Any James Alexander Malcomb McKenzie Fraser fans out there? After reading Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (if you haven’t read it yet—sigh. Jamie will steal your heart), if I come across Jacobite or Charles Stuart they pop out at me. So when I stumbled upon Dunrobin Castle in my haunted places search and saw those trigger words, I had to check it out.
Picture by Captured 2 – Deviant Art
In 1745, the Jacobites stormed home of the Sutherland Clan, Dunrobin Castle. Oh, and as an aside, Dunrobin is Gaelic for Robin’s Castle (I wonder who Robin was?). It seems naughty Clan Sutherland supported the redcoats, but the earl scooted out the back door (come on Jacobites! Didn’t you think to guard the back portcullis?). The double-crossing earl set sail to Aberdeen and joined the Duke of Cumberland. The infamous family played quite a part in the Highland Clearances too. Grrr. Scumbags. Anyway…
Of course, there’s a tragic ghost. The particular specter of Dunrobin haunts the upper floors and is believed to be Margaret, the daughter of the 14th Earl of Sutherland. It’s a familiar story—lord’s daughter, unacceptable suitor, and an elopement gone awry. What is it with medieval lords locking women in attics and towers? Talk about oppression. Legend has it Margaret’s maid, a sucker for romance, smuggled in a rope for a sneaky break-out. Her lover waiting anxiously below, Margaret began her heart-stopping descent. With a parent’s dead-on instinct when it comes to teenagers and their schemes, her father chose that moment to spy on…er, check in. Surprised and with no circus skills or net, Margaret slipped and fell to her death. Her heart-broken lover put a curse on her father–can’t really blame the guy–but I heard no tale if the curse worked. Maybe that’s why Margaret’s father found him unsuitable. No talent for hexes.
Next time you’re in Scotland, take a tour of Dunrobin Castle. Listen for Margaret crying (poor girl) and imagine the Jacobite forces swarming inside. Then go home, read Outlander (again), and fantasize of your own Jamie Fraser.
Question of the day: what do you love best about James Alexander Malcomb McKenzie Fraser? For me, it’s his sense of humor…or how easily he’s scandalized…or the way he swings a sword…his deep love for Claire and only Claire…who am I kidding? I love everything.