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Tradition claims for the clan Donnachie a descent from the great sept of the Macdonalds, their remote ancestor being said to have been Duncan (hence the name Donnachie) the Fat, son of Angus Mor, Lord of the Isles, in the reign of William the Lion. Smibert thinks this is certainly the most feasible account of their origin. Skene, however, edevours to trace their descent from Duncan, King of Scotland, eldest son of Malcolm III, their immediate ancestor, according to him, having been Conan, second son of Henry, fourth and last of the ancient Celtic Earls of Athole. This Conan, it is said, received from his father, in the reign of Alexander II, the lands of Generochy, afterwards called Strowan, in Gaelic Struthan - that is, steamy. Conan's great-grandson, Andrew, was styled of Athole, de Atholia, which was the uniform designation of the family, indicative, Mr Skene thinks, of their descent from the ancient Earls of Athole. According to the same authority, it was from Andrew's son, Duncan, that the clan derived their distinctive appellation of the clan Donnachie, or children of Duncan. Duncan is said to have been twice married, an acquired by both marriages considerable territory in the district of Rannoch. By his first wife he had a son, Robert de Atholia.

As it is well known that Mr Skene's Celtic prejudices are very strong, and as his derivation of the Robertsons from Duncan, king of Scotland, is to a great extent conjectural, it is only fair to give the other side of the question, viz, the probability of their derivation from the Celts of the Western Isles. We shall take the liberty of quoting here Mr Smibert's judicious and acute remarks on this point. "There unquestionably exist doubts about the derivation of the Robertsons from the Macdonalds; but the fact of their acquiring large possessions at so early a period in Athole, seems to be decisive of their descent from some great and strong house among the Westerns Celts. And what house was more able to endow its scions than that of Somerled, whose heads were the kings of the west of Scotland? The Somerled or Macdonald power, moreover, extended into Athole beyond all question; and indeed, it may be said to have been almost the sole power which could so have planted there one of its offshoots, apart from the regal authority. Accordingly, though Duncan may not have been the son of Angus Mor (Macdonald), a natural son of the Lord of the Isles, as has been commonly averred, it by no means follows that the family were not of the Macdonald race. The proof may be difficult, but probability must be accepted in its stead. An opposite course has been too long followed on all sides. Why should men conceal from themselves the plain fact that the times under consideration were barbarous, and that their annals were necessarily left to us, not by the pen of the accurate historian, but by the dealers in song and tradition?"

Referring to the stress laid by Mr Skene upon the designation de Atholia, which was uniformly assumed by the Robertsons, Mr Smibert remarks, - "In the first place, the designation De Atholia can really be held to prove nothing, since, as in the case of De Insulis, such phrases often pointed to mere residence, and were especially used in reference to large districts. A gentleman 'of Athole' is not necessarily connected with the Duke; and as we now use such phrases without any meaning of that kind, much more natural was the custom of old, when general localities alone were known generally. In the second place, are the Robertsons made more purely Gaelic, for such is partly the object in the view of Mr Skene, by being traced to the ancient Athole house? That the first lords of line were Celts may be admitted; but heiresses again and again interrupted the male succession. While one wedded a certain Thomas of London, another found a mate in a person named David de Hastings. These strictly English names speak for themselves; and it was by the Hastings marriage, which took place shortly after the year 1200, that the first house of Athole was continued. It is clear, therefore, that the supposition of the descent of the Robertsons from the first lords of Athole leaves them still of largely mingled blood - Norman, Saxon, and Gaelic. Such is the result, even when the conjecture is admitted.

As a Lowland neigbourhood gave to the men of Robert, son of Duncan, the name of Robertson, so would it also intermingle their race and blood with those of the Lolanders".

It is from the grandson of Robert of Athole, also named Robert, that the clan Donnachie derive their name of Robertson. This Robert was noted for his predatory incursions into the Lowlands, and is historically know as the chief who arrested and delivered up to the vengeance of the government Robert Graham and the Master of Athole, two of the murderers of James I, for which he was rewarded with a crown charter, dates in 1451, erecting his whole lands into a free barony. He also received the honourable augmentation to his arms of a naked man manacled under the achievement, with the motto, Virtulis gloria merces. He was mortally wounded in the head near the village of Auchtergaven in a conflict with Robert Forrester of Torwood, with whom he had a dispute regarding the lands of Little Dunkeld. Binding up his head with a white cloth, he rode to Perth, and obtained from the king a new grant of the lands of Strowan. On his return home, he died of his wounds. He had three sons, Alexander, Robert, and Patrick. Robert, the second son, was the ancestor of the Earls of Portmore, a title now extinct.

The eldest son, Alexander, was twice married, his sons becoming progenitors of various families of Robertsons. He died in, or shortly prior to, 1507, and was succeeded by his grandson, William. This chief had some dispute with the Earl of Athole concerning the marches of their estates, and was killed by a party of the earl's followers, in 1530. Taking advantage of a wadset or mortgage which he held over the lands of Strowan, the earl seized nearly the half of the family estate, which the Robertsons could never again recover. William's son, Robert, had two sons - William, who died without issue, and Donald, who succeeded him.

Donald's grandson, 11th laird of Strowan, died in 1636, leaving an infant son, Alexander, in whose minority the government of the clan devolved upon his uncle, Donald. Devoted to the cause of Charles I, the latter raised a regiment of his name and followers, and was with the Marquis of Montrose in all his battles. After the Restoration, the king settled a pension upon him.

His nephew, Alexander Robertson of Strowan, was twice married. By his second wife, Marion, daughter of General Baillie of Letham, he had two sons and one daughter, and died in 1688. Duncan, the second son by the second marriage, served in Russia, with distinction, under Peter the Great.

Alexander, the elder son of the second marriage, was the celebrated Jacobite chief and poet. Born about 1670, he was destined for the church, and sent to the university of St Andrews; but his father and brother by the first marriage dying within a few months of each other, he succeeded to the family estate and the chiefship in 1688. Soon after, he joined the Viscount Dundee, when he appeared in arms in the Highlands for the cause of King James; but though he does not appear to have been at Killiecrankie, and was still under age, he was, for his share in this rising, attainted by a decree of parliament in absence in 1690, and his estates forfeited to the crown. He retired, in consequence, to the court of the exiled monarch at St Germains, where he lived for several years, and served one or two campaigns in the French army. In 1703, Queen Anne granted him a remission, when he returned to Scotland, and resided unmolested on his estates, but neglecting to get the remission passed the seals, the forfeiture of 1690 was never legally repealed. With about 500 of his clan he joined the Earl of Mar in 1715, and was taken prisoner at the battle of Sheriffmuir, but rescued. Soon after, however, he fell into the hands of a party of soldiers in the Highlands, and was ordered to be conducted to Edinburgh; but, with the assistance of his sister, he contrived to escape on the way, when he again took refuge in France. In 1723, the estate of Strowan was granted by the government to Margaret, the chief's sister, by a charter under the great seal, and in 1726 she disposed the same in trust for the behoof of her brother, substituting, in the event of his death without lawful heirs of his body, Duncan, son of Alexander Robertson of Drumachune, her father's cousin, and the next lawful heir male of the family. Margaret died unmarried in 1727. Her brother had returned to Scotland the previous year, and obtaining in 1731 a remission for his life, took possession of his estate. In 1745 he once more "marshalled his clan" in behalf of the Stuarts, but his age prevented him from personally taking any active part in the rebellion, his name was passed over in the list of proscriptions that followed. He died in his own house of Carie, in Rannoch, April 18, 1749, in his 81st year without lawful issue, and in him ended the direct male line. A volume of his poems was published after his death. An edition was reprinted at Edinburgh in 1785, 12mo, containing also the "History and Martial Achievements of the Robertsons of Stowan". He is said to have formed the prototype of the Baron of Bradwardine in "Waverley".

The portion of the original estate of Strowar which remained devolved upon Duncan Robertson of Drumachune, a property which his great-grandfather, Duncan Mor (who died in 1687), brother of Donald the tutor, had acquired from the Athole family. As, however, his name was not included in the last act of indemnity passed by the government, he was dispossessed of the estate in 1752, when he and his family retired to France. His son, Colonel Alexander Robertson, obtained a restitution of Strowan in 1784, and died, unmarried, in 1822. Duncan Mor's second son, Donald, had a son, called Robert Bane, whose grandson, Alexander Robertson, now succeeded to the estate.

The son of the latter, Major-general George Duncan Robertson of Strowan, C.B., passed upwards of thirty years in active service, and received the cross of the Imperial Austrian order of Leopold. He was succeeded by his son, George Duncan Robertson, born 26th July 1816, at one time an officer in the 42d Highlanders.

The force which the Robertsons could bring into the field was estimated at 800 in 1715, and 700 in 1745.

Of the branches of the family, the Robertsons of Lude, in Blair-Athole, are the oldest, being of contemporary antiquity to that of Strowan.

Patrick de Atholia, eldest son of the second marriage of Duncan de Atholia, received from his father, at his death, about 1358, the lands of Lude. He is mentioned in 1391, by Wyntoun as one of the chieftains and leaders of the clan. He had, with a daughter, married to Donald, son of Farquhar, ancestor of the Farquharsons of Invercauld, two sons, Donald and Alexander. The latter, know by the name of Rua or Red, from the colour of his hair, acquired the estate of Stranloch, for which he had a charter from James II in 1451, and was ancestor of the Robertsons of Straloch, who died about the end of the last century, leaving an only son, John, who adopted the old family soubriquet, and called himself Reid (probably hoping to be recognised as the chief of the Reids). John Reid entered the army, where he rose to the rank of General, and died in 1803, leaving the reversion of his fortune (amounting to about £70,000) for the endowment of a chair of music, and other purposes, in the University of Edinburgh. This ancient family is represented by Sir Archibald Ava Campbell, Bart.

Donald, the elder son, succeeded his father. He resigned his lands of Lude into the king's hand on February 7, 1447, but died before he could receive his infeftment. He had two sons: John, who got the charter under the great seal, dated March 31, 1448, erecting the lands of Lude into a barony, proceeding on his father's resignation; and Donald, who got as his patrimony the lands of Strathgarry. This branch of Lude ended in an heiress, who married an illegitimate son of Stewart of Invermeath. About 1700, Strathgarry was sold to another family of the name of Stewart.

The Robertsons of Inshes, Inverness-shire, are descended from Duncan, second son of Duncan de Atholia, dominus de Ranagh, above mentioned.

The Robertson of Kindeace descended from William Roberston, third son of John, ancestor of the Robertsons of the Inshes, by his wife, a daughter of Fearn of Pitcullen. He obtained from his father, in patrimony, several lands about Inverness, and having acquired great riches as a merchant, purchased, in 1615,the lands of Orkney, Nairnshire, and in 1639, those of Kindeace, Ross-shire; the latter becoming the chief title of the family.

The Robertsons of Kinlochmoidart, Inverness-shire, are descended from John Robertson of Muirton, Elginshire, second son of Alexander Robertson of Strowan, by his wife, Lady Elizabeth, daughter of the Earl of Athole.

The fifth in succession, the Rev. William Robertson, one of the ministers of Edinburgh, was father of Principal Robertson, and of Mary, who married the Rev. James Syme, and had an only child, Eleanora, mother of Henry, Lord Brougham. The Principal had three sons and two daughters.

Another Account of the Clan

BADGE: Dinth fraoch (erica cinerea) fine-leaved heath.
SLOGAN: Garg’n uair dbùisgear.
PIBROCH: Failte Tighearn Shruthan, Salute to the Lord of Struan; and Riban gorm, the Blue Ribbon.

Duncan or RobertsonTHE MacGregors are not the only Scottish clan entitled to the proud boast "My race is royal." Clan MacArthur can produce a vast deal of presumptive evidence to support its claim to a descent from the famous King Arthur of early British history and tradition. And Clan Robertson was placed in a similar position with regard to descent from a later monarch by the researches of the historian Skene, whose own family may or may not be a branch itself of Clan Robertson. It was formerly the habit of genealogists to attribute the origin of the Robertson Clan to the blood of the MacDonalds, but according to the authorities adduced by Skene in his History of the Highlanders, the chiefs of the name appear rather to be descended from Duncan, eldest son of Malcolm III., the great Canmore of the eleventh century. Common tradition, again, previously bore that the name Robertson was derived from the head of the clan in the days of King Robert the Bruce, who, having had certain signal services rewarded by that king with a grant of lands on the upper waters of the Garry, adopted the king’s cognomen as his family name. It seems well established, however, that the Gaelic name of the Clan Donnchadh, pronounced Donnachy, and translated Duncan, was derived from an ancestor of that name, fourth in descent from Conan, son of Henry, last of the ancient Celtic Earls of Atholl, while the name MacRobert or Robertson takes its origin from Robert Reoch of the days of James I. and James II., who played a prominent part in the dramatic history of his time.

Towards the end of the fourteenth century, in 1392, a couple of years after King Robert III. had ascended the throne of Scotland, Clan Donnchadh played its part in one of the fierce transactions characteristic of that wild time. The savage Earl of Buchan, better known as the Wolf of Badenoch, a son of Robert II., enraged by the spiritual reproof of the Bishop of Moray, had made a ferocious descent upon the lands of that prelate, sacking and plundering his cathedral of Elgin, and giving both cathedral and town ruthlessly to the flames. Immediately afterwards, the Wolf’s example was followed by one of his natural sons, Duncan Stewart, who gathered a great force of the wild mountaineers of Atholl and Badenoch, armed only with sword and target, and, bursting through the mountain passes into the fertile plain of Forfar, proceeded to destroy the country, and commit every sort of ravage and atrocity. Clan Donnchadh are recorded as among the wild clansmen who took part in this raid, and from their situation in the uplands of Atholl and on the borders of Badenoch itself, it is certain that they must have been, by force of compulsion if not by actual inclination, among the most constant followers of the Wolf and his savage sons. On this occasion Sir Walter Ogilvy, Sheriff of Angus, along with Sir Patrick Gray and Sir David Lindsay of Glenesk, rapidly gathered together the forces of the district, and, though much fewer in numbers, trusting to the temper of their armour, hastened to meet and repel the invasion. They attacked the Highlanders on the Water of Isla at a place called Gasklune, but were almost immediately overwhelmed. The mountaineers rushed upon them with the utmost ferocity, and before that rush the knights in steel armour went down like stooks of corn in a spate. Ogilvy and his brother, with Young of Auchterloney, the Lairds of Cairncross, Forfar, and Guthrie, and sixty men at arms, were slain, while Sir Patrick Gray and Sir David Lindsay, grievously wounded, were only carried from the field with the greatest difficulty. The fierceness of the Highlanders on that occasion is shown by an incident quoted by historians. Sir David Lindsay had pierced one of them through the body with his spear and pinned him to the earth, but in his mortal agony the brawny cateran writhed himself up, and with a sweep of his sword cut Lindsay through the stirrup and steel boot to the leg bone, then instantly sank back and expired.

Strangely enough, this fierce raid was followed by no punishment on the part of the weak government; but under the rule of the king’s brother, Robert, Duke of Albany, this was one of the worst governed and most turbulent periods in Scottish history.

The next episode in which Clan Donnchadh played an outstanding part was, curiously enough, on the side of law and order, though in connection with one of the most outstanding crimes which stain the historic page. King James I. had been murdered in the Black Friars Monastery at Perth in the early days of 1437, and the murderers, with their chief, Sir Robert Graham, had escaped into the wild mountains of Mar. The Earl of Atholl had taken a chief part in the conspiracy, and the fact that he was the immediate neighbour of the Chief of Clan Donnchadh might have led that chief also to become a partner in the treason. The chief, however, the Robert Reoch already referred to, remained staunch in his loyalty to the Crown, and, along with John Gorm Stewart, effected the capture of the Master of Atholl, the chief conspirator, Sir Patrick Graham, and others, who were immediately afterwards executed with excruciating tortures. For this service the Robertson chief received an addition to his family arms of which his successors were always justly proud.

As already mentioned, it is from this Robert Reoch— Robert the Swarthy—who is sometimes styled Robert Duncanson, that in later days the chiefs and members of the clan took the name of Robertson.

Alas! the next appearance of the Duncanson or Robertson chiefs in the pages of history is much less creditable. It was seven years after the assassination of James I. The rapacious nobles, Douglas, Crawford, Hamilton, and others, had seized the opportunity of the minority of the infant James II to satisfy their own greed and lawless desires by all kinds of rapacious deeds. The one true patriot of the time, Bishop Kennedy of St. Andrews, ventured to withstand their rapacity, and united with the former Chancellor Crichton in an effort to restore law and order. Forthwith the Earls of Douglas and Crawford, with other fierce nobles, among whom is specially mentioned as an associate Robert Reoch, gathered together a great force, and descending on the Bishop’s lands in Fife and Angus, burned his farms and villages, committed all kinds of savagery, led his vassals captive, and utterly laid the country waste. The Bishop retaliated by laying the fierce marauders under the Church’s ban of excommunication, and among those who were thus placed outside the pale of all Christian hope and brotherhood in this world and the next must have been included the Robertson chief.

There may have been those who saw in the downfall, ten years later, of the great house of Douglas, the ringleader of this great national outrage, a fulfilment of the good Bishop’s curse, but so far as is now known, the Robertson chiefs can have been no more than temporarily affected by the excommunication. From their chief seat and possession, Struan or Strowan—Gaelic S’ruthan, "Streamy "—the chiefs were known as the Struan Robertsons, the only other Highland chiefs thus taking a qualification to their family name being the Cluny MacPhersons, whose estate of Cluny lay at no great distance from that of the Robertsons. Struan was otherwise known by the name of Glenerochie, and the possession was erected into a barony in 1451. The chief was also Dominus De Rannach or Rannoch, and possessed, further south, the fifty-five merk land of Strath Tay. Early in the sixteenth century, however, the Robertsons became involved in a feud with the Stewart Earls of Atholl, descended from the Fair Maid of Galloway, heiress of the great house of Douglas, and John Stewart, half brother of King James II., and son of Queen Joan, widow of James I., by her marriage with the Black Knight of Lorne. In this feud, about the year 1510, William, the Robertson chief, was killed, and, his successor being a child, a great part of the Robertson lands was seized by the Earl, and never afterwards recovered. At Struan, however, the chiefs treasured to the last as an heirloom a mysterious stone set in silver, which seems to have been a Scots pebble. This was known as the Clach na Bratach, the stone of the flag, and was believed to give the Robertsons assurance of victory in the field.

As became their royal lineage the Robertson chiefs remained loyal to the House of Stewart throughout the troubles of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. During the civil wars, under Donald Robertson, son of the tenth chief, acting for his nephew, then a minor, the clan joined the standard of the Great Marquess of Montrose, and took part with distinguished bravery at the battle of Inverlochy, in which the Campbells were so utterly overthrown. For his loyalty Donald Robertson was rewarded with a pension at the Restoration. Mclan, in his Costumes of the Clans, inserts a tradition regarding one of the Robertson warriors who particularly distinguished himself on this occasion. This individual, who was known from his occupation as Caird Beag, the little tinker, had slain, it is said, nineteen of the Campbells with his own hand. When the conflict was over, he made a fire and with some comrades proceeded to cook a meal in an iron pot which he had brought with him. The Marquess happening to pass, and, being himself without any such means of securing a meal, asked the Caird Beag for the use of the pot. His request was met with a downright refusal, the clansman declaring that he had well earned the meal he was preparing, and thought the least favour that could be allowed him was to be permitted to refresh himself therewith. Montrose, it is said, took the answer in good part, exclaiming, "I wish that more little tinkers had served His Majesty to-day as well as you have done."

At the Revolution, again, in 1689, Alastair or Alexander Robertson of Struan raised his followers, and took part with Viscount Dundee, King James’ general, in the short campaign which ended with the death of that romantic personage at the battle of Killiecrankie in Atholl, no great distance from the Robertson country. As a consequence, in the following year, Struan Robertson suffered the forfeiture of his estates. He, however, escaped to France, and obtained a remission in 1703, and, when the Earl of Mar, in the autumn of 1715, raised the standard of "James VIII. and III." at Braemar, he was joined by the Robertson chief. The military force of the clan at that time was reckoned to be 800 men. At Sheriffmuir, Struan Robertson was taken prisoner, but managed to escape, again obtained a remission in 1731, and again, in 1745, was among the most notable Jacobites who joined the standard of Prince Charles Edward. His clansmen were then said to number 700, though only 200 of these resided on the estates then actually owned by the chief. In consequence of his repeated risings in the Jacobite cause, Struan Robertson finally lost his estates, which were annexed to the Crown in 1752. Apart from his military escapades, this chief, Alexander, the thirteenth of his line, remains a notable figure in the history of the Highlands. He was no mean poet, and a published collection of his pieces, including a curious genealogical account of his family, has been described as "very creditable to his literary acquirements." In private life he was marked by a conviviality of feeling and humour which is said to have bordered on eccentricity.

At a later day, in 1785, part of the old Struan property, including the seat of the family, was restored to a representative, and finally came into possession of Major General Duncan Robertson, descendant of Donnchadh More of Druimachinn, third son of Robert, the fifteenth chief. General Robertson had his residence at Dunallaistair in Rannoch. The oldest cadets of the family were the Robertsons of Lude, while the Robertsons of Inches in Inverness-shire traced their descent from the house of Struan at a very early period, and from them sprang, about 1540, the Robertsons of Ceanndace and Glencalvy in Ross-shire. The Skenes of Skene have also been thought to be a branch of the Robertsons. According to this tradition Donnchadh More an Sgian—Great Duncan of the Dirk—migrated from Atholl to Strath Dee, and there founded this family. The fact that the head of this house who signed the Ragman Roll in 1296 did so as John le Skene, seems to favour the tradition of the personal origin of the name, while the dirks in the coat armour and the Highland supporters in antique costume also maintain the theory. But it seems more likely that the family of Skene took its name from the parish than that the parish took its name from the family.

Many distinguished men of the name have added lustre to the clan. Eben William Robertson, High Sheriff and Deputy Lieutenant of Leicestershire, who died in 1874, was the author of Scotland under her Early Kings and other historical works of importance. James Robertson, Professor of Hebrew at Edinburgh University in the latter half of the eighteenth century, was the author of a well-known Hebrew grammar. James Burton Robertson (1800-1877) was translator of Schiegel’s Philosophy of History. Sir John Robertson, an Australian squatter, was five times Premier of New South Wales. Patrick Robertson, who died in 1855, was the distinguished Scottish judge whom Sir Walter Scott nicknamed Peter o’ the Painch. Thomas William Robertson, 1829-1871, was a well-known actor and dramatist who acquired fame as the writer of Caste, School, Ours, and other society plays of the mid-Victorian period. And, greatest of all, there was William Robertson the historian (1721-1793), who, when minister of Lady Yester’s Chapel at Edinburgh in 1759, attained enormous success with his History of Scotland. He was appointed Principal of Edinburgh University three years later, appointed historiographer of Scotland, and elected Moderator of the General Assembly in 1763, and attained a European reputation with his History of Charles V. in 1769. His introduction to the last-named work, which comprised an estimate of the Dark Ages, was among the first successful attempts in this country to found larger theories of history upon considerable accumulations of fact. His latest work, A History of America, published in 1777, was not less valuable than fascinating, but was never completed owing to the outbreak of the revolutionary war in America.

Septs of Clan Duncan or Robertson: Collier, Colyear, Donachie, Duncan, Duncanson, Dunnachie, Inches, MacConachie, Macinroy, MacDonachie, MacRobbie, Maclagan, MacRobert, Reid, Roy, Stark, Tonnochy.

Thanks to James Pringle Weavers for the following information

ROBERTSON: The kindred descend from Donnachaid Reamhar (Stout Duncan) de Atholia and are more properly named Clan Donnachaidh (Donnachie). He led the Clan at the battle of Bannockburn in 1314 where he fought for Bruce. The name ROBERTSON comes from the 4th Chief, Robert Riabhach (the grizzled). He became known as Robert Riach and in 1437 he captured Sir Robert Graham who had assassinated James 1st. In gratitude of this James 2nd made Robert's lands in Struan into a Barony in 1438. Robert died in 1460, from wounds received in battle, and was succeeded by his son Alexander. Throughout history the Clan maintained strong bonds with the Royal House and also with the Earldom of Atholl although in the 16th century much land was lost through debts incurred by the 8th Chief who was murdered in 1587. There were further financial problems in 1597 but in 1606 many of the lands were restored by the generosity of a loyal kinsman by the name of John Robertson who was a rich merchant in Edinburgh. The Robertson Chiefs remained loyal to the Stewarts and supported the Marquess of Montrose in all his battles. Two Chiefs died in quick seccession and the next, Alexander, was an eighteen year old student at St. Andrews University. He had been intended for the academic life and became known as the Poet Chief. However, he supported the Rising of 1688 but the defeat of James 7th, in 1690, saw his lands forfeited and he escaped into exile in France. An amnesty granted by Queen Anne in 1703 saw his return but he mustered his Clan in 1715 in support of the Old Pretender. He was twice captured and twice escaped, again fleeing to France. He took advantage of another amnesty in 1725 and again returned to Scotland but never did swear allegiance to the Hanovarians. He once more mustered the Clan in 1745 in support of Prince Charles Edward Stuart i.e. Bonnie Prince Charlie, but the Jacobite cause was finally defeated the next year at Culloden. He died in 1749 without an heir. The Chiefship passed to Duncan Robertson of Drumachine but by supporting the Jacobites their lands were again forfeited. Duncan's son Alexander became the 15th Chief and he lived to see all rights and lands i.e. the Darony of Struan, restored to him by the Crown in 1784. The 18th Chief, George, sold the Barony in 1854 but reserved, for himself and his heirs, the right to be buried in the family burial grounds. Threafter the Chiefs lived on their estates in Jamaica until eventually returning to a life of farming in Cranbrook in Kent. 

Another account of the clan...

The Robertsons, known as Clann Donnachaidh are descended from the hereditary Abbots of Dunkeld, the senior branch of the brotherhood of St. Columba in Scotland. Abbot Crinan of Dunkeld married a member of the Royal house and their younger son was father of Madadh, Earl of Atholl from whom the Robertsons descend. The chief who gave the clan the patronymic of "Donnachie", "children of Duncan" appears to be Duncan, 5th of Glenorchie who led the clan at the Battle of Bannockburn. His grandson Robert of Struan, then known as Robert Duncanson received the barony for apprehending the murderer of King James I and from that time the clan took the name "Robertson". The Robertsons were loyal adherents to the Stewarts despite the fact that the Stewart Earls of Atholl stripped them of half their lands of Struan. They fought under Montrose for Charles I and Alasdair, 17th of Struan, a gifted poet, supported Bonnie Dundee in the cause of James VII at Killiecrankie. He had his estates forfeited until his remission by Queen Anne in 1703. In 1715, Struan was again in arms but was taken prisoner at Sheriffmuir, rescued, recaptured and again escaped. Finally with the help of his sister, Margaret he escaped to France. Struan was pardoned in 1731 and returned to Scotland. In 1745 when Prince Charles arrived in Perthshire Struan marshaled part of his clan for the Stuarts; however, he was too old to fight himself and died shortly afterwards in 1749. What was left of the estate was forfeited but later briefly regained although some territory in Rannoch remained in the hands of the Robertson chiefs until it was sold this century.



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