|Part of the aftermath of the Jacobite rising of 1745|
Memorial to James Stewart of the Glen who was wrongly convicted and executed for the Appin murder
|Commanders and leaders|
James Stewart of the Glen
|Casualties and losses|
|Colin Roy Campbell of Glenure killed|| James Stewart executed|
Allan Stewart exiled
The Appin Murder occurred on 14 May 1752 near Appin in the west of Scotland, and it resulted in what is often held to be a notorious miscarriage of justice. It occurred in the tumultuous aftermath of the Jacobite Rising of 1745.
The murder inspired events in Robert Louis Stevenson's 1886 novel Kidnapped .
On 14 May 1752, Colin Roy Campbell of Glenure, 44, the government-appointed Factor to the forfeited lands of the Clan Stewart of Appin in north Argyllshire, Scotland, was shot in the back by a sniper in the wood of Lettermore near Duror. The search for the killer targeted the local clan, the Jacobite Stewarts of Appin, who had recently suffered evictions on Campbell's orders.
The chief suspect, Allan Stewart (or Alan Breck Stewart) having fled, James Stewart (also known as Seumas a' Ghlinne [James of the Glen] and brother of Ardsheil), the Tanist of the Stewarts, was arrested for the crime and tried for the murder.Although it was clear at the trial that James was not directly involved in the assassination (he had a solid alibi), he was found guilty "in airts and pairts" (as an accessory; an aider and abetter) by a jury consisting of people from the locality where the crime occurred. The presiding judge was pro-Hanoverian Archibald Campbell, 3rd Duke of Argyll, Chief of Clan Campbell; 11 Campbell clansmen were on the 15-man jury.
James Stewart was hanged on 8 November 1752 on a specially commissioned gibbet above the narrows at Ballachulish, now near the south entrance to the Ballachulish Bridge. He died protesting his innocence and sang the 35th Psalm in Scottish Gaelic before mounting the scaffold. To this day in the Highlands, it remains known as "The Psalm of James of the Glens."
Ironically, Colin Roy Campbell of Glenure had actually been very well liked, even by many veteran Jacobites. Shortly before his murder, Jacobite poet and propagandist Alasdair MacMhaighstir Alasdair poked fun at Colin's loyalties in his Anti-Whig polemic An Airce.
In the poem, which begins by skewering the conventions of Aisling poetry, the poet describes meeting the ghost of a beheaded Jacobite who prophesies that his Campbell clansmen will soon be punished for committing high treason against their lawful king by a repeat of the Ten Plagues of Egypt followed by a second Great Flood on their lands. The bard is instructed to emulate Noah by building an Ark for Campbells loyal to the Stuart cause. Some, however, are first to be purged of their "treason" by receiving a good, proper soaking.
In 2001, Anda Penman, an 89-year-old descendant of the Clan Chiefs of the Stewarts of Appin, revealed what she alleged to be a long-held family secret. She said the murder was planned by four young Stewart tacksmen without the sanction of James of the Glens. There was a shooting contest among them and that the assassination was committed by the best marksman among the four, Donald Stewart of Ballachulish.According to other stories, Donald desperately wanted to turn himself in rather than allow James to hang and had to be physically held down to prevent this. Several years after James' execution, when the body was finally delivered to the Stewart Clan for burial, Donald Stewart of Ballachulish was responsible for washing the bones before the funeral.
Lee Holcombe, PhD, has written the most thorough examination of the Appin Murder published to date. She concluded, based on substantial evidence, that James of the Glens was indeed guilty of ordering the murder of Colin Campbell.She also reported the information that Donald Stewart, rather than Allan Breck Stewart, was probably the actual shooter.
In Walking With Murder: On The Kidnapped Trail (2005), Ian Nimmo has addressed the mystery of who shot Colin Campbell, applying modern police methods to the documents in the case, including two post-mortem reports. According to Nimmo, Alan Stewart did not pull the trigger, and the secret of who did has been handed down through the Stewart family for 250 years. Nimmo does not choose to reveal it, stating that "it is not mine to give away".
In 2008 Glasgow lawyer John Macaulay asked the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission to reconsider the case on the grounds his study of the trial transcripts shows there was "not a shred of evidence" against Stewart.This was, however, rejected.
Kidnapped is a historical fiction adventure novel by Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson, written as a boys' novel and first published in the magazine Young Folks from May to July 1886. The novel has attracted the praise and admiration of writers as diverse as Henry James, Jorge Luis Borges, and Hilary Mantel. A sequel, Catriona, was published in 1893.
Alasdair mac Mhaighstir Alasdair, legal name Alexander MacDonald, was a Scottish war poet, lexicographer, political writer and memoirist. He was one of the most famous Scottish Gaelic Bards of the 18th century. He served as a Jacobite military officer and Gaelic tutor to Prince Charles Edward Stuart.
Kidnapped is a 1995 TV adventure drama film directed by Ivan Passer and starring Armand Assante as Highlander Alan Breck and Brian McCardie as Lowlander David Balfour. Among the supporting actors are Michael Kitchen and Brian Blessed. The film was based on the 1886 novel Kidnapped by author Robert Louis Stevenson. Christopher Reeve had originally been cast as Breck prior to his spinal cord injury in a horse race which left him a quadriplegic on May 27, 1995.
Balquhidder is a small village in the Stirling council area of Scotland. It is overlooked by the dramatic mountain terrain of the 'Braes of Balquhidder', at the head of Loch Voil. Balquhidder Glen is also popular for fishing, nature watching and walking.
John MacDonald, known as Iain Lom was a Scottish Gaelic poet.
James Stewart of the Glen, also known as James of the Glens, was a Scotsman who was wrongfully accused and hanged as an accessory to the Appin Murder. The Appin Murder is a case in which Colin Roy Campbell was killed. Campbell was a government factor of estates forfeited by pro-Jacobite clans following the Rising of 1745.
Catriona is an 1893 novel written by Robert Louis Stevenson as a sequel to his earlier novel Kidnapped (1886). It was first published in the magazine Atalanta from December 1892 to September 1893. The novel continues the story of the central character in Kidnapped, David Balfour.
Clan Macnab is a Highland Scottish clan.
Clan MacDonald of Keppoch, also known as Clan Ranald of Lochaber, is a Scottish clan and a branch of Clan Donald. The Clan MacDonald of Keppoch has a chief that is recognized by the Lord Lyon King of Arms and the Court of the Lord Lyon.
Clan Stewart of Appin is the West Highland branch of the Clan Stewart and have been a distinct clan since their establishment in the 15th century. Their Chiefs are descended from Sir James Stewart of Perston, who was himself the grandson of Alexander Stewart, the fourth High Steward of Scotland. His cousin Walter Stewart, the 6th High Steward, married Marjorie Bruce, the daughter of King Robert the Bruce, and their son Robert II was the first Stewart Monarch. The Stewarts of Appin are cousins to the Royal Stewart Monarchy.
Kidnapped is a 1960 Walt Disney Productions live-action film adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's classic 1886 novel Kidnapped. It stars Peter Finch and James MacArthur, and was Disney's second production based on a novel by Stevenson, the first being Treasure Island. It also marked Peter O'Toole's feature-film debut.
Simon Fraser of Lovat was a son of a notorious Jacobite clan chief, but he went on to serve with distinction in the British army. He also raised forces which served in the Seven Years' War against the French in Quebec, as well as the American War of Independence. Simon was the 19th Chief of the Clan Fraser of Lovat.
Clan Stewart is a Highland Scottish clan. The clan is recognised by Court of the Lord Lyon; however, it does not have a Clan Chief recognised by the Lord Lyon King of Arms. Because the clan has no chief it can be considered an armigerous clan; however, the Earls of Galloway are now considered to be the principal branch of this clan, and the crest and motto of The Earls of Galloway's arms are used in the Clan Stewart crest badge. The Court of the Lord Lyon recognises two other Stewart/Stuart clans, Clan Stuart of Bute and Clan Stewart of Appin. Clan Stuart of Bute is the only one of the three clans at present which has a recognised chief.
Alan Breck Stewart was a Scottish soldier and Jacobite. He was also a central figure in a murder case that inspired novels by Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson.
Iain Mac Fhearchair (1693-–1779) was a Scottish Gaelic-speaking Bard and seanchaidh "who lived and died in the island of North Uist." Later in his life, Iain served as the official poet to the Chief of Clan MacDonald of Sleat.
Events from the year 1752 in Scotland.
Duror,, occasionally Duror of Appin is a small, remote coastal village that sits at the base of Glen Duror, in district of Appin, in the Scottish West Highlands, within the council area of Argyll and Bute in Scotland. Duror is known for the first building of the Telford Parliamentary churches by the Scottish civil engineer, architect and stonemason, Thomas Telford, from 1826, the first in a series of 32, built in Scotland. William Thomson was the architect. Duror is the location of the famous Appin Murder. Although no direct evidence for this connection exists, the murder event and the kidnap of James Annesley, supposedly provided the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson writing the novel Kidnapped.
The Battle of Stalc was a Scottish clan battle that was fought in the year 1468. It was fought between the forces of the Clan Stewart of Appin and their allies the Clan MacLaren against the Clan MacDougall and the Clan MacFarlane. The latter force may have included men from the Clan Campbell.
The Atholl raids of 14 - 17 March 1746 were a series of raids carried out by Jacobite rebels against the British-Hanoverian Government during the Jacobite rising of 1745.
The Dewar Manuscripts are a collection of oral folktales of the Scottish Highlands, recorded in writing between 1863-1871 by John Dewar. Dewar's writings were first translated from Gaelic to English in 1879 and since then have been published in multiple formats. The collection of the folktales was intended to ensure that they were not forgotten by the population of the Scottish Highlands, and the manuscripts serve today as both a cultural record and historical source.