Susan Campbell (or Susanna Campbell)

Susan's marriage in 1765 to Alexander MacDonald of Kinlochmoidart suggests either a reconcilition or a rebellion, since twenty years earlier their fathers had been fully engaged on opposite sides at the '45. Our story encounters her at the end of her life, watching her grandchildren grow up in more peaceful and prosperous times.

- 17 January 1817
Airds, Appin
Donald Campbell of Airds. He was an employee of the Duke of Argyll and was a Captain with the Argyll Militia at Culloden. He wrote an eyewitness account of the battle from his position guarding the baggage train:
The rebels had three batteries at a cottage above the parks of Culloden from which they begun to play on our line about one in the afternoon. Their complement was soon returned by our cannon from the right center and left. Theirs did little or no execution but ours a great deal and disordered them so that as they could not stand it, they endeavoured to break in on our line, sword in hands and advanced very resolutely but were received with such a closs and hot fire from our small arms that they soon gave ground and fled out right which by the by was the pleasantest sight I ever beheld. In the pursuit the dragoons and light horses made terrible slaughter of them... The right of our army got little to do, the greatest pressure lighted on Barrell's regiment who were once disordered but being supported by Munroe's and Sempill's soon formed, closed their ranks and did great execution. The Scots Fusiliers who behaved gloriously made the first break amongst the enemy without the loss of one man. They had the Duke's particular thanks saying it was owing to them the victory was so cheap... There never was a more compleat victory obtained. (5)
Donald was on the Assize list from which the Appin Murder jury were picked, but he was not one of the 11 Campbells chosen. (6)
Jane Campbell daughter of Archibald Campbell of Stonefield (7) Stonefield was an Advocate and Sheriff-Depute of Argyll, whose claim to fame is as the man who hanged James of the Glens in the famous Appin Murder case. Just after the murder of Colin Roy Campbell of Glenure (the Red Fox), he travelled north to Appin to collect evidence. Glenure's nephew reported,
Sheriff Campbell (Stonefield) Airds Carwhin Barcaldine and a good many others are now in the heart of Appin with a party of the King's forces examining on oath the country people as to their knowledge of this matter but can make nothing of them and the odium seems generally to be put on Allan Breck Stewart.
His son, Jane's brother John Campbell of Levenside, was one of the five members of the counsel for the prosecution. He wrote,
The Jacks (Jacobites) have espoused James Stuart's side of the question very keenly, and cry out loudly against the jury, witnesses, etc., but luckily for the country the proof came out very strong.
It was Archibald Campbell who ordered the special gibbet on which James of the Glens was hung at Ballachulish. (8)
Died at Lt Col Robertson MacDonalds, 29 Gayfield Place. He was her son in law, the son of the celebrated historian and Presbyterian historian Reverend William Robertson.
She was 'Mrs MacDonald senior of Kinlochmoidart', although her husband never enjoyed possession of the estate. Her children, however, held it for the last twenty years of her life.
Susan made an unofficial will dated Gayfield Place, 24 October 1816, addressed 'to my loved child Mary Robertson MacDonald'. She gave £5 to each of her grandchildren and £100 to her grandson Alexander 'who is named after my beloved husband ... to assist him in entering into any profession he may chuse.' To her grand-daughter Susan 'named after me' she left her bible 'which I pray God she may make a right use of', pictures of her parents 'which I trust will be of eternal use to her by reflecting on the tempers and manner of the two they represent', and her gold watch 'to regulate her time' (3). After her death a cousin, Mrs C. Schnell wrote to the family,
I have this moment received your letter with the melancholy account of the death of an invaluable person to her family & friends, & who was an honor [sic] to her relatives. She has paid the debt of nature, at an age when those most attached to her felt that such an event must be near, of course, constantly anxious. Her superior understanding has often been the theme of those who had the pleasure of her acquaintance whilst she mixed in society. I feel much for my beloved cousin on this occasion & by you will give her my affectionate regards & love. (4)
Alexander MacDonald of Kinlochmoidart. His father joined Prince Charles when he landed in 1745, brought 100 men to the Prince's standard and was made aide-de-camp to the Prince. He was executed at Carlisle in October 1746 and his head stuck over the gate. His estate was forfeited and Kinlochmoidart House was burnt to the ground. Alexander his son served for the British Army in the American war, invalided home in 1780, and dying of his injuries in Edinburgh in 1781. The Kinlochmoidart estate was restored to his son John in 1786. (2)
John, Donald and Margaret, all three of whom succeeded to Kinlochmoidart. Margaret married Lt-Col David Robertson, youngest son of the historian Rev William Robertson. He became David Robertson-MacDonald of Kinlochmoidart, and at the end of her life Susan lived with them in Gayfield Place.
Chapel connection
1817 (funeral)
She, Frederica Campbell and Georgina Lamont all have ancestors who were involved in the Appin murder trial.

Airds, her
father's house

Strathleven House
her maternal
grandfather's house


  1. Registers of Charlotte Chapel (NAS CH12/3)
  2. A. and A. MacDonald, The Clan Donald, vol.3 (Northern Counties Publishing Company, Inverness, 1904) p.303
  3. National Library of Scotland MS.3949 no.17
  4. National Library of Scotland MS.3949 no.21
  5. Donald Campbell of Airds, 22 April 1746, Culloden Visitor Centre and Battlefield Resource Bank (National Trust for Scotland, Online, accessed 8 August 2011) p.55
  6. T.B. Howell, A Complete Collection of State Trials, vol.19 1753-1771 (T.C. Hansard, London, 1813) p.11
  7. John Burke, A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Peerage and Baronetage of the British Empire, 6th edition (Henry Colburn, London, 1839) p.166
  8. William Scobie, 'Strathleven and the Appin Murder' in The Vale of Leven (Online, accessed 8 August 2011

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