Rob Roy, pp.124-126.

[Scottish National Memorials Contents]

   LETTER, from Rob Roy ‘to Right Honall the Earle of Braedalbine.’ This letter, dated Portnellan, Nov. 12, 1707, is exceedingly polite, almost obsequious. After expressing his longing to see his lordship, he reminds him, ‘I have the honour to have come of your Lop’s family, and shall keep my dependency suitable to the samine.’ His nephew, who is to see his lordship, will, he hopes, be capable to serve him, and will do so though the writer were in his grave. ‘He is a young man, so, my lord, give him your advice; he is Begging1 his house, and I hope your Lop will give him a precept for the four trees your Lop promised him the Last time I was there.’ Signed – ‘Ro. Campbell.’ (See Fig. 89.) 

(366) Lent by the MARQUIS OF BREADALBANE. 

   LETTER, from Rob Roy to the Earl of Breadalbane, concerning ‘a pley that was betuixt John Campbell of Innerardoran and Glenfallochs bairns.’ He hopes that the Earl will bind them to the peace, for, when ‘they cust out before, Lochdochard and I made you to give bonds under the paine of a thousand merk, that they should nocht midle with one another in tymes cumeing, and the transgressor was to forfeit the thousand merk or any part therof as your lordship would think fit.’ He further states that he has heard that ‘Glenfalloch and Mr. Robert Stewart2 in Killine came to Gregor McOuile, and persuaded him to give up the bonds to the end that they might be destroyed, quhich was done immediatly;’ and he is fully convinced that Gregor McOuile would never have given up the bond if he had not been advised by the minister. Dated, ‘att Portnellan 4th Septr. 1711,’ and signed – ‘Ro. Campbell.’ 

(367) Lent by the MARQUIS OF BREADALBANE. 

Plate XVII. – Order to Carry Out the Massacre of Glencoe.

   LETTER, from Rob Roy to the Earl of Breadalbane, in which he says that, after parting with his lordship, he met young Glenfalloch, who told him that the bond which Gregor McOuile gave up was in Lochdochart’s custody undestroyed. ‘And if it be soe it looks very ill fard. Itt looked nothing lyke fair dealling to (sic) Glenfalloch and the minister to come upon the Sabbath day to Gregor McOuils house, when his sone was ffrom home, and to tell him that all was destroyed, and to keep up their oun.’ He hopes that his lordship will call for the bond from Lochdochard, and lose no time in settling this affair. dated, ‘att Corrycheyrich 15th Septr. 1711,’ and signed – ‘Ro. Campbell.’ From the facsimile of No. 366 (Fig. 89) it will be observed that he writes a good bold hand. The name of McGregor being then proscribed, he took his mother’s surname. She was the daughter of William Campbell of Glenfalloch. 

(368) Lent by the MARQUIS OF BREADALBANE. 

   LETTER, from Campbell of Stonefield to the Earl of Breadalbane, about Rob Roy and the Laird of Bishopton. In this letter, written from ‘Inveraray. 18 May 1713,’ James Campbell says:- ‘The inclosed is from the Dutchess of Argyle, and I beleive it may be in favours of the Laird of Bishoptoun, who is a considerable creditor of Rob: Roys. The gentleman would not presume to trouble your lordship with letters from himself, not haveing the honour of your acquantance; but he humbly expects your lordship will cause Robert doe him justice. And I with all submission humbly think Robert should endeavour all he can to give him satisfaction; for the gentleman hath occation for his money; besides he is a very worthy, honest man, tho’ noe whigg in principles, and represents a good old family who are not the richer of there loyalty.’ 

(369) Lent by the MARQUIS OF BREADALBANE. 

   HIGHLAND PISTOL, which belonged to Rob Roy. The brass barrel, which is octagonal at the muzzle and fluted at the breech, is engraved, and measures 8 ¾ inches in length. It has a flint lock, and a steel ramrod. The steel stock is also engraved and partly inlaid. On each side of the ram’s-horn butt there is an oval silver plate, bearing neither name nor initials. 

(356) Lent by the MARQUIS OF BREADALBANE. 

   ROB ROY’S SWORD. The long, tapering, single-edged blade is 35 ¼ inches in length, and on each side is inscribed – ‘ANDRIA X FARARA X.’ A deep groove runs down each side for two-thirds of its length, between which and the back there is a rude attempt at ornamentation. The basket-hilt is marked [symbol]. The grip, roughened with small pebbles and a wire twisted round it, is 4 inches long. 


   ROB ROY’S SPORRAN. The strong brass frame at the top is ornamented with a series of concentric rings, and is 5 ⅝ inches broad. The pouch is of badger’s skin, and the extreme inside depth is 7 ⅞ inches. It has three leather looped tags, with tassels of the same material. The length of the leather belt and buckle, for securing it round the waist, is 3 ½ feet. The tongue of the buckle is in the second hole – 2 ½ inches from the end; but there are marks which indicate that formerly it had been worn much shorter. As will be seen, it differs greatly from the sporran described by Sir Walter, in the thirty-fourth chapter of his Rob Roy; yet it reminds one of that description, as a peculiar plan has been adopted to protect its contents. There is no intricate machinery attached to a hidden pistol; but it is doubly secured. At the back of the frame there are two knobs, one of which lifts a spring over a catch, and the other turns a toothed wheel – kept in position by a pointed spring – until a small opening comes opposite another catch. As the knobs work independently, the secret of each must be known, or the sporran cannot be opened. 

(358) Lent by W. MURRAY THREIPLAND. 

   ROB ROY’S SNUFF-BOX. This box is formed of alternate perpendicular sections of ivory and ebony. The hinged top is silver-mounted, and bears a crest on a small oval plate – a hand holding a dagger pointing upwards between the words ‘Manu Forti.’’ 

(357) Lent by ROBERT BROWN. 

   AN OVAL SILVER-MOUNTED SNUFF-BOX, 3 ½ inches long. In the cover is mounted a piece of horn decorated with figures emblematical of war. Engraved on the silver lining is this inscription: ‘Rob Roys Snuff-Box, presented to Lady Willoughby d’Eresby by Wm Gray, Esqr., of Oxgang House; he received it from the Kilsyth family.’ In all probability the carved horn in the lid is the only portion of the box which belonged to Rob Roy, as the silver-mounting is comparatively modern, bearing the Edinburgh Hall mark of the year 1810-11. 


1  Building. 

2  Robert Stewart studied at St. Leonard’s College, St. Andrews, took his degree in 1672, was admitted to Killin in or before 1681, and died in 1729 (Scott’s Fasti, ii, 825).

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