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Rob Roy MacGregor
Painting of Rob Roy found outside craft shop in Balquidder

Rob Roy was born at Glengyle, at the head of Loch Katrine in Stirlingshire, and was baptised on 7th March 1671.

"On the 7th day of March 1671, Donald M'Gregor in GlenGyle, ps. of Calendar, upon testificat from ye minister yrof. Margaret Campbell. Son baptised, called Robert. Witnesses, Mr. Wm. Anderson, Minister, and John Macgregor."

He was the third son of Donald of Glengyle, a chieftain of the clan MacGregor. He later became War Leader of the clan and this entitled him to wear the three eagle's feathers of a chief.

(The name Rob Roy was anglicised from the Gaelic "Raibert Ruadh", or Red Robert because he had red hair, which darkened to auburn in later life).

In 1671, at only 18 years of age, he fought at the battle of Killiecrankie for the Jacobites who he continued to support the rest of his life. In January 1693 at CorrieArklet farm near Inversnaid, he married his sweetheart, Mary Helen MacGregor of Comar who was born at Leny Farm, Strathyre. They lived by Loch Lomond and Rob earned his living as a cattle trader.

There is recorded proof of four sons only. They were James, known as Mor, or Tall; Ranald; Coll; Robert, known as Robin Oig, or Young Rob. A cousin Duncan was adopted.

In 1715, Rob led his clan to battle in support of the Jacobites. He was charged with treason, but escaped from prison. He lived the rest of his life as an outlaw, taking protection from allies and making narrow escape from enemies.

There are many legends of imprisonment but no proof. He was captured several times but always daringly escaped as he had no shortage of powerful allies to shelter him.

He despised needless bloodshed, and fought against the injustice that plagued his clan -- aggressively but with foresight. His escapes from justice and his skill with the broadsword earned him the reputation as the hero of the Highlands.

He died in his house at Inverlochlarig Beg, Balquhidder, on 28th December 1734. In his will, given by his wife to the Commissary at Dunblane, he left £274:13:4 Scots, equal to £23 English, all to her.

He was buried in Balquhidder Kirkyard, confirmed by information given by his descendants to the Clan Gregor Society.
Old Kirk at Balquidder
Rob Roy's Grave
The detail on the ornamental bronze rail round his grave gives his age wrongly as 70. He was 63.



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