Start My Family Tree Welcome to Geni, home of the world's largest family tree.
Join Geni to explore your genealogy and family history in the World's Largest Family Tree.

Project Tags

Top Surnames

view all

Profiles

Appin Murder

  • Date 14 May 1752
  • Location
  • Causes

The murder of Colin Roy Campbell of Glenure, the government-appointed Factor to the forfeited estates of the Stewart Clan in North Argyll, Scotland, was shot in the back by a marksman in the wood of Lettermore near Ballachulish. The murder took place six years after the battle of Culloden, when the Campbells were evicting Jacobites from their land on behalf of the government.

The search for the killer targeted the local Clan, the Jacobite Stewarts of Appin, who had recently suffered evictions on Campbell's orders. The main suspect, Allan Breck Stewart, escaped to France.

  • Result

The chief suspect, Allan Stewart (or Alan Breck Stewart) having escaped, James Stewart (also known as Seumas a' Ghlinne [James of the Glen] and brother of Ardsheil), one of the last leaders of 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 at Ballachulish after being convicted as an accessory to the murder. The unsolved murder has become part of Scottish folklore. He was was forced to climb the 30ft high gibbet in a howling gale and torrential rain on 8 November and his bones left to hang for over two years until they fell off and disintegrated. The British Government ordered the bones to be rewired together and James' remains were hung again for a number of years, until gradually they fell off one by one.

The Appin murder shocked the country and was immortalised by writer Robert Louis Stevenson in his novel Kidnapped.

To participate in any project


- you do need to first be a collaborator - so please join the project using the request link under "actions" at the top right of the page. Visit Geni Wikitext, Unicode and images which gives a great deal of assistance. See the discussion Project Help: How to add Text to a Project - Starter Kit to get you going!

How to add a link is explained in the attached document - Adding links to Geni profiles in projects.

References, Sources and Further Reading