Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Robert the Bruce gave the Appin lands to the Stewarts, as a thank you for saving him

In 1307 the King of Scotland, Robert the Bruce was in hiding, here in the West Coast of Scotland. He had a close band of followers,

including the High Steward of Scotland and was being looked after by his friends Angus Og, chief of the MacDonalds, and the

Campbells. A terrible fate awaited him if he was caught. He would have been taken to London to be hanged, drawn and quartered. He

would have had a show trial, would have been scorned and abused by the London crowds. His sadistic rival Edward 1st of England would

have him found guilty. This dreadful punishment was reserved only for the men most hated by Edward and Bruce was his leading

opponent. He had already done this to David, Prince of Wales, for his so-called treason, and to our own rebel Scots Knight, William

Wallace, again for treason.

As they scrambled in MacDonald boats from Island to Island, Rathlin to Islay, to Mull then probably to Tioram Castle on Ardnamurchan,

hiding from Edward's fleet the followers formed a close bond of friendship.

Their triumph was to come in 1314 at the Battle of Bannockburn where the Scots army faced overwhelming odds, yet emerged victorious.

One year later, Robert the Bruce's daughter, Marjorie, married his friend Walter, the High Steward of Scotland. In triumph, Bruce

gave Angus Og the lands of Duror and Glencoe, he gave the Campbells the castle of Inverlochy and the Oban area, and into Appn he put

the Stewarts. The Appin land lay strategically between both of them probably in case of trouble between them or revolt against the


Little did any of them know that the marriage would be the foundation of the magnificent line of Stewart Kings and Queens. Their son

became Robert 11, and their successors included Mary Queen of Scots, the executed Charles 1st, and the final Stewart monarch, Queen

Anne. Their homelands in Appin were very important to the Stewarts. James IV often visited his cousin in Stalker Castle, Appin in the

15th century for hunting and fishing.

Then, as now, the East of Scotland was the seat of government and Appin was a playground. There was uproar in Appin with the revolt

of Bonnie Prince Charlie - Charles Edward Stewart - the whole clan turned out for him at Culloden Field in 1745. The repercussions

for the clan were awful. The banner of the Stewart Clan was hidden after the battle and is now in Edinburgh.

Where was all the Appin activity over the centuries? Why here, around Duror and Ardsheal in our Appin area.  We are so lucky that our

lochside cottage is in the heart of this wonderful land.

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