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Darroch of Gourock

The present chief of Clan Donald is Duncan Darroch, 7th of Gourock. The first six chiefs were also Duncan Darroch. His family has been prominent in military and social circles in Scotland for almost two hundred years. A number of interesting references to early members may be found in various publications.

From 'Jura, An Island of Argyll ' by the Reverend Donald Budge.

There is a story, probably apocryphal, told of Duncan Darroch, 1st of Gourock, that when leaving the country on his way to Jamaica he was detained in Greenock waiting for his ship to sail. He and another emigrant lad walking in the country came across a fine mansion with an apple orchard attached. The two lads improved the shining hour by climbing into the garden and helping themselves to the ripe fruit. They were, however, unceremoniously chased out by a gardener. As they left the premises Duncan shook his fist at the gardener and shouted ' I am going off to Jamaica, but I will come back and buy this estate with its apple orchard. ' Duncan did go to Jamaica and on returning, having made a fortune, purchased the estate as he said he would. The same gardener was still on the estate, and continued in the employment of the new owner, who purchased the place from the Stewarts of Castlemilk. The Darrochs of Gourock are said to be of Jura descent.

From 'The History of the Macdonalds ' by Alexander Mackenzie.

Duncan Darroch, who bought the estate of Gourock, on the Clyde, from the Stewarts of Castlemilk, in 1784, was the son of a large farmer or tacksman, whose grandfather came from the North and settled in Jura. This Duncan Darroch went to Jamaica, where he made a fortune. Returning to Scotland, and having purchased Gourock, he went to the Herald's office to matriculate family arms and prove his right to assume those of Macdonald. Lord Kinnoull, the Lyon King at Arms, while admitting his r ight said, ' We must not lose the memory of the old oak stick and its exploit '; and so the arms now borne by the family were granted to Mr. Darroch. From this it would seem that a record then existed of the story of the Mac-Gille-Riabhaich and his oak stick.

The oak, or 'Darrach' ( sic ) is conspicuous on the family arms , and the parchments, in Lord Kinnoull's name, dated 1794, describes the grantee as ' Duncan Darroch, Esquire of Gourock, chief of that ancient name the patronymic of which is Mac Iliriach ' This gentleman's son, Lieutenant-General Duncan Darroch, was appointed to the command of the Glengarry Fencibles,on the occasion of some disorders in the regiment, as it was expected that he, being a Macdonald, would be more likely to secure discipline than an officer having no connection with the clan. The result justified this expectation; for in the Royal Military Calendar ( Lond 1816 ), vol. iii., p 52, we find that ' General Darroch, in 1799, was appointed to command the Glengarry Fencibles with the local rank of Lieutenant-Colonel, and in that situation received the public thanks of the Lord- Lieutenant of Ireland, Marquis of Cornwallis, for bringing the regiment into a proper state of discipline; for, upon his taking the command, there were great feuds between the Protestant and Roman Catholic officers and men.'

About a hundred years ago Duncan Darroch, 4th of Gourock, bought the estate of Torridor in Ross-shire. He was one of the first to carry out extensive reforestation experiments in the Highlands. This picturesque area is now one of the properties of the National Trust of Scotland

The lineage of the present chief of the Clan Darroch as given in Burke's ' Landed Gentry of Great Britain ' is -


Duncan Darroch, 7th of Gourock, Lord of the Barony of Gourock, Capt. Argyll and Sutherland Highrs. 1957, ret. 1958, b. 12 Oct. 1931, educ. Harrow, and R.M.A Sandhurst, m. 24 March 1956, * Nicola Jeanne, only dau. Of Robert George Seidl, of Zurich Switzerland, and has issue.

  1. * Claire Nicola, b. 23 Dec. 1956 ( *presently living )
  2. * Laura Jenny, b. 25 Feb. 1959
  3. * Louise Rosemary ( twin ) b 25 Feb. 1959
  4. * Melanie Jeanne, b. 17 June, 1960
  5. * Melissa Carolyn, b. 19 Jan. 1963

Lineage - Duncan Darroch ( who d. 1823 ) purchased from the Stuarts of Castlemilk in 1784, the estate and barony of Gourock, on his return from Jamaica. He was, as his certificate of arms (1797 ) sets forth, chief of the sept or clan of Darroch, or McIliriach, a branch of the McDonalds who came from the West of Ross and Cromarty, and settled in the island of Jura. He d. 1923, leaving issue.

Duncan Darroch, 2nd of Gourock, Lt-Gen. in the Army, b. 1776 m. 1799, Elizabeth ( d. 16 Dec. 1834 ), dau. Of Rev. George Sackville Cotter, M.A. Rector of Ightermorrough, and grand-dau. of Sir James Cotter, 1st Bt. Of Rockforest, nr Mallow, ( See Burke's Peerage ), and left with other issue,

Duncan Darroch, 3rd of Gourock and of Drums, D.L., J.P., Major in the Army, b. 19 Feb. 1800, m. 31July 1829, Susan ( d. 14 Aug. 1889 ), dau. of Charles Stewart Parker, of Fairlie Ayrshire, W. Indian Merchant, and d. 13 Oct. 1864, having had issue,

  1. Duncan, of whom presently.
  2. Charles Stuart Parker ( Rev. ) Vicar of Hayling Island 1880-81. Rector of Medstead Hants, 1881-99, Vicar of St. Thomas, Southborough, Kent 1899-1920, b. 22 Jan. 1843, educ. Harrow, and Trin. Coll. Camb. ( M.A 1870 ) m. 1873 Alice Maude ( d. 24 Nov. 1928 ) eldest dau. of Sir Edwin Pearson, and d. Feb 1936, having had issue,
  1. Donald Stuart d. young
  2. Malcolm Stuart b. 14 July,1876, m. 29 June 1920 Mary Avies Connock Peirson ( d. 22 Dec. 1956 ) and d.s.p. 20 June 1960
  3. Angus Stuart, b. 3 Aug. 1877; d. unm. 31 Oct 1894.
  1. ( ? ) Marjorie Susan Stuart, m. 2 Aug. 1911, Rev. Maeburn Staniland Page, B.A., Assist. Master at Tonbridge School, son of Samuel Waters Page, of Louth, Lancs. and d. 20 feb 1950, having had issue, three sons ( one dec. ) and one dau. He d. 20 Sep. 1957.

    3.George Edward, J.P ( 1904 ) Herts, b. 22 April, 1846, m. 1stly, 8 Jan.1873, Adelaide Frances ( d. 23 April, 1900 ), dau. of Richard Valpy, of Champneys, Tring and had issue,
    1. George Richard Sutton, b. 22 Feb, 1880, educ. Eton d. unm. 3 Nov 1959.
    1. ( Emily ) Violet, d. unm. 14 March, 1951.
    2. ( Adelaide ) Margaret, d. unm..8 Oct. 1944
    3. Millicent Mary, d. unm. 22 may, 1959
    4. * Muriel Frances ( Charnwood, Abbey Road, Sheringham, Norfolk ). m. 31 Jan. 1931, Col. Robert Quinton Craufurd, D.S.O., late Royal Scots Fus., eldest son of Henry Robert Craufurd ( see Burk's Peerage, Craufurd, Bt. ) He d. 10 Jan. 1943.
    5. Evelyn Valpy, m. 4 June, 1910, Rev. Walter Nevill Long, M.A., Rector of Newton Flotman, Norwich, 3rd. son of Rev. Charles Hamilton Kellett Long, of Swinderby ( see 1952 edn. Long of Dunston ), and d. 27 Aug. 1958. He d. 21 Oct 1964.
    6. * Christabel May ( Charnwood, Abbey Road, Sheringham, Norfolk )

    He m. 2ndly, 24 Feb. 1904, May Catherine ( d. 28 April, 1930 ), dau. Of Henry Frederick Beaumont, D.L., of Whitley Beaumont, Yorks ( see that family, 1952 Edn. ), and d. 10 Oct. 1932.
    1.Eliza Cotter d. unm. 6 July, 1906
    2. Margaret Parker, m. 27 June 1855, James Stewart of Blackhouse, M.P. for Greenock, son of James Stewart, of Clydebank, Greenock, and d. 3 Oct. 1859, leaving issue ( see that family 1952 Edn. ). He d. 27 May 1895.
    3. Caroline Anne, m. Richard Birley Baxendale , son of Joseph Baxendale, of Woodside, Whetsone, Middlesex ( see Baxendale of Framfield Place ), and d. 2 June, 1857.
    4. Susan Louisa, m. 28 July, 1864, John Edward Morgan, and d. 17 Oct. 1911. He d.4 Sept. 1892
    4. Mary Babington, m. Duncan Mc Neill, and d. 14 Oct. 1911. He d. 23 Jan.1912.
    The eldest son,
    Duncan Darroch, 4th of Gourock, Renfrewshire, and of Torridon, Ross-Shire, D.L., and J.P. Renfrewshire and Ross-Shire, Barrister at-law, b. 15 March, 1836, educ. Harrow and Trin. Coll. Camb. ( M.A. ) m. 7 May, 1864, Ann ( d. 16 Feb. 1926 ), dau. of Samuel Phillip Rickman, of Tottenham, Middx., and d. 10 June, 1910, leaving issue,

1. Duncan of whom presently
2. Alasdair Ronald b. 22 April, 1880, educ. Harrow and Trin. Coll. Camb. ( M.A. 1910) d. 26 Dec 1944.
1.Annie Marion, m. 24 Oct. 1888, Hon. Gilbert James Duke Coleridge, 3rd son of 1st Baron Coleridge, and d. 1 Dec. 1917, leaving issue ( see Burke’s Peerage). He d.6 Nov. 1953.
2. Caroline Effie, d. dec. 1936
3. Helen Margaret, d. 8 June 1926

The elder son,
Duncan Darroch 5th of Gourock, Renfrewshire, Lord of the Barony of Gourock, D.L for Renfrewshire, Lt.-Col. T.F. Res., Major ( ret. 1910 ) Argyll and Sutherland Highrs., served in World War I. In Gallipoli and Sinai, b. 9 Feb. 1868, educ. Harrow, m. 1 Oct. 1898, Elizabeth Mabws ( d. 18 May, 1958 ), dau. Of Col. George Fletcher Ottley Boughey, C.S.I., late R.E. ( see Burke's Peerage, Boughey, Bt. ) and d. 23 May 1923, leaving issue,

1. Duncan, of whom presently.
2. Ronald George, Colonial Admin. Service, Kenya, 1926 - 45, b. 7 May, 1904, educ. Harrow and Trin. Coll. Camb. ( M.A. 1930 ) m. 7 Sept. 1944, * Diana Graburn ( Wimpole House, Fenstanton, Hunts ) dau. of late William Humphrey Smith, C.B.E., and d. 10 April 1957, leaving issue,

1. * Ronald Humphrey, b. 15 Nov. 1945, educ. Harrow.
2. * Alasdair Malcolm, b. 18 Feb. 1947, educ. Harrow

1. * Margaret Elisabeth ( Moymore House, Moy, Inverness - shire ), b. 7 March, 1901, m. July , Rear -Adm. The Mackintosh of Mackintosh, C.B., D.S.C., son of late Duncan Houston Mackintosh of Mackintosh, and has issue ( see that family ). He d. 20 March 1957.
2.Sheila Mary Susan, b. 15 July, 1907, m. 29 April 1933, * Rear - Adm. Arthur David Torlesse, C.B., D.S.O. ( Trentham, Burlon Joyce, Notts. ), son of late Capt. Arthur Ward Torlesse, R.N. of Holywood, Lymington, Hampshire, and has issue,
1.* Charles David ( 38 Tennyson Road, Harpenden, Herts. ), b. 3 June , 1936, educ. St. Edward's School, Oxford, m. 1 sept. 1962, * Morwenna, elder dau. Of Hugh Treverbyn Prideaux - Brune, of Lane House, Rowner, Gosport ( see that family ), and has issue, one dau
2..Anthony John, b. 29 Oct. 1938, educ. St. Edward's Sch. Oxford
1. * Catherine Susan, b. 24 Feb. 1944
3.* Katherine Marion, sometime Assist. Mistress, Godolphin Sch. Salisbury, Prin. St. Christopher's Coll. Canterbury ( St. Hilda's College, Toronto, Ontario, Canada ), b. 29 May, 1912.
The elder son,
Duncan Darroch, 6th of Gourock, of Coldon, Port of Menteith, Perthshire, Lord of the Barony of Gourock, Lt.-Col. ( ret. 1945 ) Capt ( 1930 ) and Major ( 1938 ) Argyll and Sutherland Highrs., served in World War I, and in World War II ( despatches ), mem. of Royal Co. of Archers, Co. Cadt. Cadets, Stirlingshire 1949, b. 6 Nov. 1899, educ. Harrow, and R.M.C., m. 3 Nov. 1926, * Rose Mary Helena Lilian ( Swanston Cottage, Edinburgh, 10 ), dau. Of Capt. Alan Kenrick Henderson, late 16th Lancers, and d. 27 Dec 1960, leaving issue,
1. * Duncan of whom we treat.
2.* John Roderick ( The Cottage, Deanshanger, nr. Wolverton Bucks),b. 14 Jan. 1937, educ. Harrow.
1. * Rosemary Jeanetta, b. 7 March, 1935, m. 2 Feb. 1963, * Lt-Cmdr. Denis John Dampier, R.N. ( ret. ) Chipperfield, West Clandon, nr. Guildford, Surrey ). yr. son of late Adm. Cecil Frederick Dampier, C.M.G., of Highfield, Bishops Waltham, Hants. ( see that family, 1952 Edn.).

Arms -Arg. A three-masted ship under full sail in a sea, all ppr., between three oak trees eradicated and fructed of the last. Crest - A demi-negro holding in his dexter hand a dagger ppr. Supporters - two alligators ppr. Motto - Be watchful.
Residence - The Red House, Camberley, Surrey. Club - Naval and Military.

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