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GORDOUN, Henry 1st Laird of Auchlyne
(About 1617-1707)
INNES, Marjorie of Auchlyne or Tilbourie
(About 1625-)
GORDON, Patrick 1st of Badenscoth
(About 1595-After 1681)
(About 1619-)
GORDON, John of Knockespock
(About 1654-1704)
(About 1658-)
GORDON, John Laird of Glenbucket, Jacobite 1715 and 1745
(About 1675-1750)


Family Links

1. FORBES, Jean

GORDON, John Laird of Glenbucket, Jacobite 1715 and 1745

  • Baptised: About 1675
  • Marriage (1): FORBES, Jean
  • Died: 16 June 1750, Boulogne, France 1

   Other names for John were GORDON, Jn. of Knockaspak yor, GORDON, John 'Old Glenbucket',2 3 GORDON, John in Dakie 4 and GORDONE, Jon.5

  General Notes:

"(Gordon), John, of Glenbucket, to his father John of Knockspack, who died Oct., 1704 h. spec, in Over and Nether Knockspack, etc., in the parish of Clatt S. H., 26 Jan.; 5 Feb. 1705"

from House of Gordon

'Son of John, of Knockespock, who bought Glenbucket, which had belonged to his distant relatives, the Gordons of Park (see 1643); b. about 1676; baillie to the Duke of Gordon, in carrying out the duties of which he was nearly murdered by the Macphersons in 1724 (Lang's Companions of Pickle; Spalding Club Misc., n. 229). 1737, sold Easter and Wester Bucket to Lord Braco (Aberdeen Reg. of Sasines, vol. 23, fol. 435), apparently in order to raise money to go to Rome to see the Chevalier, but even after the family had entirely lost the estates they were constantly spoken of as "of Glenbucket"; m. Jean, elder dau. of Harry Forbes, of Boyndlie, and had Alexander, 1662; David, of Kirkhill, 2076; Dr. George, Jamaica; John, "of Glenbucket," 2127; Helen, m. John Macdonell, of Glengarry; Isobel, m. Donald Macdonell, II. of Lochgarry; Christian, m. George Forbes, of Skellater, becoming the mother of the famous Portuguese general, "Jock" Forbes (see Dr. James Neil's Ian Roy of Skellater); Henrietta, Clementina, and Cecilia, on behalf of whom and three other brothers claims on the estate of Glenbucket were sustained in 1771.

from Gordons Under Arms

Old Parish Register
Strathdon Parish Aberdeenshire

"XX febr - Adam Reed in Beltamore had a son baptized JOHN also Adam Bettie in the neithertown had a daughter baptized ELIZABETH. Also Alexr Robertsone miller at the miln of glenbucket had a daughter baptized ISOBELL these three children I baptized in the mikle barn(?) of glenbucket, the day being stormie. Witneses John Gordone Laird off Glenbuckett elder and his son John Gordone younger, and Adam Gordone Late Laird of Glenbuckett and Arthur Morice in belnacraig & John Michie, officer"

Old Parish Register
Strathdon Parish Aberdeenshire

"18 Novr - Adam Coskie in the cottertoun of glenbuckett had a son baptized ADAM, witneses John Gordone of glenbuckett & Joseph Clerk in the cottertown and William Reed"

Old Parish Register
Strathdon Parish Aberdeenshire

"June 12 - William Forbes eldest lawfull son to John Forbes of Inverernane living for the time in Bucham, a son bapt JOHN wit: John Gordons elder & younger off Glenbucket and the forsaid John Forbes off Inverernane, John Forbes off New, & John Gordon in Foggymill"

IGI records this as 1709- some confusion in dating around this time:
"Ap - William Forbes of Bucham hade a son bapt Alexander wit: John Gordon of Glenbuchet Jon Gordon in Fogiemilne & Alexr Michy in Buchame
Note: in Strathdon christenings transcriptions the above Jon Gordon is rendered as 'son Gordon'. I have checked the OPR original nd have no doubt the letter is a J and not an s.

Old Parish Register
Strathdon Parish Aberdeenshire
1710 12 March

"[March 12] - John Forbes of New hade a son bapt Roderick wit: John Gordon off Glenbuchet, George Forbes in milntown of New & John Forbes off Deskrie"

'Camdell, or Camdell mhor, or Meikle Camdell is not far from Tomintoul. Old Glenbucket's house is said to "have stood at Kamdillvah near the pass of Carnagoval " (which is near the Conglas and Glen Brown). ("Hist. Papers Jac. Period," Col. Allardyce, vol. II p. 545). The same place is called "Camdell Moor " (evidently for Camdell more) at p. 547 same volume, where the ford of Garnagoul is also mentioned.' 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

  Research Notes:


The original Gordon Family of Glenbucket gave way in 1701 to another branch, when John Gordon, a burgess in Aberdeen often referred to as 'of Knockespock', purchased the estate for his son, also named John. Known latterly as "old Glenbucket" (an old spelling), he was laird of the castle until he sold it in 1737-38 to William Duff, Baron Braco of Kilbryde, so .

In sharp contrast to his unruly predecessors, who spent their time in family squabbles, John Gordon acquired a legendary reputation as an unswerving supporter of the Jacobite cause. Ironically, though, by the time of the '45 he was in fact no longer 'Glenbucket'. The legendary nature of such a reputation was, and is, not shared by all, not even by all who shared his politics. Murray of Broughton judged him to be a "man of no property, nor natural following, of very mean understanding, with a vast deal of vanity ", and the reports of the coercion used by him to recruit unwilling men for his partisan army have shocked many.

Bulloch in The Gay Gordons writes "Charles Gordon, the laird of Terpersie in the parish of Tullynessle, declared in a petition to the King that he had been press-ganged by Glenbucket, 'who by force and violence forced every person residing in that country to join in that horrid attempt'; but this did not save him, for he was hanged at Carlisle. Terpersie's son James, though only a fifteen-year-old school-boy, was 'seized and forcibly carried into the
rebellion' by a party of Highlanders, under the command of Glenbucket's son David. He was made a lieutenant in the artillery, which helps you to understand why Prince Charles never became king, and though so young was transported for his pains." Bulloch goes on to quote more examples of similar coesive attitudes and behaviour.

On the 25 November 1746, John Gordon of Glenbucket, a member of the Prince's Council, whose regiment fought on the second line of the Jacobite army at Culloden, sailed to safety on a Swedish sloop. He died in great poverty at Boulogne, France, on 16 June 1750.

John Gordon's life was a dramatically full one. In the following excerpt, courtesy of Electric Scotland's 'Antiquarian Notes' at
an account is given of John's chamberlainship for the Marquis of Huntly:

"After the death of William Mackintosh of Borlum in 1717, long the Gordon Chamberlain of Badenoch, the Gordons resolved to appoint a stranger and one of their own name as most likely to be depended on. Accordingly that gallant warrior John Gordon of Glenbucket, born in 1672, was appointed, and getting a wadset of Strone, made it his residence. This step greatly increased the irritation of the Macphersons, who had chafed under the rule of the Borlums. Steps were taken to poison the Duke of Gordon's ears, but being ineffective, bolder courses were resolved uponó nothing less than slaying Glenbucket. The circumstances are narrated by Burt; always on the alert to pick up anything unpleasant about Highlanders of note ; by the Lord Advocate on the trial of Stuart of Acharn; and by the Dowager Lady Mackintosh in her very curious memoirs of events in her life. Burt's account briefly is in these termsó

Whereupon the tenants came to a resolution to put an end to his suit and new settlement in the manner following. Five or six of them, young fellows, the sons of gentlemen, entered the door of his hut; and in fawning words told him they were sorry any dispute had happened. That they were then resolved to acknowledge him as their immediate landlord, and would regularly pay him their rent. At the same time they begged he would withdraw his process, and they hoped they should be agreeable to him for the future. All this while they were almost imperceptibly drawing nearer and nearer to his bedside, on which he was sitting, in order to prevent his defending himself (as they knew him to be a man of distinguished courage), and then fell suddenly on him ; some cutting him with their dirks, and others plunging them into his body. This was perpetrated within sight of the Barrack of Ruthven. I can't forbear to tell you how this butchery ended, with respect both to him and those treacherous villains.

He with a multitude of wounds upon him, made shift in the bustle to reach down his broad sword from the tester of his bed, which was very low, and with it he drove all the assassins before him. And afterwards, from the Duke's abhorrence of so vile a fact, and with the assistance of the troops, they were driven out of the country and forced to flee to foreign parts.

Old Glenbucket, born as just stated in 1672, had been out in 1715, took part in the Rising of 1745, and his appearance, from the effects of the savage attack nearly 30 years before, is described as incapacitating him to sit erect on horseback. The gallant veteran escaped, first to Norway, then to France, and lived comfortably, until June, 1750, on a pension of 1200 livres. .....

The Duke of Gordon was naturally furious at the attack on his chamberlain, and not only threatened vengeance and extirpation on the Macphersons, who held their whole lands of him, but took some active steps in the matter. In their distress, the Macphersons, under their new chief, Lachlan, whose mother was daughter of Lachlan Mackintosh of Kinrara, bethought themselves of a reconciliation with Mackintosh, and becoming independent to a certain degree of the Gordons. Mackintosh fell into the snare, foolishly thinking that the Macphersons, who had deceived his predecessors so often, had changed their skin and spots, while his wife in her memoirs appears to have seen clearly the folly of having any dealings with them. Mackintosh's desires for the consolidation and unification of Clan Chattan were highly praiseworthy. To make the Macphersons quasi independent, and particularly of the Gordons, Mackintosh granted them Gallovie and Aberarder, upwards of 40,000 acres, under certain conditions, of which the forfeiture of Evan Macpherson of Cluny and the passing of the Jurisdiction Acts deprived him, and of the equivalents stipulated."

Just so, the struggles of former times.

With thanks to Electric Scotland, an excellent online resource.


John Gordon was the laird of the tiny estate of Glenbucket in Aberdeenshire near the Banffshire boundary. He was described by his contemporaries as a craggy old man of seventy two, his body twisted by rheumatism. He was a man of little property, living in Strathbogie, liked highlanders and had married his many daughters amongst them. However he was for a time bailie to the Duke of Gordon and this increased his status greatly.


Described as an inveterate Jacobite, he had been out, as a sixteen year old, in 1689 with Dundee on the braes of Killiecrankie, and, in the 1715 Jacobite rebellion, he commanded a battalion of Gordons at Sherriffmuir when he was about forty two years of age. In the '45 uprising he held the rank of Major General, but due to his age and infirmity he did not exercise his rank. Although, he did lead his regiment at Culloden, where he is described as sitting at the head of his regiment on a grey highland pony.

Despite his age, he still had a considerable reputation with the government troops. In February 1746, a raid on Corgarff castle by a government force of 300 foot and 100 dragoons was abandoned due to a rumour that Glenbucket and his men were in the area. According to a much repeated anecdote, he supposedly gave King George nightmares; during the march to Derby, King George is said to have exclaimed in alarm "De great Glenbogged is coming!" It is not hard to see from the anecdote where the teller's sympathies lay!

THE '45

In the 1745, Glenbucket led 300 men for Charles Stuart. According to some sources, Glenbucket might just have made it to Prestonpans, as he was a member of the official council consisting, amongst others, of the Duke of Perth, Lord George Murray, Lord Elcho, O'Sullivan etc. who met at Edinburgh after the battle and decided to stay there for the meantime.

Yet other sources maintain that Glenbucket with one hundred and fifty of his men was with the Prince shortly before he set out to raise the standard at Glenfinnan on the 19th August 1745, and that Glenbucket even brought the Prince news of the first Jacobite victory. After the disastrous defeat at Culloden, Old Glenbucket actually survived and managed to escape from the battlefield and gathered with others like Lovat, Lochiel, the MacDonnel chieftains etc. at the head of Loch Arkaig, hoping to re-launch the 1745. He finally escaped on a Swedish sloop on 25th November and was expressly exempted from the Act of Indemnity of June 1747.


What is also told of Glenbucket, however, is that he was, for a very substantial part between the 1715 and the 1745, a Hanoverian agent, being particularly thick with General Carpenter who secured his release from imprisonment in Carlisle in 1716 and who received regular reports from him during the 1719, when the Jacobite commander, the Marquis of Tullibardine, in vain hoped Glenbucket would rally again to the standard. He seems to have been a pragmatist, saving his skin to continue the fight for his Jacobite principles.


In 1737 Glenbucket sold his tiny property for £700, and by 1738 he was with the Pretender in Rome with a demand for the Royal Presence in Scotland. He failed in Paris, on the way, to sell the idea of a Franco-Jacobite invasion of Britain to Cardinal Fleury. Though scarcely even a laird, Glenbucket was an impressive personality. His three daughters were married to significant highland chiefs: Forbes of Skellater, Macdonald of Glengarry, and Macdonnel of Lochgarry. He was not of high birth; his influence was that of an adventurer determined to secure success at any cost, pragmatic as others in his family background had been, opportunistic with an eye to the main chance.

In 1739, more or less as a result of Glenbucket's journey to Rome, a group of Jacobites formed an association to forward the cause. The Associators, as they were known, were a curious crew, being the Duke of Perth, described as "a foolish horse-racing boy, his uncle Lord John Drummond of Fairntoun; Donald Campbell the younger of Lochiel; his uncle Sir John Campbell of Auchenbreck, a rarity among Campbell lairds for his Jacobitism, as also for his maybe not unconnected "desperate fortune and little interest"; the Earl of Traquair; his brother the Honourable James Stewart and Simon Fraser Lord Lovat.

Glenbucket is said to have received his rank of Major-General from the Prince himself.

With thanks to an assortment of sources, in particular a fine website at 2 12 13

John married Jean FORBES, daughter of Harrie FORBES in Boyndlie and GORDON. (Jean FORBES was born about 1679.)


1 Internet Site,

2 Internet Site,

3 Internet Site,

4 Old Parish Registers, Auchindoir and Kearn Parish Aberdeenshire Baptisms.

5 Old Parish Registers.

6 Internet Site,

7 Old Parish Registers, baptisms Strathdon and Corgarff 240/0010 0217 1701.

8 Old Parish Registers, OPR Baptisms Strathdon and Corgarff 240/0010 0236 29 June 1709.

9 Internet Site,

10 e-books, The Later Gordons of Beldorney by Douglas Wimberley.

11 e-books, House of Gordon by John M.Bulloch.

12 e-books, Gordons Under Arms by C.O.Skelton and J.M.Bulloch.

13 Internet Site,

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