Historical Family History

George H. Steuart (politician)

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George Hume Steuart

Mayor of Annapolis
In office
Colonel of the Horse Militia


Assumed office
Deputy Secretary of Maryland
In office
Judge of the Land Office
In office
Personal details
Bornc. 1700
Argaty, Perthshire, Scotland
Perthshire, Scotland
SpouseAnn Digges
RelationsMajor General George H. Steuart (grandson)
Richard Sprigg Steuart (grandson)
Brigadier General George H. Steuart (great-grandson)
Alma materUniversity of Edinburgh
OccupationPhysician, planter, politician, soldier

George Hume Steuart, (1700–1784) was a Scottish physician, tobacco planter, and Loyalist politician in colonial Maryland. Born in Perthshire, Steuart emigrated to Maryland in around 1721, where he benefited from proprietarial patronage and was appointed to a number of colonial offices, eventually becoming a wealthy landowner with estates in both Maryland and Scotland, and serving two terms as mayor of Annapolis. However, he was forced by the outbreak of the American Revolution to decide whether to remain loyal to the Crown or to throw in his lot with the American rebels. In 1775 Steuart sailed to Scotland, deciding at age 75 that "he could not turn rebel in his old age". He remained there until his death in 1784.


Early life

Steuart was born in Argaty, Perthshire (now Stirling), in around 1695–1700,[1] the second son of George Steuart and Mary Hume. His family were members of the Balquhidder Stewart clan, descendants of Murdoch Stewart, Duke of Albany, executed by King James I of Scotland in 1425.

It is likely that Steuart spoke both Gaelic and English. According to the Old Statistical Account of 1799, Scottish Gaelic was the language of the "common people" of Balquhidder and the surrounding area, although English would have been spoken in the "low country", around Stirling. This would in fact have been the Scots language of the Stirlingshire area, rather than Standard English.[2]

Steuart's elder brother David stood to inherit the family estates, and Steuart studied medicine, receiving his MD at the University of Edinburgh. In 1721 he emigrated to Annapolis, in the colony of Maryland, where he settled and established a medical practice.[1][3]

In the early 18th century Maryland was a sparsely settled, largely rural society. In 1715 the population of Annapolis was just 405, though by 1730 this number had increased to 776.[4]

Planter and horse breeder


Steuart Plantation house at Dodon, near Annapolis, built c1800.

In 1747 Steuart purchased the estate of Dodon in South River, Anne Arundel County, Maryland, on the Chesapeake Bay, from Stephen Warman.[5] At Dodon, Steuart farmed tobacco and participated in match races. His most successful horse was Dungannon, which he had brought from England to compete against the stable of his rival, Charles Carroll of Annapolis (1703–1783), whose son Charles Carroll of Carrollton would later sign the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Dungannon won the Annapolis Subscription Plate, the first recorded formal horse race in Maryland, in May 1743.[6] The race took place in Parole and the original silver cup is now displayed in the Baltimore Museum of Art.

Horse racing formed an important part of the social and political life of the colony, with numerous gentlemen of means forming large studs. George Washington attended early meetings of the Maryland Jockey Club,[7] and Steuart entertained the future president at his home in Annapolis.[8]

According to the writer Abbe Robin, who traveled through Maryland during the Revolutionary War, men of Steuart's class and status enjoyed considerable wealth and prosperity:

"[Maryland houses] are large and spacious habitations, widely separated, composed of a number of buildings and surrounded by plantations extending farther than the eye can reach, cultivated...by unhappy black men whom European avarice brings hither...Their furniture is of the most costly wood, and rarest marbles, enriched by skilful and artistic work. Their elegant and light carriages are drawn by finely bred horses, and driven by richly apparelled slaves."[9]



The Annapolis Subscription Plate, awarded to Steuart's racehorse Dungannon in 1743.


Argaty, Steuart's Perthshire estate.

Politically, Steuart was a Loyalist, his interests being closely aligned with those of the Calvert family, proprietors of the colony of Maryland. In 1742 Charles Calvert, 5th Baron Baltimore (1699–1751) sent his eldest but illegitimate son, Benedict Swingate Calvert, then aged around 10 or 20 years old,[10] to Maryland and placed him in Steuart's care.[11][12] The boy was provided with a tutor, the Italian Onorio Razzolini,[13] and lived at Steuart's "old-fashioned house" on Francis St in Annapolis.[14]

Steuart evidently benefited from the Calvert family's patronage as he went on to hold a number of important Colonial offices. In 1753 he was appointed lieutenant-colonel of The Horse Militia under Governor Horatio Sharpe,[6] and he was Deputy Secretary of Maryland from 1755 to 1756. He served two one year terms as Mayor of Annapolis, from 1759 to 1761 and from 1763 to 1764.[15][16] He was a judge of the Land Office (1755–1775),[17][18] an office created in around 1715 to resolve disputes over title to land in the colony.[19]

Steuart was also member of the "Council of Twelve", and a judge of the Court of Admiralty.. In recognition of his services, Lord Baltimore appears to have given Steuart the nickname "Honest Steuart", a sobriquet later thrown back at him by his political enemies.

Maryland politics could evidently be rancorous. Court records show that Steuart and his successor as Annapolis mayor, Michael MacNamara, were both required "to post a bond to keep the peace...especially with each other".[22]

Steuart returned to Scotland in 1758 to inherit the estate of Argaty, near Doune, Perthshire, through his mother Mary Hume (also spelled "Home"), and other estates through his father. By 1761 Steuart was back in Maryland; a series of letters dated March 1761 shows him, as Commissioner of the Loan Office, attempting to collect taxes due to the Proprietary Government from Sheriffs who were behind in their payments.[23]

Revolutionary War

The coming of war


Lord North, to whom Steuart made representations in 1764.


Samuel Chase, Steuart's implacable opponent.

In the 1760s relations between Britain and her colonies began to deteriorate. Steuart was and would remain a Loyalist; like many Scots he was likely influenced by the terrible consequences of the failed Jacobite uprisings against the Crown in his home country. Many Scots had fled to the colonies following the crushing of the Jacobite rising of 1745, and had little appetite for further rebellion. However, like other Marylanders, Steuart opposed the taxes imposed by London and in 1764 he traveled to England where he made representations to the government at Westminster. Steuart's grandson, Richard Sprigg Steuart (1797–1876), recalled in his memoirs:

"When he went over [to England] in 1764, to take my father [James Steuart] to school, he was commissioned by a number of Marylanders to call upon Lord North, England's new Chancellor of the Exchequer, hostile to America, on his way through London, and make representations on the subject of taxation. He was politely received and the minister put a great many questions to him, and seemed to acquiesce in all he said. [...] At all events my Grandfather had the pleasure soon after to hear of the repeal of this obnoxious tax".[24]

Steuart's loyalist politics were opposed by, among others, Samuel Chase, co-founder of the Anne Arundel County chapter of the Sons of Liberty, a leading opponent of the 1765 Stamp Act, and later one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.[25] In an open letter dated 18 July 1766 Chase attacked John Brice, Steuart, Walter Dulany, Michael MacNamara and others for publishing an article in the Maryland Gazette Extraordinary of 19 June 1766, in which Chase had been accused of being: "a busy, reckless incendiary, a ringleader of mobs, a foul-mouthed and inflaming son of discord and faction, a common disturber of the public tranquility". In his response, Chase accused Steuart and the others of "vanity...pride and arrogance":

"...the people rejecting you [Steuart], as unfit for their confidence and trust, which you had repeatedly betrayed, and elected me in your room. I am not ashamed to own that I exerted myself in opposition to you. It was my opinion that a man without merit, integrity or abilities, was totally disqualified to be the representative of a free people. You had nothing to recommend you but proprietary influence, court favour, and the wealth and influence of the tools and favourites who infest this city."[26]

Such protests were essentially a complaint against a civic government which was still dominated by men loyal to the Calvert interest. However, such highly personalised attacks did little to reduce the political temperature.[27]

War with Great Britain

War broke out in 1775, and the fact of owning estates in both Scotland and Maryland caused Steuart considerable political difficulties. As Richard Sprigg Steuart recalled:

"He was an ardent admirer of the American Colonies, and believed the principles for which the colonists contended were just, and truly English. But though he sympathised with his American friends, he said he could not turn rebel in his old age, being 75 years old when the Revolution broke out...he would have forfeited [his Scottish estates] if he had joined the Revolutionists. He therefore went over to Scotland and saved his property there. He gave all his estates in Maryland to his wife [Ann], telling her by letter...how to leave the property in America, which was finally done."[28]

Ann therefore remained in America despite her own Loyalist sympathies. She would never again see her husband, and she continued to live at Dodon until her death in 1814. According to Richard Sprigg Steuart:

"My Grandmother's family, the Digges, were at heart all Torys but kept quiet...they were called non-jurors and paid double taxes. [After the War] she lived comfortably, but she kept at home because her good husband was called by the mob a Tory, which he was not....he never while in Scotland heard of a battle that he did not express his regret and call it a fratricidal war."[29]


Steuart never returned to Maryland, and he died in 1784 in Scotland, one year after the Revolutionary War ended. He was buried in Kilmadock, Perthshire. No portrait of him survives.[6] When he left Maryland, his estates in Anne Arundel County comprised around 4,100 acres (17 km2) of land.[8] In 1780, these were transferred to his sons Charles and William, for a nominal sum.[8]

The Argaty estate in Scotland was inherited by Steuart's eldest son, also named George Hume Steuart, who remained loyal to the British Crown. The estate, which was eventually sold in 1914, now forms part of a red kite conservation area.

Family life


Dr James Steuart was a physician who served during the Revolutionary War


Steuart's fourth son William Steuart

In 1744 Steuart married Ann Digges (1721-1814),[30] of Warburton Manor.[31] She was the daughter of the planter Charles Digges[32] (though Nelker states that Ann's father was one George Digges),[30] who was the son of William Digges, a member of the Maryland Proprietary Council.[32] Her mother was Susanna Maria (Lowe) Digges.

George and Ann Steuart had ten children, of whom six survived to adulthood:

  • George H Steuart (1747–1788), physician. Emigrated to Scotland in 1758. Changed his name to George Steuart Hume to inherit the estate of Argaty, Perthshire,[30] which thereafter passed to his infant daughter Sophia.
  • Susanna Steuart (1749–1774), married on 19 June 1769 Judge James Tilghman of the Supreme Court of Maryland(1743–1809).[33]
  • Dr Charles Mark Steuart (1750–1798), physician. On 15 June 1780 Charles Steuart married Elizabeth Calvert, the daughter of Benedict Swingate Calvert. During the Revolution he was a Loyalist, being – like his Mother Ann – "decidedly of the Tory faction".[24] This did not, apparently, stop him being present with General George Washington at the Siege of Yorktown in 1781, or serving in The Flying Camp, a division of the Patriot Militia established by Washington in June 1776.[34] After his older brother George's death, Charles Steuart unsuccessfully sued his niece, Sophia, for the inheritance of Argaty.[35]
  • David Steuart (1751–1814)
  • William Steuart (1754–1839), wealthy planter who inherited Dodon
  • Dr James Steuart (1755–1846), a physician who served during The Revolutionary War and owned a plantation at Sparrow's Point, Maryland. James Steuart was "a hot rebel...though afterwards a strong Federalist."[24] His son Major General George H Steuart fought in the War of 1812. His grandson Brigadier General George H. Steuart (Known as "Maryland Steuart" to distinguish him from his fellow General J.E.B. Stuart) was a Confederate general in The American Civil War, who fought at a number of battles including Gettysburg, Cross Keys and Winchester.


Steuart was an Episcopalian, though his wife Ann was a Roman Catholic.[8] According to Richard Sprigg Steuart:

"Though he and his excellent wife were of different churches, they never disagreed on the subject of religion; they found enough to believe in common to make them good Christians. And such was his confidence in her that he requested her to bring up his sons Episcopalians, as he knew the disadvantages politically of joining any other."[28]



Obelisk at Dodon, marking the burial place of Steuart's widow Anne Digges.


The Dungannon Bowl, a 1955 replica of the original Annapolis Subscription Plate, awarded to the winner of the annual Dixie Stakes.

A stone obelisk at Dodon marks the burial place of Ann Digges and a number of other family members. The farm estate, somewhat reduced in size, still remains home to Steuart's descendants today.

The unusual spelling of "Steuart" was widespread in the 18th century ("Steuart", "Stewart" and "Stuart" being essentially interchangeable), but has since mainly fallen into disuse. However, Steuart's numerous North American descendants have retained the archaic spelling.

A silver replica of the original Annapolis Subscription Plate was commissioned in 1955 by the Maryland Jockey Club. The "Dungannon Bowl" is a perpetual trophy presented to the winner of annual Dixie Stakes, the oldest stakes race run in Maryland and the Mid-Atlantic states.[36]

Steuart family

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Steuart family crest

Current regionAnne Arundel County, Maryland.
Earlier spellingsStewart, Stuart.
EtymologyStewards of Scotland
Place of originPerthshire, Scotland
MembersGeorge H. Steuart (planter) (1700-1784)
George H. Steuart (militia general) (1790-1867)
George H. Steuart (brigadier general) (1828-1903)
Richard Sprigg Steuart (1797-1876)
Connected familiesCalvert family
Estate(s)Dodon, Old Steuart Hall

The Steuart family of Maryland was a prominent political family in the early History of Maryland. Of Scottish descent, the Steuarts have their origins in Perthshire, Scotland. The family grew wealthy in the early 18th century under the patronage of the Calvert family, proprietors of the colony of Maryland, but would see their wealth and status much reduced during the American Revolution, and the American Civil War.



George Hume Steuart (1700–1784) was an Edinburgh-educated physician, who settled in Annapolis in the Province of Maryland in c1721, where he established a medical practice.[1][2] He married there, and became a tobacco planter, and politician.

Politically, Steuart's interests were closely aligned with those of the Calvert family, proprietors of the colony of Maryland.[3] In 1742 Charles Calvert, 5th Baron Baltimore (1699–1751) sent his eldest but illegitimate son, Benedict Swingate Calvert, then aged around ten years old,[4] to Annapolis and placed him in Steuart's care.[5] Steuart evidently benefited from the Calvert family's patronage, as he later was appointed to a number of important Colonial offices.

However, as a wealthy landowner with estates in both Maryland and Scotland, Steuart was forced by the outbreak of the American Revolution to decide whether to remain loyal to the British Crown or to throw in his lot with the American rebels. Unable to remain neutral, in 1775 he sailed to Scotland, where he lived until his death in 1784.[6] His sons however remained in Maryland, loyal to the fledgling United States of America.

Steuart's grandson, Major General George H Steuart (1790–1867) was a United States general who fought during the War of 1812. His military career began in 1814 when, as a young captain, he raised a company of Maryland volunteers, the Washington Blues, leading them at the Battle of Bladensberg and the Battle of North Point, where he was wounded.[7] After the war he rose to become major general of the Maryland Militia. In 1861, at the start of the Civil War, Steuart left his home state of Maryland, which stayed in the Union, and joined the Confederacy, though at 71 he was by then too old for active service.

During the American Civil War, Maryland remained loyal to the Union, but the Steuarts were substantial slaveholders and supported the Confederate States of America. On April 16, 1861 George H. "Maryland" Steuart, then an officer in the United States Army, resigned his captain's commission to join the Confederacy.[8] Much of the family's property was confiscated by the Federal government as a consequence of their participation in the Confederate Army. Old Steuart Hall was confiscated by the Union Army and Jarvis Hospital was erected on the estate, to care for Federal wounded.[9] The family's wealth and status never recovered from the catastrophe of the war.

A number of less well-known Steuarts also joined the rebel states. Among them was the surgeon William Frederick Steuart.[10]

Family tree

Notable residences


Jarvis Hospital was built on the grounds of Maryland Square (visible bottom right) at the outbreak of the Civil War.


Steuart Plantation house at Dodon, built c1800, burned down c1953.[16]

The Steuarts built a number of homes in Maryland, none of which have survived intact. Among them were:

  • Maryland Square, a mansion on the outskirts of Baltimore, Maryland, owned by the Steuart family until 1861, when, at the beginning of the American Civil War, it was confiscated by the United States Federal Government. In 1862 Jarvis Hospital was constructed on the grounds of the Steuart estate, built for the care of wounded Union soldiers, the house itself being used as the hospital's headquarters.[17] The house was restored in 1866 to Brigadier General George H. Steuart after the war, but he never lived there again, choosing to live at Mount Steuart, his family estate on the Chesapeake in Anne Arundel County. The building was sold and became a school for boys, known as Steuart Hall, and in 1884 the mansion was demolished, to make way for the Grace Medical Center which stands there today.[18]
  • Dodon, a 550-acre (2.2 km2) farm and former tobacco plantation in Maryland, located near the South River about 10 miles (16 km) south west of Annapolis. It is still home to the eighth generation of Steuarts today, who continue to farm, and to breed and race horses. Parts of the original house still remain, though most was destroyed in a fire c1950.[19]



The Annapolis Subscription Plate won by George Hume Steuart's Dungannon.

George H. Steuart (1700–1785), founder of the Steuart family in Maryland, was an enthusiastic horse breeder, and he instigated the Annapolis Subscription Plate, the name given both to the first recorded formal horse race in colonial Maryland and to the silver trophy awarded to the winner of the race. It is the second oldest known horse racing trophy in America.[20] The race was held in 1743 and was won by Steuart's horse, Dungannon.[21]

Modern Legacy

The unusual spelling of "Steuart" was widespread in the 18th century ("Steuart", "Stewart" and "Stuart" being essentially interchangeable), but has since mainly fallen into disuse. However, Steuart's numerous North American descendants have retained the archaic spelling.

A silver replica of the original Annapolis Subscription Plate was commissioned in 1955 by the Maryland Jockey Club. The "Dungannon Bowl" is a perpetual trophy presented to the winner of annual Dixie Stakes, the oldest stakes race run in Maryland and the Mid-Atlantic states.[22]

A stone obelisk at Dodon marks the burial place of Richard Sprigg Steuart and a number of other family members. Brigadier General George H. Steuart and his father Major General George H. Steuart are both buried beneath a family obelisk at Green Mount Cemetery, Baltimore,[23] and The Steuart Hill area of Baltimore recalls the family's long association with the city.[24]


Clan Stewart of Appin

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Clan Stewart of Appin
MottoQuihidder Wil Ȝie (Whither will ye? i.e., what/which will you choose?)
War cryCreag an Sgairbh ("The Cormorant's Rock") (Castle Stalker sits atop this)
DistrictAppin Duror, West Coast Scotland, above Oban, below Ballaculish
Plant badgeDarag (Oak)
Pipe musicBratach Bhàn nan Stiùbhartach (The white banner of the Stewarts)
Andrew Francis Stewart of Lorn, Appin and Ardsheal, 17th of Appin & 12th of Ardsheal
(MacIain Stiùbhairt na h-Apainn)
SeatCastle Stalker
Historic seatCastle Stalker
Septs of Clan Stewart of Appin
Clan branches
Allied clans
Rival clans

Clan Stewart of Appin is the West Highland branch of the Clan Stewart and have been a distinct clan since their establishment in the 15th century. Their Chiefs are descended from Sir James Stewart of Perston, who was himself the grandson of Alexander Stewart, the fourth High Steward of Scotland. His cousin Walter Stewart, the 6th High Steward, married Marjorie Bruce, the daughter of King Robert the Bruce, and their son Robert II was the first Stewart Monarch. The Stewarts of Appin are cousins to the Royal Stewart Monarchy.[1][2]



Origins of the clan


Castle Stalker

The Appin Stewarts is the West Highland branch of Clan Stewart, descend from Sir James Stewart of Perston, 4th son of Sir John Stewart of Bonkill, second son of Alexander, the 4th High Steward of Scotland. Sir James was the grandfather of John Stewart of Innermeath, who, through marriage to Isabel MacDougall, daughter of John Gallda MacDougall, Lord of Lorne, became the first Stewart Lord of Lorne. The Lordship of Lorne passed down for 2 more generations to Sir John Stewart, the third Stewart Lord of Lorne.[1][2]

Appin is located on the Scottish West Coast between Benderloch to the South and the Ballachulish Narrows to the north in modern-day Argyll. Today the primary towns include Port Appin and Portnacroish. Both are scenic and are surrounded by forests and water. To the west are islands including the island of Lismore, home to the MacLea and the Baron Buchull, keeper of the Buchull Mhòr (the crosier of St. Moluag), adherents of Appin. There are numerous sights of interest including Ardsheal's Cave, Castle Stalker, the Clach Ruric, Cnap a-Chaolais, Eilean Munde and Keil churchyard.[1][2]

15th century

Tradition tell us that in 1445, while returning to his seat at Dunstaffnage Castle from the great cattle tryst at Crieff, Sir John met and fell in love with the daughter of MacLaren of Ardvech. Although married, he began an affair with his new love which one year later produced a son. The first son of this union was called Dugald, and went on to become the progenitor of the famous Clan Stewart of Appin. Sir John Stewart was born around 1410, putting him at about 35 when he met the woman that would become his second wife.[1][2]

After the death of his first wife, Sir John waited for five years before setting up the marriage between himself and Dugald's mother. We do not know why, but it there may have been political reasons. In 1463, Sir John set a wedding date and sent for Dugald and his mother to come to Dunstaffnage. Unknown to Sir John, there was a plot to kill the Lord of Lorn. It is not fully known, but it is thought to have been set up by the Lord of the Isles who was in a power struggle with the King of Scots, and who saw it as being in his best interest to neutralize this powerful and loyal representative of the King in the west highlands. The other plotters, which some feel included Colin Campbell, Lord Argyll, Sir John's son-in-law, were primarily represented by Alan MacCoul, the illegitimate grandson of an earlier MacDougall chief. As the lightly armed wedding party made its way from Dunstaffnage to the small chapel about 180 yards from the castle walls, they were attacked by a superior force led by Alan MacCoul. Although better armed, MacCoul's force was defeated, but not before mortally wounding the Lord of Lorn. Sir John was rushed into the chapel and MacCoul and his henchmen ran into and occupied the deserted Dunstaffnage. With his last breath Sir John married Dugald's mother, legitimising him and making him the de jure Lord of Lorn. After receiving the last rites, Sir John expired and a new chapter in West Highland history opened. Dugald gathered all the adherents of the Lord of Lorn and with the assistance of the MacLarens laid siege to Dunstaffnage, but to no avail. Unbeknownst to Dugald, Colin Campbell, Lord Argyll, who seemed to have been involved in the plot, raised a group of MacFarlanes to aid MacCoul in his struggle against the de jure Lord of Lorn. MacCoul's men with the MacFarlanes met the men of Lorn and MacLaren in what was to be known as the battle of Leac a dotha. It was a fierce battle with both sides leaving the field with very heavy losses.[1][2]

For the next few years Dugald, who had lost the title of Lord of Lorn through the treachery of his uncle Walter Stewart and the lord of Argyll, but had retained Appin and Lismore, consolidated his power and fortified the hunting lodge of Castle Stalker on the Cormorant's Rock in Loch Laich. He also ensured that the Campbells were in no doubt about his displeasure over the loss of the Lordship of Lorn, by having the Campbell territory surrounding Appin regularly raided by the clan. Finally, in 1468, in a bid to finally destroy the power of Appin, Colin Campbell and Walter Stewart, the latter now recognised as the Lord of Lorn (but with no authority in Lorn), organised a massive raid against Dugald and his clan. Alan MacCoul was again involved and they met at what was to be known as the Battle of Stalc.[3] Though losing many men, Dugald virtually destroyed the military strength of the MacFarlanes (a destruction from which they were never to recover) and personally killed Alan MacCoul, his father's murderer. The battle solidified Dugald's claim to Appin and the surrounding area, which was formally granted to him by King James III on 14 April 1470.[1][2] In 1497 or 1498 Dugald Stewart of Appin was killed at the Battle of Black Mount fighting against the Clan MacDonald of Keppoch.[3][4][1][2]

17th century and Civil War

The Clan Stewart of Appin supported the royalist, James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose at the Battle of Inverlochy (1645), the Battle of Auldearn and the Battle of Kilsyth.[5] After James VII was deposed in 1688, the Stewarts of Appin supported the deposed House of Stuart.[1][2]

18th century and Jacobite risings


A gold saltire on a blue field as flown by Stewart of Appin's regiment at the Battle of Culloden.


Clan Stewart of Appin regiment marker at the site of the Battle of Culloden


Clan Stewart of Appin grave marker at the site of the Battle of Culloden

Appin naturally supported the Jacobite risings and sent men to fight in the Jacobite rising of 1715. General Wade's report on the Highlands in 1724, estimated the clan strength at 400 men.[6] Dugald Stewart, 9th Chief of Appin, was created Lord Appin in the Jacobite peerage on 6 June 1743. Appin also sent men to fight in the Jacobite rising of 1745.[1][2] At the Battle of Culloden in 1746, the Appin Regiment suffered 92 killed and 65 wounded out of a fighting force of approximately 300. Charles Stewart of Ardsheal led the men of the regiment (which included men of ~19 other clans) most notably Clan MacLaren during the rising of 1745. Ardsheal later escaped Scotland to meet his family in Europe where he spent the rest of his days.[1][2]

Ardsheal's Cave

On 23 July 1745, Prince Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie) landed on the white sands of the Outer Hebridean island of Eriskay, accompanied only by a small band of companions known as the "Seven Men of Moidart." This was the start of his claim to the Scottish and English throne and the second Jacobite uprising; on 16 April 1746 the Jacobite cause was finally put to rest at the battle of Culloden.[1][2] Charles Stewart of Ardsheal, one of the Prince's commanding officers, hid from the English Red Coats in a cave as they searched up and down the country for those involved. This place was henceforth known as Ardsheal's Cave.[1][2] Sitting on a steep hillside at grid referenceNN008562 above Kentallen Bay in Loch Linnhe on the West coast of Scotland, between Oban and Fort William, the cave is no more than forty minutes scramble from the loch side.[1][2]

The Stewarts of Ardsheal were the second most important Cadet family of the Stewarts of Appin, second only to the Stewarts of Invernahyle. Totally loyal to the Jacobite cause, Stewart of Ardsheal led the regiment raised by the Stewarts of Appin at Culloden. They suffered appalling casualties when breaking the ranks of Barrell's and Munro's regiments of foot of the Hanoverian army. However the outcome of Culloden was almost certain before it began. The Jacobite army, tired, hungry, improperly equipped and grossly out numbered were decisively defeated. After their victory the English, led by the Duke of Cumberland, were ordered to execute all the Jacobite wounded and imprisoned. For this he was hereafter known as "The Butcher".[1][2] Having escaped death both in battle and the immediate aftermath Stewart of Ardsheal made for his family seat, Ardsheal House, Kentallen Bay. His hope was that if he could evade capture for long enough some sort of amnesty or deal would eventually be struck. Nevertheless, none of the Jacobites in this predicament could imagine the determination and ruthlessness of Cumberland.[1][2]

Over the coming months 3,500 Jacobites were rounded up and imprisoned; of these 120 were immediately executed (mainly clan leaders) and a further 90 died in prison. 1,000 were transported to the colonies and 250 "banished". 700 disappeared, their fate unknown. In addition the clan system was destroyed with the Act of Proscription, they were disarmed and the kilt and tartan banned. It was in this climate that Ardsheal returned home and knowing full well his fate, should he be caught, immediately went into hiding. He wanted to be near his wife and new born son so with her help he hid in the cave above his house. His wife would bring food and occasionally he would venture out under cover of darkness.[1][2]

Eventually the Red Coats came and Ardsheal House was cordoned off and his wife and child held prisoner. She must have been a brave woman because she gave nothing away claiming that she hadn't seen or heard of her husband since he left with the Jacobite army. The Red Coats thoroughly searched the surrounding area whilst Ardsheal himself was hiding under their noses. One account states that on two occasions they walked within yards of his hideout.[1][2]

The secret of Ardsheal's success was with the cave itself or more importantly its situation. It lies behind a tall waterfall which completely hides the entrance especially when the burn is in flood. Unless one knows of its whereabouts one could be standing five yards away and never find it. It stretches back some fifteen or twenty feet and is easy to stand up in however; it tapers down to no more than two or three feet at the back. The walls and floor are a bit damp but there is a dryer place towards the rear. Nevertheless, it is perfectly comfortable and completely sheltered from the elements outside. It can only be approached from one way – directly up the steep sided burn and is far enough away from Ardsheal House to make it a fairly arduous and demanding climb. If however, one's position is known then escape is virtually impossible. The constant noise of falling water drowns out any approaching sounds and the only way out is the same as the way in. Pursuers would be on their quarry in seconds before they could take a step. On the whole, though, it makes a perfect hiding place and one can imagine avoiding detection indefinitely and in complete safety. That said, Charles Stewart of Ardsheal was known to have been a large man of great personal strength and a proficient swordsman – one of the best in the highlands. One can't help but think that he was like a caged lion and impatient to leave.[1][2]

The threat of capture for Charles Stewart of Ardsheal continued long after the Red Coats had left Ardsheal House. If it wasn't an English soldier who turned him in it was more likely to be a fellow Scotsman particularly from the South. The Jacobite cause was to put a catholic King back on the throne, this was considered by many as taking a step backwards. For the Lowland Presbyterians the defeat of the Jacobites was a cause for celebration. The Union and the Presbyterian system of church government were safe. Realising that no amnesty was ever likely to be forthcoming Ardsheal eventually fled to France and his lands were forfeited to the Crown. His son Duncan Stewart of Ardsheal succeeded in having the lands restored later in the eighteenth century and the Stewarts of Ardsheal then succeeded to the Chiefdom of Appin upon the extinction of the Appin family.[1][2]

Appin Murder

Main article: Appin Murder

Appin was the site of the infamous Appin Murder of 1752, when Colin Roy Campbell of Glenure, 'the Red Fox' – who had been placed as government factor of the forfeited Stewart lands in Appin – was shot in the back by an unknown sniper while riding along the shore of Loch Leven at Ballachulish. Although termed a 'murder' by a Campbell/Hanoverian court, the assassination of a land agent responsible for ordering mass evictions would not have been an uncommon occurrence in the 18th century British Isles. Whomever the shooter may have been, after the chief suspect, Alan Breck Stewart, made his escape, the half-brother of the chief, a cadet named James of the Glens was charged with the murder, tried by a Campbell jury in the Campbell stronghold of Inveraray presided over by MacAilein Mòr himself, and, perhaps not surprisingly, was convicted and hanged on the shore of Loch Leven at Cnap a-Chaolais in Ballachulish. The consensus at the time and the general opinion of historians has been that James Stewart had nothing to do with ordering the shooting. The incident was made famous by Robert Louis Stevenson, the plot of whose novel Kidnapped incorporated the death of Glenure. As an interesting postscript many have tried to identify the shooter but without success. The identity is known within the Chief's family and when asked the current Chief stated that he had read and heard every theory and that none were close to being correct. The "mystery" continues.[1][2]

The Daoine Uaisle

The daoine uaisle (Gaelic: noble people), as they were known into the 18th Century are synonymous with the term "Tacksmen" and the modern designation of "Cadet." These were/are the gentry of the clan (all clans incorporated these positions). Normally related in one form or another by birth to the Chief, these men controlled areas, or "tacks", within the greater clan lands. Rents were collected in various forms and rents from the daoine uaisle were in turn paid to the Chief within some clans, and not in others. The primary "Cadets" of Appin are Ardsheal, Achnacone, Fasnacloich, Invernahyle, and Strathgarry. The major branches of Appin stem from the sons of Alan Stewart, 3rd of Appin. Originally they comprised John, 1st of Strathgarry, Dugald, 1st of Achnacone, James, 1st of Fasnacloich and Alexander, 1st of Invernahyle. Ardshiel, the branch our Chief hails from, was given to John, 1st of Ardshiel by his father, John Stewart, 5th of Appin. Andrew Francis Stewart of Lorn, Appin and Ardsheal, 17th of Appin & 12th of Ardsheal, the current Chief of Appin is descended from Charles Stewart, 7th of Ardsheal who ascended as Chief upon the death of Dugald Stewart, our 10th Chief, who died without sons in 1769. Today Andrew Francis Stewart holds the title of both "Appin" (denoting the Chief) and Ardsheal.[1][2]

Adherents and clansmen

The Adherents or "septs" (a modern term) of Appin stem from families that lived in Lorn prior to the Stewarts gaining the Lordship and the clan coalescing. These were/are the MacColls, who descended from Black Solomon, son of Coll, son of the Lord of the Isles, The MacLeays or Livingstones (anglicized from MacLeay), who were reported to be on Lismore in 1130, but whose heritage is so old that no one really knows their beginnings, The MacGillemichaels, or their anglicized form "Carmichael", are also so old that we can only guess. It is known that they were present in Appin prior to the 13th century. The Combichs descended from a family nickname from north Appin (occasionally anglisized as Thomson) and the MacRobbs were/are actually Stewarts, descending from Robert, son of Dugald, 1st of Appin. The MacInnes, originally from the area of Morvern, settled in the area in the early 15th century. Adherents included/include the MacLaurins, Carmichaels, MacCombichs, MacColls, MacGillemichaels, McIlmichaels, MacInness, MacLeays, MacMichaels and MacRobbs (related by blood to the Stewarts).[1][2]