October 10, 2019
This blog post has been on my mind for a while, well, ever since I started thinking about starting a blog!
My ancestors have constantly inspired me, motivated me and blew my mind again and again at their bravery, courage, kindness and their ability to never give up. For a long time I have wanted to tell their stories. Here is one of them.
Though I am very passionate about genealogy, and would like to make it a part-time profession, my main career choice is to write children’s books. I had started with a storyline and was looking to add more characters. My mother, who started our family tree, had come across a record about our 6th great aunt, Barbara Campbell; the record stated that she had been part of the Jacobite Rebellions of 1745-46. Intrigued by this possible character for my novel, I started doing a little digging – and what I found blew my mind.
Barbara Grace Campbell, born on the 18 July 1730, was youngest of Barbara Campbell of Whitestone and Rev William Campbell of Kilmodan’s seven children, and joined the Jacobite Army in 1745 at the age of 15.
Since her brother Duncan was gillie to Donald Cameron of Lochiel “Gentle Lochiel”, it is likely that she would have joined his regiment, or possibly a regiment that the Campbells of Glenlyon belonged to, such as the Atholl Highlanders or Clan Chattan Confederation.
Barbara marched with the army, in full armour, targe and broadsword and fought at the battle of Prestonpans in September 1745, Then at Carlisle in England, “Wi’ a Hundred Pipers” as the song goes, where she took part in the Siege of Carlisle. With seven other young women, all between the ages of 15 and 30, Barbara was caught on the Carlisle road on the 30 Dec 1745, the day that the remaining Jacobite garrison surrendered in the second siege of Carlisle to Prince William the Duke of Cumberland, also known as “Butcher Cumberland” in his merciless and cruel treatment of the Scots, whether they were Jacobite or not.
Barbara was imprisoned in the dungeons of Carlisle in atrocious conditions – a grimy cell with no food, water or sanitation.
On her prison records, Barbara is stated as “Tall, red hair, clever. Knits and spins” – none of the other prisoners are called ‘clever.’ I have the feeling that Barbara may have annoyed her captors. Go Aunty Barbara!
Barbara is listed as coming from Perthshire likely because either her brother Duncan was living at Perthshire at the time, which ties in with the Cameron regiment theory.
Another possibility is that Perthshire is listed because John Young, the man who later became Barbara’s husband, was from Perthshire.
I have one record that states Barbara fought at the Battle of Culloden in an unknown regiment, but every other record states her as only fighting in Carlisle, so it remains a mystery, which is very common among records about female Jacobites.
After an unknown time in the Carlisle dungeons, Barbara was transferred to Chester Castle in Chester, England, to await transportation at Liverpool.
Barbara was transported on the 5 May 1747 from Liverpool on the “Veteran” an English hulk ship. Barbara’s fellow prisoners were young men, some as young as 13 years old, and the vast majority of all the captured Jacobite women, some of whom had babies of two years, and one 2 month old, who was born in prison. Most of the prisoners had been captured at Carlisle.
Barbara and her fellow prisoners were destined for 7 years indentured slavery in the Leeward Islands, but on the 28 June 1747, the Veteran was taken near Antigua by the French Privateer the “Diamond” by Captain Paul Marsale and carried into Martinique on the 30th June 1747.
All the prisoners aboard were released, and since the French (Who supported the Jacobites and the exiled House of Stuart) refused to send the prisoners to their original location, many of the prisoners freely settled in Martinique or other French settlements.
But not Barbara. Within six months she had returned to Scotland, married her sweetheart John Young and settled in Perthshire, where she gave birth to her son John nine months later.
A second child, a daughter also called Barbara, arrived eighteen months later, who tragically died of scarlet fever while still a baby.
Barbara and her husband lived very poor – I found a Cess and Stent Roll (which give the name of the the proprietor or tenant, describe or name the property and give an annual rental value) that described the rent Barbara paid as four pence, and her husband threepence.
In 1762, Barbara’s husband John passed away at the age of 36, possibly due to a lung condition caused by his job as a candlemaker. Barbara, aged 32 raised her thirteen year old son by herself, supporting them until he was old enough to get a job as a carpenter and start his own family.
This is where Barbara’s story ends. I have not been able to find any definite re-marriage or death record for her, and sadly the rest of her life is lost to history.
Though I have not found a happy ending for Barbara, her courage, bravery and rebellious spirit will continue to inspire me forever, both in my fiction writing…and one day soon, her own book.
Arundel Castle, former home of Adeliza of Louvain, the fair maid of Brabant
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