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Kirkintilloch Town and Parish
Rob Roy, 1716


The character of this remarkable man has been much misunderstood and misrepresented, and we recommend all who wish information on the subject, to study Mr. Millar’s history for themselves, as it is founded on authentic documents. With all Rob’s lawless actions he invariably showed more true nobility of character than the three eminent noblemen who drove him to desperation and violence, by deeds of gross treachery and cruelty, of which Rob himself was incapable.

The Duke of Montrose had collected 250 soldiers, and after pillaging Rob’s house, burnt it, and carried off all the gear they could lay hands on. Graeme of Killearn the duke’s factor took an active part in these proceedings, and Rob, like a true Highlander, watched his opportunity of retaliation.

Learning that Graeme was to collect the Duke’s Martinmas rents at the inn of Chapelarroch, between Buchanan House and Drymen, he went there with a sufficient force on the appointed day, and remained concealed till all the tenants had paid their rents, and were carousing with the factor in the large room of the inn. Rob stalked in fully armed, and requested the tenants to leave, which they were glad to do. He then obliged Graeme to shew his books and papers, which he took possession of, along with the money collected, which amounted to ^3,227 2s. 8d. Scots. Rob determined not only to keep this money as part payment of the damages he had received at the duke’s hands, but he resolved to carry off the factor and hold him to ransom, and so obtain another instalment of his debt. He first obliged Graeme to write to the duke demanding 3,400 merks as payment of the balance due by the duke “ for loss and damages sustained.” Graeme was then forced to accompany Rob and his band wherever they went, and as they were obliged for their own safety to be continually on the move, the poor factor had a sorry time of it.

They travelled first to the shores of Loch Katrine, and then throughout the district which lies between that loch and the Lake of Menteith, during six weary days.

As soon as the duke received his factor’s letter he conceived that Buchanan House was no safe dwelling against Rob Roy, and he accordingly fled to Glasgow, and wrote three letters—one to Lord Townsend, another to General Carpenter, and a third to the Under-Secretary of State— detailing the outrage.

As the factor received no answer to his letter from the duke, Rob began to think there was no utility in keeping him longer in custody, and he accordingly carried him rapidly through Stirlingshire to Kirkintilloch, and left him there with his books and papers to find his way to his patron’s house at Glasgow as he best could.

As Graeme had embittered Rob’s life, and rendered him a homeless outcast, Rob deserves credit for his forbearance towards him.

We wish much that we could have recorded whether Rob himself actually entered Kirkintilloch or not, on this occasion; and it would have been interesting had we been able to say that he refreshed himself and his followers at the "Black Bull.”

We have given all the information we possess however, and we fear that taking all the circumstances into account, Rob is likely to have come over the hills with his prisoner, and allowed him his freedom as soon as they came in sight of the town.


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