Additional Info

Click here to get a Printer Friendly Page

Share

Check all the Clans that have DNA Projects. If your Clan is not in the list there's a way for it to be listed. Electric Scotland's Classified Directory An amazing collection of unique holiday cottages, castles and apartments, all over Scotland in truly amazing locations.

Books and Articles by Ian McCulloch
An Unbounded Ascendancy


Highland Chaplaincy in the French & Indian War, 1756-1763
by Ian McCulloch

          Captain Francis Grose’s satiric Advice to the Officers of the British Army, first published in 1783, was a sarcastic account of the failings and weaknesses of officers in the British army, including NCOs and enlisted soldiers. According to Scottish poet Robert Burns, Grose "had been thrown into the Army from the Nursery" and had retired as a captain on half pay, as well as doing a unfortunate stint as paymaster and adjutant of the Surrey Militia in which he lost most of his personal fortune.

In spite of his less‑than‑illustrious military career, Grose echoed the prevailing views of the 18th century British army regarding religion in the ranks. Tongue‑in‑cheek, but with an eye to reality, he cautioned the would‑be‑chaplain:

The chaplain is a character of small importance in a regiment, though many gentlemen of the army think otherwise…. If you are ambitious of being thought a good preacher by your scarlet flock, you must take care to keep your sermons short…. Never preach any practical morality to the regiment.  You would only be throwing away your time…. You may indulge yourself in swearing or talking as much as you please; this will only show you are not a stiff high priest.  Moreover, example being more effectual than precept, it will point out to the young officers the ugly and ungentlemanly appearance of the practice and thereby deter them. 1

Grose’s view was based upon practice. In 1760, General Jeffery Amherst, the Commander in Chief of British Forces in North America wrote from Montreal to Dr. Philip Hughes, Chaplain of the 44th Foot who was in New York, about the laxity with which regimental chaplains performed their duties. The general was somewhat annoyed:

The bad Choice that has been Made of Persons to Officiate for the Chaplains of the Army, Which has made it necessary to Discharge one lately for imbibing Seditious principles into the Soldiery, & the Other Your Deputy having Seldom Appeared during the Campaign, added to the few Chaplains that have come out to Attend their Duty: rendering it of Absolute Necessity, in Order to Convince His Majesty’s new Acquired Subjects, that their Brethren have a Sense of the Duty they owe to God; that all those Who are Appointed to have the Care of their Souls Should Attend to Discharge that trust; And the Regimt. to Which You belong being to Winter in these Parts.

 I can no longer Admit of Your Absence from the Same; You will therefore immediately upon the receipt hereof. Set out for, and with all possible Diligence, repair to this place, in Order to remain with them & duly to Discharge the Office, You have taken upon You by the Acceptance of the Commission You Enjoy.

Doctor [John] Ogilvie [60th Foot, Royal Americans] is likewise to remain here, and is gone to fetch his Family; And in case You Should Chuse to bring Yours likewise, I here add a pass to procure to You and them, all the facilities You may Stand in need of, on the Road. . . 2

Whatever the actualities in regiments of the line, things seemed to be different in the Highland regiments that came to North America during the Seven Years’ War 1755-1763.  In all three Highland regiments, the chaplain was the acknowledged keeper of the regiment’s morality and the fount of spiritual comfort.

There is also strong evidence to suggest that he represented an intellectual focus for the oral traditions of the Highlands and actively encouraged original compositions in song and poetry that tended to reinforce the warrior ethic so crucial to good morale. The importance of what was proper (cÚir), what was right and just (ceart), what was necessary or obligatory (dligheach) and the need for strict loyalty (džleas) were all key elements of a preaching military chaplain’s ministry and canny clergymen of the day were not averse to using the current Gaelic poetry and songs of the day to underline his message.3 

The Black Watch had sterling ministers from the day of its raising, and as such, set a high standard for all Highland regiments that followed: standards which contemporary Sassenach line regiments could not seem to match.  The 1745 issue of the Articles of War included mandatory attendance at "Divine Service and Sermon", and the Duke of Cumberland included particular instructions for all battalions employed in Scotland to ensure "Divine service" was "to be regularly performed in Camp which the Officers and Soldiers are to attend to."

A pamphlet entitled A System of Camp Discipline published ten years later  emphasized that an army on campaign should have Prayers "read every morning at the head of each brigade at nine; the Chaplains of each Brigade to take it in turns, beginning with the Eldest [most senior]."4

Stewart of Garth cites early Black Watch orderly book entries to show that such encouragement was not necessary in the early Highland regiments.  "Great regularity was observed in the duties of public worship," he wrote, and "… the greatest respect was observed towards the ministers of religion."

As example, he identified Dr Adam Ferguson who, fresh out of Divinity school, and directly ordained to serve in the 42nd as probationary chaplain, was beloved by his men.5

They said of him that he never shied away from his flock whether in the thick of battle or billeted in peacetime garrisons and that his behaviour alongside the men of the 42nd during a particular battle earned him their undying respect:

When the regiment was taking its ground on the morning of battle, Sir Robert Munro perceived the chaplain in the ranks, and, with a friendly caution, told him there was no necessity to expose himself to unnecessary danger, and that he should be out of the line of fire.  Mr Ferguson thanked Sir Robert for his friendly advice, but added, on this occasion he had a duty which he was imperiously called upon to perform.

Accordingly he continued with the regiment during the whole of the action, in the hottest of the fire, praying with the dying, attending to the wounded, and directing them to be carried to a place of safety. 

By his fearless zeal, his intrepidity, and his friendship towards the soldiers (several of whom had been his schoolfellows at Dunkeld), his amiable and cheerful manners, checking with severity when necessary, mixing among them with ease and familiarity, and being as ready of any of them with a poem or heroic tale, he acquired an unbounded ascendancy over them.6

Stewart fancifully claims that this battle was Fontenoy, but records clearly show that Ferguson he was still at school on the date the batlle was fought and was only examined and ordained in Dunkeld on 2 July 1745 six months after Fontenoy.  The battle in question must be a later engagement or rear-guard action fought later in the year. Ferguson himself wrote to a friend from Vilvoorden Camp of the 42nd Foot in Flanders saying that he did not take up his post as assistant minister with the regiment until September 1745.7

On 30 April 1746, Dr. Ferguson replaced the Hon. Gideon Murray as the principal chaplain, the latter the brother of Lieutenant Colonel James Murray of the 15th Regiment of Foot, who later distinguishing himself as one of Wolfe’s brigadiers at Quebec in 1759.8 

Ferguson remained as chaplain of the 42nd for the next ten years but, on the announcement that the regiment was ordered upon North American service, he retired on 20 December 1757.  His replacement was a younger man, James Stewart, who went out to the Americas in 1758 with the Second Battalion of the newly-honoured "Royal Highland Regiment". 

In August 1759, Stewart would resign and return home to Scotland and take up duties as Minister of Dull, replaced by an old schoolmate, Lachlan Johnston, for the next three years.9

 There was some talk in 1761 that, being a married man, he might return to Scotland, and officers of both the 42nd and 78th Foot tried to encourage Presbyterian parson, Robert Macpherson the Caipal Mhor to exchange into the Royal Highland Regiment.  But the drums did beat and the war went on, and Johnston was obliged to go to the Caribbean and do double-duty for the two battalions at Martinique and at the even more grueling siege of Havana.  He would witness firsthand over 500 of his flock die from disease and wounds.  In August 1762, Johnston himself succumbed to the “yellow jack” and by the time Macpherson heard of the vacancy, it was too late and he had already decided to return to Badenoch to become a gentleman farmer.

As the Seven Years’ War was winding down the following year, the veteran chaplain, Dr. Ferguson, now a professor at Edinburgh University, returned as a stopgap chaplain according to the British Army Lists, but there is  no record however that the good doctor actually crossed the Atlantic to join his flock in the middle of Pennsylvania’s forests.  With most of Scottish society talking excitedly of the prospect of the three Highland regiments returning home after six years abroad and he probably felt he could join his flock when it arrived back on Scottish soil.  When it became apparent however that the regiment was not returning home immediately because of the western Indian tribes’ uprisings in the spring of 1763, the professor’s primary job was to find a new young chaplain to go out to the Ohio on behalf of Lord John Murray. 

In 1764, at a Chapel of Ease in Amulree, Ferguson finally found an ideal candidate who was possessed of the "Irish tongue" and whose mind held a wealth of poems and heroic tales.  James Maclagan, son of Dr. Maclagan of Little Dunkeld, one of the principal clergymen of the Presbytery of Dunkeld who had ordained Fergusson back in 1746, was dispatched to America and took up his post at Fort Pitt at the Ohio Forks.  Educated at St Andrew’s University (1750‑51), Maclagan was a 34‑year old Gaelic scholar and accomplished poet.  Eight years earlier, whilst a divinity student in 1756, Maclagan had composed a Gaelic song ‑ "To the Highlanders Upon Departing for America"‑ in honour of the 42nd Highlanders. Although written well before he himself would serve in the regiment, Maclagan was inspired to record the historic event in the time‑honoured tradition of the Gaelic bards, as he had family and friends serving in the regiment.  An older brother, Alexander, had served the British Crown as a lieutenant in Lord Loudoun’s Highlanders (1745-48).10  There is also some evidence in the lyrics of later verses of this song (attributed to 1756) that Maclagan added onto it whilst serving with the regiment in North America from 1764-1767.11

            Maclagan’s departure song reflected all the traditional bardic devices commonly used to inspire the Highland soldier to martial action: an appeal to their hereditary prowess as gallant warriors fighting for their families and clans; veiled promises of material wealth and young ladies’ favours; and the widely held belief that traditional weapons and kilts, as well as highland honour and old homelands, would be restored to all Scots for their current loyalty and service.  It’s a mixture of religious and pagan tradition: a fiery cross of rhetoric on one hand, exulting in how "the hardy band of Lord John...will make enemies mourn and allies rejoice" when "Scots go hunting after treacherous Frenchmen and Forest‑folk".  On the other, it’s a sermon exhorting only the best behaviour and conduct on the part of the Highlandmen.  Maclagan reminded his flock that they would be conspicuous in their red coats and dark tartan and thus scrutinized by "Britain and Ireland and all of Europe".  As a final benediction, he promised

Your land, and myself like a kindly mother,
Will pray to Heaven that you will succeed
Rejoicing or lamenting according to
your fortunes.
Always keep the Lord God in your minds.
Now, take blessings with you, full of
happiness and success
. 12

The two younger Highland regiments raised for service in North America, the 77th and 78th, were both blessed with outstanding chaplains who served with them for the entirety of war thus providing continuity and stability for those regiments until they were disbanded. Henry Munro was commissioned chaplain in the 77th Foot, 12 January 1757, and accompanied his regiment to Charles Town, South Carolina that same year.  Born 1730 in Inverness, Scotland, Harry studied divinity at Edinburgh University, was ordained in 1757 and appointed chaplain to the 77th Highlanders at the age of 27, no doubt through his mother’s connections, the daughter of John Munro, 4th Laird of Teanourd.

Harry accompanied the regiment on General Forbes's expedition to Fort Duquesne, (site of present day Pittsburgh) as well as participating in the capture of Ticonderoga and Crown Point in 1759, and Montreal in 1760.  He preached a thanksgiving sermon to the victorious armies of Amherst, Haviland and Murray at the foot of Mont Royal, September 1760. He subsequently served in the West Indies with nine companies of his regiment and returned with it in 1762 to New York having witnessed hundreds of his flock succumb to the ravages of yellow fever at the successful but costly Siege of Havana. 

His decision to remain in North America after the disbandment of his regiment in 1763 was an easy one for he had married a New Jersey beauty in 1762, one Miss Stockton of Princeton. During the American Revolution he was imprisoned as a Loyalist but escaped to join the Royal New York Regiment in Montreal where he served briefly as their chaplain.  He returned to Britain in 1778 to study, intending to return after a British victory which was not to be.  He finished his days in his native Scotland, dying in Edinburgh in 1801.13 

The 26-year old chaplain of the 78th Fraser Highlanders was The Reverend Robert Macpherson, known affectionately to his men as Caipal Mor ("The Big Chaplain") because of his towering physique.  Macpherson was not adverse to soldiering alongside his men like the redoubtable Ferguson of the Black Watch and he ensured "their religious discipline was strictly attended to…and was indefatigable in the discharge of his clerical duties", so much so, that "the men of the regiment were always anxious to conceal their misdemeanors from the Caipal Mor…"14 

After the Conquest of Canada in 1760, Macpherson, a Freemason, served as chaplain to the Quebec Select Lodge composed of officers serving in the various regiments then in garrison.  Sergeant James Thompson, himself a Free Mason and Senior Warden of Canada Lodge No.6 in the 78th, recorded that on St John’s Day in the winter of 1761, the members of his lodge "Walked in procession in due form at one o’clock attended by the Reverend Brother Robert Macpherson, Member of the Select Lodge at Quebec from whom we had a sermon on the Occasion in the Church of St Valier".  

Solemnities over, the Caipal Mor left the small stone church located on the southern shore of the St Lawrence River across from the Isle d’Orleans, to join Thompson and the rest of his brethren Masons at dinner.  He then helped install new lodge officers and afterwards "Spent the Evening in True Harmony & Brotherly Love."  When the lodge closed at 10 o ’clock, the records showed that "all Brothers [were] sober and everything in good order and Decorum."

On disbandment of the Fraser Highlanders , Robert Macpherson went on half‑pay like many of the 78th officers and returned to Badenoch where he petitioned the Factor of the forfeited estates at Aberarder in 1766 stating he had “served in America for seven years, on reduction put on half-pay.  Being a half-pay chaplain, he is prevented by an act of Parliament from holding an ecclesiastical position.  He therefore wants to try farming.  Seen methods while travelling home and abroad which he thinks will enable him to carry on better than most.  Therefore requests Aberarder and Tullochrom comprehending Strachronnachan as possessed by Ronald and Alexander Macdonell.”  He took up residence at Aberarder by 1770 where he was known for many years by his neighbours as "Parson Robert."  He married Louisa Campbell, daughter of Duncan Campbell of Achlyne in 1775, and of his five  sons, three entered the army, Duncan attaining the rank of Lieutenant-General.  His eldest son, John Macpherson of Ness Bank, was Factor to both Lord Macdonald in Skye and to the Lovat estates at Inverness.  The Caipal Mhor died in March 1791 and is buried in Perth.15

Unlike so many of the chaplains of the day in other line regiments of the British Army, the Highland regimental chaplain by comparison was the foundation for the regiment’s moral and spiritual character as well as an active promoter and guardian of the Highland oral tradition.  By placing high value on poetry, music and heroic tales as part of their ministry, chaplains, through their conduct before, during and after battle, reinforced the Highlander’s warrior code. They were, without a doubt, key players in maintaining the morale and esprit de corps of their units with powers and influence sometimes surpassing that of the colonel commandant. In many respects, although some of them would have recoiled at the analogy, they were 18th century equivalent of the ancient druid‑bards who had special place in the Celtic tribal structure, with džleas their battle‑cry.

[1]      Francis Grose, Advice to the Officers of the British Army: With the Addition of Some Hints to the Drummer and Private Soldier, (London, 1783), x; also see Francis Grose & D. J. Cragg, The Mirror's Image: Advice to the Officers of the British Army. With a Biographical Sketch of the Life and a Bibliography of the Works of Captain Francis Grose, F.S.A., (Philadelphia, 1978).  Francis Grose (1731-1791), once referred to as “the greatest antiquary, joker and porter drinker of his day”, was the eldest son of Francis Grose, the Swiss jeweller that fashioned George II's coronation crown. Francis, junior, retired from the British Army with the rank of captain to study art and was, at one time, the Richmond Herald in the College of Arms.  He served as Paymaster and Adjutant of the Surrey Militia, a position he was highly unsuited for, since he kept no books and gave no receipts.  The private fortune he inherited from his father was quickly drained to make up for his huge deficiencies. He published his Antiquities of England and Wales in 6 volumes between 1773 — 87 and The Antiquities of Scotland in 2 volumes, in 1789 and 1791. Scotland’s immortal bard, Rabbie Burns, met Grose while he was in Scotland collecting material for his Scottish volumes and, becoming fast friends, agreed to write his greatest narrative work, “Tam o' Shanter” for Grose’s pending volumes. Writing to a Mrs Dunlop from Ellisland on 17th July 1789, Burns told her: 'Captain Grose, the well known [author] has been through Annandale, Nithsdale and Galloway, in the view of commencing another publication, The Antiquities of Scotland…. I have never seen a man of more original observation, anecdote and remark…. His delight is to steal thro' the country almost unknown, both as most favorable to his humor and his business... if you discover a cheerful looking grig of an old, fat fellow, the precise figure of Dr. Slop, wheeling about your avenue in his own carriage with a pencil and paper in his hand, you may conclude: "Thou art the man!"

2       Major General Jeffery Amherst to Dr. Phillip Hughes, 44th Foot, 20 September 1760, WO 34/85: f. 123.

3          For an excellent study on how Gaelic poetry was an integral part of maintaining the Highlander’s warrior code and how it provides an authentic window through which one can view and understand the Highlanders’ feelings, perceptions and opinions of the time, see Michael Newton’s pioneering study on the Highlander oral tradition and its meaning in North American history, We’re Indians Sure Enough: The Legacy of the Scottish Highlanders in the United States, (Richmond: 2001) [hereafter Indians].  Also his recent article “Jacobite Past, Loyalist Present” in the online magazine, eKeltoi,  Journal of Interdisciplinary Celtic Studies, Vol.5, “Warfare”.

4 Rules and Orders for the better Government of His Majesty’s Forces Employed in Foreign Parts (1747); Orders for the Troops in Scotland, 1753-57, Military Library, Edinburgh Castle; A System of Camp Discipline, Part II (1757), 11.

5        Adam Ferguson was commissioned Chaplain to the 42nd, 30 April 1746, just a few days after the Battle of Culloden.  He was the ninth child of Adam Ferguson (1672-1754) of Logierait and Mary Gordon of Hallhead.  Ferguson had a large portion of his college courses waived in order that he might join his regiment promptly as the regiment was told off for duty in Flanders.  Lord John Murray, the Colonel of the 42nd made representations to the 1745 General Assembly of Dunkeld that he and his regiment were inclined “to have a chaplain of the communion of this church, having the Irish language, who must be soon ordained to that office; and that Adam Ferguson, student in Divinity, son to the minister of Logierat, in the Presbytery of Dunkeld, is pitched upon for that purpose.”  Quoted in Nathaniel Morren, Annals of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, (1840), vol. I, 73f; Dr. Ferguson, on resigning from the Regiment 20 December 1757, became a tutor for two years before accepting a Chair as Professor of Natural Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh.  He later surrendered this Chair for that of Moral Philosophy and is now acknowledged as one of Scotland’s leading men during the Enlightenment and “The Father of Modern Sociology”. It was at Ferguson’s house, The Sciennes, that Robert Burns and Walter Scott met for the first and only time. On retirement from university life, Ferguson moved back to St. Andrews (his house, with sundial over the door, can still be seen on South Street), and is buried in the Cathedral grounds. The epitaph on his memorial is by Sir Walter Scott.  Newton, Indians, 120-1; James Ferguson and Robert Menzies Fergusson, Records of the Clan and Name of Fergusson, Ferguson and Fergus, (Edinburgh, 1895).

6 David M. Stewart, Sketches of the Character, Manners and present State of the Highlanders of Scotland…, Vol. II, (Edinburgh: [reprint 1822 edition] 1977), Appendix, KK, lvii. [hereafter Sketches]  There is an 1897 watercolour by W. S. Cumming of Reverend Adam Ferguson kneeling beside a wounded soldier, a Highland broadsword at his waist, in the Black Watch Museum at Balhousie Castle in Perth.  A black and white reproduction appears in Eric and Andro Linklater’s The Black Watch: The History of the Royal Highland Regiment, (London: 1977), 26.

7         Records of the Presbytery of Dunkeld, 1745, NLS; Jane B. Fagg, The Ministry of Adam Ferguson, University of North Carolina PhD thesis, (1968), 3.  Stewart, Sketches, I, 292-93n.

8        Gideon Murray (1710-1778), third son of Lord Elibank and Elizabeth “Bare Betty” Stirling.  Educated at Musselburgh school, he matriculated at Balliol College, Oxford, on 24 January 1728.  Intended originally for the army, he turned towards the Church and entered Holy Orders from Oxford, 28 December 1733, becoming MA, 6 June 1735.  He served as Chaplain to the Earl of Stair during operations in Germany in 1743 and was present at the battle of Dettingen in June of that year .  He was commissioned Chaplain to the 42nd in 1739 and served in that capacity until 1745.  Clerical appointments included Vicar of Gainsborough, Lincoln; Prebendary of Corringham and Stow in Lincoln Cathedral; and Prebendary of the Third Stall in Durham Cathedral 20 August 1761 at which time he was made a Doctor of Divinity.  Tradition has it that the Jacobite leanings of his brothers Patrick and Alexander spoiled any chances he had of obtaining a bishopric.  Col. Arthur C. Murray, The Five Sons of “Bare Betty”, (London: 1936), 85-6; an oil portrait of Gideon Murray is reproduced on page facing 86 in aforesaid book.

9          Robert Macpherson to William Macpherson, 21 December 1761, Berthier, Quebec, JGP; British Army Lists [hereafter BAL].

10         A younger brother, Ensign George Maclagan, was commissioned in the 42nd on 27 Jan 1756 and resigned under a cloud in 16 May 1757.  Ensign Maclagan appears to have been a quarrelsome drunk and other junior officers eventually refused to do duty with him.   John Campbell, Lord Loudon, personally noted in a list of commissions sent to the Duke of Cumberland 3 June 1757 that Maclagan “had suffered himself to ill use”, that “the Regt refused to do duty with him” and he subsequently, “Resigned his Commission”. Loudon noted that volunteer Peter Grant had been given the vacancy upon paying 50 pounds “to cary Ensign Maclagon home”.  Quoted in Stanley Pargellis, ed., Military Affairs in North America 1758-1763: Selected Documents from the Cumberland Papers in Windsor Castle, (London & New York: 1936), 362.

11          In 1756, the Black Watch’s knowledge of North American geography was limited.  The men merely knew they would be fighting the French and hence Maclagan’s mention of “routing and extirpating every Monsieur who leaps over the St Lawrence River” in an early verse of the song.  However by verse 14, the subject matter of the song has drastically changed and talks about returning home to Scotland after many years away, a very good indication that this song is a composite to which later verses were added to provide a chronological and oral record of the regiment’s service.  When Maclagan took up his post at the Ohio Forks in 1764, his homesick flock had been in North America for eight years and would remain for another three.  The verse’s lines are crafted to reassure the Highland soldiers of the 42nd that they will not be forgotten in the wilderness and their duty is almost at an end.  “After leaving them with peace and all/the goodness that comes with it/…about the lovely Ohio of many bends/You will return to your residences/Going across the ocean with rhythmic pipe music/with merry rejoicing….”  There was no way Maclagan would have known the regiment would be stationed on the Ohio in his 1756 composition.  This habit of adding new verses to an existing song is seen more clearly in the Gaelic song “At the Siege of Quebec, 1759” which chronicles the exploits of the 78th Foot (Frasers’ Highlanders). Newton, Indians, 124-7, 131-36. Maclagan is listed as one of the participant in peace talks with Shawnee, Delaware and Iroquois Indians at Fort Pitt, 9-10 June 1766.  See Croghan to Gage, 15 June 1766, Clements Library, Gage Papers, American Series, Vol.52; Reel 10.; BL Add. MSS. 21634: f.178c.

12       Newton, Indians, 127.

13         Reverend Harry (Henry) Munro was born 1730 in Dingwall, Scotland, son of Dr. Robert Munro of Dingwall and Anne Munro (1718-1748).  Harry Munro married three times. His first wife, the widow of a regimental officer of the 77th Foot, died in 1760 leaving him with an infant daughter, Elizabeth.  In 1762, on his return from the West Indies, he married a "Miss Stockton" from Princeton, New Jersey and built a house there. She died bearing him a son a year later. During the 1760s, Munro’s religious beliefs had evolved to a point where he went to England to pursue Anglican Holy Orders.  Munro was ordained in the Church of England in 1765 and  returned to America where he conducted a mission on Philipsburgh Manor in Westchester County.  In 1766, he met and married his third wife, 38-year-old Eva Jay - the sister of the American lawyer (and later Revolutionary War patriot) John Jay.  In 1768 he became rector of St. Peter's Church, Albany, and, at Sir William Johnson's request, acted as missionary to the Mohawk Indians at Fort Hunter. In 1770, he was appointed chaplain at Albany with an annual salary of fifty pounds and received an honorary M.A. degree from Kings College in 1772. During that time, he sought to develop his wartime bounty land - 2,000 acres "between the Hudson River and Lake Champlain" called "Munrosfield." He built a large cabin there (later the town of Hebron) and held summertime services for the many ex-soldiers of the 77th and other regiments that had settled there on disbandment. However, his subdivision of the tract into smaller farms in 1774 found few takers. His son later sold the patent. As the situation between Crown and colonists deteriorated, Munro found himself more at home at the Fort Hunter Mohawk mission than at Albany.  St. Peter's Church ceased operations in 1776 with his arrest and other prominent Tories. In October 1777, Munro and others escaped the Albany jail and fled north to join the British army in Montreal. After serving briefly as a military chaplain to the King’s Royal New Yorkers, Munro sailed for England in 1778 leaving his wife and only son behind.  He preached in London and studied languages, intending to return to America when the war was finished but the success of American arms discouraged him.  When his wife declined to join him and remained with the Jay family in Westchester, Munro decided to retire in Scotland.  Suffering a stroke in 1791 that partially paralysed him, he moved from the countryside to Edinburgh where he died in 1801.  Edward F. De Lancey, "Memoir of the Reverend Dr. Harry Munro, The Last Rector of St. Peter's Church, Albany, under the English Crown," New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, 4:113-24. 

14        Born 19 December 1731, Robert Macpherson, yr of Banchor, was the third of six sons of John Macpherson of Banchor and first of the second marriage to Christian Macpherson.  Stewart, Sketches, II, 22.

15         Robert MacFarlane, “The Macdonells of Aberarder”, Clan Donald Magazine, No. 12 (1991); Sketches of the Old Seats of Families and Distinguished Soldiers, Etc., 335-36.


Return to Ian's Index Page