Name: Robert Ruadh Duncanson
Suffix: 4th Chief of Clan Donnachaidh
Death: AUG 1460
Cause: Wounds received in a fray
Change Date: 19 OCT 2011
A strong supporter of King James I and was incensed by his murder. He tracked down and captured several of the regicides, Sir Robert Graham and the Master of Atholl hiding in a small glen and turned them over to the Crown. They were drawn and quartered at Stirling Castle.
The Robertson crest badge of a right hand holding an imperial crown was awarded by King James II to the fourth Chief, on August 15, 1451, as a reward for capturing the assassins of King James I in 1437.
It is from this Chief that his descendants and many of his clanfolk took the name "Robert's sons" or Robertson. His lands were erected into the free feudal barony of Struan at this time and he was given the Clan motto "Virtutis Gloria Merces" which means "Glory is the Reward of Valour". Prior to this Crown charter, the clan lands were held as vassals of the Earls of Atholl.
Struan is one of only two highland chiefs that are addressed and called by the name of their territorial estates. The other is Cluny Macpherson.
4th Baron of Struan.
Duncan's son was Robert. He was known as Robert "Reoch", meaning "the Swarthy". Others say his second Gaelic name was "Riabhach", meaning "Grizzled". King James I of Scotland was murdered in the Black Friars Monastery in Perth in 1437 and the country was close to civil war. Those who committed the regicide were sheltered by Walter, Earl of Athole. Robert and his clan, aided by John Gorm Stewart, arrested the Earl, Sir Robert Graham and others hiding in a small glen "with great courage and intrepidity" and delivered them to the government. The prisoners were duely drawn and quartered at Sterling Castle. When James II reached the age to assume power, one of his first acts was to reward Robert. All that Robert wanted was confirmation of the ownership of the lands he already possessed. Accordingly, August 15, 1451 for "the capture of that vile traitor the late Robert of Graham" he received a charter under the great seal of Scotland erecting all his land into the free barony of Strowan, "as fully and freely as the same had been possessed and enjoyed by his predecessors". Free meant that Robert was freed from being a vassal of the Earl of Atholl. Robert took the motto, "Virtulis gloria merces", Latin for "Glory is the reward of valour".
Included with the 1451 charter from James II was what became the Robertson Crest Badge of a right hand supporting the crown of Scotland to commemorate the capture. Another version of a crest included a wild man in chains to represent the capture. Perhaps the modesty of Robert's request can be found in the fact that during the king's minority in 1444, Robert had aided powerful nobles such as Douglas, Crawford and Hamilton in lawless acts which resulted in Robert's excommunication following an attack on Bishop Kennedy of St. Andrews who opposed them.
Robert had a fight over the lands of Little Dunkeld with Robert Forrester of Torwood near the village of Auchtergaven. He bandaged his head wound with white cloth and rode to Perth and obtained a new grant of the lands of Strowan from the King. Robert returned home only to die of his wound in 1460.
Robert married Lady Margaret Stewart.
- Alexander Robertson