Loch Lomond’s part in the Jacobite Uprising of 1715.
Before the days of good roads, Loch Lomond was an important waterway both for commerce and, later, tourism. Loch Lomond also witnessed some of the turmoil brought on Scotland by the Jacobite uprisings – the attempts to restore the exiled Catholic Stuart monarchy to the throne of Britain by the Jacobites, the supporters of the exiled King James.
In 1715, soon after King George I came to the throne, rebellion flared up in Scotland. The local Macgregors, in Glen Gyle at the head of Loch Katrine, received instructions from the Earl of Mar, the Jacobite leader in the ’15 rebellion. The Macgregor clansfolk were sympathetic to the Jacobite cause, and were instructed to mount a raid along the Highland edge, targeting the Hanoverian government sympathisers – the Whig lairds at the south and west sides of the loch. This was intended to divert government forces, and deny the use of the loch to them. (This was part of a wider strategy to land the exiled King James somewhere in the locality, from a vessel on the River Clyde.)
Clan Gregor – numbering around 300 in three companies - raided the Duke of Montrose’s lands and the Colquhoun lands around Luss, stealing every boat they could find all along the southern shores. They took these boats to the island of Inchmurrin, then raided further, ranging widely by Callander and Aberfoyle and towards Dumbarton. By this time the country around was in uproar, with church bells ringing and guns sounding in warning from Dumbarton Castle. The Macgregors lifted deer and cattle from Inchmurrin (owned by the Duke of Montrose) and – deciding not to range further - retreated by boat to Inversnaid. They then hurried north to join a Jacobite camp in Strathfillan.