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instant make ane catholok of the saidis personis names with their armor, and they be chargeit to haif the said armor redey, and to present thame with the samyn at muster, and this to remaine in all tymes under the pane of x punds, the ane half to the Baillie, the uthir to the use of the burgh. Item, that ilk merchand or craftisman keipand buith haif ane halbart within the samyn under the pane of v punds. Item, that na burgess be maid heirefter without productioun of his armor at his creatioun, and that he sweir the samyn is his own."
As no record relating to any conference between the families at feud has been preserved, it is more than doubtful if it ever took place; and the allegation made against the Laird of Luss, that he treacherously attacked the Macgregors at its termination, is not substantiated by documents of the slightest value. Neither, on the other hand, can more credence be attached to the statement that the Macgregors on this particular occasion were the assailants. All that can safely be affirmed of the occurrence is, that on the 7th of February, 1603, both parties, fully prepared for hostilities, met in the Valley of the Fruin, or Glen of Sorrow-a name singularly suggestive of the events of the day, as the victory proved not more fatal to the vanquished than the victors. This now quiet retreat, so familiar to the angler and botanist, runs west from Loch Lomond in the direction of Dumfin and Drumfad, and then slightly north towards the source of the Fruin, near Strone Hill, in Row parish.
Regarding the force by which each chief was supported, various contradictory statements have been made. Alexander Ross, the historian of the Sutherland family, puts down Macgregor's force at 300 footmen; and, notwithstanding the manner in which the clan was broken up, there is no room to doubt that he would be able to raise at least that number to attack such an enemy as the Laird of Luss. But when the same authority states Luss' force to have been 300 horse and 500 foot, the assertion must be received with great caution, as it is not likely, even with the aid he received from the burgh of Dumbarton, that this chief could, in a single district of the Lennox, raise an army equal to what on some occasions obeyed the behest of the King. His
footmen are not likely to have much outnumbered Macgregor's, and if any horsemen were foolhardy enough to accompany Luss to the scene of the conflict, the nature of the ground must have made their services perfectly useless. The locality was of the worst possible description for a fair trial of strength, but admirably suited for such desultory attacks as the Clangregor had been long in the habit of waging. The only wonder is how the Laird of Luss, who must have known the place thoroughly, ever ventured to encounter an enemy in such a place. With great forethought Allister Macgregor divided his force into two divisions-one led by himself, which advanced against the vanguard of Luss' party; and the other led by his brother, John Macgregor, who attacked them in the rear. The possession of the glen was stoutly contested for a short time, but Colquhoun's force, finding itself unable to contend with success against the enemy, commenced a retreat which was almost as disastrous to them as a conflict; for, besides having to fight their way through the force led by John Macgregor, they were closely followed by Allister, who, finding his brother slain, reunited the two divisions, and hung upon the fugitives to the very gates of Rossdhu. Numerous stragglers who had become detached from the main body in the flight, were seized and slain without mercy, while the weak and the defenceless, who had taken no share in the conflict, were also sacrificed by the infuriated Macgregors. When the flight had terminated a scene of murder, robbery, and destruction commenced which finds no parallel in even the bloody raids of the period. In the language of the indictment against their chief, the Macgregors seized six hundred kye and oxen, eight hundred sheep and goats, fourteen score of horse, set fire to the houses and barn-yards of the tenantry, and, in a word, carried off or destroyed the "haill plenishing, guids, and gear of the fourscore pund land of Luss." In the conflict and retreat, the Colquhoun party lost about one hundred and forty, while the Macgregors, it is said, did not lose more than two men-a slender excuse for the atrocities with which they disgraced their victory. Among those slain while aiding the Colquhouns were-Peter (or Patrick) Napier of Kilmahew; Tobias
Smollett, bailie of Dumbarton (an ancestor of the novelist); David Fallisdaill, burgess there; his two sons, Thomas and James; Walter Colquhoun and John Colquhoun, Barnhill; and Adam and John, sons of Colquhoun of Camstradden.
In addition to the slaughter in the open field, the Macgregors are accused of massacring in cold blood a party of students whose curiosity had led them from Dumbarton to the scene of the conflict in Glenfruin. Some doubt is certainly thrown upon this statement from the circumstance that it is not mentioned in the indictments against the Macgregors; but it seems not indistinctly alluded to in the record of the Privy Council proceedings against Allan Oig M'Intnach of Glencoe, who, in 1609, was accused of assisting the Clangregor of Glenfruin, and of having, with his own hand, there "murdered without pity the number of forty poor persons, who were naked and without armour." The Macgregors themselves did not deny there was a massacre of unprotected people who were present as spectators, but they impute the cruel deed to the ferocity of a single man of their tribe-Dugald Ciar Mhor, or the dun coloured, who is said to have been an ancestor of Rob Roy's. The deed is said to have been committed during the time of the pursuit; and on the chief of the Macgregors asking after the safety of the youths on his return, the Ciar Mhor drew out his bloody dirk, exclaiming in Gaelic, "Ask that, and God save me."
Hardly had the pursuit ceased and the plunder been secured, when justice in its most relentless form was let loose upon the track of the Macgregors. The measures taken against them, from their very severity, often defeated the object they were designed to serve; and hence, in seeking to extinguish the clan and abolish the name, more was done to keep alive a knowledge of both than anything the Macgregors themselves could have accomplished. Almost as soon after the conflict as the bodies could be stripped, Sir Alexander Colquhoun appeared before the King at Stirling, accompanied by the female relatives of the slain, each clad in deep mourning, and bearing aloft the bloody garments of their kinsmen. The idea of this impressive spectacle seems to have originated-not with Sir Alexander Colquhoun, but with some of his advisers, Sempill of Fullwood, and William
Stewart, Captain of Dumbarton Castle, being referred to in an epistle, addressed to Sir Alexander, immediately after the conflict, by Bailie Fallisdaill, Dumbarton :
"Ryt honorable Sir,-My deutie wyt service remembrit. Plass you the Lard of Fulwood and the Capatine thinking that you ma adres yourself wyt als monie bludie sarks, as ather ar deid, or hurt of your men, togetter wyt als mony women, to present them to his Majesetie in Stirling upon Tysday, for thai ar boyth to ryd thair upoune Tysday, quha will assist you at thair power. The meitest time is now becaus of the French Imbassador that is wyt his Majestie."
King James, peculiarly susceptible of such emotions as this spectacle was calculated to produce, vowed vengeance against the lawless clan. By an Act of the Privy Council, dated 3rd April, 1603, it was made an offence punishable with. death to bear the name of Macgregor, or to give any of the clan food or shelter. After this they were hunted like wild beasts, their dwellings were destroyed, they were loaded with every epithet of abhorrence, and every corner of the country was ransacked where there was the least possibility of them taking refuge.
As it was the Earl of Argyll who was responsible to the Privy Council for the conduct of the Macgregors, to him was chiefly intrusted the execution of the severe measures adopted towards them. Amongst the first against whom he directed the full force of his new powers was Aulay M'Aulay of Ardincaple, who, as has been seen, so far back as May, 1591, had entered into a bond of clanship with Allister Macgregor, admitting that he was a cadet of his house, and promising to pay him "The Calp." Proceedings were therefore instituted against him for having aided and abetted the Macgregors at Glenfruin; but as he was among the train of the Earl of Lennox in the King's journey to England to take possession of the Throne, a seasonable warrant was issued by His Majesty to the Justice-General and his deputies, commanding them to "desert the dyett" against M'Aulay, as he was "altogeddir free and innocent of the crymes allegit agains him." To other offenders no such leniency was shown. On the 28th of April, Allister M'Kie, Gilchrist Kittoche, and Findlay Dow M'Lean were "dilattet of certaine poyntis of thefts," and for "cuming to the Laird of Lussis boundis in companie with the
Laird of Macgregour, and being airt and pairt of the murthour and reiff committat thairin" in February. Being found guilty, "the justice be the mouth of James Hendersone, dempster of Court, ordaint thame, and ilk ane of thame, to be tane to the Borrowmure of Edenborough, and to be hangit vpone the galloise thairof quhill they be deid; and all thair moveable gudes to be escheit." On the 20th May, Gillespie M'Donald, M'Innis Dow, Donald M'Clerich or Stewart, and John M'Coneill M'Condochie, were severally accused of being "airt and pairt in the lait grit slauchter and crewall murthour of sevin scoir persones in the Lennox, all friendis and servandis to the Laird of Luss; and of the thiftous steilling and reiffing of aucht hundreth oxin, ky, and ither bestiall, and herrieing the haill cuntrie;" and being found guilty, were sentenced "to be tane to the Castell-hill of Edinburghe, and to be hangit thair on ane gibbit, quhill they be deid." On the 5th of July, Gilliemichell M'Hissock with Nicoll M'Pharie Roy M'Gregor; on the 14th, John Dow M'Oncoalich M'Gregor; and on the 12th August, Dugall M'Gregor with Neil M'Gregor Prudache, were dealt with in a similar manner; but the most of these being merely servants, the Privy Council found it necessary to take still more stringent measures than they had yet done, to bring some of the leaders within reach of the law. This appears more distinctly from a document among the law papers, in the form of a deliverance of the Council regarding a supplication presented by "the gentlemen of the Lennox," who seem to have been afraid that proceedings would be adopted against them for having "intromittit with the guids and gear of the Macgregors."
Notwithstanding the close manner in which he was hemmed in, Allister, the Chief of the Macgregors, contrived to elude the vigilance of his pursuers for nearly a twelvemonth. The Sheriff of Argyllshire (Campbell, of Ardkinlass) attempted his capture, by inviting him to a banquet, but, detecting the trick before it was accomplished, Macgregor sprang out of the boat in which he was placed, and swam to the shore in safety. With the Earl of Argyll he was not so fortunate. Under pretence that he would either obtain a pardon from the King or convey him safely out of Scotland, Argyll managed to bring the wily old Macgregor