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On 20 May 685, at Dun Nechtáin (‘Nechtan’s Fortress’), an English army from Northumbria was massacred while advancing deep into Pictish territory. As well as being associated with…
Source: Ghosts of Nechtanesmere
The Battle of Culloden was a terrible turning point in the history of Scotland. For many it felt like the devastation of a nation. Short as it was (it lasted no more than an hour) it was deadly and…
Source: they never came home
This magnificent cross-slab from the Viking Age stands in the churchyard of Kirkcolm in the Rhinns of Galloway. I blogged about it two years ago, reproducing a nineteenth-century drawing (see below…
Source: The Kilmorie Cross (again)
There are some who refer to the nine of diamonds in a deck of cards as the ‘curse of Scotland’. But, why is this and where did this belief first appear? There seem to be two main storie…
Source: The Curse of Scotland
The murder of John Stewart, Lord of Lorn on his wedding day, the killing of his murderer Alan MacDougall in battle and a graveyard for the line of the legitimized bastard – the dramatic birth of the Stewarts of Appin.
At the beginning of the Clan Stewart of Appin was lust, maybe even love. It was the year 1445 and Sir John Stewart was on his way home to his castle (Dunstaffnage) when he met a young woman with whom he fell in love with. Awkwardly enough Sir John was a married man. It did not stop him though to father a son with this woman, a daughter of MacLaren of Ardvech whose name remains obscure, but whom he eventually married five years after his rightful wife had died. She had left him with three daughters but no male heir, he was forced to secure the line.
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This is an ancient monastery, founded nearly 800 years ago by Duncan Mac Dougall, Lord of Lorn. thriving on the shores of Glen Etive it was the center of ecclesiastical life in this area for centuries until Cromwell’s troops burned it down in 1654. The adjacent house and beautiful garden are in private ownership.
A victim often overlooked for the tragic injustice of the alleged murderer’s hanging. But he was mourned as well.
For more details check: The Appin Murder
His death, tragic as it was for his family, was very much a political showcase and his funeral a very public event. It was the Campbell’s cry for justice. The fact that a Campbell judged the murder trial an injustice of exceptional dimension.
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This gruesome tale is true, some parts will never be brought to light but many say The Appin Murder is one of the biggest if not the biggest miscarriage of justice in the history of Scotland. The law made James of the Glen a murderer, legend made him the victim.
His bones rest in the old graveyard of Keil in Appin.
the real murder?
Ballachulish on the shores of Loch Leven, November 8th 1752.
On the little hillock above the pier of the ferry (today a bridge connects the two shores) a gallow has been erected. The 50-year-old James Stewart, also known as Seaumas a’ Ghlinne, James of the Glen, faces death on this very spot.
He was hanged for murder. A murder he very probably did not commit. So the alleged murderer was murdered.
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