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The Scottish Nation

ROSE, the name of a Nairnshire sept, the chief of which is Rose of Kilravock, pronounced Kilraik. The name is obviously derived from the British word Ros, a promontory. According to a tradition at one period prevalent among the clan Donald, the first of the Kilravock family came from Ireland, with one of the Macdonalds, lords of the Isles. These does not seem, however, to be any foundation for this, except, perhaps, that as vassals of the earls of Ross, the clan Rose were connected for about half a century with the lordship of the Isles. Mr. Hugh Rose, the genealogist of the Kilravock family, is of opinion that they were originally from England, and from their having three water bouggets in their coat armour, like the English family of Roos, it has been conjectured that they were of the same stock. But these figures were carried by other families than those of the name of Rose, or Roos. Four water bouggets with a cross in the middle were the arms of the Counts d’Eu in Normandy, and of the ancient earls of Essex in England of the surname of Bourchier. They were indicative of an ancestor of the respective families who bore them having been engaged in the crusades, and forced, in the deserts of Palestine, to fight for and carry water in the leathern vessels called bouggets, bugets, or buckets, which were usually slung across the horse or camel’s back.

The family of Rose of Kilravock appear to have been settled in the county of Nairn in the reign of David I., their first designation being of Geddes. In the beginning of the reign of Alexander II., that is about 1219, Hugh Rose of Geddes was witness to the foundation charter of the priory of Beauly by Sir John Bisset of Lovat. His son, also named Hugh Rose of Geddes, acquired the lands of Kilravock, which became the chief title of the family, by his marriage with Mary, daughter of Sir Andrew de Bosco, by Elizabeth, his wife, daughter and co-heiress of Sir John Bisset of Lovat; which Elizabeth, designed Lady Kilravock, in her widowhood, disponed the lands of Kilravock to her son-in-law, Hugh Rose, and her daughter, Mary, his wife, and their heirs. The charter granted by her was confirmed by King John Baliol. This Hugh Rose, first of Kilravock, died about 1306.

His son, Sir William Rose of Kilravock, married Muriella, daughter of Andrew de Doune, and had two sons, Hugh and Andrew, the latter progenitor of the Roses of Auchlossen. The next three lairds of Kilravock were all named Hugh, the succession continuing in a direct line from father to son. The second of these, by his wife Janet, daughter of Sir Robert Chisholm, constable of the castle of Urquhart, got a considerable accession to his estate in Strathnairn. In 1390, in the time of their son Hugh, the fifth Rose of Kilravock, the whole writs and evidents of the family were burnt in the cathedral church of Elgin, in which they had been placed for preservation and security. He died about 1420. His son, John Rose of Kilravock, was served heir to his father, 11th April 1431, and obtained a confirmation of his estates both from the king, James I., May 30, 1433, and Alexander, earl of Ross, lord of the Isles, his immediate superior of Kilravock and Geddes, 22d June 1440, and from John Chisholm of that ilk, his grand-uncle, in the lands of Strathnairn. By his wife, Isobel Cheyne, a daughter of the ancient family of Esslemont in Buchan, he had four sons; Lachlan, a churchman, who never married; Hugh, his father’s heir; Alexander Rose of Dunearn, of whom several of the Roses, provosts of Nairn, were descended; and William, progenitor of some families of the name in Mar.

The second son, Hugh Rose of Kilravock, built in 1460 the old tower of Kilravock. The family genealogist says: “I heard by tradition that the towers of Calder, Kilravock, Ironsyde, and Spynie, were built about the same time, the architect of them all being that Cochran, the great minion of James III., and by him created earl of Mar, remembered for his being hanged over the bridge of Lauder, in his own scarf, by the ancient nobility.” Amongst the writs inserted by Mr. Cosmo Innes, advocate, in the history of the Kilravock family, published for the Spalding Club, are the following: A contract of friendship between William, Lord Forbes and others, on the one part; and Duncan Macintosh, chief and captain of the clan Chattan, Hugh Rose of Kilravock and others, on the other part, dated in 1467; and a Bond of maintenance by Farquhar Macintosh, son and apparent heir of Duncan Macintosh, captain of the clan Chattan, to Hugh Rose of Kilravock, dated in 1481. This Hugh Rose of Kilravock was keeper, under the earl of Huntly, of the castle of Ardmanach in Ross, the lands of which, after the battle of Blairepark, in 1491, were ravaged by the Mackenzies, because Kilravock’s son, Hugh Rose the younger, was the only crown vassal of the earldom of Ross who had joined Alexander Macdonald of Lochalsh, the nephew of the aged lord of the Isles, in his attempt to recover its possession. (Gregory’s Western Highlands and Isles, pp. 56, 57.) On the forfeiture of John, earl of Ross, in 1474, this Hugh Rose of Kilravock got himself confirmed by James III. in his lands of Kilravock and Geddes, to be holden immediately of the king, which originally they did, by charter under the great seal, dated 2d March 1475. Although he was in bands of amity and friendship with the Macintoshes, Lachlan Macintosh of Galloway and Donald Macintosh Angusson upon one occasion surprised and seized the tower of Kilravock, but did not keep it long. By his wife, Moir, daughter of Malcolm Beg Macintosh, captain of the clan Chattan, he had three sons; Hugh, his heir; Alexander, progenitor of the Roses of Holme; and William, who, on being taken by William, thane of Calder, and put in irons, the king ordered the earl of Huntly to set him at liberty in 1488. This Hugh having had some differences with Andrew, bishop of Moray, about the marches of the lands of Kilravock, Kildrummie, &c., they were in 1492 compromised and settled, by the mediation of the gentlemen in the neighbourhood. He died the following year.

His eldest son, Hugh Rose of Kilravock, was four times married, and by his second wife, Lady Margaret Gordon, daughter of the first earl of Huntly, had three sons; Hugh, his heir; John, of whom came the Roses of Bellivant; Alexander, progenitor of the Roses of Inch. He had also daughters, who were married into the families of (the thane of) Calder, Gordon, and Stewart. He died March 17, 1517. His eldest son, Hugh Rose, seventh of that name and ninth of Kilravock, was long a prisoner in the castle of Dumbarton, as appears by discharges for his maintenance granted by George Stirling of Glorat, captain of the castle, in 1536. His offence is supposed to have been seizing upon the abbot of Kinloss, and keeping him prisoner. “This Hugh Rose of Kilravock,” says the family genealogist, “appears to have been skilled in the laws, acting for himself and friends. Being a grandchild of the family of Macintosh, he concurred with them, to his great loss, especially in the depredation of Cromarty, and demolishing of the house of Hallhill, a castle in Petty, where the Macintoshes inhumanly murdered a great many gentlemen of the Ogilvies.”

His son, also Hugh Rose, tenth laird of Kilravock, was taken prisoner at Pinkiefield in 1547. His ransom was a hundred angels nobles, his cautioners being Pringle of Smailholm, Pringle of Torwoodlee, and Pringle of Wowhousebyre, the English generally requiring securities within their reach. He was sheriff of Ross, constable of the castle of Inverness, and appointed justice-depute from the eastmost part of the shire of Nairn to Badenoch and Ross, by commission from Archibald, earl of Argyle, justice-general of Scotland, October 9th, 1556, constituted sheriff-principal of Inverness, by letters signed by Henrie and Marie, king and queen of Scotland, September 22d, 1565, and bailie of the lordship of Strathnairn and Cardel, by the regent Moray, October 7, 1566. He died June 10, 1597, in his 90th year. This baron of Kilravock, known traditionally as “the black baron,” is described as a very discreet and peaceable person. He contrived to stand well with all parties during the stormy period that followed the Reformation in Scotland. He corresponded with them all, and kept all their letters, and no one could tell which side he favoured. “He lived under the regents Moray, Lennox, and Morton. His own country and immediate neighbourhood were especially subject to continual convulsions, as Huntly or Moray, the queen’s party or the king’s obtained the ascendancy, -- not to mention the usual elements of native disturbance on the Highland border, yet, through all he lived in peace, attending to his own affairs. He settled amicably several complicated lines of marches with his neighbours, while parliament was settling the Reformation. Each party reposed confidence in him, and employed him in the administration of his own district.” A debate having arisen betwixt him and two neighbours, he subscribed himself “Hucheon Rose of Kilravock, ane honest man, ill guided betwixt them both.” King James VI. Being in Kilravock, in his progress to the north in 1589, inquired how he could live amongst such ill turbulent neighbours, when he replied that they were the best neighbours he could have, for they made him thrice a-day to upon his knees, when, perhaps, otherwise he would not have gone once. The king is traditionally said to have addressed him as Father, and ordered him to be covered in his presence. His youngest brother, John Rose, provost of Inverness, was progenitor of the Roses of Wester Drakes.

The black baron’s son, William, got a charter under the great seal, containing an entail to his heirs male of the barony of Kilravock, Easter Geddes, Culmores, &c., in the shires of Nairn, Ross, and Inverness, annexed to the barony of Kilravock, dated 8th March 1600. He was involved in much trouble by his kinsmen the Roses of Bellivat, who are described as having been a bold, daring, and headstrong race, while the Kilravock lairds, on the other hand, were of a peaceable and conciliatory disposition. With the Dunbars of Moyness the former had a feud, on account of one David Rose MacWilliam of the Bellivat family, who resided at Clune, claiming that place, which was a pendicle of the barony of Moyness. Being, in October 1598, outlawed for paying no attention to an ejection which had been served upon him, this David Rose MacWilliam, as related by Shaw in his ‘History of Moray,’ associated with him a bold and desperate band of his own name, the MacWilliams, with the MacWatties, and MacDonachies, and burned and spoiled the lands of Moyness and others belonging to the Dunbars. The latter, on their part, burned the house and destroyed the lands of Geddes, besides laying waste the lands of Bellivat. In 1600, David Rose MacWilliam was betrayed into the hands of the Dunbars by a MacGregor and put to death. In revenge his associates attacked and slew Alexander Dunbar of Tarbet. The Dunbars called to their aid the clan Ranald from Lochaber, while the Roses obtained the assistance of a band of the ruthless MacGregors. The peace of the country being in this manner quite broken, the privy council interposed, and required Kilravock to apprehend and bring to justice all those of his clan that were concerned in these tumults, in terms of the general band engrossed in an act of parliament of 1594. Being unable to do son, both he and his eldest son, Hugh, were imprisoned in Edinburgh, and fined in a large sum. By his majesty’s special warrant to the privy council, dated 24th August 1603, they were liberated and obtained a remission. On account of these disturbances John Rose of Bellivat was obliged to sell his lands and retire beyond the Spey. William Rose of Kilravock died April 8, 1611. With three daughters, he had five sons, namely, Hugh, his heir; William, the first of the family of Clava; Alexander, designed of Cantray; John of Bradley; and David of Earlsmilne.

The eldest son, Hugh, ninth of that name and twelfth laird of Kilravock, was, from some resemblance in his character to that of his grandfather, also called ‘the black baron.’ In the beginning of the civil wars in Scotland, the nobility who supported the covenant, by their letter, dated March 26th, 1638, desired Rose of Kilravock to meet at Inverness, in April, the commissioners whom they had appointed to meet there with the earl of Sutherland, Lord Lovat, the master of Berriedale, and others, After the “Trot of Turreff,” as it was called, May 14, when the Gordons drove the Forbeses and Frasers out of Turreff, 4,000 men met at Elgin, under the command of the earl of Seaforth and other gentlemen, among whom was the baron of Kilravock. Encamping at Speyside, to prevent the Gordons and their friends from entering Moray, they remained there till the pacification, which was signed June 18. By act of council July 28, 1643, the broken men of the name of Rose were bound upon Macintosh, who was ordained to be accountable for them. The laird of Kilravock died of a dropsy, June 10, 1643. He is described as being very hospitable and generous, and yet frugal and provident, and very successful in reconciling differences among his friends and neighbours. Shaw says of him that “he might truly be called the father of his clan and tenants.”

His only son, Hugh, thirteenth laird, like his father, supported the covenant, and in 1645 commanded a battalion of his clan in the battle of Auldearn. In 1647 he was appointed sheriff principal of Inverness. The following year he was colonel of a regiment of dragoons in the duke of Hamilton’s ‘Engagement’ for the rescue of Charles I. This regiment he raised himself, and the expense incurred in levying and paying it, involved him in debt, and at his death, in March 1649, at the age of 29, he left his estate heavily burdened.

His eldest son, Hugh, was only eight years old when he succeeded his father. He had a brother, John Rose of Rarichies. The young laird’s tutor in his minority was his grand-uncle, William Rose of Clava. He was educated at King’s college, Old Aberdeen, and contributed 216 merks towards the expense of the edifice of the new work, in return for which the masters and members of that university allotted to him, his heirs and nearest relations, or their representatives, a chamber and study in the college. He died in 1687. He was twice married, first, to Margaret, daughter of Sir Robert Innes of Innes, and by her had five sons and two daughters; and secondly, to Mary, daughter of Alexander, Lord Forbes, lieutenant-general in the Swedish service. By this lady, a native of Stadt in Germany, he had six sons. Alexander, the eldest of these, entered the army young, and served for some years with great honour under the duke of Marlborough. When the rebellion of 1715 broke out, he was a lieutenant-colonel, and at the battle of Sheriffmuir, when the colonel of his regiment, the earl of Forfar, was mortally wounded, Colonel Rose took the command, and made a safe retreat to Dunblane. In 1740 he was colonel of a regiment of dragoons, and died unmarried. The fifth son, Arthur Rose, a merchant, in a voyage to the Levant, in 1706, was taken by the Algerine corsairs, and after being detained in captivity for some time, was purchased by the British consul at Grand Cairo in Egypt, and ransomed in 1714. In the rebellion of the following year he held the rank of captain in the service of the government, and was killed in an attack on Inverness, as afterwards related.

The eldest son, Hugh, the twelfth of that name, and fifteenth laird of Kilravock, was twenty-four years old when he succeeded his father, in 1687. He was sheriff of Ross, and in the last Scots parliament was one of the 82 members who voted against the incorporating union with England. He voted, however, for the Protestant succession in the family of Hanover. He was one of the commissioners named to represent Scotland in the first British parliament. On the breaking out of the rebellion of 1715, he and about 200 of his clan preserved the peace of his district, and having garrisoned his house of Kilravock, it proved an asylum to many of his neighbours at that disturbed time. He afterwards joined Lord Lovat, who at that period took a decided part on the side of the government, and having collected a body of Frasers and Grants, had invested Inverness. A detachment, under the command of Captain Arthur Rose, above mentioned, the brother of Kilravock, was sent into the town to surprise it, but it was repulsed, and the captain killed. It was then resolved to surround the town, preparatory to a general assault, but Sir John Mackenzie of Coul, the Jacobite governor, who was Kilravock’s son-in-law, evacuated the castle and left the town. This happened on the night of the 13th November, the day of the battle of Sheriffmuir, and also of the surrender of the rebels at Preston. This laird of Kilravock died 23d July 1732. He was five times married. One of his daughters, Mary, was the wife of Duncan Forbes of Culloden, lord president of the court of session, but died young, leaving a son, John. The country people still point out the trysting stone under an old oak tree at Kilravock where they used to meet when courting.

The eldest son of the fifteenth laird, also Hugh Rose of Kilravock, was in 1734 elected M.P. for Ross-shire. According to the family history, two days before the battle of Culloden, Prince Charles, on leaving Inverness, for the scene of his last fight, dined at the house of Kilravock, and made himself very agreeable. After dinner he walked in the garden with the laird, and said to him, “How happy must you be, living here quietly with your family!” The following day the duke of Cumberland arrived at the house, and remarked to Kilravock, “You have had my cousin here.” The laird said he had no means of preventing his coming. The duke replied that he had done quite right; that he could not refuse to receive Charles Edward and treat him as a prince. A daughter of this laird, Margaret, married Dr. Joshua Mackenzie, a physician in Edinburgh, and was the mother of Henry Mackenzie, the author of the ‘Man of Feeling,’ several of whose letters are given in the History of the Family of Kilravock, edited by Cosmo Innes, advocate, and printed in 1847 for the Spalding Club.

Hugh, the seventeenth laird and fourteenth of that name, succeeded his father in 1755. Born July 12, 1705, he was admitted advocate, January 18, 1729. In his father’s lifetime he was called Hugh Rose of Geddes. In 1748 he was appointed sheriff-depute of Ross and Cromarty. He died November 26, 1772. By his wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Colonel William Clephan, of the family of Carslogie, he had several children.

Hugh, the eldest son, eighteenth laird and fifteenth named Hugh, was educated at the university of Glasgow, and, like his father, passed advocate but did not practice. He married Anne Fraser, a girl of low birth but great beauty, and died 21st August 1782. His widow survived him till 1837. He is described as of a gentle, amiable disposition, fond of music and theatricals, and a writer of verses. He was succeeded by his sister, Elizabeth, who died in 1815. She married her kinsman, Hugh Ruse, son of Rose of Brea, and her son, Hugh Rose, was twentieth laird of Kilravock. The latter died in 1827. He was twice married, and had issue by both marriages. Isabella, his eldest daughter, married cosmo Innes, Esq., advocate, editor of the family papers.

Hugh Rose, twenty[first laird of Kilravock, the eldest son, having obtained an appointment in the civil service of the East India Company, went to Bengal immediately after his father’s death, and died in 1847, of the effects of fever, on his way to the coast. His brother, John Baillie Rose, at one time an officer in the army, succeeded him as twenty-second laird.

The badge of the clan Rose is the wild rosemary. In 1724 those of his name are said to have been able to muster 500 fighting men, but in 1725 Marshal Wade estimated their force at only 300. they were always well affected to the government.

ROSE, GEORGE, an eminent statesman, the son of the Rev. David Rose, an Episcopal clergyman at Lethnot in Forfarshire, was born at Brechin, June 11, 1744. His mother was the daughter of Donald Rose of Waterclunie, and was descended from the Roses of Kilravock, or Kilraak, an ancient family in Nairnshire. Owing to the poverty of his father, George, when little more than five years of age, was sent to the care of an uncle, who kept an academy near Hampstead, where he obtained his education. He was early apprenticed to a surgeon in that village, but, not liking the profession, he went into the navy, and soon obtained the situation of purser. His father having become tutor to Lord Polwarth, eldest son of the earl of Marchmont, young Rose was induced to retire from the sea, and through the interest of the latter nobleman, he was made deputy-chamberlain of the Tally court of the Exchequer. Soon after he was appointed keeper of the public records, which he found in a state of great confusion, and in consequence arranged and classed them in alphabetical order. His punctuality, dispatch, and aptitude for business, having recommended him to the notice of Lord North, then premier, in 1767, he was selected to superintend the completion of the Journals of the House of Lords, in thirty-one folio volumes; for which he was liberally remunerated. From this period he was constantly employed by nearly all succeeding ministers, except Mr. Fox.

When the Pitt and Dundas administration came into power, he was appointed, in 1784, joint secretary to the treasury, and readily obtained a seat in parliament as member for Christ-church, in Hampshire. In all matters connected with the trade of the country, he was allowed to possess great practical information, and he gave the most important assistance to Mr. Pitt in all his financial measures. In 1801, on the elevation of Mr. Addington to the premiership, he retired with Mr. Pitt, and became an active member of the opposition. When Mr. Pitt returned once more to power, he was admitted into the privy council, and in consequence became entitled to be addressed as right honourable. He was likewise nominated first vice-president, and afterwards president, of the Board of Trade and treasurer of the navy.
After the death of Mr. Pitt in 1806, Mr. Rose was again for a short time forced into the opposition, but when the coalition ministry of Lord Grenville and Mr. Fox retired, he resumed his former office, which he retained during the remainder of his life. To enumerate all the speeches made, and the various occasions on which he came before the notice of the public, in the course of his political career, would be to detain all the important occurrences in parliament for nearly forth years. He was a great encourager of friendly societies and savings’ banks, and introduced laws for the protection of the property of such associations. He published several pamphlets, principally on commercial and financial subjects; and the manuscript translation of a History of Poland, which he presented to the king, is now in the Royal Library. In 1787, when the House of Lords passed a vote for publishing a superb engraved edition of ‘Domesday Book,’ Mr. Rose was appointed to superintend this great national work, and executed his task with due care and undeviating fidelity. In 1809 he produced his ‘Observations on the Historical Work of the late Right Hon. Charles James Fox; with a Narrative of the Events which occurred in the Enterprise of the Earl of Argyle, in 1685; by Sir Patrick Hume.’ Mr. Rose died at his seat of Cuffnels, near Lyndhurst, in Hampshire, January 13, 1818, in the 75th year of his age. He married a lady belonging to the island of Dominica, by whom he had several children. ON his eldest son devolved the lucrative reversionary office of clerk of the parliament, which he himself had enjoyed for many years. His works are:

The proposed System of Trade with Ireland explained. 1785, 8vo.
Considerations on the Debt of the Civil List. 1802, 8vo.
Observations on the Poor Laws, and on the Management of the Poor in Great Britain. Lond. 1805, 8vo.
A Brief Examination into the Increase of the Revenue, Commerce, and Navigation of Great Britain during the administration of the Rt. Hon. William Pitt, with a Sketch of Mr. Pitt’s Character. Lond. 1806, 8vo.
Observations on the Historical Work of the late Rt. Hon. Charles James Fox; with a narrative of Events which occurred in the enterprise of the Earl of Argyle in 1685, by Sir Patrick Hume. Lond. 1809, 4to.
Observations with respect to the Public Expenditure and the Influence of the Crown. Lond. 1810, 4to.
Letter to Lord Melville respecting a Naval Arsenal at Northfleet. 1810, 8vo.
Substance of his speech in the House of Commons on the Report of the Bullion Committee. Lond. 1811, 8vo.
Speech on the Corn Laws. Lond. 1814, 8vo.
Speech on the Property-Tax. Lond. 1815, 8vo.

ROSE, J. A., one of the most extraordinary actors in the first French Revolution, was born in Scotland in 1757, and went early to Paris. Named usher of the National Assembly, Rose, by his conduct, raised himself above his position, and became the friend of the most distinguished men of that eventful epoch. Mirabeau was particularly attached to him, and when dying appointed him, by will, to execute his wishes. On the eve of the 10th of August 1792, he found means to warn the unfortunate Louis XVI. Of the evils which threatened him. During the time the king’s trial lasted, Rose paid every attention to the monarch, and he rendered the same services to the queen on her arraignment. Those good actions, as well as many others, were unknown to the world. The friends of Rose alone were acquainted with the number of persons whose lives he had saved. Rabaut St. Etienne owed his life to him, but lost it at a later period. The duke de Montesquien, more fortunate. , awaited the end of he “reign of terror” in the asylum which Rose had procured for him. As usher of the Convention, it was Rose who arrested Robespierre. Having then gone with Courvoi to carry the decree of accusation to the commune, he was pursued by a furious multitude, and was only indebted for his safety to his physical strength and his intrepidity. This circumstance made an impression upon him which was never effaced. “It was this fist,” he used to say with strong emotion, at the same time holding up his large hand, “it was this fist which arrested the monster.” He preserved his functions at the Council of Ancients, who voted him a sword of honour for the firmness he displayed during a stormy debate.

In 1814 M. de Semonville attached him to the chamber of peers. The duke de Choiseul having met Rose in the lobby of the chamber, threw himself on his neck, exclaiming, “This is one of the happiest days of my life.” He only resigned his situation when weighed down by the infirmities of old age. From that period he led a retired life, devoted to literature and the practice of all Christian virtues. He was a Protestant in religion. He died at Paris, March 19, 1841, at the age of 84. The Abbé Coquerel accompanied his remains to the grave, and in an eloquent oration recapitulated the principal events of his history. He died, he said, with the tranquil conscience of a man who had concluded a well-spent life.

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