This evening, I am focusing on Scottish romantic legend, Rob Roy MacGregor ( 1671-1734). A brief chronology of Rob Roy’s life is as follows:

  • Born 1671 as third son of the Chief of Clan MacGregor.
  • Supported the Jacobite cause, endeavours by the exiled King James VII and his descendants to reclaim the thrones of Scotland and England by force.
  • Fought on the  victorious Jacobite side at Battle of Killiecrankie, 1689.
  • Married in 1693, a union which produced four sons.
  • In 1711 borrowed GBP1000, a significant sum at the time, from the Duke of Montrose to finance a cattle transaction. Rob Roy’s lietenant absconded with the funds forcing Rob Roy to default and in turn triggering a long and bitter dispute with the Duke which entailed Rob being declared bankrupt and an outlaw.
  • Nominally supported the Jacobites at the indecisive Battle of Sheriffmuir, 1715 but did not participate in the action. After this action Rob Roy’s forces attacked and briefly occupied Falkland Palace  in the east of Scotland.
  • Fought for the Jacobites at the Battle of Glenshiel, 1719. The Jacobites lost this confrontation and Roy Roy suffered non-fatal wounds.
  • In 1725 was captured and imprisoned in London pending deportation but pardoned by King George I.
  • Returned to Inverlochie, near Balquidder where he died Dec 28th 1734, age 63 years.

Indirectly, Rob Roy helped to stimulate interest in Scottish tourism through the writings of romantic novelist, Sir Walter Scott, who wrote the novel ‘Rob Roy’ in 1817.  An eponymous adventure film was released in 1995 starring Liam Neeson. This was made on location in Glencoe, Glen Nevis and Rannoch Moor. Today, there is a ‘Rob Roy Trail’ which extends to 77  miles (124km) starting at Blair Atholl in Perthshire and working south through Killiekrankie, Pitlochry, Aberfeldy, Ardtainaig, Killin, Lochearnhead, Strathtyre, Callander, Aberfoyle  and Drymen. His grave site  at Balquidder Church  has become a ‘pilgrimage’ destination for visitors who wish to connect with the legend.

Sites particularly associated with Rob Roy are in the Loch Katrine  and Loch Lomond  areas, particularly Glengyle and Inversnaid. There is a statue of Rob Roy on the approach to Stirling Castle.

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