Mary "Highland Mary" Margaret Campbell

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Mary "Highland Mary" Margaret Campbell

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Auchamore, Dunoon, Argyll, Scotland
Death: Died in Greenock, Renfrewshire, Scotland
Cause of death: Caught a typhoid fever from her brother who she was nursing at Greenock
Place of Burial: West Highland Churchyard
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Archibald Campbell, of Cowel in Argyle and Agnes (nn) Campbell
Fiancée of Robert Burns
Sister of Gilbert Campbell

Occupation: Nursemaid in the home of Gavin Hamilton, dairyman at Coilsfiled, near Mauchline.
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Mary "Highland Mary" Margaret Campbell

Mary Campbell (Highland Mary

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mary Campbell also known as Highland Mary,[2] (was christened Margaret, March 1763[1] – 1786) she was the daughter of a sailor in a revenue cutter[3] named Archibald Campbell of Daling, whose wife was Agnes Campbell of Achnamore or Auchamore, by Dunoon, in 1762. Mary was the eldest of a family of four. Robert Burns had an affair with her after he felt that he had been 'deserted' by Jean Armour following her move to Paisley in March 1786. The brief affair started in April 1786, the parting took place on 14 May.[1] Her pronunciation of English was heavily accented with Gaelic and this led to her becoming known as 'Highland Mary.'[4]

Life and character

Mary lived with her parents, first, near Dunoon, in 1768 the family moved to Campbeltown, and finally at Greenock. Her three siblings, Robert, Annie and Archibald, were born at Campbeltown.[1] She is said to have spent some time at Lochranza on Arran, living with the Rev. David Campbell, minister of that parish and a relative of her mother's.[5] She was described as a "...sweet, sprightly, blue-eyed creature."[3] In her early 'teens, she went to Ayrshire and became a nursemaid in Gavin Hamilton's house in Mauchline.[2][6] She is said to have worked as a young servant girl in Irvine.[7]

Gavin Hamilton's married daughter, Mrs Todd, recalled Mary Campbell coming to look after her brother Alexander as a nursemaid in 1785, describing Mary as 'very pleasant and winning', though not a beauty. From Mauchline, she moved to Coilsfield House, later Montgomery castle, where she was employed as a dairy-maid or byres-woman. She gained this position through the offices of Miss Arbukle of Campbeltown who married into the Eglinton family.[4]

According to Grierson, who met Mary's sister, Mrs Anderson, in 1817, Mary was 'tall, fair haired with blue eyes'.[2] She was also described by Miss McNeill to have been "a great favourite with everyone who knew her, due to her pleasant manners, sweet temper and obliging disposition. her figure was graceful; the cast of her face was singularly delicate and of fair complexion, and her eyes were bluish and lustrous had a remarkably winning expression."[8]

Mary Campbell died at the age of 23, around 20 October 1786, probably from typhoid fever contracted when nursing her brother Robert. She was buried in the old West Kirk churchyard at Greenock, in a lair owned by her host and relation Peter Macpherson.[9] A story is told that some superstitious friends believed that her illness was as a result of someone casting the evil eye upon her. Her father was urged to go to a place where two streams meet, select seven smooth stones, boil them in milk, and treat her with the potion.[10] It was asserted by some older inhabitants of Greenock that the 1842 monument, designed by John Mossman, was not erected in the right spot and that her body had been interred closer to the kirk.[10] A statue of her was also erected at Dunoon on the Castle Hill.[11]

Association with Robert Burns

Burns had first seen Mary Campbell in church while he was living near Tarbolton. He dedicated the poems "The Highland Lassie O", Highland Mary and To Mary in Heaven to her. His song "Will ye go to the Indies, my Mary, And leave auld Scotia's shore?" suggests that they planned to emigrate to Jamaica together, however after a brief illness she died at Greenock. Burns and Mary Campbell apparently exchanged Bibles over a water course and possibly some sort of traditional Scottish matrimonial vows[2] on the banks of the River Ayr, either at Failford, where the Mauchline Burn has its confluence or near Coilsfield.[12] Burns had written biblical verses in his bible (two volumes), signed them and impressed his masonic sign.[13]

He is said to have met Mary at the "Burn's Thorn" or "Mary's Tryst" that grew close a path close to the western side of the house. The tree was later a victim of relic-hunters.[14]

Burns wrote: "This was a composition of mine in very early life, before I was known at all in the world. My Highland lassie was a warm-hearted charming young creature as ever blessed a man with generous love. After a pretty long tract of the most ardent reciprocal attachment we met by appointment, on the second Sunday of May, in a sequestered spot by the Banks of Ayr, where we spent the day in taking farewell, before she should embark for the West Highlands to arrange matters among her friends for our projected change of life. At the close of Autumn following she crossed the sea to meet me at Greenock, where she had scarce landed when she was seized with a malignant fever, which hurried my dear girl to the grave in a few days, before I could even hear of her illness."[2] She was staying in Greenock with relatives whilst waiting to take up employment with the family of Colonel McIvor at Glasgow.[15]

Burns's sister, Isabella Begg, recollected that he had once remarked to John Blane, the 'gaudman', that Mary had refused to meet with him in the old castle, the dismantled tower of the priory at Mauchline. Additionally Burns is said to have received one evening a letter that caused him great sadness, almost certainly the letter that informed him of Mary's death at Greenock.[16]

Years after her death Burns would think of her fondly and with great sadness. As stated, the heartfelt poem "To Mary in Heaven" was written at Ellisland Farm on the third anniversary of her death. Jean Armour recalled that towards evening, the night before, Robert grew sad, and wandered in solitary contemplation along the banks of the River Nith and about the farmyard in extreme agitation. Even though he was repeatedly asked to come into the house, he would not. Burns entered the house at daybreak, sat down and wrote his address to "Mary in Heaven".[2]

Captain James Montgomerie

Mary Campbell had probably been the mistress of the Earl of Eglinton's brother, Captain James Montgomerie of Coilsfield.[17][18]

Poetry and song

Mary inspired some of Burns's finest and most famous poems. The following lines refer to his separation from her at Coilsfield (Montgomery Castle):[19]

“ Ye banks and braes and streams around The castle of Montgomerie, Green be your woods, and fair your flowers, Your waters never drumlie! There simmer first unfauld her robes, And there the longest tarry! For there I took the last fareweel O' my Sweet Highland Mary.

” The song 'Montgomerie's Peggy' alludes to her association with Captain James Montgomerie :

“ Were I a Baron proud and high, And horse and servants waiting ready, Then a' 'twad gie o'joy to me – The shairin't wi' Montgomerie's Peggy.

Move of grave to Greenock Cemetery

With the intention of enlarging their Greenock shipyard to take over the site, Harland and Wolff requested that the West Kirk and its cemetery be demolished. The whole church was taken apart and re-erected at a site further west, on the corner of Greenock's Esplanade. The remains of the churchyard burials were re-interred in a mass grave in Greenock Cemetery, with an exception being made for Mary's grave. On 5 November 1920, 134 years after Mary's death, her grave was opened and the three lairs removed, with the skulls and bones of three adults. Adjacent to one lair, the remains of the bottom board of an infant's coffin was found. This naturally resulted in speculation, based on Burns's well known extra-marital intimacy, on the real cause of Mary's death, but evidence was subsequently given that the child had died in 1827, and had also been buried in the Macpherson's plot. In a solemn ceremony on 13 November 1920 Mary's remains were re-interred in Greenock Cemetery under the 1842 monument designed by John Mossman, moved from the old West Kirkyard, which depicts the romantic couple, in memory of Robert Burns' lost love.[9]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Campbell_(Highland_Mary)

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Mary "Highland Mary" Margaret Campbell's Timeline

1766
March 18, 1766
Auchamore, Dunoon, Argyll, Scotland

Margaret Campbel
in the Scotland, Select Births and Baptisms, 1564-1950
Name: Margaret Campbel
Gender: Female
Birth Date: 18 Mar 1766
Birth Place: Dunoon and Kilmun,Argyll,Scotland
Father: Archibald Campbel
Mother: Anne
FHL Film Number: 1041006
Source Information
Ancestry.com. Scotland, Select Births and Baptisms, 1564-1950 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014.
Original data: Scotland, Births and Baptisms, 1564-1950. Salt Lake City, Utah: FamilySearch, 2013.
Description
This collection includes birth and baptism records from Scotland. Learn more...
© 2016, Ancestry.com
http://search.ancestry.com/search/collections/FS1ScotlandBirthsandB...

1786
October 1786
Age 20
Greenock, Renfrewshire, Scotland
October 1786
Age 20
West Highland Churchyard

Move of grave to Greenock Cemetery[edit]
With the intention of enlarging their Greenock shipyard to take over the site, Harland and Wolff requested that the West Kirk and its cemetery be demolished. The whole church was taken apart and re-erected at a site further west, on the corner of Greenock's Esplanade. The remains of the churchyard burials were re-interred in a mass grave in Greenock Cemetery, with an exception being made for Mary's grave. On 5 November 1920, 134 years after Mary's death, her grave was opened and the three lairs removed, with the skulls and bones of three adults. Adjacent to one lair, the remains of the bottom board of an infant's coffin was found. This naturally resulted in speculation, based on Burns's well known extra-marital intimacy, on the real cause of Mary's death, but evidence was subsequently given that the child had died in 1827, and had also been buried in the Macpherson's plot. In a solemn ceremony on 13 November 1920 Mary's remains were re-interred in Greenock Cemetery under the 1842 monument designed by John Mossman, moved from the old West Kirkyard, which depicts the romantic couple, in memory of Robert Burns' lost love.[9]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Campbell_(Highland_Mary)

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Birth: unknown
Death: 1842
Greenock
Inverclyde, Scotland

Moved from Old West Kirk burying ground and re-interred in Greenock in November of 1920. She was the lover of Burns.

Burial:
Greenock Cemetery
Greenock
Inverclyde, Scotland

Edit Virtual Cemetery info [?]

Created by: Saratoga
Record added: Feb 25, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 105790463
http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSsr=161&G...;