The Hunt for Rob Roy: The Man and the Myths

By David Stevenson | Go to book overview

8
DEFIANCE

John Graham of Drunkie had been linked to Rob Roy in earlier years in deals concerning loans and land. But on 20 July 1717 he had brought his men to support Killearn in establishing a permanent military presence at Inversnaid, and later in the year Killearn and Kilmannan employed him on Montrose’s behalf as a pursuer of stolen cattle and catcher of thieves. Drunkie had had some success in his campaign, but the disbanding of Finab’s independent company added to the problems he faced, for some of the former soldiers ‘had taken up their old imployment of theeveing’. At one time Drunkie managed to lodge six thieves in Mugdock Castle, but Montrose’s regality prison had proved as useless as Atholl’s, for only one failed to escape and could be hanged. The other five ‘joyned with their friends the McGregors commanded by Rob Roy and resolved to come upon Drunky in the night and murder himself and take all his cattell’. However, finding out that he had been warned and was prepared, they refrained from attacking his house and contented themselves with stealing most of his cattle and horses. Drunkie got together sixty men (including an officer and twenty soldiers, presumably from Inversnaid) and pursued them as far as Glenfalloch.1

As night fell on 28 January 1719 the soldiers and Drunkie’s levy of Montrose’s tenants quartered the glen with the soldiers in a house and Drunkie’s men sleeping under whatever cover they could find. Nerves must have been on edge, because when they had arrived it had been reported that Rob Roy had ‘that moment gone from thence’ with nearly fifty well-armed men. Within half an hour several shots were heard from outside the house, and on opening the door it was found that the sentinel left outside had been shot. Rob’s party shot several times into the house, then set upon Montrose’s tenants, disarming them. One, it was said, was shot by Rob as he lay on his bed – though that does not accord with his usual avoidance of

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The Hunt for Rob Roy: The Man and the Myths
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iv
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations viii
  • Preface x
  • Acknowledgements xiii
  • Chronology of - The Life of Rob Roy xiv
  • 1 - The Obscurity of Childhood 1
  • 2 - Cattle Raider, Cattle Trader 16
  • 3 - Downfall 44
  • 4 - Chiefs, Pensions and Politicians 70
  • 5 - Rebel 92
  • 6 - Burning Houses 124
  • 7 - Climax 136
  • 8 - Defiance 161
  • 9 - Highland Rogue 184
  • 10 - Jacobite Rebel to Hanoverian Spy 194
  • 11 - Out of Order 223
  • 12 - Their Father’s Sons 233
  • 13 - Life after Death 268
  • 14 - Man versus Myth 286
  • Abbreviations 297
  • Notes 301
  • Index 329
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