In one of the latest instalments of the Centre for Scottish Culture Blog, Dr Allan Kennedy from the University of Dundee tells the story of the often over looked bandit, Calum Og McGrigor. Who is now known for terrorising the Stirlingshire area throughout the 1660s.

Callum McGrigor.

McGrigor was native to the Stirlingshire parish of Callander and as there is no record of his birth or early life, he enters history’s record in 1650. At this time, he began a relationship with a woman by the name of Christian MacGregor in which he had two children out of wedlock.


This relationship was not to last and in 1663 he began a new relationship with Elizabeth MacGregor. These actions were greatly frowned upon by the early modern Church and it is thought that his antics were starting to earn himself a bad name in his local area. Notice the same last two names of the women he was in relationships with? These women were in fact sisters and so this made Callum guilty of incest which in turn saw him censored by the Church.

Over the following five years, McGrigor carried on his criminal activities which involved blackmail, a profitable protection racket and robbery of numerous kinds.

Cattle theft was extremely profitable.

However, these actions saw McGrigor taken into custody in the autumn of 1669 where he later went on to appear before the Court of Justice General and was sentenced to be hanged.

To read more about Callum McGrigor’s personal life, criminal career and downfall, check out the Centre for Scottish Culture Blog:

The Bandit of Callander: Crime and Marginality in Restoration Scotland


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