Amelia Geogiana Murray MacGregor.

History of the clan Gregor, from public records and private collections; comp. at the request of the Clan Gregor society (Volume 1) online

. (page 1 of 51)
Online LibraryAmelia Geogiana Murray MacGregorHistory of the clan Gregor, from public records and private collections; comp. at the request of the Clan Gregor society (Volume 1) → online text (page 1 of 51)
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Digitized by the Internet Archive

in 2010 with funding from

Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center





The Clan Gregor


V. I




Amelia Georgiana Murray Mac Gregor


VOLUME FIRST— A.D. 878-1625





Zo tbe Clan (3reQor

To THE Memory of the Courage and Fortitude of


To the Clan yet Flourishing and Faithful to


To THE Future Generations who will still uphold its


Ubts TRecorC) is ^ebicatcb

By an Attached

Don dbloin Obriooatr ;

Do Chuimhne Gaisge agus Treuntais


Do'n Chloinn nis a soirbheachadh agus dileas


Do na Ginealaich ri teachd a chumas suas fathast


ZM an Xeabbar so air a cbotsrlaeaDb





Introduction 1-4

Chapter I

Early origin of the ClanGregor— King Gregory generally claimed as the Founder of the
Race — Two very ancient pedigrees — The Tribe is Royal — Sketch of the feudal and
of the clan systems — The name of MacGregor — Passages from a notice by Dr
Joseph Anderson published in 1890 . . . . . • • S"'^

Chapter II

Excerpts from Article on MacGregor in Douglas's " Baronage of Scotland," from Gregor,
said to have been third son of King Alpin, to Gregor (Aluin) XII, of the line, in
the 14th century— Explanatory Notes— The ancient Armorial Bearings— The earliest
notices of the ClanGregor Ancestors in the Chronicle of Fortingal, 1390 — Notices
from the " Chartulary " regarding certain lands ..... 12-23

Chapter III

Short Historical Sketch, 1285- 1390— Professor Donald Gregory's Historical Notices of
the ClanGregor from 1296- 1534 — Details as to the Barony of Glenurchay — Notes
from the "Chartulary" on same subject — Professor Gregory's view that the Mac-
Gregors adhered to the House of Lorn attached to Baliol, and were consequently not
in favour with King Robert Bruce— Dr Joseph Anderson's remarks on the same sub-
ject—Professor Gregory relates that in the latter part of the fifteenth century the
Chieftains of the Clan were seated on Crown lands nominally as Crown tenants, but
in reality as absolute proprietors, till these lands gradually passed into the possession
of various Barons — Under the severity of these the Clan grew remarkable for opposi-
tion to laws— Growth of the Family of Glenurchy— Charter to Robert Menzies of
that Ilk of lands of Rannoch .,...••• 24-35

Chapter IV

Sketch of the Reign of King James I.— Enactment in 1424 enjoining consideration of the
" Hieland men " who " commonlie reft and slew ilk ane utheris " — Murder of King
James I., 1436-7— Death of King James II. in 1460— Disposition of Auchinrevach
in the Barony of Glendochart by Malcolm Johnsoune to Glenurchy, 1463— King

X Contents



James III. killed at the Battle of Sauchie, 1488— First enactment in reign of King
James IV., October 1488, against theft, reft, &a, and power given to certain Lords to
punish such trespassers — Excerpts from the " Chartulary," 1499-1504 — King James
y^iy. , visit to Balquhidder, 1 506— Battle of Flodden, 1 5 1 3, and death of King James IV. 36-43

Chapter V

Continuation from the "Baronage" — Malcolm XIII. — John of same generation and
Malcolm XIV. — Correction of a genealogical error — Gregor Mor XIV. (brother of
the last Malcolm) of Brackly — Duncan Ladasach XV. — House of Glenstray — Ancient
genealogy from the Dean of Lismore's book — Table showing descendants of John
Cham M'^Gregor of Glenurchay — Continuation of House of Glenstray as far as Gregor
Roy (VI,) of Glenstray ........ 44-55

Chapter VI

Excerpts from the Chronicle of Fortingal by James MacGregor, Dean of Lismoir, chiefly
an Obituary, 1092 to about 1530, and continuation by the Curate of Fortingal to
1576, with Notes ......... 56-66

Chapter VII

Selection of Poems regarding MacGregors from the Dean of Lismoir's book — The modern

Gaelic version and English translation by the Rev. Thomas M'^Lauchlan . . 67-83

Chapter VIII

Bond of Manrent from " Black Book of Taymouth " — Excerpts from " Chartulary," 1514-
1548 — Reign of King James V. to 1542, and Accession of Queen Mary— MacGregors
in Rannoch .......... 84-91

Chapter IX

Duncan "Ladasach" — Sketch of the Laird of Glenurchay 's position in Breadalbane, 1540
— Bonds of Manrent — Alexander our M'^Patrick MacGregor art and part in
slaughter of John M'^Donald Bayne, and slain himself by Duncan Laddosach, 1551
— Duncan reconciled with Glenurchay, May 1552, who beheaded him and his two
sons, June 1552— Legend from the Lairds of Glenlyon— Quotations from the " Black
Book of Taymouth " and from the " Baronage " ..... 92-100

Chapter X

Genealogical— Considerations as to the House of Glenstray as Captains of the Clan— John
M'^Connoquhy M'^Gregour, keeper of the Castle of Glenurchay, 1550 — Fiery Cross
sent out in 1547 — Battle of Pinkie in September same year— Queen Mary conveyed
to France, 1548 — Excerpts from "Chartulary," 1547— Slogan of Ardchoille — Letter
from Mary of Guise, Queen Regent, exempting Alexander Menzies of that Ilk from
finding caution for his MacGregor tenants in Rannoch for seven years, 1559. . IOI-108

Contents xi

Chapter XI

Genealogical and traditional — Grierson of Lag — MacGregor of Ardinconnell, 1429-1544
— Growing feud between the MacGregors of that family and the Colquhouns of Luss
— MacGregor of Roro, 1477-1511 — Genealogical table — Traditional accounts — Mac-
Gregor of Balhaldies — MacGregor of Learagan — MacGregor of Dunan — MacGregor
ofArdlarich — MacGregor of Glengyle — Gregories of Kinairdie . . . 109-125

Chapter XII

Sketch of reign of Queen Mary — Entries from "Chartulary," 155210 1564 — Contract between
Glenurchay and MacRannald of Keppoch to have lands in Rannoch, and pursue the
ClanGregor, whose escheit Sir Colin Campbell had recently obtained — Proclamation
from Queen Mary, 1663, against the Clan — Protest by the 4th Earl of AthoU against
rights of search granted to Glenurchay — Further proclamations — Glenurchay bound
in his pursuit of the ClanGregor not to " turn or oppress the lieges " — Keppoch re-
building the Fort on Isle of Loch Rannoch — Letter from Queen Mary to Glenurchay
to stop the same — Summons from Queen Mary against Glenurchay and letter from
Her Majesty to the Laird of Weym that she has received the ClanGregor into her
peace, and desires him to give them the lands they had formerly had from him . 126- 141

Chapter XIII

History of the Dean of Lismore and his family taken from the Introduction to the book
called after him, some of the poems from which are given in Chapter vii. — Entries
from the " Chartulary," 1565 to 1567 — Warrant given by Queen Mary to the avengers of
the murder of the Dean's son, 1565, relieving the relations from their obligation to
keep the peace — Argyle's Letters of Fire and Sword against the ClanGregor, 1565 —
Proclamation by King Henry (Darnley) and Queen Mary depriving Glenurchay of
his Commission by reason of the great abuses committed by him, August 1565 — Ex-
emption of Menzies of that Ilk — Duncan Abrach, two brothers, and other MacGregors
at the Horn for art and part in the slaughter of Hew and John Stewart in Bal-
quhidder, 1568 ......... 142-148

Chapter XIV

Professor Donald Gregory's Historical Notices of the ClanGregor — Continuation from
Chapter iii. to the end — 1534 to 1603 — The ClanGregor numerous in Balquhidder
and Strathearn — Complaints against them — Deadly feud between the MacGregors
and Sir Colin Campbell about 1560— Commission of Fire and Sword issued against
the ClanGregor, 1563 — Remarks from George Buchanan that many of the Nobles
" hounded out " sundry Clans, and amongst them the ClanGregor, for their own ends
—The MacGregors of Glenstray—" General Band " of 1587— Slaughter of Drum-
mondernoch — Commission against the Clan given to Archibald Earl of Argyle, 1593
— The Laird of MacGregor made submission to the King, 1596 — The good intentions
of the Clan secretly frustrated by Argyle— Conflict of Glenfrune, 1603, followed by
the proscription of the ClanGregor — Comparison with the case of the Clan Chattan
and similarity to the fate of the Macdonalds of Glencoe .... 149-157


xii Contents

Chapter XV

Gregor MacGregor of Glenstray beheaded by Glenurchay, 7th April 1570— Lament for
the Death of " Gregor Roy nan Bassan Gheal " in GaeHc, with EngHsh translation,
from the Killin Collection of Gaelic Songs— Prose translation by Mr Duncan
Campbell— Contrast of a friendly letter from Sir Colin Campbell to Gregor M'^Ane,
Keeper of the Castle of Glenurchay— Repetition of sundry passages from the
Chronicle of Fortingal showing the acts of revenge by the Clan immediately following
theslaughter of Glenstray, August 1570 to 1576 ..... 158-167

Chapter XVI

Duncan Abberach eldest grandson of Duncan Ladosach, from the " Baronage "—Bond of
Maintenance to him and his family granted by Archibald Earl of Argyle, 1573—
Quotations from the " Chartulary "—Raid by John Drummond of Drummondernoch,
1580-81— Proclamation from King James VI., 1582, to remit offences to those who sub-
mitted themselves— Excerpts from "Black Book of Taymouth," 1583-84— Excerpts
from the "Chartulary," 1584-85 — Bond of the Roro MacGregors with Glenurchay, 1585
—Letters of Horning, 1586, against certain of the ClanGregor and full list of their
names, collated with another list of names in 1586— Entries from " Chartulary," to
August 1589— Tale from the "Lairds of Glenlyon" ..... 168-183

Chapter XVII

Acts of Scottish Parliament— Early part of reign of King James VL— The ' ' General Band,"
1587 — Caution to be found for landlords and others — Chiefs of Clans to find pledges
—Men born in the Highlands and Borders to return to the places where they were
born— Roll of Landlords and Bailies — Roll of Clans — Remarks on the disturbed
state of other Clans, although penalties were chiefly meted out to the ClanGregor—
Songs " Reel of Tulloch " and " Glenorchy MacGregor " .... 184-203

Chapter XVIII

Murder of John Drummond of Drummondernoch, September 1589— Bond to pursue the
ClanGregor for their alleged participation in this crime, taken from the " Black Book
of Taymouth "—Details of the occurrence from the Register of the Privy Council,
February 1589-90 — Full list of the Clan who were prescribed, from do. — Complaint
by the friends of Drummondernoch from the Register of Homings, Perth— Entries
from the " Chartulary " in reference to the same— The Ardvorlich traditions as to the
Murder, contained in a letter to Sir John MacGregor Murray, 1812 — Depositions by
Balquhidder men attributing the murder to the Maclans of Glencoe— Letters to the
same effect— Allaster of Glenstray and the Clan's acceptance of the charge against
them— Poem by Sir Alexander Boswell on this theme .... 204-220

Chapter XIX

Allaster Roy MacGregor of Glenstray's position after the death of Drummondernoch—
Proclamation against the ClanGregor, July 1590, discharging all bands of mainten-

Contents xiii

ance between Glenurchay and any of them, or between any other landlords and the
ClanGregor — Glenurchay himself bound to keep the King's peace, December 17th,
1590, and December i8th permitted to enter into reconciliation with the ClanGregor
— Remission to Glenstray and kinsmen for all criminal actions, January 1591-2 —
MacGregor of Ardinconnal and their dealings with the Colquhouns and others in
their neighbourhood from 1545 to 1591 — Feud between the MacAulays and Buchan-
nans and Band of Manrent between the former and the MacGregors — Sir Humphrey
Colquhoun of Luss besieged in his castle by the Macfarlanes who were allied with the
MacAulays, accounting for a growing feud between the MacGregors and Colquhouns 221-234

Chapter XX

Complaint by Edward Reidheuch against Alexander M'^Gregor of Glenstray and others
— List of principal men of the three houses of the ClanGregor from a paper in the
British Museum, and notes by the compiler — Commission to the Earl of Argyle
against the ClanGregor and the Stewarts of Balquhidder, February 1592-3 — Principal
men of the ClanGregor charged to appear before the Earl of Argyle — Various trans-
actions about Glenstray, from the " Chartulary," 1596 — Charges from landlords to
their tenants to flit — Other actions at law by landlords, 1595, in compliance with
the enactments of the General Band — Letter from King James VL to M'^Intosh to
" execute to the death " a MacGregor prisoner, 1596 — Bond by the Laird of Mac-
Gregor for himself and his Clan, 1596, and Glenstray appointed householdman to
the King — Second remission granted to Glenstray and all persons of the name for the
slaughter of Drummondernoch, 1596 ....... 235-248

Chapter XXI

Excerpts from the " Chartulary " — Notices of removal to sundry MacGregors, 1596, 1598-9
— Charge to landlords of the ClanGregor to present them, 1599 — More notices to flit,
1599— Offer from Glenstray to furnish six pledges from the Clan to be delivered to the
King as caution for good behaviour, July 1599 — Bond by the Laird of MacGregor for
his Clan — Excerpt from Introduction to Vol. vi. of the Privy Council of Scotland
regarding the Chief of the ClanGregor — Entry of certain of the pledges, December
1599 — Proclamation against the resetters of the Clan, January 1600 — Complaint of
certain landlords as to the resett afforded by the Chief and other landlords — Glenstray
himself detained in ward, March 1900 — More pledges entered, August and December
1600 ........... 249-263

Chapter XXII

Proclamation from King James VI. for the extinguishingof deadly feud, November 1600 —
Commission to the Earl of Argyle as Lieutenant and Justice against the ClanGregor,
Glenstray having failed to deliver pledges for the second quarter, orders to pursue
the ClanGregor with fire and sword — From the " Chartulary " — Bond given by the
ClanGregor to the Earl of Argyle, April 1601— List of principal persons binding them-
selves and families — Sundry old complaints brought up and notices to quit, June 1601
to 1602 .......... 264-278

xlv Contents

Chapter XXIII

Conflict of Glenfruin — Excerpt from the " Baronage " (continued from Chapter xvi.) — Sir
Robert Gordon's account of the battle, and notes from the " Baronage " upon it — Tra-
ditional account of incident leading to the fight — Narration of the conflict from the
opposite side — Excerpts from the "Chiefs of Colquhoun," edited by Sir William
Eraser — Account of several previous inroads, and of the raid of Glenfinlas — Short
narrative of the conflict of the 8th February 1603 in "Summons" by Alexander
Colquhoun of Luss, from the " Chartulary " ...... 279-290

Chapter XXIV

Conflict of Glenfruin continued— Sir Walter Scott's account in his introduction to " Rob
Roy " — Accusation as to the murder of some students, partly refuted by a note by Sir
Walter Scott — Repetition of the tradition by Sir William Eraser, but naming the Act
of Privy Council accusing a certain Allan Oig M'^Intosh of some such deed — Previous
arguments in refutation of it by Sir John MacGregor Murray — Sketch of Glenstray's
probable route from Rannoch to Strone in Glenfruin .... 291-298

Chapter XXV

Numerous letters charging noblemen and landlords to resist the ClanGregor, and to present
certain of them before the Council, 29th March 1603 — Proclamation by King James
VI. abolishing the name, because the "bare and simple name of MacGregor made
that 'haill Clan' to presume of their power" — April 3rd, 1603, sentences on several
men captured — More charges to landlords to resist "invasion" — Plan of transport-
ing and banishing the whole Clan, May 1603— Complaint against them from the
Presbytery of Stirling, September 1603 — Excerpts from " Balfour's Annals" from a
diary by Robert Birrel, and from the " Chiefs of Colquhoun," relating capture of
Glenstray and his execution — Observations on the preceding excerpts . . 299-314

Chapter XXVI.

Conflict of Glenfruin, the Article upon it, in the Records of Criminal Trials by Robert
Pitcairne — Trial of Allaster MacGregor of Glenstray and several other MacGregors,
with Notes in Arnold's edition of the Records — MS. Account of attempt to seize the
Laird of MacGregor by Ardkinlass, Glenstray escaping — Recapture through the
promises of Argyle and his execution, 1601 — The Laird of MacGregor's Declaration
at time of Conviction —Trial and Execution of other MacGregors — Excerpt from
" Black Book of Taymouth " as to those of the ClanGregor executed with Glenstray
and Notes by editor ......... 315-330

Chapter XXVII.

Death of John Dhu nan Lurag, brother of Glenstray, at the Conflict of Glenfruin — His
immediate descendants — Excerpts from the " Baronage " — The MacGregors hunted
down with bloodhounds — Death of Duncan Abroch and others slain at Bentoig, from

Contents xv

u O ^ V

the "Black Book of Taymouth," also from " Chartulary"— Duncan Abroch's sons,
from the "Baronage " — Notice of his sword in the possession of Sir Malcolm MacGregor
of MacGregor — From the " Chartulary" : Sundry Messages to " raise the shout and
fray " upon the MacGregors — Claim for reward from John Colquhoun of Camstrodden
for capture of certain MacGregors — Letter from the King admonishing Argyle to pro-
secute his service against the ClanGregor, October 1604— Song " MacGregor of
Roro" 313-345

Chapter XXVIII

From the "Chartulary," March 1605 to August 1610 : Mention of the two volumes of
original Minutes of the Privy Council missing from 28th February 1603 to 7th August
1606 — Lists of MacGregors adopting other surnames and caution taken for several of
the Clan — Excerpts from Register of the Privy Council, edited by Dr Masson, as to
Resetting, and the Earl of Argyle's demand to have a gift of Kintyre from the King
in reward for his service against the ClanGregor (about 1607), and from the Chiefs
of Colquhoun the grant in consequence from King James VL, July 1607 — From the
" Chartulary" : Allan Oig M^Intach accused of the slaughter of forty unarmed persons
at the Conflict of Glenfruin — Complaint by the Laird of Luss against MacGregors, ^

November 1609, and remarks upon it by Sir William Eraser — Proclamation to prohibit ^ ^ A ^
owners of boats from carrying MacGregors across any of the lochs where they might be
seeking for shelter — Further Commissions of Fire and Sword against the Clan and
Proclamation for assistance to the Commissioners — Also Proclamation against
Resetters, all in i6io ......... 346-359

Chapter XXIX

From the " Chartulary " 1610 : Two proclamations against transporting the ClanGregor ,

across any lochs — Cameron of Lochiel and M"^Rannald of Gargavach employed against /

the Clan— Quotation from Introduction of Vol. ix. of Dr Masson's Privy Council ^„^ /
Register— The Clan having shut themselves up in the Island of Loch Katrine, January
161 1— Boats to be transported there and two pieces of Ordnance for a siege— By the
end of February intelligence that the expedition had collapsed and the MacGregors
escaped — Act against the Clan, January 31, and pardon offered to any MacGregor who
may slay or betray another MacGregor— February 19, 161 1, Charge against the Under-
takers of the Service against the ClanGregor that they have let them escape from the
island — Accounts of the Siege of Ilanvarnoch, from the " Black Book of Taymouth"
— A tradition regarding a shot fired from the island— Modern verses on the subject . 360-376

Chapter XXX

From the " Chartulary," 161 1, continued : Trials of sundry MacGregors, and Notes of ex-
penses connected with their imprisonment— Letter from the King to the Earl of Argyle
and another Commission to him, April 29th, 161 1, and a licence to him to receive the
offers of any MacGregor who should first enter in "action and blood against any of
that race and name "—Submission of Gregor MacGregor, " now called the Laird,"
and Duncan M'^Ewin, sometime called the Tutor, under the protection of Alan

xvi Contents

MacEan duy (Lochiel) — Another Proclamation, May i6ii, the wives and children of
the ClanGregor to be rendered up to the Lieutenant (Argyle) and the wives to be
" marked with a key upon the face " — Overture for transplanting the Bairns of the
ClanGregor (May 1611) to Ireland — Robert Abroch being in Badenoch, with 22
others, was protected by the Clan Chattan and Clan Pherson, who checked the
Macdonalds and Camerons in pursuit of them, September 161 1 — Another proclamation
regarding the "transplanting" of the wives and children, November 161 1 — Note of
the King's will concerning the pardon of certain MacGregors — Farther orders against
Resetters — Dispute (December 161 1), brother of Campbell of Lawers against Robert-
son of Strowan on account of the vacant lands due to him for the slaughter of John
Dow M'^Allaster in Stronfeaman, whose widow and bairns are to be ejected . 377-395

Chapter XXXI

From the " Chartulary, " 1612 : Certain Camerons and Macdonalds refusing to follow Lochiel
and M'^Donald of Gargavach against the ClanGregor denounced rebels — Skirmish
between the Earl of Perth, with whose forces appeared a number of MacGregors, and
another body of MacGregors at Tomzarloch, six of the latter killed and five captured —
Precept of remission in April to the three sons of Patrick Aoloch, who assumed the
name of Livingston — Commission in July to try certain MacGregors, and condemned
to execution — Commission in August against resetters, and sundry put to the horn . 396-405

Chapter XXXII

From the "Chartulary," 1613, January to June : Remission to Robert Abroch, who had
applied direct to the King, at which the Council were incensed — Proclamation in
January against the Clan wearing any " armour " except a " pointless knife " — Letter
in February from Glenurchy to the King, alarmed at a "fresh growth" of "some
sixteen score" of the Clan — Memorial as to services of Laird of Lawers and his
brother against the ClanGregor — List of Resetters fined in May (evidently themselves
MacGregors) — In June, five MacGregors tried and executed for the Conflict of Glen-
fruin — ^June, " Act anent the Bairns " of the Clan . . . . .

Chapter XXXIII

From the " Chartulary," 1613, July to December : Earl of Argyle to give the King 22| per
cent, of the fines of resetters of the Clan — Certain Landlords of the Clan offered pay-
ment to the King for peaceable possession of their lands — Others objected to the con-
tribution — Charges and discussions on the subject — In November farther dealings
about the transplantation of the Bairns, and contributions in regard to their main-
tenance—In December a roll ordered of all the Bairns of those of the ClanGregor
who were outlawed — Remission to Duncan Douglas, formerly M'^Gregor of
Morinsche and Tutor of Glenstray ....... 419-427

Chapter XXXIV

From the "Chartulary," 1614, January: Cautioners to exhibit Robert Abroch, Gregor Gair
V^^Patrick, and several others — March, Remission of John Murray, formerly Gregor

Contents xvil

MacGregor V'Coull Chere — Trial of Resetters — In August number of outlaws reduced
to fourteen — From "Black Book of Tay mouth " : In 1615 The Laird of Lawers and
Glenurchay quarrelled over the contributions to be paid to the King — From the " Char-
tulary": King James VI. visited Scotland, May 1617 — Repetition of proscription of
the name of MacGregor — In June Act discharging the Custom of " Caulpes " — 1618,
Cautioners of certain MacGregors fined for not presenting them . . . 428-439

Chapter XXXV

From the "Chartulary," 1619 : Mention of several MacGregors— 1620, Letter from King
James VI. to the Lord of Scone urging an agreement between Sir Duncan Campbell
of Glenurchay and John Murray (Gregor MacGregor of Glenstray) as to entering the

Online LibraryAmelia Geogiana Murray MacGregorHistory of the clan Gregor, from public records and private collections; comp. at the request of the Clan Gregor society (Volume 1) → online text (page 1 of 51)