I thank for their help: Professor William Gillies; Angus Stewart QC; Jane Anderson, archivist at Blair Castle; John Brims, Stirling Council Archives; Domhnall Uilleam Stiubhart; Ronald Black; Susanna Martins; Suzanne Olisen, Old Auchietroig, who gave me access to Rob Roy’s door; Elain Stanier, Mitchell Library, Glasgow, for information on the MacGregor Dick collection; James Stewart. In addition, behind every historian there stand battalions of archivists and librarians.
The presentation of quotations from sources raises problems which have no simple solution. Showing in print a text that sticks as far as possible to what the writer put on his pages appeals to purists, but may present a text difficult for readers, through abbreviations, random capitalisation and lack of punctuation. I have therefore, in quotation from both manuscript and printed sources, extended abbreviations, modernised captialisation, and introduced punctuation where this seems necessary for comprehensibility. Original spelling has been retained, however, though in some cases with the modern version of words added in square brackets. In a few cases missing words have also been added in this way.
Plagued as Britain is by the indecision of successive governments unable to settle fully for either imperial or metric systems of measurement, I have stuck to the former.
In dealing with money, it is specified whether pound Scots or pound sterling is meant. £i sterling = £12 Scots.
In both Scots and sterling, the pound was divided into 20 shillings, the shilling (‘s’) into 12 pennies (‘d’). Thus £1 Scots = £0 is 8d sterling.
The Scots merk was two-thirds of £1 Scots: that is, £0 13s 4d Scots, just over is sterling. All quite simple once you get used to it.