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John Roy Stewart (1700-1752) - Poet

lain Ruadh Stiubhart, John Roy Stewart, was born at Knock, Kincardine, Scotland, into an old landed family whose property had been ceded to the Dukes of Gordon during the 17th century. He served as a lieutenant and quartermaster in the Royal Scots Greys, but resigned from the army when he refused to be transferred to another regiment, the Black Watch. Suspected of being a Jacobite, he was imprisoned in Inverness in 1736, but he escaped to join the French army in Paris. He served on the French side at the Battle of Fontenoy in April 1745 and later that year joined the Jacobite army of Prince Charles Edward Stuart at Blair Atholl in Perthshire. During the ensuing campaign he commanded a regiment, and his courage and military ability made him a favourite with the soldiers and clan chiefs alike. After the Battle Of Culloden he escaped again to France, where he ended his days in 1752. lain Ruadh was a poet of some ability and his songs and laments for the Jacobite cause are a good measure of the passions aroused in the Highlands by the 1745 rising. His lament for the dead at Culloden 'O gur mor mo chuis mhulaid' is his best known work.

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