Old Photograph Chesthill House Scotland

Old photograph of Chesthill House by Fortingall near Aberfeldy, Highland Perthshire, Scotland. In 1689, on their return from the Battle of Dunkeld, the MacIains of Glencoe, a sept of Clan MacDonald, together with their Glengarry cousins, looted Glenlyon, stole his livestock, and razed his last remaining holdings, increasing his financial problems from gambling debts. In his subsequent appeal for compensation, Campbell showed he clearly believed the Glengarry men to be the more culpable, making no mention of Glen coe. In a final effort to support his wife and family, Robert Campbell, at the age of fifty nine, joined the Earl of Argyll’s Regiment of Foot and led the detachment of government troops responsible for the infamous Glencoe Massacre, of the MacDonalds of Glencoe in 1691. Some element of planning may have been undertaken from Chesthill House. The fact of the stolen cattle and Glenlyon’s involvement in the massacre were used by the English in an attempt to thinly veil the massacre as simply the outcome of thievery and clan rivalry. The available evidence, including the aforementioned appeal for compensation, shows that this was not the case. The Argyll Regiment was sent to fight in Flanders, in the War of the Grand Alliance, but was defeated by the French armies at Diksmuide in 1696, and Campbell died in Bruges on 2 August 1696.

In around 1700, in an attempt to clear debts, Chesthill was sold to the local Colonel James Menzies’ of Culdares, who did not take possession until 1726 at the death of Robert Campbell’s wife. The Menzies of Culdares were staunch Jacobites: Colonel Menzies was a Royalist officer during the Civil War in the seventeenth century and was wounded nine times in various fights. He fought for the Jacobites in the 1715 Rising, but was captured after the rebellion and was exiled to North America. He was too old to take part in the 1745 Rising, but sent Bonnie Prince Charlie a fine horse, delivered by his servant, MacNaughton. He also introduced the larch tree to Scotland, having brought the first larches from the Austrian Tyrol in 1737.

All photographs are copyright of Sandy Stevenson, Tour Scotland, and may not be used without permission.

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