1798, joined the Ross and Cromarty
Rangers raised in 1799, and placed under the command of
Colonel Lewis Mackenzie, eldest son of Sir Roderick Mac-
kenzie, VII. of Scatwell.

' Captain George Munro married Margaret, daughter of
John Montgomery of Milntown, with issue —

1. Charles, his heir and successor.

2. John, who was born in 1796, and was locally known as
" Fear Chuilchairn." He died in Edinburgh, unmarried, in
1846.

3. Mary, who was born in 1794, and married first,
Lieutenant Owen Lindsey of Springfield, son of Arthur
Lindsey of Saint Andries, County Mayo, Ireland, and
nephew of General John Thomas Vessey, for many years
aide-de-camp to the late Duke of Kent. Lieutenant
Lindsey served in the 52nd Regiment, commanded by his
uncle General Vesey, in the Portugese Cacactones, at
Aulbera, etc., and died in Edinburgh in 1832. By Mary
Munro he had issue — i, George Munro Lindsey, a Custom
House officer, who married Isabella, daughter of J. Cameron,
Edinburgh, with issue — (i), George; (2), Francis; and (3),
Jessie. George died in Liverpool in 1880. 2, Margaret
Montgomery, who married James Burns, of Inglis & Burns,
W.S., Edinburgh, with issue — (r), James; (2), Margaret;
and (3), Grace. Mrs Burns died in 1848, her husband
surviving her until 1850. 3, Mary Vesey, who died
unmarried in 1850. 4, Hester, who married James Bailey
Cooper, Dublin, where they resided, without issue, 5, Jane
Mackenzie, who married Charles Jones, London, with



THE MUNROS OF CULRAIN. 20g

issue — (i), James Matheson ; (2), George Rose ; (3), Susan
Jane, who in 1874, married Harry Munro, of the Union
Bank, London, and grandson of Sir Charles Munro of
Fowlis, with issue — Herbert Montgomery, Anna Clara, and
Maud Mary; (4), Harriet Munro, who on 23rd of December,
1884, married James F. Fordham, London ; (5), Ann
Clunas Gordon, who married Harry Andrews, with issue,
Mary Munro, married secondly, in 1833, Alexander Simson,
solicitor, Dingwall, without issue. She died at South
Lambert, London, on the ist of November, 1863, in the
70th year of her age, and was buried in Kensal Cemetery.

Captain George Munro sold Rhicullen and Rosebank to
Mr Macleay of Newmore ; and Culcairn, in 18 18, to Hugh
Rose-Ross of Calrossie and Cromarty, for ;^i6,500 ; while
Culrain, as already stated, went to Sir Hector Munro of
Novar.

His wife died in 1847, he having predeceased her, in
Edinburgh on the 19th of December, 1845, when he was
succeeded in the representation of the family by his eldest
son,

Vn. Charles Munro, who, as nearest heir male,
succeeded to the Baronetcy on the death of his kinsman,
Sir Hugh Munro, twenty-sixth Baron, in 1848, and, on
the death of Sir Hugh's daughter in 1849, to the family
estates, as already shown under The Munros of FOWLIS.



14



GENERAL ROBERT MUNRO— A CADET OF
OBSDALE.

This distinguished and g-allant officer was, it will be
remembered, the second son of George Munro, I. of
Obsdale, and grandson of Robert Munro, fifteenth Baron of
Fowlis. He entered the army in early life and obtained
a Lieutenancy in the regiment raised by Sir Donald
Mackay, afterwards first Lord Reay, for services under
Ernest, Count Mansfeldt, leader of the Bohemian army, A
list is given by Sir Robert Gordon of the principal- men
from the North who joined the famous corps when it was
first embodied, and among those from Ross-shire are
found Robert Munro, eighteenth Baron of Fowlis, who
succeeded in 1603 ; his brother Hector, who succeeded
as nineteenth Baron ; John Munro, H. of Obsdale, and his
brother Robert now under notice ; John Munro, second
son of Hector Munro, H. of Assynt ; Hugh Ross of Priest-
hill ; David and Nicolas Ross, sons of Alexander Ross, I.
of Invercharron ; Thomas Mackenzie of Kildun, afterwards
I. of Pluscardine, brother of Colin, first Earl of Seaforth,
and many others, especially of the Clan Munro.*

The regiment embarked at Cromarty on the lOth of
October, 1626, and after a sail of five days the fleet arrived
at Gluckstadt on the Elbe. From here, by order of the
King of Denmark, the men were sent to Holstein, where
they remained inactive for a period of six months, merely
occupying their time in drill and manoeuvres in order to be
ready to take the field in the spring. Sir Donald Mackay,
who, in consequence of ill-health, was unable to join the
corps when it left Scotland, arrived at Holstein and
* Earldom of Sutherland, p. 402.



GENERAL ROBERT MUNRO. 211

assumed command in the end of March, 1627. Soon
after he issued orders to the regiment to march under
arms to Itzehoe to be reviewed by and take the oath of
fideHty to the Danish King. This done in the most cere-
monious and impressive manner, and his Majesty having
expressed himself highly pleased with the appearance,
discipline, and steadiness of the men, the regiment, on
the following day, crossed the Elbe, leaving two companies
behind to besiege Stoade. and marched to join General
Morgan, a brave old officer of great experience, who,
with four English regiments, was then encamped on the
banks of the Wasser. On the march one of the officers,
Captain Boswell, strayed away from his company, and was
killed by a marauding party of the enemy. The Major
was unavoidably absent during this march, and his place
was temporarily occupied by Robert Munro, who by this
time had attained the rank of Captain, an honour which
gives early indication of his military attainments and which
naturally annoyed some of his brother officers, his seniors
in rank, who considered themselves entitled to command in
the absence of their superior officer.

On the loth of July, 1627, a division of the regiment
was sent to join their comrades, then stationed at a fortifi-
cation in Boitzenberg, near Hamburg, where Captain
Munro had his first brush with the enemy, the Scots after
a desperate struggle gaining a victory over an overwhelming
force of their assailants, though they ultimately had to retire,
carrying away their guns and ammunition.

Munro next comes into notice at a severe engagement
in the Pass in Oldenburg, where he was wounded, receiving,
according to his own account, a " favourable mark " on the
inner side of the knee, while his bartisan was broken in
his hand by a cannon ball. His brother. Captain John
Munro of Obsdale, distinguished himself highly "on this
occasion, but escaped unhurt. Among the killed were
Andrew Munro of Teachuirn, second son of William
Munro, H. of Culcraggie ; Ensigns Farquhar Munro, and
David Munro ; while among the wounded were Lieutenants



212 HISTORY OF THE MUNROS.

Hug-h Ross, Andrew Munro, Hector Munro, IV. of
Culcragg-ie ; Alexander Tulloch, and Arthur Forbes.

A few instances may be given of the courag-e which
animated the Highlanders on this occasion. One member
of the Clan Munro was shot in the arm, but refused to
retire. Before the action was concluded, he fell with
a bullet through his head. Ensig-n David Munro was shot
in the breast and fell back a little until he got some one
to dress his wound, after which he returned to the front
and carried his colours until the battle was over. Hector
Munro of Coul, having been wounded in the foot, was
ordered to retire ; he, however, replied that " it was not
time, till he had emptied his Bandaliers against his enemies,"
but before he had accomplished his object he was shot
in the other foot. He had then to be assisted to the rear
by some of his comrades, but he would not permit them
to retire too far with him, lest their military reputation
should suffer. Hugh Murray was told to carry back the
dead body of his brother, but answered, " 1 will first empty
my brother's Bandaliers, as I have done mine own, to be
revenged on his enemies before I take him off." Before
he accomplished his self-imposed task — a task that might
almost be called sacred — he was shot in the eye, but
" wondrous favourably " ; some days afterwards, the bullet
came out of his nose, " which is most true, though seem-
ingly incredible."

The Danes were defeated and their ammunition having
become exhausted they had to retire, Munro occupying
the place of honour and most extreme danger in command
of the rear guard. They soon arrived at the harbour of
• Heiligenhaven, where Sir Donald Mackay resolved upon
shipping his transport, but there was so much confusion
among the mariners that he could get no one in charge
to obey him. Then the retreating cavalry began to arrive,
taking forcible possession of such ships as were nearest to
them. Thus it happened that when the Highlanders
arrived the quays were overcrowded, ship captains and
sailors shouting out orders which were totally disregarded,



GENERAL ROBERT MUNRO. 213

soldiers swearing^ and struggling-, and no one doing anything
practical. In this confusion Sir Donald Mackay appears
for the moment to have lost his usual presence of mind,
and gave no orders to Captain Munro or to the other
officers present. But our hero was equal to the occasion.
Realising the gravity of the situation he resolved upon a



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