Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Taphophile Tragic: Rob Roy

Our time in Central Scotland near Balquhidder meant a journey to the grave of Rob Roy. Born Robert MacGregor in 1671 and known as Rob Roy or Red Rob from the colour of his hair, he grew up as a herdsman near Loch Arklet.

One version of events is that he was a cattle man who, wanting to increase the size of his herd, lost the money he had borrowed when his chief herder disappeared taking the money with him and leaving Rob Roy to default on the loan.

Unable to repay the loan from his principal creditor, the 1st Duke of Montrose, he was branded an outlaw and forced to leave his house which was burnt to the ground. In retaliation, Rob Roy set about plundering the Duke's lands. He was imprisoned but repeatedly escaped.

A famous Scottish hero and outlaw of the early 18th century, he was sometimes known as a Scottish Robin Hood. 

In 1725 Rob Roy received a pardon and spent the last 25 years of his life in Balquhidder where he was laid to rest.  

The old crumbling church building (the Old Kirk) near Rob Roy's grave is also the final resting place for Chiefs of the MacLaren Clan.

You can read more about Rob Roy through this link to Wikipedia. Just click here.

This is my contribution to Julie's Taphophile Tragics. More contributions can be found here


  1. A great post for Taphophile Tragics Rae. The green moss seems to be creeping increasing its claim on Rob Roy's resting place.

  2. Wow. What an interesting church and graveyard. Looks very old and beautiful.

    Beneath Thy Feet

  3. What an intriguing, picturesque setting! Amazing how the death of Rob Roy's wife is not known for the grave record, yet the death of his sons is known!

  4. Beautiful photos!!! And very nice post!

  5. Brilliant post Rae, you can see why Rob Roy became such a colourful character in Scottish history.

  6. "MacGregor Despite Them" perfect!

  7. Oh, thank you for this. I remember wandering this graveyard looking for Rob Roy, many years ago.
    I don't remember it being so well kept, though.

  8. How wonderful it is to see such a luxuriously green cemetery. I like very much the creeping moss, and the decay and the crumble. I did not realise that Rob Roy was a simple cow thief. I thought he must have been some sort of warrior for clan independence. But perhaps I confuse him with the exploits of BPC. I know little about the history of the Scottish clans.

    This, however, is a gorgeous cemetery, and I do appreciate your linking it to Taphophile Tragics. I love how, when people go on vacation, they bring back photos from cemeteries. Long may it continue ...

  9. The only recollection I have of Rob Roy is a piano piece I played as a kid ... a wonderful rollicking tune.