ROLLO, Baron, a
title in the peerage of Scotland, conferred in 1651, on Sir Andrew Rollo
of Duncruib, knight, descended from Richard de Rollo, an Anglo-Norman
baron, who settled in Scotland in the reign of David I., and witnessed
several of his charters. He was the son or grandson of Eric de Rollo or
Raoul, who came to England with his kinsman, William the Conqueror, in
the capacity of secretary, and was sprung from a collateral branch of
the family of the first duke of Normandy. The latter was a lineal
descendant of Rollo, the Danish Viking, who, in 912, was baptized by the
archbishop of Rouen, and was acknowledged the vassal of his
father-in-law, Charles the Simple, king of France, for the country
called Normandy, from the northern origin of its conquerors. The above
Richard de Rollo appears as a witness to a charter of Robert de Brus,
grandfather of Robert I., of the manor of Ailewick before 1141,
(Douglas’ Peerage.) The name in ancient times was sometimes written
Rolloche, and sometimes Rowok, and is the same as Rollock. Robert
Rolloche obtained from King David II. charters of some property in
Perth, and of the lands of Threepwood, Lanarkshire, and from the same
monarch John de Rollo got a charter of a tenement in Edinburgh, dated
23d July 1369. This John de Rollo was notary public to the act of
settlement of the crown of Scotland by King Robert II., 27th March,
1371. He was secretary to King Robert III., and got a charter of the
lands of Duncruib in Perthshire from David, earl of Strathern, with
consent of King Robert his father, dated 13th February 1380.
Robert Rollo of Duncruib
was one of the lords of the articles and judges of causes in the
parliament of James II. at Edinburgh, 9th October 1467. Robert Rollo of
Duncruib, said to have been his great-grandson, got Duncruib erected
into a free barony in 1512, and is supposed to have fallen at Flodden.
His eldest son, Andrew, hereafter a favourite name with this family, had
a charter of all his lands united into the free barony of Duncruib, 21st
May 1540. It was his grandson, Sir Andrew Rollo of Duncruib, who was the
first Lord Rollo. Knighted by James VI., on 25th September 1633, he was
appointed by Charles I. sheriff of Perthshire, and by Charles II., when
in Scotland, created Baron Rollo of Duncruib, in the Scottish peerage,
by patent, dated 10th January 1651, to him and his heirs male
whatsoever. In 1654, he was fined Ł1,000 sterling, by Cromwell’s act of
grace and pardon. He died in June 1659. He had five sons and four
daughters. The Hon. Andrew Rollo, the fourth son, was minister of
Dunning, the parish in which Duncruib is situated. The Hon. Sir William
Rollo, the fifth and youngest son, on the breaking out of the civil
wars, espoused the cause of Charles I. He joined the marquis of
Montrose, on his declaring for the king in 1644, and accompanied that
chivalrous nobleman, when he entered Scotland, disguised as a groom, to
erect the royal standard. He was with Montrose in all his battles, and
at Alford in 1645, with Viscount Aboyne he had the command of the left
wing of the royal army. He was among the prisoners taken at Philiphaugh,
and was executed at the market cross of Glasgow, 28th October, 1645.
Wishart (p. 223) says that the chief crime laid to Sir William’s charge
was that he had not assassinated Montrose after having agreed to do so;
for, having been sent by the marquis, after the battle of Aberdeen, with
some dispatches to the king, he was apprehended by the Covenanters, and
would have been immediately executed, but for Argyle, who used all his
endeavours to engage him to cut off Montrose, and by alternately
threatening him with immediate death and promising him very high
rewards, prevailed upon him at length seemingly to comply. Having
thereby obtained his life and liberty, he returned straight to Montrose,
and disclosed the whole matter to him, entreating him at the same time
to look more carefully to his own safety, as some person would
undoubtedly be found who would not scruple to commit such a crime for
the promised reward.
James, the eldest son,
second Lord Rollo, was in his father’s lifetime knighted by Charles I.
He, nevertheless, joined the party of Argyle, and previously to the
battle of Inverlochy in 1644, was one of the persons who accompanied
that nobleman on board his galley on the loch, that he might avoid the
risk of the battle. He survived the Restoration, and died in 1669.
Andrew, his son, third Lord Rollo, died 1st March 1700. He had two sons
and four daughters. John, master of Rollo, the elder son, was killed by
Patrick Graham, younger of Inchbraco, with the sword of James Edmonston
of Newton, 20th May 1691. They were visiting at Invermay, and going home
on horseback after supper, some words passed between them, and an
encounter ensued in the dark, which proved fatal to the master.
Edmonston was tried before the high court of justiciary at Edinburgh,
5th August 1695, for being accessory to his murder. At the trial one of
the witnesses swore that he found the master of Rollo lying on the
ground mortally wounded, supported by a person of the name of Clevedge,
and on the latter crying out that such a horrid murder was never seen,
Edmonston said, “I think not; I think it was fairly done,” and he
assisted Graham to make his escape. Edmonston was found guilty, and
sentenced to banishment for life. Graham was outlawed for the murder in
1696. The Hon. Susan Rollo, the third daughter, became the wife of
Robert Gillespie of Cherryvalley, Ireland, and her grandson,
Major-general Robert Rollo Gillespie, distinguished himself by his
services in India, particularly in the reduction of Java in 1811.
Robert, the second son,
fourth Lord Rollo, supported the treaty of Union in the last Scots
parliament. He was one of the Jacobite noblemen who attended the
pretended great hunting match at Aboyne in Aberdeenshire, 27th August
1715, at which the earl of Mar explained his plans in favour of the
Pretender, but the following year he surrendered himself, with the
marquis of Huntly, to Brigadier-general Grant, and obtained the full
benefit of the act of grace passed in 1717. He died at Duncruib, 8th
March 1758, in his 78th year. By his wife, Mary, eldest daughter of Sir
Harry Rollo of Woodside, Stirlingshire, he had four sons and three
Andrew, the eldest son,
fifth lord Rollo, was a distinguished officer during the American war.
Like Lord Lynedoch, he was upwards of forth before he entered the army.
For his gallant conduct at the battle of Dettingen in 1743, he was
promoted to a company in the 22d foot, of which regiment he was
appointed major 1st June 1750, and lieutenant-colonel, 26th October
1756. In 1758 he commanded the 22d in the expedition to Louisburg, and
was afterwards sent to take possession of the French island of St.
John’s. He was next employed in assisting General Murray in his attack
upon Montreal, the surrender of which terminated a series of successful
operations which secured Canada to the British crown. In June of the
following year, with 2,600 men, he landed in Dominica, and immediately
attacked and drove the French from their batteries and entrenchments.
Next day the whole island submitted to him. He became colonel 19th
February 1760, obtaining also the rank of brigadier-general in America.
An armament having been sent out for the purpose of operating against
Martinique and the Havannah, Lord Rollo, in December 1761, joined
General Monckton in Carlisle Bay, Barbadoes, and the 16th of the
following month arrived at Martinique, which island surrendered on the
4th February. The general in his dispatches spoke in high praise of his
lordship and his officers. At the siege of Havannah in June 1762, he
commanded 2,400 men, but his health being affected by the climate, he
sailed for England before the surrender of Cuba. His lordship died at
Leicester, 2d June 1765, and was buried in that place.
John, master of Rollo,
his only son, captain 77th foot, having predeceased him, his lordship
was succeeded by his brother John, sixth Lord Rollo. The latter died in
1783, when his only son, James, became seventh Lord Rollo. This baron
was an officer of marines, and served at the taking of Pondicherry and
Manilla. He died in 1784, having had two sons and five daughters. The
Hon. Roger Rollo, the second son, was an officer in the royal regiment
of artillery, and afterwards collector of customs at Ayr.
The elder son, John,
eighth Lord Rollo, a lieutenant in the 3d foot-guards, served on the
Continent during the campaigns of 1793, 1794, and 1795, and quitted the
army in 1796. He had 3 sons and 2 daughters, and died Dec. 24, 1846. His
son, William, 9th Lord Rollo, born in 1809, married in 1834, the only
daughter of Dr. John Rogerson of Wamphray, Dumfries-shire, and died Oct.
8, 1852, leaving an only son, John Rogerson, tenth Lord Rollo, born Oct.
24, 1835. ON 15th Nov. 1860, he was elected one of the 16 Scottish
representative peers. He married in 1857 his cousin Agnes Bruce, eldest
daughter of Capt. Robert Knox Trotter of Ballendean, with issue.