Rob Roy (part 1)
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In Scotland, 1713, Robert Roy MacGregor is the Chief of Clan MacGregor. Providing the Lowland gentry with protection against cattle rustling, he barely manages to feed his people. Hoping to alleviate their poverty, MacGregor borrows £1,000 from James Graham, Marquess of Montrose in order to trade cattle.
London aristocrat Archibald Cunningham has been sent to stay with Montrose, who it is implied is related to him. Cunningham learns about MacGregor's loan from Montrose's factor Killearn, and murders MacGregor's retainer, Alan MacDonald, to steal the money. MacGregor requests time from Montrose to find MacDonald and the money. Montrose offers to waive the debt if MacGregor will testify falsely that Montrose's rival John Campbell, 2nd Duke of Argyll is a Jacobite. MacGregor refuses and Montrose vows to imprison him in the tolbooth until the debt is repaid. MacGregor flees, briefly taking Cunningham hostage. Montrose seizes MacGregor's land to cover the debt, declaring him an outlaw and orders Cunningham to bring him in "broken, but not dead". With MacGregor in hiding, redcoats slaughter MacGregor's cattle, burn his croft, and Cunningham rapes his wife Mary.
Mary understands that Cunningham's intent is to flush her husband out of hiding and makes his brother Alasdair, who arrives too late to save her, swear to conceal knowledge of the rape from him. Unaware of the assault on his wife, but the damage to his property being evident, MacGregor refuses to permit his outraged clan to wage war on Montrose. Instead, he decrees, "The tenderest part of the Marquess is his purse. We'll hurt him there. Thieve his cattle, steal his rents." Betty, a maidservant at Montrose's estate, has become pregnant with Cunningham's child. When Killearn tells Montrose, Betty is dismissed from service and rejected by Cunningham. Betty seeks refuge with the MacGregors, revealing that she had overheard Killearn and Cunningham plot to steal the money. To build a case against Cunningham, MacGregor abducts Killearn and imprisons him. Mary promises Killearn that he will be spared if he testifies against Cunningham, but Killearn taunts her with her rape. Realizing that Mary is pregnant, he threatens to tell MacGregor that Cunningham may be the father if she does not release him. Enraged, Mary draws a sgian dubh and stabs Killearn in the neck. Alasdair then drowns him in the loch.
Montrose tells Cunningham that he suspects who really stole the money but that he doesn't care. Complaining that the ongoing thefts of his cattle and rents will impoverish him and mystified by the disappearance of Killearn, he orders Cunningham to pursue MacGregor to prevent further humiliation. Cunningham and the redcoats burn the Clan's crofts. MacGregor refuses to take the bait, but Alasdair attempts to snipe Cunningham and hits a redcoat, revealing their hiding place. The redcoats shoot both Alasdair and another Clan member, Coll. Alasdair finally tells MacGregor about Mary's rape. Taken prisoner, MacGregor accuses Cunningham of murder, robbery and rape. Cunningham confirms the charges. The following morning, Montrose, despite hearing MacGregor confirm his suspicions as to who stole his money, orders MacGregor to be hanged from a nearby bridge. MacGregor loops the rope binding his hands around Cunningham's throat and then jumps off the bridge. To save Cunningham, Montrose orders the rope cut, freeing MacGregor. MacGregor is chased downstream by the redcoats, but he evades them by hiding inside the rotting corpse of a cow. Cunningham survives his strangulation.
Mary gains an audience with the Duke of Argyll and exposes Montrose's plan to frame him. Moved by MacGregor's integrity, he grants the family asylum at Glen Shira. MacGregor arrives, at first upset by Mary's unwillingness to inform him of her rape or her pregnancy. The Duke, though skeptical of MacGregor's likelihood of survival, arranges a duel between MacGregor and Cunningham, wagering Montrose that if MacGregor lives, his debt will be forgiven and that if he dies, the Duke will pay his debt. Montrose agrees and Cunningham and MacGregor vow that no quarter will be asked or given. Armed with a smallsword, Cunningham skillfully attacks and repeatedly wounds MacGregor, who appears to swiftly exhaust himself swinging a heavy broadsword. Montrose signals Cunningham to finish him, but MacGregor grabs his enemy's sword-point with his left hand. As Cunningham struggles to free his blade, MacGregor delivers a fatal strike.