Rob Roy the Loveable Rogue

Blog 31 Jul 2013

Rob Roy MacGregor was one of Scotland's most loveable rogues. Born in 1671, Rob Roy grew up in the time of the Jacobites and joined the uprising aged 18.

The leader of his clan was killed during the uprising, and his father was jailed and held for treason charges for two years. His mother died whilst his father was imprisoned.

Rob Roy became a well-known and respected cattleman, or so many people thought.  In a time when cattle-rustling was rife, Rob Roy offered landowners protection for their cattle as a means of earning a living. Once paid, he would 'protect' the herd. Little did the landowner know that he was the one stealing the cattle!

As time drew on, Rob Roy's reputation was growing with clan chiefs and cattle traders. He was working in cattle dealing with the Campbells of Breadlebane and the Marquis of Montrose. The Marquis decided to give Rob £1000 to expand and purchase his own herd of cattle. He gave these funds to his trusted chief herder, with the strict instruction to go and purchase a large number of cattle. Unfortunately for Rob Roy MacGregor, his chief cattle herder preferred to keep the money and promptly disappeared with the funds.

Rob was left with no money and no cattle. He defaulted on his loan and despite offering to pay the Marquis of Montrose his money back as quickly as possible, he was branded a thief and an outlaw. His lands were seized and his wife and family were evicted from their home in Inversnaid, which was burned to the ground.

Rob Roy MacGregor spent the rest of his days in hiding, stealing cattle for a living whilst simultaneously offering protection from cattle thieves. Despite his roguish tendencies, he earned himself a 'Robin Hood' status by aiding the poor who had financial issues with Montrose. He died in his home in 1734 at the old age of 63.

You can learn more about Rob Roy when visiting Loch Lomond on many of our 1, 2 and 3 day tours.