HeadLine: ROB ROY ‘WAS A TRAITOR, SPY AND CONMAN’
The Mirror, 03/11/2003, p15
by SHAUN MILNE
ROB Roy was a paid spy and a conman, not the Scottish folk hero
portrayed in the history books, it was claimed yesterday.
Professor David Stevenson said the so-called tartan Robin Hood also
betrayed his own side to the English during the Jacobite Rebellion of
He added: “I was surprised at the extent of his double dealing and
“He was a confidence trickster and was very clever at getting people to
take his side. He sells himself as the little man being done down by
Prof Stevenson, St Andrews University emeritus professor of Scottish
history, discovered that cattle drover Rob Roy MacGregor was outlawed
for trying to pull off a swindle.
The historian makes the claims in his book Rob Roy: The Man and the
Myth. He told the Scotland on Sunday newspaper: “I expect the book will
put a few noses out of joint, but I did not intend to denigrate a
national hero when I started my research.” He felt some researchers
chose to ignore the negative side of Rob Roy’s character.
But James Fraser, tourism chief of Rob Roy country Loch Lomond and the
Trossachs, said: “It was quite common for people to change sides. I
think he was a bit of a rogue, but a good rogue.”
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