TAR6. The Scottish Clan MacGregor
Single Hook Tartan Fly
TARTAN FLY PATTERNS OF SCOTLAND. Hook size 8 - $US each
Unlike most dry flies and nymphs, lure (streamer) flies do not try to represent a natural insect or bait fish. They are attractor flies that try to give the appearance of some thing that a trout may consider edible. I have found them successful when the fish do not seem to be taking an interest in their normal food. The appearance of this exotic looking fly seems to provoke a reflex attack reaction in some trout. This is particularly so if you can make you fly invade their 'space' as they are very territorial.
THE CLAN MACGREGOR
Motto: Royal is my race
Main Colors: green, red and white
This clan Claims to be descended from Griogar, third son of Alpin, king of Scotland, who commenced his reign in 833. The Clans lands are on the border of Argyll and Perthshire, including Glenorchy, Glenstrae, Glenlyon and Glengyle. The Clan Campbell awarded the lands of Glenorchy to the clan MacGregor for services rendered to King Alexander II in his conquest of Argyll. Malcolm, the chief of the clan in the days of Bruce, fought bravely on the national side at the battle of Bannockburn. He accompanied Edward Bruce to Ireland, and being severely wounded at Dundalk, he was ever afterwards know as 'the lame'. The clan obtained a reputation of aggressive ruthless trouble makers because of the continue boarder wars they had with surrounding clans. Because of the disorder , the reign of David II, the Clan Campbell obtained legal title grants to the MacGregor lands of Glenorchy but the MacGregors maintained actual possession of them by the strength of arms. They knew no other right than that of the sword, but ultimately they were expelled from their own territory and became an outlawed, lawless and landless clan.
They were prosecuted and persecuted. It was the policy of the Campbells to get rid of the troublesome MacGregors altogether. The clan had no other means of subsistence than the plunder of neighbouring property. They naturally directed their attacks chiefly against the Campbells who had taken their own lands. Severe laws were issued against the clan at the insistance of the Campbells. The clan was reduced to a state of state of desperation as they were pursued with fire and sword. Various atrocities were commited. The Macgregors were not subdued. They took refuge in the mountain and defied the efforts made by their enemies to exterminate them.
In 1589 they seized and murdered John Drummond of Drummond Ernoch, a forester Of the royal forest of Glenartney. This outrage led at once to more fresh letters of 'fire and sword' valid for three years being issued against the whole clan. The included any person harbouring or having any communication with them. Among other severe measures passed against this doomed clan was one which deprived them of their very name. By an act of the privy council, dated 3rd April 1603, all of the name of Macgregor were compelled, on pain of death, to adopt another surname, and all who had been engaged at the battle of Glenfruin, and other marauding expeditions detailed in the act, were prohibited, also under pain of death, from carrying any weapon but a knife without a point to cut their victuals. They were also forbidden, under the same penalty of death, to meet in greater numbers that four at a time.
Under king Charles I all the enactments against them were renewed. Yet in 1644, when the Marquis of Montrose set up the king's standard in the Highlands during the English Civil War, the clan Gregor, to the number of 1000 fighting men, joined him, under the command of their chief Patrick Macgregor of Glenstrae. They supported Charles II in his fight to regain the British throne and those orders were repealed. When King William succeeded to the throne the acts of repression were renewed and it was not until 1775 that the outlaw penal statutes against the Mac Gregors were dropped. The folk law hero Rob Roy was the son of Colonel Donald MacGregor of Glengyle. Like many other Highland gentlemen, Rob Roy was a trader in cattle or Master drover, and in this capacity he had borrowed several sums of money from the Duke of Montrose, but becoming insolvent, he absconded.
In June 1712 an Advertisement appeared for his apprehension, and he was involved in prosecutions which nearly ruined him. Some messengers of the law who visited his house in his absence are said to have abused his wife in a most shameful manner, and she, being a high-spirited woman, incited her husband to acts of vengeance. At the same time, she gave vent to her feelings in a fine piece of pipe music, still well known by the name of 'Rob Roy's Lament'. As the duke had contrived to get possession of Rob's lands of Craig Royston, he was driven to become the 'bold outlaw'. He collected a band of about Twenty followers, declared open war against the Duke, and gave up his old course of Regular droving, declaring that the estate of Montrose should in future supply him with cattle, and that he would make the Duke rue the day he quarreled with him.
He kept his word; and for nearly thirty years - that is, till the day of his death - regularly levied contributions on the duke and his tenants, not by nightly depredations, but in broad day, and in a systematic manner; on an appointed time making a complete sweep of call the cattle of a district - always passing over those not belonging to the duke's estates, or the estate of his friends and adherents; and having previously given notice where he was to be on a certain day with his cattle, he was met there by people from all parts of the country, to whom he sold them publicly. These meetings were held in different parts of the country; sometimes the cattle were driven south, but more often to the north and west, where he would be under the protection of his friend the Duke of Argyll.
When the cattle taken, the tenants paid no rent, so that the duke was the ultimate sufferer. He also made the Duke suffer in another way. The rents of the lower farms were partly paid in grain and meal, not cattle, so he sent notice to a certain number of the duke's tenants to meet him at the grain store on a certain day, with their horses to carry home his meal. They met accordingly, when he ordered the horses to be loaded and had giving a regular receipt to his grace's storekeeper for the quantity taken, he marched away always entertaining the people very handsomely, and careful never to take the meal till it had been lodged in the duke's storehouse in payment of rent. When the rents were paid in cash, Rob Roy frequently attended. He reached the house where the tenants had assembled after dark, and looking in at a window, saw the rent collector, surrounded by a number of the tenants, with a bag full of money which he had received, and was in the act of depositing it in a cupboard, at the same time saying that he would cheerfully give all that he had in the bag for Rob Roy's head. This notification was not lost on the outside visitor, who instantly gave orders in a loud voice to place two men at each window, two at each corner, and four at each of two doors, thus appearing to have twenty men. Immediately the door opened, and he walked in with his attendant close behind, each armed with a sword in his right hand and a pistol in his left hand, and with dirks and a pistol slung in their belts. The company started up, but he desired them to sit down, as his business was only with the rent collector, whom he ordered to hand down the bag and put it on the table. When this was done, he desired the money to be counted, and proper receipts to be drawn out, certifying that he received the money from the Duke of Montrose's agent, as the duke's property, the tenants having paid their rents, so that no after demand could be made on them on account of this transaction; and finding that some of the people had not obtained receipts, he desired the factor to grant them immediately, 'to show his grace', said he, 'that it is from him I take the money, and not from these honest men who have paid him'. After the whole was concluded, he ordered supper, saying that as he had got the purse, it was proper he should pay the bill; and after they had drunk heartily together for several hours, he called his bailie to produce his dirk, and lay it naked on the table. Killearn was then sworn that he would not move, nor direct any one else to move from that spot for an hour after departure of Macgregor, who this cautioned him - 'If you break your oath, you know what you are to expect in the next world, and in this', pointing to his dirk. He then walked away, and was beyond pursuit before the hour expired.
He went to the Highland cause during the rebellion of 1715 and joined the Jacobite army. After they lost he surrendered. His house had been burnt during the war but he was allowed to go back to his lands where he continued his feud with the Duke. He died at an advanced age in his bed, in his own house at Balquhidder.
During the rebellion of 1745 the clan Gregor again joined the Highland cause and joined the Jacobite army of Bonnie Prince Charlie. A Macgregor regiment, 300 strong, was raised by Robert Macgregor of Glencairnock chief of the clan. At the battle of Prestonpans, the Duke of Perth's men and the Macgregors composed the centre. Armed only with scythes, this party cut off the legs of the horses and severed the bodies of their riders in two. Captain James Roy at the commencement of the battle, received five wounds, but recovered from them and rejoined the price's army with six companies. He was present at the battle of Culloden and after that defeat the clan Gregor returned in a body to their own country, when they dispersed. It was not till 1784 that the oppressive acts against the MacGregor which how for several years had fallen into desuetude, were rescinded by the British parliament, when they were allowed to resume their own name, and were restored to all the rights and privileges of British citizens. A number of MacGregor then joined the British army and reached very high rank and served in all parts of the Empire.
Tartan in Scotland
For many centuries tartan was the everyday dress of highland Scotland. Although it was worn in other parts of Scotland it was in the Scottish Highlands that it continued to be developed into a symbol of belonging to a particular clan. A clan is like a tribe. Different areas of Scotland were controlled by different families.
Tartans used several centuries ago were very simple checks of two or three colours. These colours were obtained by using the dye from roots, plants, berries and trees.
When chemical dyes were invented a broader range of colours became available. More elaborate patterns were woven and branches of larger clans developed tartans of their own by adding an extra stripe or other variation of the main clan tartan pattern.
In the Royal Treasurer's accounts of 1471 there is a the first reference to the King of Scotland, James III, purchasing tartan. King James V wore tartan when out hunting in the Highlands in 1538. When Queen Elizabeth I of England died childless the Scottish King James VI of the Royal clan Stuart became King James I of England as well as Scotland. The English and Scottish King Charles II wore clan Stuart tartan ribbons on his coat at his marriage in 1662. In 1587 one of the first references to clan tartans was found in crown documents that show Hector MacLean of Duart paid the duties owed on his land not with money but with sixty bales of cloth of white, black and green. These colors are the colors of the MacLean hunting tartan.
Some Historians suggest that prior to the 18th century clansmen wore whatever pattern the weavers chose to supply, but in a recorded court case in 1572 a housewife won her case against a weaver who failed to supply her with the tartan cloth of the correct design. There are a number of literary references in the early 1700's to clansmen dressed in the livery of their chiefs. It is known that clans were organised on military lines, and that there were clan regiments. The tartan livery was the regimental uniform.
In 1688 the Stuart King James II was forced from the British throne because he was wanted to give greater freedoms to Catholic's. He was the first openly Catholic King since Henry VIII. In 1714 when the crown was offered to the Hanovarian King George I many people in Scotland were unhappy having a foreign ruler. They wanted a Stuart King on the British throne. Their hopes lay in the son of King James II, called James Stuart. His supporters were called 'Jacobites'. In 1715 the rebellion was easily put down and James fled to France. A greater threat to the British throne appeared in 1745. This invasion was lead by James Stuart's son, Charles Stuart, known as Bonnie Prince Charlie. With help from the French he landed on the Outer Hebrides. He then sailed to the Scotish mainland and marched southwards with a growing number of Higland clans. His followers were again called Jacobites. They captured Edinburgh and crossed into England. Few English joined the Jacobites. King George II sent a large army to oppose them. Bonnie Prince Charlie retreated to Scotland. In April 1746 the two armys meet at Culloden. The rebels lost and Bonnie Prince Charlie escaped to France. He had no children and he was the last Stuart to fight for the British throne. Because of the support of the Higland clans the British Government passed laws to stop any more Jacobite risings. These laws tried to destroy the clan system.
After the English victory at the battle of Culloden the London Government, in an attempt to purge the Highlands of all rebellious elements, passed an Act of Parliament disarming all Highlanders and made it unlawful to wear tartan. This was rigorously enforced and thus suggests that the clan tartan was worn with pride and as a sign of loyalty to their chief and the Stuart claim to the British throne rather than the German King Georges.
The act was repealed in 1785, but by that time the Highlanders had become accustomed to wearing other dress. Many of the tartan weavers had died taking details of the old styles with them to the grave. The first tartan revival occurred in 1822 when King George VI, whilst visiting Edinburgh, gave instructions that he desired local dignitaries to wear their clan tartan to royal functions. This resulted in new tartans being invented since those who had no clan tartan found tailors who could invent one for them.
Tartans are described by the purpose for which they are used
Clan Tartans: These are patterns for general use by members of the clan.
Dress Tartans: These were originally worn by the women of the clan and were lighter coloured variations of the clan tartan pattern.
Hunting Tartans: These were worn for sport. If a clan's tartan was brightly colored then their hunting tartan was designed using normally browns and greens so the wearer was less visible against the heather, grass and bracken of the moors and mountains.
Mourning Tartans: Dark variations on the clan tartan for use at funerals and during periods of mourning.
Chief's Tartans: These are special designs that are only worn by the clan chief and his immediate family.
Royal Tartans: These should never be worn by anyone outside the Royal family
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