Rob Roy McGregor

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Research into Kings  Rob Roy McGregor

1671 - Rob Roy McGregor Born.

Born in 1671 at Loch Katrine, the third son of a Lieutenant-Colonel, MacGregorís inherited long arms and great strength gave him abilities with the broadsword that made his name known to many. He fought at Killiecrankie for Viscount Dundee in 1689 before joining the Lennox Watch.

When the name MacGregor was again outlawed in 1694 he used his motherís name of Campbell. His acquisitions of land and cattle brought him prosperity until 1711 when he persuaded a group led by the Duke of Montrose to advance him £1000.95 for investment in herding. His chief drover made off with the letters of credit, leaving MacGregor to face a charge of embezzlement. He did not answer to the charge or ensuing arrest warrant and was declared an outlaw.

He moved to the Trossachs lands of the Earl of Breadalbane, who was no friend of Montrose, and from there rustled cattle from Montroseís lowland estates.

In the Rising of 1715, he mustered the Clan Gregor to fight for the Jacobites. He led his men in successful raids around Loch Lomond and Callander. Despite his inactivity during the Battle of Sheriffmuir, he was charged with High Treason.

From 1716 he lived at Glen Shira on the Duke of Argyllís land. He was twice captured and twice dramatically escaped with style that added to his fame.

In 1725, following his decision to turn himself in to General Wade, he received a pardon from the King and after thirteen years was no longer an outlaw.

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Robert Roy MacGregor, (baptized March 7, 1671 Ė December 28, 1734) usually known simply as Rob Roy or alternately Red MacGregor, was a famous Scottish folk hero and outlaw of the early 18th century, who is sometimes known as the Scottish Robin Hood. Rob Roy is anglicised from the Scottish Gaelic Raibeart Ruadh, or Red Robert. This is because Rob Roy had red hair, though it darkened to auburn in later life.

Rob Roy was born at Glengyle, at the head of Loch Katrine, as proved by an extract from the Register of Baptisms at Buchanan Parish. His father was Donald MacGregor, and his mother Margaret Campbell. He later met Mary Helen MacGregor of Comar, who was born at Leny Farm, Strathyre, and they were married in Glenarklet in January 1693; later, they had four sons: James (known as Mor or Tall), Ranald, Coll, and Robert (known as Robin Oig or Young Rob). A cousin, Duncan, was later adopted.

Along with many Highland clans, at the age of eighteen Rob Roy together with his father joined the Jacobite rising led by Viscount Dundee to support the Stuart King James who had been deposed by William of Orange. Although victorious in initial battles, "Bonnie Dundee" was killed and their fortunes fell. Robís father was taken to jail, where he was held on treason charges for two years. Robís mother Margaretís health faltered and then failed during Donaldís time in prison. By the time Donald was finally released, his wife was dead, and his reason for living also gone. The Gregor chief would never return to his former spirit or health.

Rob Roy was badly wounded at the Battle of Glen Shiel in 1719.

Rob Roy became a well-known and respected cattleman ó this was a time when taking someone's cattle and selling protection against theft was a commonplace means of earning a living. Rob Roy borrowed a large sum of money to increase his own cattle herd, but due to the deception of his chief herder, who was entrusted with the money to bring the cattle back, Rob Roy lost his money and cattle, and defaulted on his loan. As a result, he was branded an outlaw, and his wife and family were evicted from their house at Inversnaid, which was then burned down. After his principal creditor, James Graham, 1st Duke of Montrose seized his lands, Rob Roy warred with the duke until 1722, when Rob Roy was forced to surrender. Later imprisoned, he was finally pardoned in 1727. He died in his house at Inverlochlarig Beg, Balquhidder, on 28 December 1734.

Daniel Defoe wrote a fictionalized account of his life in 1723 called Highland Rogue, making Rob Roy a legend in his own lifetime, and influencing George I to issue a pardon for his crimes just as he was about to be transported to the colonies. The publication of Rob Roy, by Sir Walter Scott in 1817, further added to his fame and fleshed out his biography. William Wordsworth wrote a poem called "Rob Roy's Grave", during a visit to Scotland (the 1803 tour was documented by his sister Dorothy in Recollections of a Tour Made in Scotland). Adaptations of his story have also been told in film, most notably Rob Roy (1995), directed by Michael Caton-Jones.

Glengyle House, on the shore of Loch Katrine, dates back to the early 18th century, with a porch dated to 1707, and is built on the site of the 17th century stone cottage in which Rob Roy is said to have been born. Since the 1930s, the Category B-listed building had been in the hands of successive water authorities, but was identified as surplus to requirements and put up for auction in November 2004, despite objections from the Scottish National Party.

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