Friday, February 19, 2010
Rob Roy Again!
Here's some more about Rob Roy like a promised earlier. Enjoy!
Rob Roy had been in the business of dealing cattle--driving them down to the markets in the Lowlands and England--and got good money for it. He earned a reputation for his trustworthiness in the deals and bought land with his earnings. However, in 1712, he raised a huge sum of money from the Duke of Montrose from their buying cattle for fattening up in the Lowlands before they could be sold the next year, and when he sent his chief cattle drover to bring in the stock, the drover bought the cattle but sold them himself. Rob was immediately bankrupt. He went to find the drover but was unable to and people accused him of stealing the money himself. The Duke of Montrose warranted his arrest and when Rob failed to show up in court, he was outlawed and his family were evicted from their property into the bargain.
Rob Roy now made it his goal to get back at Montrose. He kidnapped Montrose's factor and kept him imprisoned on an islet in Loch Katrine and demanded ransom money for his return. When no one paid it, Rob let the men go unharmed.
Rob joined all the Jacobite Risings of the time, fighting both in the 1715 Rising and the 1719 Rising. In the '15, he was recruited as a scout to help move the troops around because of his great knowledge of the terrain and the land. For his activity with the Jacobites, he was also accused of high treason and a price was put on his head. Rob was actually captured on several occasions but always managed to escape. One of his famous escapes was from Montrose himself.
Rob was sleeping at his house in Balquidder when Montrose came and surprised him, having his men bind him tight and immediately put onto a horse flanked by dragoons, then they set off for Stirling.
When they had to cross the Forth at Fords of Frew, night was falling and the river had swollen. Rob's arms were released for his own safety and he was put on a horse behind one of Montrose's tenants, James Stewart and tied to him with a leather thong. There's two versions of what happened next. Either, the men forgot to relieve Rob of his sgian ockle (armpit knife--I believe these were used before sgian dubhs) and he was able to cut the binding, or he and Stewart weren't on really bad terms and the man released Rob himself. But whatever happened, Rob happened to jump off the horse and dove into the freezing water, taking off his plaid as a diversion to draw off gunshot while he swam farther down stream and escaped unharmed, albeit, soaked and probably freezing!
Eventually, Rob Roy's story was known to many people and he was finally granted a royal pardon from King George in 1726.
As I said before, Rob Roy's story is just like something from Robin Hood. But these are all documented happenings and were true! You can't really help but love Rob!
I'll be back again next week. Have a good weekend!