Family Research – English, Scottish and Irish Genealogy


The Appin Murder

Argyll, 1752. It was six years after the ’45 rebellion had ended at Culloden. Jacobite estates had been forfeited to the crown and were being run by government factors. In May of that year, Colin Campbell of Glenure, factor on the Ardsheal estate, was shot and killed while on official business in Appin. James Stewart, brother of the estate’s former owner Charles Stewart, was found guilty of being an accessory to the murder and hanged on 8 November.

The killing was a cause celebre at the time and has held the public immagination ever since. Robert Louis Stevenson used the murder as the centrepiece of his novel kidnapped. Even at the time many people were convinced an innocent man was hanged and to this day the crime remains unsolved. Only Stewart familes in Appin know the identity of the real killer and they are sworn to secrecy.

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