Folk Figure. Born Raibert Ruadh M'Gregor at Glengyle, at the head of Loch Katrine, the third son of Donald of Glengyle, a clan chieftain, and Margaret Campbell. He married Mary Helen MacGregor of Comar in Glenarklet in 1693. Records name four sons; James, Ranald, Coll; and Robin Oig, or Young Rob. Although Rob was a clan war chief he was never clan chief himself, but Laird of Inversnaid a position held at the sufferance of the Duke of Montrose, his patron. Rob followed the respectable career of cattle dealer. Between 1691-1712, Rob led a prosperous life and Montrose granted him the rights to the properties of Inversnaid and Glengyle. After 1712 a depression and famine hit the highlands and Rob lost his house, lands and the patronage of Montrose. He exchanged the life of cattle dealer for that of bandit and Montrose for Argyll. He became the Duke of Argyll’s enforcer and established a very early form of protection racket – payment kept a man’s cattle on his own lands. During the Jacobite Uprising of 1715 Rob acted as a Jacobite guide for the march from Perth to Dunblane but after the rising of 1715 collapsed, Rob wrote that the rebellion had been forced upon him. He also said that he supplied Argyll (his patron who remained on the opposing side) with intelligence as to the strength and composition of the Jacobite army. Rob continued his career as a brigand and his exploits included the kidnap of Montrose's factor, John Graham of Killearn. During his life, Rob was captured more than once but managed to escape each time. In 1726 he received a full pardon for his activities. He retired to his home, a legend in his own time. He died at home in Inverlochlarig Beg, Balquhidder, at the age of 63. He was buried In Balquhidder Kirkyard. The ornamental bronze rail round his grave gives his age incorrectly as 70. His epitaph ‘MacGregor Despite Them’ is a reference to the proscription of his clan name.
Bio by: Iola
MacGregor Despite Them