'S Rioghal Mo Dhream
(Royal is my Race)
The Clan Gregor motto ‘S Rioghail ma Dhream’ – Royal is my Race’ reflects their ancient origins and is a reference to their claimed descent from Griogar or Gregor, third son of Kenneth MacAlpine, the 9th century Scots king. Their land-holdings reached their greatest extent in the 13th century. Over time they lost much of their land to the mighty Clan Campbell. Gradually, they became notorious cattle raiders, surviving by preying on their neighbours. After the 1603 Battle of Glen Fruin (against the Colquhouns) they were outlawed. Even the clan name was banned.
Yet they regained some favour as supporters of the House of Stuart later in the 17th century. Rob Roy’s father, for example, Lieutenant Colonel Donald Glas, acquired his rank for serving in the army of King Charles II. However, the failure of the Jacobite uprisings ultimately meant that the clan name was not restored till 1775, with the Clan Gregor Society being founded in 1822. Over the long years of persecution, many Macgregors had changed their names – so that even today there is a long list of other surnames who claim Clan Gregor affiliation – from Blacks to Whytes, Bowmakers to Arrowsmiths and many more.