Robert (Rob Roy) MacGregor

1671 - 1734

Statue of Rob Roy, Allan Park
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Statue of  Rob Roy, Allan Park

Notorious cattle thief and Jacobite Guerilla. Born at Glengyle, on Loch Katrine, son of an army officer, MacGregor fought with John Graham of Claverhouse (1649 - 89) at Killiecrankie and then as a mercenary. He acquired lands at Balquhidder, Craigroyston and Inversnaid where he raised cattle. However, having borrowed money from the Duke of Montrose which he lost, MacGregor left without answering the resulting charges. Thus, his wife and family were evicted. MacGregor then rented land in Glen Dochart from the John Campbell (1635 - 1717), the Earl of Breadalbane, a political enemy of Montrose, and spent time stealing cattle, raiding the lands of Montrose and running what we would refer to today as a 'protection racket'. MacGregor harried the government troops around the Trossachs during the Jacobite Rebellion of 1715, and his home was eventually burned. John Campbell (1680 - 1743), the 2nd Duke of Argyll allowed him to live in Glen Shira.

After many exploits, MacGregor eventually surrendered to General Wade in 1725, and was pardoned by the King George I. He died quietly at Inverlochlarig (Stirling), and was buried just to the east at Balquhidder, where his grave can be seen today.

Although the author Sir Walter Scott (1771 - 1832) much exaggerated MacGregor's fame, painting him as a defender of the Highland way of life, people still argue whether MacGregor was a rascal or a hero. His sporran and dirk can be seen in Inveraray Castle (Argyll and Bute).

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