The Newgate Calendar - ALISTER MACGREGOR

ALISTER MACGREGOR

Who, for slaughtering the Laird of Luss's Friends, caused the Name of Macgregor to be abolished. Executed in 1604

THIS trial, relating to the Clan Gregor, affords characteristic evidence of the barbarous state of the Highlands in those times, of the lawless manners of the people, and the despicable imbecility of the executive arm.

  The crimes with which the prisoner was charged resemble more the outrage and desolation of war than the guilt of a felon. He was accused of having conspired the destruction of the name of Colquhoun, its friends and allies, and the plunder of the lands of Luss; of having, on the 7th of February preceding, invaded the lands of Sir Alexander Colquhoun of Luss, with a body of four hundred men, composed partly of his own clan and of the clan of Cameron, and of lawless thieves and robbers, equipped in arms, and drawn up on the field of Lennox, in battle array; of having fought with Sir Alexander, who, being authorised by a warrant from the Privy Council, had convocated his friends and followers to resist this lawless host; of having killed about one hundred and forty of Sir Alexander's men, most of them in cold blood, after they were made their prisoners; of having carried off eighty horses, six hundred cows, and eight hundred sheep; and of burning houses, corn-yards, etc.

  The Jury unanimously convicted the prisoner, who, in consequence of the verdict, was condemned to be hanged and quartered at the Cross of Edinburgh, his limbs to be stuck up in the chief towns, and his whole estate, heritable and movable, to be forfeited.

  Four of the Laird of Macgregor's followers who stood trial along with him were convicted and condemned to the same punishment, eleven on the 17th of February, and six on the 1st of March. A statute was passed in the year 1633 ordaining that the whole of the Clan Macgregor, which should be within the realm on the 15th of March thereafter, should appear before the Privy Council, and give surety for their good behaviour; that each of the clan, on arriving at the sixteenth year of his age, should appear before the Privy Council on the 24th of July and find surety as above required; that the surname of Macgregor should be abolished, and the individuals adopt some other; that no minister should baptize a child, or clerk or notary subscribe a bond or other security, under the name of Macgregor under pain of deprivation; but this Act was rescinded at the Restoration.

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