Ancient Animosity: The Appin Murder and the End of Scottish Rebellion

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AuthorHouse, 2004 - True Crime - 618 pages
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For 250 years speculation has swirled as to the true murderer of Colin Campbell, and whether James Stewart, hanged as an accessory, really was part of a conspiracy that might have ignited rebellion in Scotland. The rivalry between the Campbell and Stewart clans was connected to the political and religious fires that had already engulfed Britain the fourth Jacobite rebellion had been extinguished with the blood of thousands of Highlanders only six years before the two bullets pierced Colin's back in 1752 and one newspaper said the "ancient animosity" between the clans was likely to resume because of the crime. But that prediction was wrong, and the public display of James's body until the bones blew down was just the most gruesome of policies and events that quelled and finally transformed Scotland. The "Appin murder" figures in the novels of Robert Louis Stevenson and elsewhere is rendered as bad history, propaganda, and myth. Dr. Holcombe's definitive volume a 20-year project drawing on nearly 500 sources illuminates tales of buried treasure, shooting matches, spies, treachery and exile, but more importantly solves the murder and tells the story of one society in its death throes and another

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