The Drummonds of Drummonderinoch
Comrie, Perthshire, Scotland
Our subject leads us to talk of
deadly feuds, and we must begin with one still more ancient than that to which
our story relates.
During the reign of James IV, a great feud between the powerful families of Drummond and Murray divided Perthshire...
-- Sir Walter Scott, A Legend of Montrose
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Welcome to my page on the Drummond family of Drummonderinoch in Comrie, Perthshire, Scotland. This page is part of my personal family history website and represents one of my own ancestral lines. The Drummonds of Drummonderinoch connect with my ancestors when Margaret Drummond, daughter of John Drummond, 3rd of Drummonderinoch, married Alexander Stewart, 1st of Ardvorlich. More information on their family can be found on my Stewart of Ardvorlich page.
Please Note: This page is intended only as a narrative historical overview of this family. There is additional detailed information available for almost ever person presented on this page. To avoid the unnecessary work of double-entering some data, the additional information can be found in the accompanying GEDCOM database. Please make sure you click on the INDEX button at the bottom of the page so you don't miss out on potentially valuable additional information.
The research presented on this page is not mine alone. It contains information submitted by all the Fellow Researchers listed below. I am indebted to them for their generous contributions. This page is intended as a place for researchers to freely and cooperatively share our research with each other. It would be too cumbersome a task to reference each piece of data as to which researcher it has come from. The information shown on this page should be understood as a product of ALL of the Fellow Researchers. I am merely the editor and not the sole author. - Ryk
Drummonderinoch - located just 2 miles southeast of Comrie. The red circle shows the location of the Massacre at Monzievaird.
The family of Drummonderinoch (also known as Drummond-Ernoch) were descended from the Drummonds of Cargill, who were, in turn, descended from the Drummonds of that Ilk (later the Drummonds of Drummond Castle). The Drummonderinoch branch came into being as the result of a heroic end to a terrible tragedy during the reign of King James IV of Scots. We begin with the Massacre at Monzievaird Church.
The origin of the name Drummonderinoch comes from the tragic episode of the Massacre of Monzievaird:
Like all the best feuds it concerned money and power. In 1490 George Murray, who was at this time Abbot of Inchaffray, decided to assess the teinds of the Drummond lands of Monzievaird and asked his friends the Murrays of Octertyre to collect the assessments. This the Murrays did with such enthusiasm and brutality that the Drummonds were provoked into violent retaliation.
Lord Drummondís second son David, together with a body of his retainers set out to achieve a forcible eviction of the Murrays. Unfortunately the news of their coming reached the Murrays who were ready for the assault and proved to be more than a match for the Drummonds. However at a critical moment in the battle, a party of McRobbies from Balloch appeared and with their assistance, the Drummonds were able to force the Murrays northwards. They made a final stand at Rottenreoch where many of them died and the remainder fled back towards Ochtertyre.
This might have been the end of the affair, but the Drummonds retreating happily towards Drummond Castle (see photo above), came upon Duncan Campbell of Dunstaffnage with a party of his clan. He also had a score to settle with the Murrays, a little matter of the murder of his father-in-law and two of his sons by a party of Murrays some time previously. It did not need much persuasion to get the Drummonds to agree to resume the pursuit and the two parties marched together towards Octertyre.
In the meantime, the Murrays with their wives and children had taken refuge in the church at Monzievaird (shown at the red circle on the map above) so the Drummonds found no trace of their enemies. Unfortunately one of the Murrays in a fit of bravado and incredible stupidity shot an arrow from the window of the church and killed one of the Drummonds outside.
This not only gave away the position of the Murrays but infuriated their enemies. They gathered every available piece of brushwood and stacked them against the church, which was built of wood and thatched with heather, and set the building on fire. A hundred and twenty men together with their wives and children were either burned alive or killed as they tried to leave the church. Only one escaped, a young lad who jumped from a window and was caught by a Drummond who took pity on him and spirited him away.
Such uncharacteristic compassion was not popular with the rest of his clan and he was forced to leave Crieff. He crossed over to Ireland where he remained for many years. When he eventually returned to Scotland, the Murrays had regained their power and to show their gratitude gave him a small estate known as Drummond-Ernoch or Drummond of Ireland. It lies about a mile south-west [sic - southeast] of Comrie and still bears the same name today.
This whole incident might be cited as an example of the state of Scotland at this period, of the lawlessness and savagery of a people with little central authority. But this would not be altogether true.
James 4th, when he heard of the massacre, gave orders for the arrest of David Drummond and a number of his followers. They were all executed at Stirling later in 1490. There is also at least some evidence that the Drummond family were not proud of the episode and the name of David Drummond disappears completely from all histories and genealogies of the family.
It is not true that the name of David Drummond disappears completely from all histories and genealogies, however it is true that he was hanged at Stirling in 1490 for his crimes at Monzievaird. The Drummond who exhibited uncharacteristic compassion was his uncle, Thomas Drummond, younger brother to Lord Drummond. Thomas Drummond fled to Ireland and was later invited back by the Murrays of Tullibardine to settle on lands near Comrie which came to be known as Drummonderinoch. Thomas Drummond became 1st of Drummonderinoch.
The above story, though horrific, does not expose the ironic connections of the Drummonds and the Murrays. The mother of Thomas Drummond, 1st Drummonderinoch and John Drummond, 1st Lord Drummond, was Marion Murray, daughter of Sir David Moray, 7th of Tullibardine. Marion's half-brother, Alexander Murray murdered John Gyloch Drummond, 1st of Lennoch, which started the whole feud between the Murrays and the Drummonds. Thus, when David Drummond, son of Lord Drummond, set fire to the church of Monzievaird he was burning his own grandmother's family in retaliation for a murder committed against his own kin by his grandmother's half-brother, that is, his own grand-uncle. David Drummond was also probably named after Sir David Moray (Murray), the progenitor of the family he murdered. And when his uncle Thomas Drummond intervened to save the one Murray who jumped from the window he was probably saving his own maternal cousin.
Let's now examine the ancestry of the family that brought us the massacre at Monzievaird.
The earliest Drummond is reputed to have been Maurice of Hungary. He was described as a close relation of the Hungarian royal family. He is also said to have escorted Margaret Atheling to Scotland. Margaret was the future wife of King Malcolm Canmore of Scots. She was later made a saint. For his services Maurice was granted the lands of Dryman in Menteith, Stirlingshire. The evidence for the early generations of the Drummond family are based on unsupported legendary genealogical claims by the Drummond family. Reliable documentation is not available until Malcolm Beg Drummond, 6th of that Ilk.
|Malcolm de Dryman of Hungary was the father of|
|Sir Malcolm de Drummond, 2nd of that Ilk. He was father of|
|Maurice de Drummond, 3rd of that Ilk. He was father of|
|Eoin de Drummond, 4th of that Ilk. He was father of|
|Sir Malcolm de Drummond, 5th of that Ilk. He was father of|
|Sir Malcolm Beg Drummond, 6th of that Ilk. He was father of|
|Sir Malcolm de Drummond, 7th of that Ilk. He was father of|
|Sir John de Drummond, 8th of that Ilk. He was father of|
|Sir Malcolm de Drummond, 9th of that Ilk. He was father of|
|Sir Malcolm de Drummond, 10th of that Ilk. He was father of|
|Sir John de Drummond, 11th of that Ilk. He was father of|
|Sir John Drummond, 1st of Cargill and Stobhall. He was father of|
|Sir Walter Drummond, 2nd of Cargill and Stobhall. He was father of|
|Sir Malcolm Drummond, 3rd of Cargill and Stobhall.
He married on or about 14 JUL 1445 to Marion Murray, daughter of Sir David
Murray, 7th of Tullibardine. They had the following children:|
Drummonderinoch (with the modern spelling), south of Comrie
Drummonderinoch, front "yard" viewed from the road
View of Upper Strathearn from Drummonderinoch
Comrie Village viewed from Drummonderinoch
Laneway up to Drummonderinoch farm
Drummonderinoch - old farm house (ca 1800)
View behind Drummonderinoch house
Drummonderinoch barn, ca. 17th century, (oldest building on the property)
Entering Glenartney (where John of Drummonderinoch was murdered)
Glenartney forest (in the distance) viewed from the farm of Drummonderinoch
Click HERE for Glen Bodie's pictures of Glen Artney.
All photos by Ryk Brown and Heather Sharpe, (c) 2005 Stewarts of Balquhidder Research Forum. These photos are for use by Stewarts of Balquhidder Research Forum members. All others please contact HERE for permission.
Thomas Drummond, 1st of Drummonderinoch was born about 1453 in Perthshire, Scotland as the third son of Malcolm DRUMMOND, Of Stobhall And Cargill and Marion MORAY (MURRAY), Of Tullibardine. Thomas was present at the Massacre at Monzievaird Kirk. He rescued one of his Murray cousins from the burning church and saved that Murray's life. The Drummond family were not pleased with Thomas' compassion and ran him out of Scotland. He fled to Ireland where he lived for many years until the Murray's of Tullibardine gained the Earldom of Atholl from the Drummonds and with it control of most of western Perthshire. The Murrays were grateful for Thomas Drummond's earlier compassion and invited him to return to Perthshire from Ireland. They gave him property near Crieff which became known as Drummonderinoch, or Drummond of Ireland. Thomas Drummond married about 1510 to a Daughter of SCOTT Of Monzie. She was born about 1490 in Scotland. They had the following children:
Thomas Drummond, 2nd of Drummonderinoch about 1540 to Janet GRAHAM, Of Callander. She was born about 1525 in Callander, Perthshire, Scotland as the daughter of William Graham, 2nd of Callander and Margaret Schaw. They had the following known child:
John Drummond, 3rd of Drummonderinoch married about 1560 to a Daughter of MACGRUTHER, Of Meggar. She was born about 1540 in Meggar, Perthshire, Scotland. They had the following children:
[Warning - this story is rather gruesome]
John Drummond, 4th Laird of Drummonderinoch, was keeper of the royal forest of Glenartney in southern Comrie Parish, near Balquhidder. One day John caught a group of MacGregors from Balquhidder poaching in the forest. As punishment for poaching he cut off their ears and sent them home humiliated. (Some versions say that John Drummond hanged the poachers for this was their second offence, and that he clipped their ears on their fist offence.)
The poachers ran home to their clansmen who were outraged at the humiliation brought upon their kin by John Drummond. The MacGregors vowed to have their revenge on Drummonderinoch and set out after him. When they found him, they killed him, cut off his head, wrapped his head in their tartan, and headed off to visit Drummond's sister at the house of Ardvorlich.
When they arrived at Ardvorlich they found Alexander Stewart away and Margaret Drummond at home alone. They asked for hospitality and were invited in. (In Highland culture, hospitality is an extremely important virtue. It would be a significant social sin to refuse hospitality to anyone at your door.) Margaret quickly brought bread, cheese, and drink, and then went off to the kitchen to prepare a more substantial meal for her guests. While Margaret was out of the room the MacGregors took the severed head of her brother and placed it on the dining table. They then proceeded to stuff her brother's mouth with the bread and cheese she had brought them.
When Margaret returned to the dining room with the meal for her guests she was greeted by the gruesome severed head of her brother disgraced with her hospitable offerings. Margaret became hysterical (understandably) and ran from the house into the forest not to be heard from for days. To compound matters, Margaret was also pregnant at the time and nearly full-term.
When Alexander returned home, he was distraught and combed the woods for his pregnant wife, but to no avail. Servants claimed to see glimpses of Margaret on the fringes of the forest but then she would disappear into the trees again before anyone could catch her. Eventually she did return home, but with a surprise. According to family legend, while she'd been away in the forest she gave birth to her child, a son, James.
MacGregor or Not?
This is the official version of the story of the murder of John Drummond of Drummonderinoch. As a result of this murder a proscription was passed against the MacGregors outlawing their clan and proscribing their name. No one could bear the name MacGregor except on pain of death. Letters of fire and sword permitted anyone to mercilessly hunt down MacGregors with the full support of the Crown. Any person accused of a crime could receive a full pardon in return for the capture of a MacGregor. Even murderers were known to have been pardoned for the capture of a MacGregor. The MacGregors had to flee to the hills or change their names in order to save their skins. James Stewart of Ardvorlich was particularly vengeful in his pursuit of the MacGregors. At one point he captured a dozen of them at Comrie and hanged them from the nearest tree rather than turn them over for prosecution. The proscription lasted for over one hundred years and many people today whose ancestors were MacGregors find themselves with surnames other than MacGregor because of this.
The punishment brought upon the whole MacGregor clan for the murderous actions of only a few was grossly excessive. After all, by the same logic, proscriptions and letters of fire and sword ought to have been issued against the Drummond family for the massacre at Monzievaird Kirk. The disproportionate vengeance heaped on the MacGregors along with the shame this story brought to their name has understandably led later MacGregors to question the accuracy of the story. Were there other motivations behind the proscription, beyond simply excessive justice for a single murder? The truth is that the powerful Campbell family seized upon this opportunity and used it as a thinly veiled political device by which the Campbell family were able to confiscate the long-coveted MacGregor lands.
Modern day revisionists have tried to make a case that the murderers were not actually MacGregors, and that the MacGregors were wrongly accused. However sympathetic these arguments may be, they do not seem to stand up.
A clear presentation of the case for MacGregor innocence was put forth by Richard T. Magruder in 1996. The full presentation of his argument was found here: Who Killed Drummond-Ernoch?, which appears to have been recently removed. Magruder is an American descendant of the MacGruthers of Meggar. He claims that the MacGruthers of Meggar were a cadet branch of the MacGregor clan who could trace their ancestry back to an early trunk of the MacGregor tree. A sister of John MacGruther, 1st of Meggar married John Drummond, 3rd of Drummonderinoch. A later MacGruther of Meggar also married into the Stewarts of Ardvorlich.
The gist of Magruder's argument seems to have been that it was unlikely that a band of MacGregors would kill the son of a MacGruther. John Drummond, 4th of Drummonderinoch was distant kin to the MacGregors who murdered him. He also points out that, in spite of the supposed hatred between the Ardvorlich Stewarts and the MacGregors, a later Stewart of Ardvorlich still married a MacGruther of Meggar (and in fact a much later Stewart of Ardvorlich actually married the daughter of the chief of Clan Gregor. Richard Magruder seems to find it hard to believe that Highlanders would kill their own kin or marry their enemies. Magruder need only read the story of the massacre at Monzievaird Kirk above to see just how common it was for Highlanders to murder their kin. The fact that the MacGregors and the Drummonds of Drummonderinoch were VERY DISTANTLY related is no refutation of their guilt. The truth is that Highlanders murdered their kin and married their enemies all the time.
Magruder goes on to cite historical records of persons who claimed to know alternative versions of the story of the murder alleging that the murders were not MacGregors. However these records which Magruder cites are all from a time period some two-hundred years after the murder and should therefore be viewed with great suspicion.
Magruder also argues, quite mistakenly, that no record actually exists naming the MacGregors who committed the murder and that MacGregor family traditions do not preserve a record of any such MacGregors. However this is simply not correct. Court records do exist accounting for the murder as committed by MacGregors and a present-day researcher, Gordon MacGregor, author of The Landed Families of Strathearn, is himself descended from one of the MacGregors who was convicted for the murder or Drummonderinoch. Gordon MacGregor assures me that the tradition is alive and well in his family that his own ancestors really did murder Drummonderinoch.
I have recently been informed by Don McGruther, who has been researching the McGruther family for over 15 years that, in fact, the McGruthers were NOT related to the MacGregors at all. As such, Richard T. Magruder's argument now has no validity.
It seems, at the end of all this, that most likely two things are true: 1) the punishment brought upon the MacGregors for the murder of Drummonderinoch was grossly excessive, unjustifiable, inhumane and certainly politically motivated, and 2) the MacGregors really did murder Drummonderinoch.
I am only researching this family as a maternal ancestral branch of the Stewarts of Ardvorlich. I am not researching the later generations of Drummonderinoch. If you are interested in later genealogical information on the Drummonds of Drummonderinoch, I refer you to Gordon MacGregor's most excellent book, The Landed Families of Strathearn, which has an entire chapter devoted to the Drummonds of Drummonderinoch and their ancestors and descendants. As such, I ask that you please not email me with questions or information regarding the later generations of Drummonderinoch as they are beyond the scope of my research.
Sir Walter Scott, in his book A Legend of Montrose, writes of both the massacre at Monzievaird Kirk as well as the murder of Drummonderinoch. His words express these tails with a degree of poetry that far exceeds my ability to tell the stories. I reprint for you here Sir Walter Scott's version of the events. (I have preserved Scott's 19th century spellings.)
Our subject leads us to talk of deadly feuds, and we must begin with one still more ancient than that to which our story relates. During the reign of James IV, a great feud between the powerful families of Drummond and Murray divided Perthshire. The former, being the most numerous and powerful, cooped up eight score of the Murrays in the kirk of Monivaird, and set fire to it. The wives and the children of the ill-fated men, who had also found shelter in the church, perished by the same conflagration. One man, named David Murray, escaped by the humanity of one of the Drummonds, who received him in his arms as he leaped from amongst the flames. As King James IV ruled with more activity than most of his predecessors, this cruel deed was severely revenged, and several of the perpetrators were beheaded at Stirling. In consequence of the prosecution against his clan, the Drummond by whose assistance David Murray had escaped, fled to Ireland, until, by means of the person whose life he had saved, he was permitted to return to Scotland, where he and his descendants were distinguished by the name of Drummond-Eirinich, or Ernoch, that is, Drummond of Ireland; and the same title was bestowed on their estate.
The Drummond-ernoch of James the Sixth's time was a king's forester in the forest of Glenartney, and chanced to be employed there in search of venison about the year 1588, or early in 1589. This forest was adjacent to the chief haunts of the MacGregors, or a particular race of them, known by the title of MacEagh, or Children of the Mist. They considered the forester's hunting in their vicinity as an aggression, or perhaps they had him at feud, for the apprehension or slaughter of some of their own name, or for some similar reason. This tribe of MacGregors were outlawed and persecuted, as the reader may see in the Introduction to ROB ROY; and every man's hand being against them, their hand was of course directed against every man. In short, they surprised and slew Drummond-ernoch, cut off his head, and carried it with them, wrapt in the corner of one of their plaids.
In the full exultation of vengeance, they stopped at the house of Ardvoirlich and demanded refreshment, which the lady, a sister of the murdered Drummond-ernoch (her husband being absent), was afraid or unwilling to refuse. She caused bread and cheese to be placed before them, and gave directions for more substantial refreshments to be prepared. While she was absent with this hospitable intention, the barbarians placed the head of her brother on the table, filling the mouth with bread and cheese, and bidding him eat, for many a merry meal he had eaten in that house.
The poor woman returning, and beholding this dreadful sight, shrieked aloud, and fled into the woods, where, as described in the romance, she roamed a raving maniac, and for some time secreted herself from all living society. Some remaining instinctive feeling brought her at length to steal a glance from a distance at the maidens while they milked the cows, which being observed, her husband, Ardvoirlich, had her conveyed back to her home, and detained her there till she gave birth to a child, of whom she had been pregnant; after which she was observed gradually to recover her mental faculties.
Meanwhile the outlaws had carried to the utmost their insults against the regal authority, which indeed, as exercised, they had little reason for respecting. They bore the same bloody trophy, which they had so savagely exhibited to the lady of Ardvoirlich, into the old church of Balquidder, nearly in the centre of their country, where the Laird of MacGregor and all his clan being convened for the purpose, laid their hands successively on the dead man's head, and swore, in heathenish and barbarous manner, to defend the author of the deed. This fierce and vindictive combination gave the author's late and lamented friend, Sir Alexander Boswell, Bart., subject for a spirited poem, entitled "Clan-Alpin's Vow," which was printed, but not, I believe, published, in 1811 [See Appendix No. I].
The fact is ascertained by a proclamation from the Privy Council, dated 4th February, 1589, directing letters of fire and sword against the MacGregors. This fearful commission was executed with uncommon fury. The late excellent John Buchanan of Cambusmore showed the author some correspondence between his ancestor, the Laird of Buchanan, and Lord Drummond, about sweeping certain valleys with their followers, on a fixed time and rendezvous, and "taking sweet revenge for the death of their cousin, Drummond-ernoch." In spite of all, however, that could be done, the devoted tribe of MacGregor still bred up survivors to sustain and to inflict new cruelties and injuries.
|Debating the "official" version of the death of John Drummonderinoch||http://www.employees.org/~mcgregor/clan_library/clan_library_drummond-ernoch.html|
|The Landed Families of Strathearn||The Landed Families of Strathearn|
|General Perthshire Information||http://www.perthshire-scotland.co.uk/|
|Perthshire GenWeb Project||https://sites.rootsweb.com/~sctper/|
|Scottish Parish Statistical Accounts||http://edina.ac.uk/stat-acc-scot/|
People researching this family include the following. If you wish your name added to the fellow researchers' list, please contact me.
|Hamilton, Ontario||all branches of this family|
I find it just too cumbersome to give a footnote to each of the thousands of ancestors and descendants of the Drummonds of Drummonderinoch, so I have compiled a list of my primary source information here for others to reference. If you have questions about the source of a particular entry please contact me and I will do my best to answer your question.
For the descendant lines of the Drummonds of Drummonderinoch family my primary sources are:
|The Landed Families of Strathearn,
by Gordon MacGregor, 2003, (see the link list above). Although this book
is extremely difficult to get a hold of, it is one of the most incredible
secondary-source genealogical resources I have ever seen. Gordon has spent
the last 15 years researching all the landed families of Strathearn and provides
complete genealogical data on all of them including references. Of
interesting note is the fact that Gordon MacGregor is descended from one of the
MacGregors who murdered John Drummond of Drummonderinoch. We have shared
some humourous correspondence with each other over this ancestral relationship
which we share.|
For the ancestral lines of the Ardvorlich family my primary sources are:
|The Landed Families of Strathearn, by Gordon MacGregor (see above). This is my primary source for the noble landed families.|
|"Genealogies of Mediaeval British Families" (see link list on the Ardvorlich page). Where MacGregor stops, this website picks up. I realize the hazards of relying on websites for genealogical data, and genealogy websites abound with varying quality, but this site provides good source information and seems to be one of the more reliable online sources.|
I have been criticized by some for including legendary ancestries in my database, but where I have done so I have tried to indicate it in the notes. However any serious genealogist should read the older data with an eye of skepticism anyway. Any data that is over 1000 years old should not be considered entirely reliable. I include this information for my own enjoyment. Please feel free to ignore the legendary data if it does not meet your standards.
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This page was last updated on June 14, 2010