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Annals of Auchterarder and Memorials of Srathearn
Wanderings of Strowan Robertson after Culloden


DUNCAN ROBERTSON of Drumachin was an ardent supporter of Prince Charles Edward, but through illness was unable to be out in 1745. He, however, did much for the Prince's cause in Atholl. After Culloden he skulked in the hills till the death, in 1749, of his kinsman, Alexander Robertson of Strowan, the Jacobite poet. By that event he succeeded to the chieftainship and estate. His wife and children were threatened with military execution if they stayed in a little hut where they had sought shelter. His tenants struggled in vain against the Government, which was bent on his ruin. He was in hiding in numerous places in Scotland until his escape to Holland in 1753. He reached Paris in this year with his wife and four children, having 39 louis in his pocket. His family had to live in exile for thirty-nine years. His two sons, Alexander and Colzear, were officers in the Scottish Brigade in the Dutch service.

Strowan was intimately connected with the principal Jacobite families of Scotland. He married one of the eight daughters of the second Lord Nairne. One of her sisters was the wife of Lord Strathallan, another of Lord Dunmore, another of Oliphant of Gask, another of Robertson of Lude, and another of Graham of Orchill. Her father, Lord Nairne, was a son of John, Marquis of Atholl, by Amelia Stanley, the daughter of James, Karl of Derby, whose mother was a daughter of the Duke of Tremouille.

As above stated, Strowan skulked in Scotland for seven years after the ruin of the Prince's cause, wandering, like him, from place to place. Looking to the number of places he was in—no fewer than 157, it is wonderful how he escaped, more particularly as the search after him was not allowed to drop. In a letter of Lady Gask of 26th April, 1753, referring to the arrest of Dr Cameron, the brother of Lochiel, and the last who suffered for the Stuart cause, she says:—"Doctor Cameron was carried to London. Great search has been made for Dune, and others," the Dune, here being Strowan.

The following, copied from a note-book in the handwriting of his son and successor in Strowan, will be read with interest, more particularly when it is borne in mind that Carolina Oliphant, Lady Nairne, the sweet singer of Strathearn, was the fugitive's grand-daughter. Many of his hiding-places were the residences of the followers and sufferers in the Rising, and how he evaded apprehension in his wanderings seems even more surprising than the escape of the young Ascanius himself.







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