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Commission asked to review 250-year-old case

14 November 2008

The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission has been asked to re-examine a 250-year-old case.

The murder of Colin Campbell of Glenmure (the Red Fox) was central to the plot of Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel Kidnapped. Campbell was a government agent who was shot dead in 1752 near to where the Ballachulish Bridge now stands. He was on his way to evict the local tenants – the Stewarts of Appin – and replace them with his own relatives.

Seumas a’Ghlinne (or James Stewart) was hanged for the crime, although everyone knew he could not have pulled the trigger and had an unshakable alibi on the day of the murder.

Glasgow lawyer John Macaulay has lodged papers with the Commission, requesting that James Stewart’s name be cleared. Stewart was tried in a court were 15 of the jurors were Campbells and the senior judge the Duke of Argyll, the Hanoverian chief of Clan Campbell.

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