Tuesday 4 February 2014

James Stewart of The Glen

Myself and Marc headed up to Glen Duror at the weekend to meet up with John Cree and spend a night in this remote cottage. Birthplace of James Stewart of the Glen.

John was already there having spent the previous night and had the fire lit but it was a nightmare to keep going and get any heat out of with the wet wood at our disposal. After dinner and a few drams we bedded down and the wind and rain fairly ripped through the Glen during the night. So much so, we thought the roof might come off on more than one occasion.

Forestry Track

The cottage. Birthplace of James Stewart of The Glen. Who was allegedly wrongly hanged for the murderous shooting of Colin " The red Fox " Campbell. A King's man, in May 1752.  

Campbell was supposedly on his way to evict Stewart and his Clansmen from the Duror tenancies and replace them with his own kinsmen. The shooting became widely known in Scotland and beyond to this day as The Appin Murder.

James Stewart of  the Glen Makes a brief appearance in Robert Louis Stevenson's book kidnapped and an editorial review of the book was written as follows.

"In May 1752 in the Scottish Highlands, a rider is shot dead by a hidden gunman. The murdered man is Colin Campbell, a government agent heading for nearby Duror where he plans to evict Duror's farming tenants and replace them with his relatives. Colin Campbell's killer escapes. But Britain's rulers insist that this challenge to their authority must be paid for with a hanging. The sacrificial victim is James Stewart who, from his Duror home, has been organizing resistance to the murdered man's evictions. Stewart is a veteran of the Highland uprising which culminated in the Battle of Culloden in April 1746. Back in Duror he saw home after home torched by troops sent to bring the Highlanders to heel. But Stewart, refusing to knuckle under, takes on the officials —among them Colin Campbell— who are trying to impose British rule on the Highlands. Colin Campbell's killing rocked 18th-century Britain and became the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson's classic novel, Kidnapped." 

And ever since the fatal shot was fired, people have argued about who actually pulled the trigger.

Commemorative Plaque

It was The Stewart's of Appin that the surviving MacDonald's of Glen Coe fled to after the murderous rampage of the Campbell's in 1692 that infamously became known as the Massacre of Glencoe  which preceeded the 1715 and 1745 Jacobite uprisings.

A cold wet and windy night in Glen Duror where I'm sure I saw and heard the ghosts of Appin on more than one occasion throughout the night.

May the fire be always lit !

No comments:

Post a Comment