Walking Scotland’s Rob Roy Way

Walking Scotland’s Rob Roy Way.

A thief and extortionist but also a daring hero, few men have been as celebrated in Scottish legend or literature as Robert Roy MacGregor. He was born in March 1671 in Glen Gyle in the Southern Highlands, the third son of Donald Glas, a MacGregor chieftain, and Mary Campbell. From an early age, he was given the nickname Ruadh, Gaelic for red because of the colour of his hair, later anglicised to Roy. The MacGregors were Jacobites who supported the uprising of 1689 against King William III. After the rebellion, Rob Roy turned away from politics. He married his cousin Mary of Comar in January of 1693 and, taking his mother’s maiden name of Campbell because the name of MacGregor was banned because of the part they played in the Jacobite uprising, started his own business dealing cattle under the patronage of the Duke of Montrose. He fell out with the Duke due to an unpaid loan and was declared a thief. Rob Roy became an outlaw and pursued a vendetta against the Duke of Montrose. His popularity with the public led to a pardon for his crimes from George I just as he was about to be transported to the colonies as a captured criminal. He died on 28 December 1734 at his home at the age of 63 as a piper played I Shall Return No More. Credit: The Scotsman.

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