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April 22nd 1723

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Campbell murderer disappears

Duncan Campbell of Edramuckie, Lochtayside, murdered his friend Sir James Campbell of Lawers while both were in the town of Greenock They had been drinking together the previous night and apparently parted on good terms and were expected to proceed home together the next day. However, in the morning Sir James was discovered in bed with two bullets in his head. Duncan Campbell was nowhere to be found.

Two days previously he had purchased ammunition for his pistol and a warrant was issued for his arrest. Advertisements were placed in the Edinburgh Evening Courant notifying all Sheriffs, Baillies of Regalities, Justices of the Peace etc of the crime together with a description of Edramuckie. “The said Duncan Campbell of Edramuckie, is a tall thin man, stoops or is loot shouldered, small pock pitted, with a pearl or blindness in the right eye, betwixt thirty and forty years of age. When he made his escape from Greenock, he had a suit of gray Duroy cloaths, plain mounted, a big red coat, with thin light wig rolled up with a ribbon.” 

There was even the offer of a reward of one hundred guineas by Colonel James Campbell to any person “who shall apprehend the person of the said Duncan Campbell and imprison him within any sure Tolbooth, so that he may be brought to justice for the foresaid crime.” 

But in spite of the reward, in spite of the graphic description of Edramuckie, no trace of him was ever found. His wife and family continued to live at Edramuckie until 1736 when they moved to Easter Styx a holding between Kenmore and Aberfeldy.

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