MacGregor

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Clan MacGregor

Clan Gregor or MacGregor, is a chiefly Scottish family or kin-group associated with the lands of Glenstrae, Glenlochy and Glenorchy. <ref>George Way of Plean and Romilly Squire, Scottish Clan and Family Encyclopedia, 220</ref>

Origins

Sir Ian Moncreiffe believed that this family were descended an ancient Celtic royal family through the hereditary Abbots of Glendochart. This may be claimed in their traditional motto 'Royal is my race.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 220</ref> There is however no evidence to support the tradition that Gregor was a son of the early medieval king Cinead MacAlpin. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 220</ref>

Instead, Gregor may have been Grigor, son of Dungal, who is said to have been a co-ruler of Alba between AD 879 and 889.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 220</ref> Most modern historians have agreed that the first chief of Clan Gregor was Gregor of the golden bridles.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 220</ref> His son was Iain Camm One eye, who succeeded as the second chief sometime before 1390.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 220</ref> Another authority considers Ian Camm MacGregor the first chief.<ref>David Dorward, Collins Dictionary of Scottish Surnames, 214</ref>

Middle Ages

The clan were granted the barony of Loch Awe by Robert the Bruce. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 220</ref> However due to competition with the Campbells the MacGregors were restricted to Glenstrae.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 220</ref>

Sixteenth Century

Iain of Glenstrae died in 1519 with no direct heirs.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 220</ref> He was the second of his house to be called the Black.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 220</ref>The succession of Eian was supported by the Campbells and he married a daughter of Sir Colin Campbell of Glenorchy.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 220</ref>In 1547 Eian's son, Alistair, fought against the English at the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh but died shortly afterwards.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 220</ref>

Clan Conflicts

Colin Campbell refused to recognise the claim of Gregor Roy MacGregor to the estates and for ten years Gregor waged a war against the Campbells.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 220</ref>He was an outlaw who raided cattle and sheltered in the high glens.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 220</ref> However in 1570 he was captured and killed by the Campbells.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 221</ref>

The chiefship was claimed by his son, Alistair, but he was unable to stem the Campbell's persecution of the MacGregors who became known as the Children of the Mist.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 221</ref>

In 1589 John Drummond, the Kings forester, was murdered after hanging some MacGregors for poaching. The Chief, Alasdair MacGregor of Glenstrae, took responsibility for the act and was condemned by the Privy Council. <ref>http://www.clangregor.com/about-us/history/ (accessed 24th June 2014)</ref> In 1603 James VI issued an edict proclaiming the name of MacGregor 'altogether abolished' which meant that those who bore the name must change it or suffer death. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 220</ref> Alasdair MacGregor and eleven of his chieftains were hanged at the Mercat Cross in Edinburgh. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 220</ref>

Despite being outlawed, killed and hunted by the crown, the MacGregors actually fought for the royalists during the War of the Three Kingdoms.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 221</ref> Two hundred clan members joined the Earl of Glencairn's uprising against the Commonwealth in 1651. Charles II repealed the proscription of the name in 1651 but this was reimposed by William of Orange following the deposition of James IIV.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 221</ref>

Rob Roy

Rob Roy MacGregor was born in 1671, a younger son of MacGregor of Glengyle.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 221</ref>However he had been forced to assume his mother's surname of Campbell.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 221</ref>

The adventures of Rob Roy MacGregor have been immortalised and romanticised by Sir Walter Scott in his novel Rob Roy.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 221</ref> Rob Roy was undoubtedly a thorn in the flesh of the government until he died in 1734.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 221</ref>He supported the Jacobite cause in 1715 and after the Battle of Sheriffmuir he set out plundering at will.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 221</ref>In one such raid on Dumbarton, the town was put into panic and Dunbarton Castle was forced to open fire with its cannon.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 221</ref> He also led the Clan Gregor at the Battle of Glen Shiel in 1719. He is buried in Balquhidder churchyard.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 221</ref>

During the 1745 to 1746 uprising some of the Clan Gregor who were under the Duke of Perth fought as Jacobites at the Battle of Prestonpans in 1745. The Clan Gregor were amongst the Jacobite force that was defeated at the Battle of Littleferry in 1746 in Sutherland, and therefore missed the Battle of Culloden that took place the next day.<ref> Simpson, Peter. "The Highland Independent Companies, 1603 – 1760". 135 – 136</ref>

Persecution of the MacGregors did not end until 1774 when the laws against them were repealed.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 221</ref>

Eighteenth Century

To restore pride in the clan the chiefs needed to be re-established.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 221</ref>Eight hundred and twenty six MacGregors subscribed to a petition declaring General John Murray of Lanrick to be the true chief.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 221</ref>Murray was in fact a MacGregor who was descended from Duncan MacGregor of Ardchoille who had died in 1552.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 221</ref>

His son, Sir Evan MacGregor was a general and later Governor of Dominica and married a daughter of the fourth Duke of Atholl.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 221</ref> Sir Evan played a prominent part in the visit of George IV to Edinburgh in 1822.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 221</ref>

Twentieth Century

The father of the current chief was a naval officer during the First World War who was decorated both by Britain and France.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 221</ref>

Today

The current chief of Clan Gregor is Sir Malcolm Gregor Charles Mac Gregor of Mac Gregor, 7th BT, of Lanrick and Balquhidder, 24th Chief of Clan Gregor. His Gaelic designation is An t-Ailpeanach, a name which bears testimony to the clan's traditional descent from Siol Alpin.




References

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