Tobar an Dualchais - Kist O Riches

The voices of the past ... brought to life through the latest technology - The speik o a bygane age ... gien new virr wi fantoosh technology
This website contains over 34,000 oral recordings made in Scotland and further afield, from the 1930s onwards.
The items you can listen to include stories, songs, music, poetry and factual information.


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Portrait of Robert Louis Stevenson who based 'Kidnapped' on the Appin murder. In the public domain.

The Appin Murder occurred on 14 May 1752 and remains the subject of much speculation over two and a half centuries later.

The murdered man was Colin Campbell of Glenure, Argyllshire, who was also known as 'The Red Fox'. He was a factor for three estates which had been placed in government hands after the Jacobite rebellion of 1745-6. He was collecting taxes from Stewart families on the Ardsheal estate when he was shot. It has been claimed that Campbell was going to evict Stewart families from their homes and replace them with Campbells.

James Stewart was arrested and tried as a conspirator in the crime although it was clear that he could not have been involved directly in the murder. He was found guilty and later hanged. The jury was led by the Duke of Argyll, chief of the Clan Campbell, and eleven of the fifteen jury members were Campbells.

There have been various theories about who may have actually fired the fatal shot.

One of the prime suspects was Alan Breck Stewart, James' half-brother. Alan was a Jacobite spy and had made threatening remarks about Campbell. He fled Scotland soon after the murder.

In 2001, Andra Penman, a descendant of the Stewarts, claimed that the murder had been planned by four young Stewart lairds and carried out by Donald Stewart of Ballachulish. This claim has not yet been substantiated.

Over 100 years after the murder, Robert Louis Stevenson based his novels 'Kidnapped' and 'Catriona' on this incident.

In this recording Ginger Wilson of Glencoe gives information about the murder.

Listen to 'How James Stewart was hanged for the murder of Campbell of Glenure'

Browse all recordings of Ginger Wilson

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About the Website

Julie Fowlis and Chris Wright were Tobar an Dualchais' Artists in Residence in 2012


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