Asterisk denotes entries on real places.
Osbaldistone Hall. Northumbrian country mansion of Sir Hildebrand Osbaldistone and his six sons. Osbaldistone Hall is called “cub castle” by its neighbors and is a large, antiquated country place dedicated mainly to eating, drinking, hunting, and the generally rustic and rude behavior of Sir Hildebrand and his sons. In broad terms, Osbaldistone Hall is the novel’s symbol of the old-fashioned English country squire’s way of life, which in the novel has become decadent, wasteful, and notably unintelligent. Like the Scottish Highlands, Osbaldistone Hall represents an antiquated way of life that must give way to modernity and mercantilism. Osbaldistone Hall is also used in the novel to lend atmosphere to the characters of Rashleigh Osbaldistone and Diana Vernon and to the mysteries that surround them. In this respect, the Gothic antiquity and the secret rooms, doors, and passages of Osbaldistone Hall provide the perfect setting for the villainies and machinations of Rashleigh and the secret fears and hopes of Diana.
*Glasgow. Mercantile metropolis of western Scotland and the home of Nicol Jarvie, perhaps the novel’s greatest character. Generally speaking, Glasgow functions in Rob Roy as a Scottish symbol for the modern, mercantile, rational world represented by London. Glasgow is a city of law, learning, order, and business. Nicol Jarvie, who is virtually Glasgow incarnate, is both a magistrate and a merchant. Like Glasgow itself, Jarvie stands for practicality, reason, mercantilism, and civil order. The world of Glasgow and Nicol Jarvie may seem a bit prosaic, but it is the world of the future, and in its natural opposition to the wild irregularities and colorful violence of the Scottish Highlands, it will be victorious. Scott also describes Glasgow Cathedral with great power and in doing so creates both a memorable symbol for Scottish Presbyterianism and an effective setting for one of the novel’s most thrilling and frightening moments, the whispered warning to Frank Osbaldistone that he is in danger in Glasgow.
*London. Capital of Great Britain that is the home of the great commercial house of Osbaldistone and Tresham. Although Scott never really describes London in the novel, it is symbolically one of the most important places in the novel. London is where the novel begins and where it ends. Throughout Rob Roy, the values of poetry, romance, heroism, and feudalism are opposed to the London values of commercialism and rationality. At the beginning of the novel, Frank Osbaldistone leaves London because he rejects what London represents. At the end of the book, Frank has returned to his father’s London firm, and the values of London are triumphant.