PRESENTED by THE GREGG FAMILY HISTORY PROJECT
Source NEHGS # CS 71G8175 192-
Acknowledgements to Rob
PART ONE - SCOTLAND
History of the Clan Gregor
The history of the Highland Clans of Scotland, from the earliest glimmerings of their legendary chronicles over a thousand years ago down to the middle of the seventeenth century (1650), is one of almost continual conflicts, turmoils, feuds, massacres, and raiding forays among themselves. For still another century they were periodically embroiled in the civil wars connected with the royal House of Stuart until the battle of Culloden in 1745, which resulted in a breaking up of the clans as disturbing forces and the final establishment of a regime of law and order throughout Scotland.
About 1435 the MacGregors were dispossessed of the direct ownership of their ancient lands which were then granted by the Crown of Scotland to the Earls of Argyll and other powerful noblemen, to whom the MacGregors, as tackmen or lessees, were compelled to be subject and to pay rentals. Pervaded with a sense of injustice against these landlords and continually threatened by attacks from stronger neighboring clans, for two centuries the MacGregors lived in a state of almost continuous warfare, either in rebellion against their feudal landlords or in raids upon neighboring clans or in defence of their own lives and possessions from forays by their surrounding enemies. These interclan conflicts were not generally followed by government prosecutions.
But the Clan Gregor, being comparatively small in numbers, suffered severely from their enemies, more powerful both politically and in numbers, and were subjected to several drastic penal enactment's by the Crown, as a result of which many forfeited their lives as rebels. After a long-standing feud, in 1603 Alexander MacGregor of Glenstrae, then chief of the clan, conducted a great raid against Alexander Colquhoun, Laird of Luss, which resulted in a remarkable victory for the MacGregors at the battle of Glenfruin, 7 February 1602/3. The Colquhouns appealed for redress to James VI, King of Scotland (later in the same year also crowned James I of England), who declared the Clan Gregor to be rebels and outlaws. Men of the clan were hunted with bloodhounds and imprisoned, women were branded on the cheek with a key; and through the machinations of Archibald Campbell, seventh Earl of Argyll, the chief and twenty-five leading MacGregors, who had surrendered as hostages for the chief, were summarily tried and executed as rebels at Edinburgh in the first three months of 1604. This ferocious persecution was followed on 3 Apr 1604 by a proscription of the use of the name MacGregor under pain of death, whereupon members if the clan assumed other names, some taking that of Gregg; and it was not until 1661 that this proscription against the name was repealed.
The home of the Clan Gregor was on the borders of Argyllshire and Perthshire, in the wild region of the beautiful Scottish Lakes, made so noted by the poems and romances of Sir Walter Scott. As early as the year 1000 the chiefs of the Clan were seated at Glenorchy in Argyllshire, near the border of Perthshire. In the fifteenth century various branches of the clan were established, as MacGregor of Glenstrae in Argyllshire, MacGregor of Roro in Fortingal in Perthshire, MacGregor of Balquihidder in Perthshire, etc.
The earliest history of the clan is known only from traditionary legends, as is usual among all the ancient Scottish clans; but from about 1300 public records exist to establish an authentic account of the family. These traditionary legends have preserved exploits of the chiefs of the clan for a dozen generations prior to the fourteenth century; and in modern times these legends have been generally included in the published histories and pedigrees of the clan. Details of these early generations vary in the various legends and chronicles of the clan, the accounts sometimes confusing the histories of different individuals of the same name and sometimes omitting certain generations.
The earliest known actual historian of the clan was Rev. James MacGregor (born about 1475, died in 1531), vicar of Fortingal and dean of Lismore. About 1520 he collected and transcribed into a manuscript volume of over three hundred pages many ancient Gaelic traditionary poems relating to his clan; he also compiled a valuable obituary list of Scottish notables from 1092 to 1531 which was continued by his successor at Fortingal to 1576. This latter invaluable manuscript, generally called The Chronicle of Fortingal, has many authentic records of the MacGregors from 1390, which the dean must have secured from family muniments or monastic rolls now lost.
The ancient coat-of-arms of the MacGregors is thus described heraldically: - Argent, an oak tree eradicate in bend sinister proper, surmounted by a sword in bend azure, hilted gules, on its point an antique crown gules: Crest: - a lion's head erased proper, langued gules and crowned or: Motto: -"E'en do, bait spair nocht." The legendary account of the origin of these arms will be given in its proper place. In more recent times have been added these Supporters: Dexter, an unicorn argent, crowned and horned or; sinister, a deer proper, tyned azure.
The earliest motto of the clan was: - "S Rioghal mo Dhream" ["My tribe is Royal"]. The slogan or war cry of the clan is: - "Ard Choille" ["High Wood"].
(6 & 7 No Text )
Pedigree of MacGregor and Gregg
1. GREGOR1, born about A. D. 820, is generally claimed as the founder of the Clan Gregor in the ancient legends by the early bards of the clan. According to some accounts he was a younger son of Alpin, King of Scotland, who died in 834; but no historical proof of this claim has been found. He is, however, mentioned as a commander in chronicles pertaining to Alpin's successor, his son Kenneth MacAlpin (who reigned 834-860), famous as the conqueror of the Picts and the first ruler of all Scotland. The name of Gregor's wife is unknown. Their son,
2.DOUNGHEAL2 (1. Gregor1), born about 850, was so termed from his light-brown complexion. He is mentioned in the family legends for his exploits under Donald VI (who reigned 879-903), grandson of Kenneth MacAlpin, in protracted contests with the Danish Vikings who for a generation ravaged the western coasts of Scotland. Doungheal died about 900. His wife is termed in some early Latin chronicles, SPONTANA, the Gaelic equivalent of which is not apparent. Their son,
3. CONSTANTINE3 (2. Dougheal2, Gregor 1), born about 880, was probably named for Constantine II, King of Scotland 864-879. According to a very ancient Latin history of the Alpins, he married a kinswoman, Malvina, a daughter of Donald VI, King of Scotland 879-903; her Gaelic name has not been learned. Their son,
4. GREGOR NA BRATACH4* (3. Constantine3, Dougheal2, Gregor1 ), born about 915, was so called from his office of standard-bearer to Malcolm I, King of Scotland 943-954. He was killed in 954 in a battle with the Danes while serving as standard-bearer of Malcolm's army. According to a very ancient Latin history of the Alpins, he married DORVIEGELDUM, daughter of the King's Doorward; her Gaelic name does not appear. Their son,
5. EOIN MOR MacGREGOR NA BRATACH5* (4. Gregor Na Bratach4, Constantine3, Dougheal2, Gregor1 ), born about 950, is described in the ancient legends by the family bards, as a handsome man of gigantic stature and a very expert bow-man. He fought and fell as a commander under the banner of Malcolm II (King of Scotland 1005-1034), at the sanguinary battle of Monaghavard (or Monzievaird) in 1005, in which victory Malcolm won the crown by the defeat and death of his cousin Kenneth III (King of Scotland 997-1005). Eoin Mor married ALPNIA, daughter of Angus, great-grandson of Cianoth the youngest brother of Kenneth MacAlpin (King of Scotland 834-860). Their son,
6.GREGOR GARBH6** (5. Eoin Mor5, Gregor Na Bratach4, Constantine3, Dougheal2, Gregor1 ), born about 980, the first chief of the family designated as of Glenorchy in Argyllshire. He became a warrior of distinction under Malcolm II (King of Scotland 1005-1034), serving under him in several engagements with the Danes. In his old age, when V blind an4 unable to take the field himself, he sent his clan to assist Duncan's son Malcolm in the latter's with his cousin Macbeth (King of Scotland 1040-1057). On the death and defeat and death of Macbeth at the battle of Lumphanan in 1057, 'Malcolm won the crown of Scotland and as Malcolm III, Canmore, reigned 'from 1057 to 1093. Gregor Garbh married a daughter of Colin Campbell of Lochow (ancestor of the Earle and Dukes of Argyll). Their son
* John the Great, son of Gregor of the Standard.
** Gregor the Stout
7. EOIN MacGREGOR7* (6. Gregor Garbh6, Eoin Mor5, Gregor Na Bratach4, Constantine3, Dougheal2, Gregor1 ), born about 1010, led the clan in the army of Malcolm Ill at the battle of Lumphanan in 1057, as above mentioned, his aged father being unable to take the field. A few years later he succeeded his father as Laird of Glenorchy. From his military prowess he is termed in the legendary poems by the ancient bards "Shir Eoin Borb an Cath" (Sir John Foremost in Battle). He died at very advanced age, about 1100. The name of his wife is unknown. There are discrepancies in the ancient legends concerning the next two generations of the family, whose history is obscure. Apparently his son,
8. DUNCAN A STRAILEADH8 (7. Eoin MacGregor7, Gregor Garbh6, Eoin Mor5, Gregor Na Bratach41 Constantine31 Dougheal2, Gregor1 ), born about 1040, probably died in his father's lifetime, as in the ancient family legends he is merely mentioned as a connecting link in the pedigree. His son,
9. DUNCAN BEG9** (8. Duncan a Straileadh8,Eoin MacGregor7, Gregor Garbh6, Eoin Mor5, Gregor Na Bratach4, Constantine3 , Dougheal2, Gregor1 ), born about 1070, succeeded his grandfather as Laird of Glenorchy. He was evidently a successful raider according to one of the ancient Gaelic legends of the family by the bard MacGillindak [the Man of Songs]. From internal evidences this poem must have been composed about 1430; and nearly a century later it was preserved in writing in the collection made by Rev. James MacGregor, dean of Lismore. '(See ante, p.5.) A few lines of.-. this Gaelic poem and a translation of them are appended, to illustrate the character of these traditionary legends and genealogies: .
* John son of Gregor.
** Duncan the Little.
"Is E Ughdair So Mac Gilliondaig, Am Fear Dan.
The Author of this is MacGillindak. The Man of Songs.
(The poem continues the pedigree for several generations down to about 1430)
The name of the wife of Duncan Beg has not been preserved. Their son,
10. MALCOLM10 (9. Duncan Beg9, Duncan a Straileadh8. Eoin MacGregor% Gregor Garb h~, Eoin Mor5, Gregor Na Bratach4, Constantine3, Dougheal2, Gregor1 ), born about 1100, appears as Laird of Glenorchy during the reign of David 1 (1124-1153). lie led his clan in his sovereign's army which invaded England 1135-1138 to assist Matilda, Countess of Amjou, in her unsuccessful contest with Stephen for the crown of England. The Scottish forces of King David were defeated by a Norman army of King Stephen at the famous "Battle of the Standard" near Northallerton in Yorkshire, 22 August 1138.
In the ancient chronicles, Malcolm is called "Morair Callum nan Caistel" (Lord Malcolm of the Castles), because of several castles occupied by him. The traditions describe him as a man of Herculean size and strength. It is related of him that while in the royal retinue at a great hunting party, the young King Malcolm IV (reigned 1153-1165) became in dire peril from the attack of a wild boar; Malcolm offered his assistance, whereupon the King assented, saying. "E'en do, bait spair nocht"; thereupon Malcolm tore out an oak tree from the ground and rushing between his sovereign and the infuriated boar, with the oak in one hand he kept the animal at bay, while wielding his sword with the other, until he succeeded in running it through the beast's heart. In memory of this exploit the King conferred on Malcolm for a coat-of-arms a sword with a crown on its point, crossed with an oak tree. From this circumstance were derived the MacGregor arms, crest and motto, as already heraldically described and emblazoned. (See ante, pp.6-7.) These or similar arms appear on MacGregor seals of the fifteenth century, and also in an illuminated manuscript, now in the Lyon Herald's Office, Edinburgh, compiled about 1565, in which this emblazon is assigned to "Lord Mak Gregour of Ould"
Malcolm is said to have died about 1175. He married MARGERY, daughter of William FitzDuncan, Earl of Moray, who was a nephew of David I, King of Scotland, and a cornmander in the royal army. Their son,
11. GILLEFEALAN (or WILLIAM) 11 (10. Malcolm10, Duncan Beg9, Duncan a Straileagh8 ,Eoin MacGregor7, Gregor Garbh6 , Eoin Mor5, Gregor Na Bratacht4 , Constantine3, Dougheal2, Gregor1 ), born about 1130, evidently died during his father's lifetime, according to the pedigree of the bard MacGillindak. The name of his wife is unknown. Their son
12. EOIN (or JOHN)12 (11. Gillefealan11, Malcolm10, Duncan Beg9, Duncan a Straileagh8 ,Eoin MacGregor7, Gregor Garbh6 , Eoin Mor5, Gregor Na Bratacht4 , Constantine3, Dougheal2, Gregor1 ), born about 1160, succeeded his grandfather as Laird of Glenorchy. He is termed "the princely John, a Laird who never broke his pledge" in the poem and pedigree composed about 1430 by the bard MacGillindak. (See ante, p.12.) He is called Laird of Glenorchy charter dated in the 47th year of William the Lyon King of Scotland 1165-1214, and survived to advanced age. The name of his wife: is unknown. Their son,
13. DUNCAN13* (12. Eoin12 , Gillefealan11, Malcolm10, Duncan Beg9, Duncan a Straileagh8 ,Eoin MacGregor7, Gregor Garbh6 , Eoin Mor5, Gregor Na Bratacht4 , Constantine3, Dougheal2, Gregor1 ), born about 1190, he is mentioned as "Duncan MacEoin" in the early years of Alexander II (reigned 1214-1249). He died in middle life about 1229, during his father's lifetime. He married a daughter of Lindsay of Bucknull the Earl of Lenox. Their son,
*In some accounts of the family a Gillesfealan, instead of Duncan, appears in this generation of the pedigree
14. GREGOR14 (13. Duncan13 , Eoin12 , Gillefealan11, Malcolm10, Duncan Beg9, Duncan a Straileagh8 ,Eoin MacGregor7, Gregor Garbh6 , Eoin Mor5, Gregor Na Bratacht4 , Constantine3, Dougheal2, Gregor1 ), was born about 1220. He succeeded his grandfather as Laird of Glenorchy, according to the bard MacGillindak, who describes this Gregor as "Famed man he was in regions round the shores of Loch Tulaich so bright." He accompanied" King Alexander II in this monarch's abortive expedition to obtain the Hebrides Jslands from Haco, King of Norway, during which expedition the King died at Oban 8 July 1249. Gregor also attended with his clan King Alexander III (reigned 1249-1286) in the successful expedition against the Hebrides Islands in 1264. His death occurred in 1285. He married MARIAN, daughter of Gilchrist, seventh son of Alwin, second Earl of Lennox. Their son,
15. GREGOR MacGREGOR15 (14. Gregor14 , Duncan13 , Eoin12 , Gillefealan11, Malcolm10, Duncan Beg9, Duncan a Straileagh8 ,Eoin MacGregor7, Gregor Garbh6 , Eoin Mor5, Gregor Na Bratacht4 , Constantine3, Dougheal2, Gregor1 ), was born about 1250, and was killed in a raid shortly before the death of his father in 1285. The name of his wife is unknown. Their son,
16. MALCOLM16 (15. Gregor MacGregor15, Gregor14 , Duncan13 , Eoin12 , Gillefealan11, Malcolm10, Duncan Beg9, Duncan a Straileagh8 ,Eoin MacGregor7, Gregor Garbh6 , Eoin Mor5, Gregor Na Bratacht4 , Constantine3, Dougheal2, Gregor1 ), born about 1275, was heir to his grandfather at the latter's death in 1285. As "Malcolm, Laird MacGregor of Glenorchy", he was among the numerous chiefs of the Scottish clans who swore fealty to Edward I, King of England, on a roll dated at Berwick 28 August 1296. These allegiances were due to Edward's sudden conquest of Scotland in the spring of 1296, the abdication of King Baliol, and the coronation of Edward at Montrose on 10 July 1296. For nearly a score of years Scotland remained nominally under the crown of England.
Malcolm MacGregor later became an active adherent of Robert Bruce in the latter's efforts to free Scotland from English rule and fought under him at. the great and decisive battle of Bannockburn, 24 June 1314. In this famous conflict Bruces Scottish Army of about thirty thousand men completely routed an English Army of nearly thrice that size under Edward II, thus completing the liberation of Scotland from England and securing for Bruce the crown of Scotland. The next year Malcolm accompanied Edward Bruce, younger brother of King Robert Bruce, in an expedition into Ireland; he took part in numerous engagements, including the battle of Dundalk in October 1318 in which Edward Bruce was defeated and slain. In this battle Malcolm MacGregor was wounded so as to be permanently lame, wherefore he was termed "Morair Bachdach" or the Lame Laird. In spite of this dissability he survived to advanced age.
This Malcolm is the subject of several Gaelic heroic poems; but there are also several documentary evidences preserved about him to establish him as a thoroughly authentic historical character.; whereas his ancestors have left but few traces in contemporary records and are known almost wholly from traditionary legends and poems, not committed to writing until the fifteenth century. He married MARY, daughter of Malise MacAlpin. Their son,
17. GREGOR17 (16. Malcolm16, Gregor MacGregor15, Gregor14 , Duncan13 , Eoin12 , Gillefealan11, Malcolm10, Duncan Beg9, Duncan a Straileagh8 ,Eoin MacGregor7, Gregor Garbh6 , Eoin Mor5, Gregor Na Bratacht4 , Constantine3, Dougheal2, Gregor1), born about 1305, probably died in early manhood and before his father. In the ancient legends of the family he is mentioned only as a link in the line of descent, and the contemporary records are silent about him. The name of his wife is unknown. Their son,
18. JOHN CRAM MacGREGOR18 (17. Gregor17, Malcolm16, Gregor MacGregor15, Gregor14 , Duncan13 , Eoin12 , Gillefealan11, Malcolm10, Duncan Beg9, Duncan a Straileagh8 ,Eoin MacGregor7, Gregor Garbh6 , Eoin Mor5, Gregor Na Bratacht4 , Constantine3, Dougheal2, Gregor1 ), born about 1335, is termed "Cham", both in contemporary records and poetic legends, on account of blindness in one eye. He succeeded his grandfather as Laird of Glenorchy. According to the authoritative Chronicle of Fortingai* (compiled in 1531), "John, son of Gregor, Laird of Glenorchy, died 19 April 1390, and was buried on the north side of the-high altar of Dysart Church". This was the ancient church of Glenorchy, and about 1810 several stone coffins of the early MacGregors of Glenorchy were exhumed from the ruins of this edifice. The name of the wife of John Cham MacGregor is unknown. Children:
19. i. GREGOR19, b. about 1365.
ii. JOHN DHU [Black John], b. about 1370. He settled at Stronmelochan at the north-easterly point of Lochaw near Glenstrae in Argyllshire, and founded the MacGregors of Glenstrae. Alexandet25 MacGregor of Glenstrae (sixth in descent from John Dhu19) became chief of the Clan Gregor toward the close of the sixteenth century; raided and slaughtered the Colquhouns at Glenfruin on 7 February 1602/3; and was outlawed, tried, and executed as a rebel at Edinburgh on 20 January 1603/4, together with twenty-five other leading men of the clan. (See ante p.4, and post, pp. 27-28.)
The Chronicle of Fortingal thus records the death of John Dhu19: "John Dhu, son of John Chain the son of Gregor, died at Stronmelochan in 1415 and was buried in Dysart Church."
* See ante, page 5.
19. GREGOR. (18. John Cham MacGregor18, Gregor17, Malcolm16, Gregor MacGregor15, Gregor14 , Duncan13 , Eoin12 , Gillefealan11, Malcolm10, Duncan Beg9, Duncan a Straileagh8 ,Eoin MacGregor7, Gregor Garbh6 , Eoin Mor5, Gregor Na Bratacht4, Constantine3, Dougheal2, Gregor1 ), born about 1365, succeeded his father in 1390 as Laird of Glenorchy. In the family legends he is termed "Gregor Aluinn" [Gregor the Handsome]. According to the Chronicle of Fortingal (compiled in 1531), "Gregor MacEoin Cham [Gregor son of John, Blind of One Eye] died in Glenorchy in 1415 and was buried by the high altar in Dysart Church". He married IRIC, daughter of Malcolm MacAlpin.
i. MALCOLM20, b. about 1390; succeeded his father as Laird of Glenorchy in 1415, but d. in 1420, unmarried.
ii. JOHN, b. about 1395; succeeded as Laird of Glenorchy and Chief of the Clan upon the death of his brother in 1420. During his lifetime the powerful Campbells (created Earls of Argyll in 1457) and other feudal noblemen acquired from the crown an overlordship in the lands of the Clan Gregor, which the latter had possessed outright from time immemorial. In 1435 a feud between John20 MacGregor and the MacNabbs was fought out at Chrimlarich. Whereupon Sir Duncan Campbell of Lochaw, the most powerful nobleman in Scotland, as Lord Lieutenant of Argyllshire procured royal letters of fire and sword against both these clans as rebels, overwhelmed them with military force, and became feudal overlord of their lands. This John20 MacGregor d. in 1461, the last MacGregor who was Laird of Glenorchy. He left three sons whose descendants continued for several generations in Glenorchy and vicinity as restive undertenants of the Earls of Argyll; while the chieftanship of the clan eventually passed to the MacGregors of Glenstrae who held it until 1604.
iii. ARCHIBALD, b. about 1400.
iv. DUNCAN, b. about 1405, progenitor of Gregors of Roro.
20. v. DOUGAL CIAR, b. about 1410.
20. DOUGAL CIAR MacGREGOR20 (19. Gregor19, John Cham MacGregor18, Gregor173 Malcolm16 , Gregor MacGregor15, Gregor14, Duncan13, Loin12 , Gillefealan11, Malcolm10, Duncan Beg9, Duncan a Straileadli8, Loin MacGregor7, Gregor Garbh6 , Loin Mor5, Gregor Na Bratach4, Constantine:3 , Dougheal2 , Gregor1), born about 1410, was youngest son of Gregor10 the last MacGregor Laird of Glenorchy who died owning the ancestral lands there in free tenure and not as undertenants of the Earls of Argyll. This loss of free tenure of the family estates occurred about 1435, as previously related.
Dougal Ciar MacGregor was so termed from a peculiar gray color of eyes and hair. He settled in the parish of Balquihidder in Perthshire, a few miles east of Glenorchy in Argyllshire the ancient home of his ancestors. He established a branch of the MacGregors which continued in Balquihidder for over three centuries and included the famous Highland freebooter Rob Roy MacGregor. The Braes of Balquihidder are located in wild and picturesque country around Loch Voil in a valley south of Ben More which rising to a height of nearly four thousand feet is one of the loftiest mountains in Scotland. The name of the wife of Dougal Ciar MacGregor is unknown. Their son,
21. DOUGAL CULCUERE21 (or COULKEIR, CULKEYR, CULQUHEIR, etc.) MacGREGOR (or COULKEIR, CULKEYR, CULQUHEIR, etc.) MacGREGOR (20. Dougal Ciar MacGregor20 , Gregor19 , John Cham MacGregor18, Gregor17, Malcolm16 , Gregor MacGregor15, Gregor14 , Duncan13 , Eoin12, Gillefealan11, Malcolm10, Duncan Beg9, Duncan a Straileadh8 , Eoin MacGregor7, Gregor Garbh6 , Eoin Mor5, Gregor Na Bratach4, Constantine3, Dougheal2, Gregor1),
born about 1440, succeeded his father in Balquihidder in Perthshire. In 1493 he and his two elder sons, Gregor and John, had a fracas with a party of Maclntyres over the ownership of some cattle. For over two centuries the MacGregors of Balquihidder were a very turbulent race of free-booters, and were continually engaged with their neighbors in mutual cattle-raiding, a common occupation among the old Scottish clans. The name of the wife of Dougal Culchere21 is unknown.
22. i. GREGOR22, b. about 1470.
ii. JOHN, b. about 1475.
iii. WILLIAM, b. about 1480.
22.GREGOR MacCULGHERE22 MacGREGOR MacGREGOR (21. Dongal Cuichere21, Dougal Ciar MacGregor20 , Gregor19 , John Cham MacGregor18, Gregor17, Malcolm16 , Gregor MacGregor15, Gregor14 , Duncan13 , Eoin12, Gillefealan11, Malcolm10, Duncan Beg9, Duncan a Straileadh8, Eoin MacGregor7, Gregor Garbh6 , Eoin Mor5, Gregor Na Bratach4, Constantine3, Dougheal2, Gregor1), born about 1470 is mentioned as Gregour Dougal-soune in 1493 when he and his brother John and their father engaged in a brawl with some MacIntyres, as before mentioned. He also appears with his brothers as "Gregour Dougalsoune. John Dougalsoune, and Dougalsoune"*, together with several kinsmen of the Clan Gregor as "John MacEwen MacAlester, chief of the Clan 'Gregor, and his kinsmen Duncan Bayne, Duncan Brek, Donald Patricksoune', Duncan Donaldsoune, and Gregor Patricksoune, all of the Clan Gregour", on a charter dated at Edinburgh 14 August 1527, for the institution of Donald Campbell as Abbot of Coupar in Perthshire. Fixed, "surnames, like those of the present time, did not come into general vogue in England until after 1300 and in Scotland until after 1500. So even in the sixteenth century in Scotland, persons are often designated by simply adding to their baptismal name a patronymic or a nickname. The name of the wife of Gregor MacCuichere is unknown.
* That is Gregor, John and William, sons of Dougal.
23.i. MALCOLM23, born about 1505.
23. MALCOLM MacCULCHERE23 MacGREGOR MacGREGOR (22. Gregor MacCulchere22, Dongal Cuichere21, Dougal Ciar MacGregor20 , Gregor19 , John Cham MacGregor18, Gregor17, Malcolm16 , Gregor MacGregor15, Gregor14 , Duncan13 , Eoin12, Gillefealan11, Malcolm10, Duncan Beg9, Duncan a Straileadh8, Eoin MacGregor7, Gregor Garbh6 , Eoin Mor5, Gregor Na Bratach4, Constantine3, Dougheal2, Gregor1 ), born about 1505, was put to the horn*, together with his brothers Duncan and Patrick and others of the Clan Gregor in Balquihidder, in a proclamation of 15 November 1523. They were declared rebels and outlaws against the peace of the Lord the King by raiding the pastures of Alexander Graham, second Earl of Menteith in Perthshire, and running off forty cattle belonging to his lordship. Glengyle, Drummiliche, Innerlochiarig, Keyletter [Caoletter], Strathyre [Strachur], Culgart and Camlea, are among the farms in Balquihidder in which Malcolm23 and his sons and grandsons were tenants in the sixteenth century.
A branch of the Clan Laurane in Balquihidder became formidable rivals of the MacGregors there. The Mac Lauranes, as the oldest clan in the parish, from the thirteenth century exercised the prerogative of being the first to enter the parish church on Sundays; but early in the sixteenth century they agreed to share this honor with the MacGregors in return for assistance against a raid by the
* To "put to the horn" in old Scots law; was to denounce as a rebel and outlaw for non-appearance at a court to answer a summons; the culprit was proclaimed at the Great Cross in Edinburgh, together with three blasts of a horn and other formalities. A similar process was in vogue in executions on property for judicially established debts.
McLenies. Among such turbulent people the joint participation in such a dignity naturally led to many brawls and finally to a general free fight between the two clans inside the church in 1532, during which the vicar, Sir John MacLaurane, was killed. This caused a long-standing feud between the two clans which resulted in 1557 in a slaughter by the MacGregors of eighteen households of the MacLauranes. numerous members of the MacGregors of Balquihidder were to the horn for this massacre, but none of them were convicted. On 9 March 1559, "Malcum McCoule Kair Macr'regour" and divers others of the Clan Gregour in Balquihidder bound themselves in fealty as tenants to Lord Cohn Campbell (later sixth Earl of Argyll) and to serve under his protection, rendering their "calpes" [tributes] in the form of horse or cow. Malcolm was living as late as 8 September when his son "Malcum Makcoulkeyr alias MacGregour, [the younger] and two of the latter's younger were put to the horn. (See below.)
He married about 1540, FINDLAY GLAS McEANTYRE, who survived to very advanced age, as she is mentioned in a decree of horning dated 15 February 1589/90, as "Findlay glas Mceantyre, relict of umqqhile [the deceased] Malcum MacCoulcheir in Carnlea" in Balquihidder*
i. MALCOLM24, b. bout 1540; is first found mentioned on 8 September 1569, when as "Malcum Mak Coulkeyer zoungar [the younger] alias McGregour" he was put to the horn (together with Gregor and John and several others of Clan Gregor) for participation in the deaths of Hugh and John Stewart in Baquihidder. They were acquitted of this charge. He occupied a farm called Innerlochlarig in the above parish. As "Malcum MacCoulquheir in Innerlochiarig" he appears on a list of 104 of the clan put to the horn 8 August 1586 on complaints of raiding; released 13 October 1586.
*From the fourteenth century it has been the custom in Scotland always to record wives with their maiden name, as "Janet Campbell the spouse of Alexander Gregg".
He also appears as "Malcolm Macdougaichere in Balquihidder" in a decree of horning dated 4 February 1589/90, listing 139 members of the Clan Gregor charged with the murder of John Drummond, forrester of Glenarthy, in September 1589; a royal pardon on these charges was decreed to the clan on 4 January 1591/?. After the slaughter of the Colquhouns by the MacGregors at the battle of Glenfruin, 7 February 1602/3, Malcolm was one of the twenty-five unfortunate hostages for the chief who were executed as rebels at Edinburgh, in March 1604. (See ante, p.4 and post, p.27.) He left issue.
ii. DOUGAL, b. about 1543; resided in Glengyle in Balquihidder; is mentioned as "Dougall McCulquheir MacGregor in Glengyle, brother of Malcolm" in the lists of hornings of 8 August 1586 and 4 February 1589/90; previously mentioned.
iii. GREGOR DHU24, b. about 1545; 'was termed "Dhu" from his black hair; is called "Gregour McCutquheir MacGregor in Keyletter" in the list of 104 men of the Clan Gregor put to the horn on 8 August 1586. His eldest son,
MALCOLM 0IG25 MacGREGOR, was b. about 1575. As "Malcolme Oig McGregour McDougall Keir" his name appears on a list of 36 of the Clan Gregor who gave bond to the Earl of Argyll as Lord Lieutenant, 22 April 1601. After the proscription of the MacGregor name on 8 April 1604, Malcolm Oig2 took the name of Stewart.
His younger son,
DONALD GLAS26 STEWART STEWART ALIAS MacGREGOR, b. about 1610, resumed his ancestral name of' MacGregor on the repeal of the proscription in 1661 Soon after this he was commissioned a lieut.-colonel in the army, and thereafter is generally termed "Lieut.-Col. Donald MacGregor in Glengyle". He d. after 1691. He m. MARGARET CAMPBELL. Their youngest child,
ROB ROY27 MacGREGOR, -: was baptized 7 March 1670/1. Much has been written concerning this famous Highland freebooter. As early as 1690 he became a noted raider; and on the revival in 1693 of the proscription of the name of MacGregor, he adopted his mother's name of Campbell as a surname. He secured leases of lands between the estates of the rival noble houses of Montrose and Argyll, and for many years was active in buying and selling cattle and also in raiding whenever opportunity offered. In the Stuart Uprising of 1715, Rob Roy led part of the Clan Gregor in the wake of the rebel army but kept his men out of the battle of Sheriffmuir and other important engagements, although they were alert to participate in any plundering. For the next ten years he was continually engaged tin depredations against the estates of the Earl of, Montrose, and although several times apprehended he always managed to escape or secure a pardon through political influence. Many of his exploits are related by Sir Walter Scott who describes him as a large, broad-shouldered, powerfully built man of great athletic prowess, with such extraordinary length arms that when erect his wrists hung below his knees. His red hair was very thick, and frizzled and curled short around his face. He d. 28 December 1734 at his house in Balquihidder, and was buried in the churchyard in that parish where his gravestone still remains. By his wife HELEN MARY MacGREGOR he had five sons.
24.iv. J0HN24, b. about 1548.
v. DUNCAN, b. about 1550; is mentioned as "Duncane McCulquheir MacGregor in Drummiliche" in the decree of horning against 104 of the Clan Gregor, dated 8 August 1586, previously mentioned.
vi. PATRICK, b. about 1552; is mentioned as "Patrick MacCulquheir in Strathyre brother of Duncan", in the hornings against the Clan Gregor, dated 8 August 1586 and 4 February 1589/90.
vii. FINLAY, b. about' 1555;. appears as "Finlay keir McCulquheir MacGregor in Culgart" on the list of hornings dated 8 August 1586; and as "Finla Keir MacGregor in Colcarrach" on that dated 4 February 1589/90.
24. JOHN MacCULCHERE (or MacCULQUHEIR)24 MacGREGOR (23. Malcolm MacCuichere23, MacGregor, Gregor MacCuichere22, Don gal Cuichere21, Don gal Ciar MacGregor20, Gregor19, John Cham MacGregor18, Gregor171 Malcolm16,Gregor MacGregor15, Gregor14, Duncan13, Eoin12, Giliefealan11, Malcolm10, Duncan Beg9, Duncan a Straileadh8, Loin MacGregor7, Gregor Garbh6, Eoin Mor5, Gregor Na Bratach4, Constantine31 Dougheal2, Gregor1 ), was born in Balquihidder in Perthshire about 1548. The earliest mention found of him is on 8 September 1569, when he and his two elder Brothers and others of the clan were put to the horn for not appearing to answer an indictment for participation in the "slauchter" of the umquhile [late deceased] Hugh Stewart and John Stewart his brother in December 1568, of which charge they were acquitted. These three Brothers are thus described in this privy seal: "Malcum Makcoulkeyr zoungar* alias McGregour. Gregour McCoulkeir his brethir. John McCoulkeir his' brethir". On 8 August 1586, letters of horning were entered at Perth on complaints by Allan Stewart, John Drummond and others, against 104 members 'of the Clan Gregor, for sundry theft by raids.
* The younger.
Among those of Balquihidder were: "Malcum McCoulquheir in Innerlochie; Duncane McCulquheir MacGregour in Drummiliche, John McCoulquheir MacGregour , thaire [Drummiliche], brother of above; Dougall MacGregor in Glengyle, another brother; Gregour MacGregor in Keylecter [Caoletter]; Patrik McCulquheir Strathyre, another brother of Duncan in Drummiliche; and Finlay keir McCulquheir MacGregor in Culgart". They were released on these charges 13 October 1586.
On 14 February 1589/90, a decree of horning was issued listing 139 members of the Clan Gregor charged with the murder of John Drummond of Drummondernoch, forrester of Glenarthy, in September 1589. The gruesome details of this noted affair are related by Sir Walter Scott in the introduction to his "Legend of Montrose". It was charged that the said forrester, when deer hunting to secure venison for a proposed marriage banquet of King James* and Anne, Princess of Denmark, was murdered for revenge by a party of the MacGregors, who cut off their victim's head and took it to the house of his sister. She invited them to eat and drink and set a venison before them which, in her absence to secure their drinks, they replaced with her brother's head; on her return the shock drove her insane. It was further charge that they then took the head to the house of their chieftan who showed it to the clan on the next Sunday in Balquihidder Church, and that the chief and the whole clan avowed the murder as committed by their common counsel, and that they swore defense of the authors of the crime. The MacGregors of Balquihidder in this horning decree were: Malcolm MacDougalchere in Balquihidder and his brothers Dougal, Duncan, John, Patrick and Gregor. The MacGregors then and in later generations denied any connection with this murder, which they claimed was committed by the McIans of the MacDonalds of Glencoe. It is evident that the MacGregors were exonerated of the charges, as on 4 January 1591/2, a royal pardon was issued to Allaster [Alexander] MacGregor of Glenstrae and all his kinsmen of the Clan Gregor, charged with the slaughter of John Drummond in September 1589, as from the date of said. murder.
* James VI of Scotland, later James I of England.
The last important mention of John MacGregor is in connection with the notable conflict at Glenfruin on 7 February 1602/3, an event so fatal to the clan. A spirited account of this engagement is given by Sir Walter Scott in the introduction to his "Rob Roy". As the result of a feud between the MacGregors and Colquhouns, Alexander MacGregor of Glenstrae, chief of the clan, led over three hundred of his men in a southward march of sixty miles from Loch Rannoch to raid the Colquhouns of Luss near the south-western end of Loch Lomond. Having learned of the coming attack, Alexander Colquhoun, Laird of Luss, assembled a force twice the number of the invaders; but his clan was ambushed on boggy ground in the valley of Glenfruin by an attack from three sides. It was charged that one hundred and forty of the Colquhouns were slaughtered while only two MacGregors were killed in this conflict, and that the MacGregors then raided off eighty horses, six hundred cattle and eight hundred sheep. Alexander Colquhoun escaped from the field and appealed for redress to King James VI of Scotland (a few weeks later also crowned as King James I of England). Letters of fire and sword were issued against the whole Clan Gregor who were proclaimed rebels and outlaws; large armed forces were sent against them; the men were hunted down with bloodhounds, and many of them were killed or imprisoned; the women were branded on the cheek with a key; the boys were taken and dispersed as apprentices about the country; and thirty leading men surrendered as hostages for the chief of the Clan. By machinations of Archibald Campbell, seventh Earl of Argyll, these hostages as well as the chief, were tried at Edinburgh, and twenty-five of them were condemned as rebels and executed in January, February and March 1603/4. Furthermore, by act of the Privy Council on 3 April 1603, the name of MacGregor was proscribed and abolished; and all members of the clan were ordered to renounce it for themselves and their descendants, under pain of death and to adopt other names. This disability continued in effect for nearly sixty years, until revoked by Charles II in 1661.
Among the thirty hostages for the chief; as above mentioned, was "Johnne Goulicheire in the Brase of Balquihidder". Who was tried at Edinburgh on 2 March 1603/4, "for intercowmoning with the Laird of McGregour and his accomplices that ware at the field of Glenfrune, sence their dennunciation, and giving of comforte, supplie and freendschipp to thame". At the same trial various old charges against him, as a member of the Clan, were raked up, including "pairt in the crewall murthour of auchtene houshalderes of the Clan Lawren with their wyves and bairnes, committit sax yeir syne*; also for pairt in the slauchter of umquhile [deceased] Hew Stewart, servant to my Lord of Athole, committit thertie yeir syne or thairby**; and for Cowmone thift, cowman ressett of thift, outputing and imputing of thift fra land to land, fra Cuntrey to cuntrey, baith of auld and new"*** John24 MacGregor was more fortunate than most of the hostages, as he was acquitted by the following verdict: "The Assyse, bye the mouth of Mungo Lyndsay of Ballull, Chancellor, find, pronuncet and declarit the said Johnne McCoullcheirs to be clene, innocent and acquit of the saidis crymes".
* This fracas took place in 1557 when this John MacGregor was a mere lad of less than ten years; so such a charge shows the vindictiveness of the prosecution. (See ante p.22)
** This charge was originally brought against him and many others of the Clan Gregor on 8 September 1569, and they were acquitted. (See ante, p.22.)
*** This general charge could be made with probable truth against any of the Highland Clans at that period, from time immemorial engaged in mutual raids.
During the whole reign of James I as King of England (1603-1625), the "Nameless Clan" (of Gregor) suffered continual and cruel persecutions, mainly under the direction of Archibald Campbell, seventh Earl of Argyll, whose vindictive course toward the MacGregors completely dismembered and threatened nearly to extirpate the clan.
The name of the wife of John24 MacGregor is unknown.
i. GREGOR25, b. about 1573.
25.ii. JOHN, b. about 1575.
25. JOHN25 GREGG GREGG ALIAS MacGREGOR (24. John MacCulchere24 MacGregor Malcolm MacCulchere23 MacGregor, Gregor MacCuichere22, Dougal Culchere21, Dougal Ciar MacGregor20, Gregor19, John Cham MacGregor18, Gregor17) Malcolm16, Gregor MacGregor15, Gregor14, Duncan13, Eoin 12, Gillefealan11, Malcolm 10, Duncan Beg9, Duncan a Straileadh8, Eoin MacGregor7, Gregor Garbh6, Eoin Mor5, Gregor Na Bratach4, Constantine3, Dougheal2, Gregor1 ), was born in Balquihidder in Perthshire about 1575. He was a young married man when among the consequences of the fatal battle of Glenfruin, the use of the name MacGregor was proscribed, under penalty of death, by enactment of 3 April 1603. Thereupon the members of the clan adopted other Scottish family names; often the maternal family name was chosen, while some clung to a resemblance of their ancient name by assuming that of Greig or Gregg. For the few years following the act of proscription of 3 April 1603, the Privy Council Records and numerous Notarial Protocol Books have rolls of members of the Clan who had recorded the adoption or confirmation of other names; most of these remained in permanent use, although many of the families returned to the use of the name MacGregor on the revocation of the proscription in 1661. The commissariot, retour, sasine, protocol and parish records of the beginning seventeenth century have numerous references to members of the Clan Gregor with appellations like Gregg late MacGregor, Gregg alias MacGregor, Stewart alias MacGregor etc.
The acquittal of his father on 2 March 1603/4 of any complicity in the raid of Glenfruin, doubtless secured for John25 Gregg an opportunity to remain as a small tackman [or lease-holder] in his ancestral parish of Balquihidder. In a protocol book of Perth is recorded, under date of 8 May 1604, the adoption by John, son of John McCoulchere alias MacGregor in Balquihidder, for himself and his bairnes John and David (by Margaret McIntyre his spouse), of the name Gregg, in compliance with an Act of his Majesty's Privy Council dated 3 of April 1603, etc.
The testament dative and inventory of umquhile [deceased] John Gregg in the Braes of Balquihidder, who died August 1639, was given up by John Gregg in Greenock, David Gregg in Glasgow and Andrew Gregg in Balquihidder, lawful bairns and executors dative of said umquhile John Gregg, by decree of the Commissary of Dunblane. Unfortunately the registered volumes containing the copies of testaments, testaments dative, inventories, cautioner's bonds etc. of this commissariot are missing from 1637 to 1661; so further details about this estate are lost. The parish registers of Balquihidder do not commence until 1696.
John25 Gregg married about 1600, MARGARET McINTYRE of Balquihidder.
Children born in Balquihidder:
i. JOHN26, b. about 1600.
ii DAVID, b. about 1602.
iii. ANDREW, b. about I605
THIS WEBSITE IS THE PROPERTY OF THE GREGG FAMILY HISTORY PROJECT (U.K.) © 1999