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The Chittick Family History
as written by Erminda (Chittick) Rentoul
1890 The Lodge, Cliftonville, Belfast. Ireland

Chapter Six | The Robertsons of Strowan

“The possessions of Duncan of Athole, who is considered as the first of the Robertsons of Strowan, consisted first of the lands afterwards erected into the Barony of Strowan; secondly, of the Barony of Dishor and Toyer, comprehending the greater part of the present district of Braidalbane; and thirdly, of Dollmagarth, called Adulia in the ancient chartularies, a property which appears to have been originally in possession of the Earls of Athole.”

"The only mode of accounting for their possessing them is by supposing that Dull constituted a male fief, and that the family which designated itself De Atholia were the male descendants of the ancient Earls of Athole."

"It appears from the chartulary of Inchaffray that Ewen, the son of Conan, had married Maria, one of the two daughters and co-heiresses of Duncan, the son of Convatt, a powerful Baron in Stratherne and of Lethindy in Gowrie. His eldest daughter Muriel married Malise, the Seneschal of Stratherne; and their daughter Ada carried her mother's inheritance, consisting of the half of Tullebardine, the lands of Buchanty, etc., being the half of Finachy and part of Lethindy, to William de Morevia, predecessors of the Murrays of Tullebardine."

Now we find that in 1284 this Maria granted her half of Tullebardine to her niece Ada, and William Moray, her spouse; and in 1443 we find Robert Duncanson, the undoubted ancestor of the Robertsons Of Strowan, designating himself Dominus de Fynach, and granting his lands of Fynach in Stratherne, consanguineo tuo Davidi de Moravia Domino de Tullebardine. The descent of the family from Ewen, the son of Conan, the second son of Henry, Earl of Athole, the daughters of whose eldest son carried the earldom into Lowland families, is thus put beyond all doubt and the Strowan Robertsons thus appear to be male heirs of the old Earls of Athole."

Though their territorial possessions were greatly curtailed, the Robertsons always maintained a prominent rank amongst the Highland Clans; and yielding to none in attachment to the house of Stuart they took an active share in every attempt that was made to replace upon the throne of these realms the descendants of their ancient line of kings. The exploits of Alexander Robertson, of Strowan, (Alexander Robertson, of Strowan, formed the prototype of the brave, chivalrous, learned, eccentric, kind-hearted, jovial Baron of Bradwardine.) in the insurrection of 1715, the eccentricity of his habits, his poetical genius, so rare.

"John Robertson, who died in 1806, at the age of 85, a General in the army and Colonel of the 88th or Connaught Rangers. He had a good taste for music, and was one of the best flute players of the age. When Major of the 42nd, he set the words of “The Grab of Old Gaul," written by Captain (afterwards Sir Charles) Erskine, to music, a composition which has ever since been in the regimental march. He left L52,000 in the 3 per cents., subject to the life-rent of his daughter, for the purpose of establishing a professorship of music in the University of Edinburgh, where he was educated, the salary not to be less than L300 per annum."

John Chittick, the grandson of Elizabeth Robertson, was the best nonprofessional musician in Ireland and especially exceeded as a flute player, as did also his son, Hugh Chittick. Highland chief, and the chivalrous heroism and simplicity of his character have rendered his name familiar to every one. He was indeed a fine specimen of the dauntless, devoted, and high-bred cavalier; a stranger, alike to fear and to reproach; brave, learned, and loyal; a hero in the field, but distinguished alike for his generosity, kindliness, and humanity, as well as for his wit and peculiarities, in the ordinary relations of life. Celebrated in the history of the times in which he lived, he has been adopted by tradition, which delights to rehearse his achievements, and last of all romance has adorned one of its most magnificent galleries with a full length portraiture of this fine old chief and cavalier."

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