Not much is known about Rob Roy's life, but a popular belief is that he took the lead in an incident called the "Hership" or "Devastation of Kippen" in 1691, he lived under the protection of the Graham, Duke of Montrose, and followed the fairly respectable career of cattle dealer. At that time, what little money was to be made in the Highlands mainly came from the selling of black cattle to the Lowland areas and England, and considerable fortunes could be made in this way,Rob soon developed a sound reputation and became known as a man who could get his clients a fair price for their cattle, and was renowned as an honest man into the bargain. In the years then between 1691 and 1712, Rob led a fairly prosperous life and Graham, Duke of Montrose confirmed upon him the rights to the properties of Inversnaid and Glengyl, which of course were already Clan Gregor territories.
Five years after the Act of Union was passed between the countries of Scotland and England thus creating what became the "United Kingdom" (technically Scotland and England now ceased to exist – at least that is how it was meant to be), the cattle trade underwent severe depression. The times were hard in 1712 and many went hungry in the highlands. Rob himself had been cheated by a client of his, and found himself out of pocket Rob had been given the sum of 1,000 pounds by his clients one of these was Montrose, his protector faced with many difficulties, both financial and also how to feed his clan, as famine had come to Scotland that year amongst other things
Graham, Duke of Montrose immediately took action and confiscated MacGregor's lands, forcing his wife and family out in the process from the house they occupied from that day on, there would be no more peace between MacGregor and Montrose being that his mother had been a Campbell and indeed his wife was of that clan, Rob sought the protection of the Duke of Argyll this was a logical move to make, as the Campbells and Grahams had forever been in feud, and both had many scores to settle with one another.Rob Roy waged a private blood feud against the duke until 1722, when he was forced to surrender he was later imprisoned, he was finally pardoned in 1727 Rob Roy died in his house at Inverlochlarig Beg, Balquhidder, on 28 December 1734
A time line of MacGregor History
AD882-893 - Reign of Pict King Giric ('Grioghair' in Gaelic) ('Gregor' in English) from whom the clan takes its name, described by Scottish historians as a Pict usurper. A son of Dungall of Fortrenn.
AD 966 -Finghin Abbot of Glen Dochart, a descendent of Grig, , (titular Abbot of Iona) went on a pilgrimage to Rome, where he obtained an audience with Pope John XIII, who granted him permission to marry.
Early 1500's - A Compilation of Chronicles of Fortingall, by Sir James MacGregor, Vicar of Fortingall and Dean of Linsmore. The Chronicles details obituaries and other historic events and was continued by Jame's successor. The Book of the Dean contains the earliest collection of highland poetry, including some Ossianic works and writings which pay tribute to deceased MacGregors.
1519 - When a young MacGregor boy ravished a Campbell heiress, Campbells in Argyll seized the opportunity and forced him to marry her, setting up a puppet line of MacGregor Chiefs at GlenOrchy to rival the true Glenstrae line. These "puppets" quickly became unmanageable and turned against the Campbells.
1552 - Campbells attempt to annihilate the true Glenstrae line of MacGregor chiefs. They succeed in murdering the legitimate chief and his three sons, but the grandson escaped.
1560 - An act of the Scottish Parliament made it illegal for Scots to be Roman Catholics. MacGregors were Catholics. Mary Stuart refused to sign it.
1563 - Mary, Queen of Scots, through two acts of the Privy council, gave supreme authority to Sir John Campbell of Glenorchy to pursue the MacGregors with fire and sword.
1566 - An act of the Privy Council gave the Protestant nobles and chiefs (including Campbells) the right to exterminate the MacGregors.
Late 1500's extreme persecution of Clan Gregor continued.
1604 - Grand Chief Alasdair MacGregor of Glenstrae was executed by Campbell treachery. (The Campbells finally succeeded in annihilating the Glenstrae line of Chiefs when they murdered the grandson who escaped in 1552.)
1604 - After 200 years of outlawry and the Battle of Glen Fruin (where an outnumbered force of MacGregors annihilated a government-sponsored raiding party of Colquhouns, Buchanans, Grahams, and Dunbar townspeople, James VI decreed that the name MacGregor was illegal. This was called " proscription " and would be enforced for the next 170 years.
Early 1600's - The Clan was nearly destroyed. Many MacGregors disappeared into remote mountain areas where they remained concealed for the next twenty years, becoming known as The Children of the Mist.
1610,1613,1617 - Additional acts of proscription were enacted making it illegal for more than four MacGregors to meet in one place, or to possess weapons. Families were divided and children sent to other clans or Ireland. Many Clan leaders were executed. Women who associated with MacGregors were tarred and feathered. MacGregor scalps were proclaimed legal tender.
1620 M- Sgiath MacGregor (hiding place in Finglas gorge used after our outlawry) is named after Calum MacGregor, Rob Roy's grandfather.
1624 - The Earl of Moray asked Clan Gregor for help. Malcom Og sped north with 300 Gregarach and expelled Clan Chattan from his estates. Two centuries of persecution had made Clan Gregor the toughest and most skilled guerrilla force ever to operate in Scotland.
1624 - Malcom Og MacGregor, Chief of the Dubh Ciar branch of Clan MacGregor at Glengyle, shot the last of the Campbell-trained bloodhounds known as "conn dubh" (black dogs) that were used to track the MacGregors. (That place is still known as "the hill of the wild dog")
1633 - Charles I issued the Proscriptive Act I to quell Highland uprisings, which only served to encourage such activities.
1645 - During the Civil War of 1638-1651, Clan Gregor played such a conspicuous part in the defeat of The Covenanters that they were promised full restitution of their lands. This promise was put into writing in June of 1645.
1650 - In the unsuccessful rising of Glencairn, the forces of Charles II gathered at "MacGregor Hall" on the Isle of Loch Rannoch.
1654 - Charles II confirmed the relaxation of the proscription in gratitude for clan MacGregor's support in his struggle to regain the throne. Although promised complete restoration of clan status, lands were never returned due to the Campbells' political influence.
1658 - The Privy Council authorized the MacGregors of Glengyle to protect the cattle of the Lennox, appointing their chieftains to command a "Watch" with power of fire and Sword.
1661 - When the Great Civil War broke out, Clan Gregor forgave the Stuarts and joined the Royalist cause to fight in a war which became, in Scotland, a conflict between the Hoses of Argyle and Graham.
1671-1734 - Lifetime of Rob Roy, known for his colourful style and his quarrel with the earl of Montrose and his staunch defence of the independence of the clan.
1689 - Lieutenant-Colonel Donald MacGregor led a hundred GlenGyle MacGregors to follow "Bonnie Dundee" in the Highland uprising and fought fiercely in the Battle of Killiecrankie, where Campbell forces were entirely routed and annihilated.
1693 - After over thirty years of full use of the name, William of Orange decreed a severe proscription of the MacGregors, at the instigation of the Earl of Stair, a Campbell, whom William appointed to be his Governor in Scotland.
1725 - In the end of 1725 and beginning of 1726, the MacGregors, and the Grants, in their joint faith in their common ancestry, held numerous meetings of both Clans atBlair Atholl, during fourteen successive days, for the purpose of forming a joint Clan to relieve the persecution of the MacGregors.At this meeting it was unanimously resolved that application should be made for restoring the name of MacGregor and if that failed, the MacGregors agreed that either MacAlpin or Grant should be the common name, but insisted at all events that John MacGregor should be Chief of the united Clan; while it was insisted by Grant that as he had now greater influence at Court, it was more proper to choose him Chief, but the senior Clan would not hearken to these terms; and such a proposal being made, together with the Laird of Grant's having only attended by proxies, displeased the MacGregors and prevented a general agreement, tho' some gentlemen of both Clans at that time assumed the ancient name of MacAlpin.
1745 - Sir John Murray, claimed that his grandfather, Robert Murray of Glencairnock, raised a MacGregor regiment of 300 to fight for Bonnie Prince Charlie in the '45. There is no independent record of this event, and no corroborating evidence whatsoever.
1745 - The branch of Ciar Mohr MacGregors under William MacGregor of Balhaldie, and a separate corps formed under James Mohr MacGregor of Glengyle united to fight as a clan unit under the titular Duke of Perth.
1745 - At the battle of Prestonpans, these men composed the centre. Armed only with scythes, they cut off the legs of the horses and severed the bodies of their riders in twain.. Captain James Mohr MacGregor received five wounds, but recovered from them and rejoined the prince's army with six companies of MacGregors
1745 - The MacGregor regiments fought as a clan unit for the Stuart Prince in a rear-guard action in Sutherland, confronting theMacKays, the MacKenzie, and other threatening anti-Jacobite forces.
1774 - An act of Parliament under George III restored the legality of the MacGregor name, after a suit by Gregor MacGregor of Inverrarderan. (Part of this agreement was for a regiment of MacGregors to go to North America to fight American rebels, but later, Gregor feigned old age to escape this clause)
1775 - MacGregor of Lanrick, (alias John Murray) was recognized by the Lord Lyon as chief of Clan Gregor.
1782 - An act permitting the wearing of the tartan and accessories was enabled.
1784 - The oppressive acts against the MacGregors were rescinded by the British parliament, and they were allowed to resume their old name and were restored to all the rights and privileges of British citizens.
1799 - In gratitude for the restoration of the name, Clan Alpine Fencibles (composed solely by MacGregors) was formed as a regiment in the British army and served in Ireland.
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Robert by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA.
Y-chromosome DNA test-takers in his direct paternal line on WikiTree: