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Pádruig Mac Griogair
Patrick McGregor
"Gilder Roy in his Genuine Highland Garb"
Dee'dExecuted 1636
ThriftCriminal an blackmailer

Patrick McGregor[1] Scots Gaelic: Pádruig Mac Griogair, best kent as Gilderoy[2][a] (the Englified version o his Gaelic ok-name Gille Ruadh, meanin reid-haired laddie)[1] wis a Scots criminal an blackmailer wha herried the launds o Strathspey (en), Braemar, Cromarty, an ither pairts aroun o Aiberdeen[4] durin the ring of Charles I (1600–1649) til his execution in 1636. He is muckle kenspeckled an remembered bi Scots in published stories, ballants, tuins, expressions;[5][6] Rabbie Burns used a version of the melody Gilderoy far the sang From Thee Eliza.[7][8]

Life an chairacter[eedit | eedit soorce]

A murtherer, cou-thief an blackmailer, Gilderoy wis the heid o a menyie of limmers. He's kent bi the ok-name 'Bonnie Lad',[9] an is bytimes compared an confuised wi ither siclike kenspeckled Scots criminals, fur ensample Rab Roy MacGregor (1671–1734).[10]

A view wi'in the Burn o'Vat.

The rock formation at Burn o'Vat (nearby Ballater on Deeside) wis said tae be Gilderoy's hiddle.[11] A shallow depression aback the main watterfaw is kent as "Gilderoy's Cave" (Gilderoy's Gloup) as he's ance said tae hae hid fae pursuers ahint the watterfaw.[12] In Juin 1636 Sir James Grant o Freuchie an Sir Alexander Irvine of Drum an his wife Magdalene Scrimgeour war censured fur hairbouring Gilderoy in thair launds.[13] He wis executed in 1636.[14]

Details o the trial an his execution[eedit | eedit soorce]

Archibald Campbell (Lord Lorne), heritable justiciar o the Sooth an North Isles an the Sheriffdom of Argyll, finally caucht Gilderoy an on 7 Juin 1636 in Edinburgh his trial[b] began.[1] The trial records a leet o his crime:

tressonable usurpatioun of our Souerane Lordis royal power and authoritie upone him, in cuming to the dwelling-hous of Alexander Hay in Caimecowlie, and thair, with his complices, breking up the durris thairof, pat violent handes in the persones of the said Alexander and his wyfe, tuik thame captives and prissoneris, caryeid thame as captives tua myles fra thair awin hous under silence of nycht, quhair they keipit the said Alexander and his wife captives the space of twa houris, and wald nocht set thame free quhUl they pro meist thame ane sowme of money for thair ransome and libertie. Lykas, they staw, reft, and away tuik fra the said Alexander the haill guides and geir being within his houss, countit in wynter last, confessit be the said Patrik Gilroy in his depositiones.[15]

Gilderoy uised muckle violence tae steal fuid an drink fae the tenants o Sir Robert Innes o Balvenie. In 1635 he an his associates robbed fower hens fae the househauder o Culquharnie. William Dougat of Auchihove an some o his men war taen prisoner an demanded a ransom o twa hunder merks. A muckle nummer o ither offences ur recorded involvin common fowk, lairds an e'en ministers. He wis involved in sindry "crewall slauchters" (murthers) forby.[15]

Gilderoy was fun guilty an the dempster o the coort pronounced the doom (verdict); that Gilderoy on Friday 29 July wis tae be "drawin backwardis upone upone ane cairt or hurle, fra the tolbuth or wairdhous, to the mercat cross of Edinburgh." He, alangside John Forbes, haed the distinction that they war tae be hanged til deid on a gibbet that was muckle heicher than that o thair associates.[9] Gilderoy an Forbes war tae hae thair "... heidis be strukin af from thair bodies, with their richt handis, and the said Gilroy his heid and richt hand to be affixit on the eist or netherbow poirt of Edinburgh, and the said John Forbes his heid and richt hand to be put upone the wast poirt thairof."[9]

His menyie ur registrated as haein herried the landwart for muckle time efter his deith.[12][16]

Popular versions o his life[eedit | eedit soorce]

Muckle kenspeckle versions o his life war published, siclike Lives and Exploits of English Highwayman, Pirates and Robbers.[9] The speel o his activities is aft muyt forrit an his hangin date gien as 1658, wi sindry fause an heichly exaggerated pairts eikit. Gilderoy hae been pit in the same steid as Robin Hood, Twm Siôn Cati an the aforementioned Rab Roy MacGregor.[10]

Gilderoy wis said tae hae been o guid breed, heir tae an estat in Perthshire upon his faither's deith at twinty-ane yeir auld. Despite advice fae kith an kin, he glegly bankrupts the estat wi his deil-ma-care attitude.[9] At the hinder end, his mither refuses him ony mair monie, so he cuts her creg, rapes his sister an servand, an havin robbed all her remainin valuables, brent duin her huis.[17]

A publication containing the sang Gilderoy.
A placad fae the play Gilderoy.

A muckle reward is then offerit far his captur, an Gilderoy flees tae Fraunce, whaur he coft braw claes an finds hissel ane day in a cathedral near Pairis whaur Cardinal Richelieu is preachin wi the king in attendance.[18] He then robs money fae the cardinal's purse whilk he left on his seat. The king notices this, but Gilderoy gies a sign tae say that it is a prank, the king later findin oot that wis a sittin-duck o joukerie. Fleeing Fraunce, Gilderoy enters Spain, commitin a muckle amount o stouth whaure're he gang. In Madrid, he robs vailuable siller plate fae the Duke o Medinaeceli.[17]

Efter gaun intae hidin for three year, Gilderoy gaes back tae Scotland. Althou Gilderoy wis really kilt in 1636, in these mythologies he is said tae hae taen vantage o the baise o the Inglis Civil War (1642–1651) an assemmled a menyie thit terrorised fowk outthrou the coonties o Athol, Lockable, Angus, Mar, Baquahan, Moray an Sutherland, demandin mony victims tae haund ower their kye tae the bridands tae be protectit. The Earl o Linlithgow (en) is recorded as a victim, wi Gilderoy robbin a diamant ring, a gowd watch an echty gowd coins fae him.[17]

Oliver Cromwell is brocht intae the story;[18] Gilderoy is said tae hae discovered that Cromwell wis passin thru the Gallowa efter having landed at Portpaitrick on his return fae Ireland an tries tae commit a stouth on him. Altho Cromwell has only twa servands wi him, he opts to fecht wi Gilderoy, upon whilk Gilderoy shuits an eventually pretends tae flee. Efter a lang chase he suddenly halts, shuits an kills one of his pursuers, injures the other an shuits Cromwell's horse fae under him, resultin in him breakin his leg. Gilderoy grants Cromwell his life, mounts him on a cuddie an sends him on his way.[17]

Three o Gilderoy's men ur captured an hanged; in revenge, he kidnaps the judge responsible, murthers his servands, cuts up his coach, kills aw his horse an hangs him on the gey identical gibbet upon whilk his men aye dangle. Efter carrying oot mony ither atrocities, a reward o 1000 merks is shored fur his capture, deid or alive. His mistress, Margaret Cunningham, decides tae betray him as she didnae think he cuid provide fur her ony langer. She arranges fur forty sodgers tae tak him at her hame, however Gileroy murthers her wi muckle barbarity afore managing tae murther echt o the sodgers afore they eventually overwhelm him.[2]

Gilderoy is securely chained by his haunds, waist an feet an efter three days so attired in the Edinburgh Tollbooth he is hung fae a thirty-fit heich gibbet in April 1658 huvin expressed nae remorse. His bodie, still hung in chains, is exhibited on another gibbet placed between Edinburgh an Leith as a dire warning tae others. He is said tae hae been thirty-four year auld at his deith.[2]

In poetry, music an sang[eedit | eedit soorce]

Below is the foremaist stanza fae the 1783 publication o Select Scotish Ballads bi John Pinkerton[19] showing that despite the harsh an brutal reality o Gilderoy's life, he hud a romantic appeal. The original is said tae hae bin composed shortly efter his execution by a young woman who unfortunately was attached to him.[2] Miss Halket, efter Miss Wardlaw, is kent tae hae softened, expunged, and added, as necessity might require.[2]

Gilderoy was a bonnie boy,
Had roses till his shoon,
His stockings were of silken soy,
Wi' garters hanging doun.
It was, I ween, a comelie sight
To see sae trim a boy;
He was my joy, and heart's delight,
My handsome Gilderoy.[20]

A black letter copy[c] c.1650 shows that it wis weel-kent in England at that time an in 1702 it appeared in Playford's Wit and Mirth forby.[5] John Niven, a Jacobite sympathiser, transumed the tuin The Flowers of Scotland Gilderoy in the 1760s.[21]

The tuin Gilderoy appears in Thomas D'Urfey's Pills to Purge Melancholy (1707), an in Tea Table Miscellany (c.1726) forby. It appeared in Orpheus Caledonius of 1733 an aw.[7]

The Wordsworth Dictionary of Phrase and Fable o 1870 records the expression "To be hung higher than Gilderoy's kite", meaning tae receive a punishment that is mair severe than that forordinar meted oot tae even the maist despicable o criminals.[6] Rudyard Kipling's The Lesson, screived in 1901 anent the Boer War, uises the phrase an aw: ("Were all our most holy illusions knocked higher than Gilderoy’s kite. / We have had a jolly good lesson, and it serves us jolly well right!").[22]

Of Gilderoy sae fraid they were,
They bound him mickle strong,
Tull Edenburrow they led him thair,
And on a gallows hung;
They hung him high aboon the rest,
He was sae trim a boy...[23][24]

Ane o the maist recent daursayd memorials tae Gilderoy is that bi Thomas Campbell (1777–1844) wha wrate the ballant Roslin Gilderoy. However this likelie relates tae a different bodie wi the identical ok-name, wha in th 18t-century wis hanged in Edinburgh fur stealing sheep, kye, an sindry items forby.[25] This is the first stanza :-

The last, the fatal hour is come,
That bears my love from me:
I hear the dead note of the drum,
I mark the gallows' tree![26]

References[eedit | eedit soorce]

  1. Ither spellins uist: Gilroy,[1] Gilder Roy an Gilleroy.[3]
  2. Alangside his associates John Forbes, Alistair Forbes, Callum Forbes, George Grant, John McColme, John McGregor McEane, Gillespie McFarlane, Alistair McInneir an Ewin McGregor (alias Accawisch)
  3. A black letter copy wis a name uised fur the earlie form o type uised by the printers that gave the appearance o a haund-screivit manuscript.
  1. a b c d Spalding, Page 437
  2. a b c d e Spalding, Page 444
  3. Caledonia
  4. Donaldson, Page 83
  5. a b Spalding, Page 445
  6. a b Brewer, Page 478
  7. a b The Songs of Scotland.
  8. "Burns Country". Archived frae the original on 11 Februar 2020. Retrieved 18 September 2020.
  9. a b c d e Spalding, Page 442
  10. a b Prichard, Preface
  11. Wyness, Fenton (1968). Royal Valley: the Story of the Aberdeenshire Dee (in Inglis). Alex P. Reid & Son. p. 209. ISBN 978-0-900961-00-7.
  12. a b "The Essons of Logie Coldstone". Archived frae the original on 29 December 2016. Retrieved 18 September 2020.
  13. William Fraser, The Chiefs of Grant, vol. 3 (Edinburgh, 1883), pp. 62-3.
  14. The Newgate Calendar
  15. a b Spalding, Page 438
  16. Gilderoy & the Burn O'Vat Retrieved : 2018-8-18
  17. a b c d Spalding, Page 443
  18. a b Percy's Reliques
  19. Select Scotish Ballads
  20. Pinkerton, Page 62
  21. Scottish Music by John Niven, "The Flowers of Scotland".
  22. "Poems - The Lesson". Kipling Society (in Inglis). Retrieved 18 September 2020.
  23. eponym.ru
  24. Percy, Thomas. The Project Gutenberg EBook of Reliques of Ancient English Poetry (.txt) (Volume 1 of 3 ed.). Retrieved 18 September 2020.
  25. Brewer, Page 88
  26. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
  • Brewer, Ebenezer Cobham (1870). The Wordsworth Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. Wordsworth.
  • Brewer, Ebenezer Cobham (1892). Character Sketches of Romance, Fiction and the Drama, Volume 2.
  • Donaldson, Gordon & Morpeth, Robert S. (1977). A Dictionary of Scottish History. Edinburgh : John Domald. ISBN 0-85976-018-9.
  • Pinkerton, John (1783). Select Scotish Ballads. London : J. Nichols.
  • Prichard, Thomas Jeffrey Llewelyn (1828). The Adventures and Vagaries of Twm Shon Catti, Descriptive of Life in Wales. Aberystwyth : Prichard.
  • Spalding, John (1850). Memorialls of The Trubles in Scotland and In England. A.D. 1624 - A.D.1645. Vol. 1. Aberdeen : Spalding Club.

Articles outwith[eedit | eedit soorce]