by his contemporaries as: A craggy old man of seventy or more,
his body twisted by rheumatism, he was a man of little property,
living in Strathbogie, he liked the highlanders and had married
his many daughters amongst them. Described as an inveterate
Jacobite, he had been out in '89 with Dundee, and in the '15
he commanded a battalion of Gordons at Sherriffmuir. 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 Feb. '46 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. He supposedly gave King George nightmares; during
the march to Derby, King George is said to have exclaimed
in alarm "De great Glenboggit is coming!"
In the '45, Glenbucket led 300
men for Charles. 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 150 of his men was with the Prince shortly
before he set out to raise the standard at Glenfinnan on
the 19th August 45 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 45.
He finally escaped on a Swedish sloop on 25th November and
was expressly exempted from the Act of Indemnity of June
1747. He died in Bolougne on 16th June 1750. In addition,
it is recorded that his son, also named John Gordon, was
amongst the captives taken at Inverness after the battle.
He is described as being half blind with drink.