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the escape of Bonnie Prince Charlie in 1746



Donald is best remembered for his involvement in the escape of Bonnie Prince Charlie in 1746. Donald's 
wife was a Baleshare MacDonald, known to be a Jacobite sympathiser. After the Battle of Culloden, the 
Prince on arriving at the west Coast was piloted out to Benbecula and thence to Scalpay, to the home 
of Donald and Catherine Campbell. Donald MacLeod, the Prince's pilot, was taking a risk going to Scalpay 
because Donald Campbell was known not to be a Jacobite. Nevertheless Donald Campbell's  innate sense of 
hospitality to strangers meant that he welcomed and protected the Prince.  The Reverend John Lane Buchanan 
says "Even though it is well known that this gentleman was strictly loyal and well attached to the reigning 
family, yet an enormous sum of thirty thousand pounds could not bribe  him …."

A local worthy the Reverend Aulay MacAulay arrived with a party of soldiers to take the Prince into custody, 
Donald Campbell sent his son to warn the prince to hide and refused to give up the fugitive … this despite 
Rev MacAulay's offer to share the reward! The Prince eventually went from Scalpay to Stornoway and back to 
Scalpay again, but Donald had had to go into hiding because of his actions. The Prince is said to have been 
disappointed at missing "his hospitable friend" to whom he "wished to pay his respects for the 
remarkable civilities he had shown".
 
While the Prince was on Scalpay, he is said to have gone cod fishing with Donald's son Kenneth and helped push 
a cow out of a bog. Freeing the cow spoilt the Prince's plaid and he exchanged it for clean dry clothes. The 
plaid was divided up and pieces of it are to be seen in the Fort William Museum in Lochaber, in a private family 
collection and in Stoneyhurst College in Lancashire.

Linked toDonald Campbell; Charles Edward Stuart, "The Young Pretender"

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