Balquidder Church

Balquidder Church, Scotland, edition of 100
Copyright 1996 Catriona Fraser
Limited Edition of 100
click here for order info

This church and cemetery have played a significant part in Scottish history and lore. Its most famous permanent guest is Rob Roy MacGregor.

Rob Roy was born in the mid 1650's the son of Donald MacGregor at Inverlochaig, which is at the head of Loch Doine. His life as an outlaw has been romanticized in novels and movies. The MacGregor clan had been outlawed by the King for murdering a royal forester (the forester, John Drummond had hanged a band of MacGregors). This was the culmination of many troubles with the Campbells. The Rob Roy legend started when he was unable to repay money that he had borrowed form the Duke of Montrose. The Duke seized his lands and properties and Rob Roy fled to the hills with his debt unpaid.

From this time on, MacGregor his followers (as many as 500 men), profited from raiding the lands of the Duke and those of his rich neighbors. History tells us that his success as a robber allowed him to send each year a cow and a fat sheep to the minister of Balquidder who in turn made no enquiries about the source of his wealth and perhaps reserved a prime spot for MacGregor in the church's front garden. Eventually the Duke of Montrose captured Rob Roy, but he made a famous escape, with the aid of a friend in the employ of the Duke at the ford in the river near Balquidder. Rob Roy died in his home in 1734 and was buried in the small churchyard in Balquidder. His tombstone says it all: "MacGregor - In Spite of Them!"

At around the same time that MacGregor was roaming the nearby hills, Balquidder was also famous as the place from which Robert Kirk preached. In 1691 he published "The Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns and Fairies", a stunning manuscript which detailed the wild and surreal underground world of the elementals.

click here for ordering info

click here to go back

click here to go to main page