Ronnie grew up with several brothers on the Lallybroch estate.
Events of the NovelsEdit
When Jamie asks Ronnie if Rabbie can come to Lallybroch to be a stable boy, Ronnie belligerently refuses. Later that day Jamie takes Ronnie out to the cowshed and beats him so that he will agree to let Rabbie stay at Lallybroch.
When Murtagh finds Jenny and Claire on the hunt for Jamie, he tells them that Jenny will find the "Widow MacNab" has become a new housemaid at the manor. He only says that Ronnie died by fire – the implication being that he was the one that betrayed Jamie to the Watch, and his death was no accident.
Upon their return from France, Jamie and Claire see the remains of the MacNabs' burned-out cottage. Claire had told Jamie of MacNab's betrayal and subsequent death, but not how it had happened. Ian explains that the same night that Jamie was taken by the Watch, the cottage caught fire while Ronnie was still inside, probably too drunk to escape in time. The unspoken implication is there, however, and Jamie recognizes it – it was no accident, but a deliberate act of justice taken by some of the tenants on behalf of their laird.
Ronnie was abusive toward his son, especially when drunk. He was also stubborn, refusing Jamie's request that his son be taken on to work in the stables at the manor, though he acquiesced after Jamie beat him up.
Ronnie had a generally unkempt, unwashed appearance, with a bloated face, eyes that were dull gray and bloodshot, and long, greasy hair. Claire places his age around Jamie's, though he looks at least fifteen years older.
- Ronald is a Scottish form of Ragnvaldr, Old Norse name composed of the elements regin "advice, counsel" and valdr "power, ruler".
- MacNab is derived from the Scottish Gaelic Mac An Aba, which means "child of the abbot".