Tobar an Dualchais - Kist O Riches
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'Rob Roy', engraved by W H Worthington from an original drawing. In the public domain.
Rob Roy MacGregor died in this month in 1734. Born in 1671 at Glengyle on the banks of Loch Katrine in the Trossachs, he became famous as both an outlaw and folk hero.
He was born into a family of land owners and cattle dealers and his father was a Jacobite. Aged 18, he fought at the Battle of Killiecrankie in 1689 under the leadership of Viscount Dundee. He was also involved in protection schemes, receiving payment to prevent cattle theft.
In 1701 Rob Roy obtained land near Loch Lomond and prospered as a cattle dealer. He borrowed money from the Duke of Montrose in 1712 to increase his herd size but this arrangement turned sour when Rob Roy's chief herder disappeared with the money and Montrose subsequently confiscated his lands and cattle. Rob Roy exacted his revenge by raiding Montrose's lands.
The Earl of Breadalbane gave Rob Roy land in Glen Dochart in 1713 where he renewed his cattle raiding but also earned a reputation for helping people who were in debt to the Duke of Montrose.
After the Jacobite rising of 1715 Rob Roy was accused of high treason. He was caught on more than one occasion but escaped, until his capture and imprisonment in 1725. He was granted a pardon by George I in 1727 and lived peacefully until his death in 1734.
A fictionalised account of his life was published in 1723 entitled 'The Highland Rogue' which turned him into a legend in his own lifetime. The publication of the novel 'Rob Roy' by Sir Walter Scott in 1817 augmented his fame and this was followed in the 20th century by film adaptations of his story.
Angus MacLellan of South Uist tells a story of how Rob Roy MacGregor outwitted a factor.
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Julie Fowlis and Chris Wright were Tobar an Dualchais' Artists in Residence in 2012
O Gur Mise a th' air Mo Mhealladh
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