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Robert Mor Munro, 15th Baron of Foulis: Wikis

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Robert Mor Munro, 15th Baron of Foulis and 18th chief of the Clan Munro was a 16th century Scottish soldier. [1] He was known as Robert Mor on account of his large stature. He was the eldest son of Robert Munro, 14th Baron of Foulis.[2]

Contents

Lands and Charters

In 1550 Robert Mor Munro, 15th Baron is recorded in a bond of manrent and friendship with George Gordon, 4th Earl of Huntly, chief of Clan Gordon. The document dated 1550 is found amongst the papers in the charter chest of Gordon Castle.[3] However, later Robert Mor would support Mary, Queen of Scots in her feud against the Gordon House of Huntly.[4]

In 1552 Robert Mor Munro sold lands in Wester Fowlis to Margaret Ogilvie, Lady of Moy who was the widow of William MacKintosh, chief of Clan Mackintosh who had been executed at Aberdeen in 1550. In 1553 Queen Mary also granted a Crown charter of the same lands to Margaret Ogilvie. Later, Robert Mor's first marriage would be to Margaret Ogilvie which would bring back to him these lands.[5]

Mary, Queen of Scots and Inverness Castle

In the Parliament held at Edinburgh on the 1st August 1560, amongst the names of those present is "Robert Munro of Fowlis".[6] Robert Mor Munro was a staunch supporter and faithful friend of Mary, Queen of Scots and he consequently was treated favourably by her son James VI. George Buchanan states, that when the unfortunate princess went to Inverness in 1562 and found the gates of the castle shut against her; "as soon as they heard of their sovereign's danger, a great number of the most eminent Scots poured in around her, especially the Frasers and Munros, who were esteemed the most valiant of the clans inhabiting those countries in the north". These two clans took Inverness Castle for the Queen, which had refused her admission. The Queen later hanged the governor, a Gordon who had refused her admission.[7] [8]

George Buchanan's original writings state: Audito Principis periculo magna Priscorun Scotorum multitudo partim excita partim sua spoute afferit, imprimis Fraserie et Munoroii hominum fortissimorum in illis gentibus familiae. [9]

Which translates in English as: That as soon as they heard of their Sovereign's danger a great number of the ancient Scots poured in around her, especially the Frasers and Munros, which were esteemed the most valiant families inhabiting those countries.

In 1563 a charter was granted to Robert Mor Munro at Foulis Castle and was witnessed by his brother, George Munro and his great-uncle, William Munro, Vicar of Dingwall. [10] Later, on the 23rd June 1567, Robert was one of the jury in the general service of John Gordon, 11th Earl of Sutherland to be heir to his grandmother, Elizabeth, Countess of Sutherland. John being the first Gordon to be Earl of Sutherland. [11]

Castle Canonry of Ross

In 1569 a feud arose between the Clan MacKenzie and Clan Munro, who by this time were among the most powerful clans in Ross-shire. Andrew Munro of Milntown defended and held, for three years, the Castle Chanonry of Ross, which he had received from the Regent Moray who died in 1569, against the Clan MacKenzie, at the expense of many lives on both sides. The feud was settled when the castle was handed over to the Mackenzies peacefully, because the MacKenzies had obtained more legal right to own the castle. [12]

Sir Robert Gordon (1580 - 1656) writes of the feud in his book "Genealogical History of the Earldom of Sutherland":

The Munros defended and keipt the Castle for the space of thrie yeirs, with great slaughter on either syd, vntill it was delyvered to the Clanchenzie, by the Act of Pacification. And this wes the ground beginning of the feud and hartburning, which to this day, remaynes between the Clanchenzie and Munrois [13]

In 1571, 4 July, King James VI of Scotland granted to Robert Mor Munro all of the goods that belonged to Duncan Chalmers, Chancellor of Ross who had become a fugitive from the law for his part in the Battle of Langside and for the slaughter of James Balvany, William Purvis and Alexander Hume.[14] As a reward for his faithful services to the Crown, Robert Mor obtained from King James VI, a grant of all the customs due as royalties "furth of the town and Sheriffdom of Inverness", as registered under the Privy Seal, dated at Edinburgh on the 5th of January 1572.

Sheriffs of Inverness

Robert Mor Munro was also one of the members of a Commission appointed to act as Sheriffs of Inverness, for serving Alexander Gordon, 12th Earl of Sutherland, on the 30th May 1573. The other members were Colin MacKenzie of Kintail, Lord Hugh Fraser of Lovat and Lachlan MacKintosh of MacKintosh. In 1584 King James II of Scotland confirmed another charter to Robert Munro of Foulis.[15] In 1585 Robert Mor signed a bond of marrent with George Gordon, 1st Marquess of Huntly to assist each other as allies against any person except for the King or Queen. [16]

In 1588, May 6, Robert Mor Munro of Foulis is listed along with other highland chiefs in a grant to give special protection to Alexander Gordon, 12th Earl of Sutherland, to protect his church lands in Caithness or elsewhere. Others included are Gordon of Huntly, MacKenzie of Kintail, Rose of Kilravrock, Fraser of Lovat, Grant of Freuchie and Ross of Balnagowan.[17] On the 20th July 1588 Robert Mor Munro of Foulis was appointed by the King, collector, for Inverness-shire, which included Ross. He was to collect a tax for the repair of Edinburgh Castle. On the 27th of that month, Robert Mor Munro of Foulis along with Colin MacKenzie of Kintail are appointed Commissioners for the shires of Inverness and Cromarty for the better administration of justice in these counties.[18]

Family and famous descendants

Robert Mor Munro first married Margaret Ogilvie, a daughter of the chief of Clan Ogilvy. Later Robert married Kathrine Ross, a daughter of the chief of Clan Ross of Balnagowan. Robert had a total of 13 children over two marriages. Robert died on the 4th November 1588 at Foulis Castle. He was succeeded by his eldest son, from his first marriage, Robert Munro, 16th Baron of Foulis, however in the following century the head of the House of Foulis and chief of the Clan Munro would be succeeded to by descendants of his second marriage.[19]

From Robert's marriage to Margarat Ogilvie:

  1. Robert Munro, 16th Baron of Foulis.
  2. Hugh Munro. (little is known, only found recorded once in the Coul MS)
  3. Hector Munro, 17th Baron of Foulis, whose son was Robert Munro, 18th Baron of Foulis (The Black Baron).
  4. Florence Munro, married Roderick Mackenzie of Redcastle.
  5. Christian Munro.
  6. Cathrine Munro, married William Ballie, Provost of Inverness.

From Robert's marriage to Kathrine Ross:

  1. George Munro, 1st of Obsdale, whose grandson would succeed to the head of the house of Foulis: See: Sir Robert Munro, 3rd Baronet of Foulis.
  2. John Munro, 1st of Meikle Daan.
  3. Andrew Munro, 1st of Lemlair.
  4. Margaret Munro, married Colin Campbell of Ardbreath.
  5. Janet Munro, married James Innes of Inverbreakie.
  6. Marjory Munro, married James Hepburn, merchant of Inverness.
  7. Elizabeth Munro, married a minister of Kiltearn in Rosshire.

Two well known descendants of Robert Mor Munro are General Robert Monro and George Munro, 1st of Newmore, both cadets of the Obsdale branch of the clan.

References

  1. ^ The Chief
  2. ^ "History of the Munros of Fowlis" by Alexander MacKenzie. p.43.
  3. ^ "History of the Munros of Fowlis" by Alexander MacKenzie. p.43 -44.
  4. ^ "The Clan Munro" by CI Fraser of Reeling. p.21.
  5. ^ Register of the Great Seal, Book xxxi, No. 122.
  6. ^ "History of the Munros of Fowlis" by Alexander MacKenzie. p.43 -44.
  7. ^ George Buchanan's (1506 -1582), History of Scotland, completed in 1579, first published in 1582.
  8. ^ Clan MUNRO
  9. ^ George Buchanan's (1506 -1582), History of Scotland, completed in 1579, first published in 1582.
  10. ^ Register of the Great Seal, Lib. xxxii, No's 593 - 594, and Register of the Privy Seal, vol. xxxi, folios 98 and 99.
  11. ^ "The Sutherland Book", by Sir William Fraser, KCB, vol.iii. p.139
  12. ^ Doings of Mackay and the Earl of Caithness
  13. ^ Genealogical History of the Earldom of SutherlandBy Sir Robert Gordon of Gordonstoun (1580 - 1656)
  14. ^ Orig. Par. Scot, vol, ii, p. 575
  15. ^ "History of the Munros of Fowlis" by Alexander MacKenzie. p.50 - 52
  16. ^ Invernessiana. p.245
  17. ^ "The Sutherland Book", vol.i. p.150
  18. ^ "History of the Munros of Fowlis" by Alexander MacKenzie. p.50.
  19. ^ "History of the Munroes of Foulis" by Alexander MacKenzie. P.55 - 57
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