The Appin Murder
The Killing That Shook a Nation
by James Hunter
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Hunter has left no stone unturned in his research… Hunter infuses his writing with a sense of urgency that drives the reader through the more expository sections towards the tragic, foregone conclusion
Dundee Courier, Book of the Week
About the Book
On a hillside near Ballachulish in the Scottish Highlands in May 1752 a rider is assassinated by a gunman. The murdered man is Colin Campbell, a government agent travelling to nearby Duror where he’s evicting farm tenants to make way for his relatives. Campbell’s killer evades capture, but Britain’s rulers insist this challenge to their authority must result in a hanging. The sacrificial victim is James Stewart, who is organising resistance to Campbell’s takeover of lands long held by his clan, the Appin Stewarts.
James is a veteran of the Highland uprising crushed in April 1746 at Culloden. In Duror he sees homes torched by troops using terror tactics against rebel Highlanders. The same brutal response to dissent means that James’s corpse will for years hang from a towering gibbet and leave a community utterly ravaged.
Introducing this new and updated edition of his account of what came to be called the Appin Murder, historian James Hunter tells how his own Duror upbringing introduced him to the tragic story of James Stewart.
James Hunter is Emeritus Professor of History at the University of the Highlands and Islands. He has written extensively about the north of Scotland and about the region’s worldwide diaspora. In the course of a varied career Hunter has been, among other things, director of the Scottish Crofters Union, chairman of Highlands and Islands Enterprise and an award-winning journalist. His book Set Adrift upon the World (Birlinn 2016) was Saltire History Book of the Year in 2016.
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Paperback | Pub: 12 Apr 2018£14.99
This book has been seminal in bringing to the fore the injustices that have been inflicted on the Highlands in the name of government and landlord – injustices often lost in the name of dry statistics and academic balance. Written by a man who has...