Who was Rob Roy? Why was he shot?  

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boomer-sooner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Rob Roy is Black Beauty's brother.  Rob Roy is killed because his leg is broken during a hunting accident.

The hunt is described in chapter two of Anna Sewell's classic tale Black Beauty.  During the hunt Black Beauty is standing with his mother, Duchess, and learning about the tradition.  He is so enthralled by the killing of the hare he hardly notices two horses are down along with their riders.  One of the riders is later discovered to be George Gordon, the squire's only son.  The horse he was riding is named Rob Roy.  It is found his leg is broken, and because there is no proper manner to repair a broken leg on a horse, Rob Roy is killed to end his pain.  Sewell hints at the connection between Duchess and Rob Roy because Duchess refuses to go near the spot where Rob Roy was killed.

It is not until a few chapters later that Black Beauty learns of his family tie to Rob Roy.  John Manly, the coachman, is overheard by Black Beauty talking to James Howard, the stable boy.  John tells James that Black Beauty is Rob Roy's brother.  Although the sudden news saddens Black Beauty, he is able to move past the pain and become a fine horse in the stables of Squire Gordon.