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Robert Roy MacGregor

From Academic Kids

Robert Roy MacGregor, (March 7, 1671 - December 28, 1734) usually known simply as Rob Roy, was a Scottish folk hero and outlaw of the early 18th century.

Rob Roy was born at Glengyle, at the head of Loch Katrine, as proved by an extract from the Register of Baptisms of Buchanan Parish. His father was Donald MacGregor and his mother Margaret Campbell. He married Mary Helen MacGregor of Comar, who was born at Leny Farm, Strathyre. They were married in Glenarklet in January 1693. Later they had four sons: James, known as Mor or Tall, Ranald, Coll, and Robert, known as Robin Oig or Young Rob. A cousin Duncan was later adopted.

Rob Roy is anglicised from the Gaelic Raibert Ruadh, or Red Robert. This is because Rob Roy had red hair, though it darkened to auburn in later life.

He was a Highland freebooter known as the Scottish Robin Hood. Nominally a cattle dealer, he became a cattle thief who sold his neighbors protection against other rustlers. When the protection business failed, Rob Roy was accused of fraud and declared an outlaw. After his principal creditor, James Graham, first Duke of Montrose seized his lands, Rob Roy warred with the duke until 1722, when Rob Roy was forced to surrender. Later imprisoned, he was finally pardoned in 1727. He died in his house at Inverlochlarig Beg, Balquhidder, on 28 December 1734.

The legend of Robert Roy MacGregor was the inspiration for the novel Rob Roy by Sir Walter Scott. Adaptations of his story have also been told in film, most notably Rob Roy, starring Liam Neeson in the title role.

Glengyle House on the shore of Loch Katrine dates back to the early 18th century with a porch dated to 1707, and is built on the site of the 17th century stone cottage in which Rob Roy is said to have been born. Since the 1930s the Category B-listed building had been in the hands of successive water authorities, but was identified as surplus to requirements and put up for auction in November 2004 despite objections from the Scottish National Party.

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