ROBERT ROBERTSON OF INVERVACK (1673-1777)
by James E. Fargo, FSA Scot
Robert Robertson, known as Robert 'Bane', was a famous member of the clan. In his earlier days, he had rescued his cousin, the 'Poet Chief' during the battle of Sheriffmuir (1715). In his 70s, he had also commanded the men returning to Atholl after Prestonpans with the 'Poet Chief' in General Cope's captured carriage.
In the autumn of 1746, he observed a Government military party consisting of a corporal and eight soldiers marching past the Tummel Bridge in the clan country on their way north. They had halted beside the road for a short break and had stacked their arms against a large stone.
Taking advantage of their lax guard, he sprang out of the woods between the soldiers and their weapons. Waving his sword and pointing his musket at them he called on them to surrender immediately or he would call for his men who were still in the woods to open fire and kill them all. The surprised soldiers surrendered and allowed Robertson to carry their arms into the surrounding woods. On his return, he marched them back to the Tummel Bridge Inn and left them there.
Eventually, the soldiers figured out that they had been duped and hurried back to the place of their capture to find nothing there as Robertson had returned earlier and removed their weapons. When the weaponless soldiers eventually arrived in Inverness, they were tried and punished for the loss of their weapons.
The following year, when Robertson went to Inverness on business, he was recognized by one of those soldiers and arrested and then put in jail. His clansman, William Robertson of Inches was informed of his impending trial. William, a lawyer, made a favorable presentation to the local judge and Robert Bane was liberated before trial and allowed to return home to Atholl.
Cameron, Nancy Foy, "Robertsons in Atholl", 1993, pp. 120.
Stewart, Major-General David, "Sketches of the Character, Manners, and Present State of the Highlanders of Scotland", Edinburgh, 1825, pp. 40-41.