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The Scottish Nation

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 daughters.

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.

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