The following story can be found in a book by Maggie Craig called Damn Rebel Bitches, which describes the history of the Jacobite Rising of 1745-46 by recounting stories of the fascinating women caught up in those turbulent
We do know that she came from Glendessary, a very remote part of the Highlands at the head of Loch Arkaig, and that she was a fervent Jacobite who led about 300 of her fellow Camerons to the Raising of the Standard at Glenfinnan in 1745. Most of the stories told about her were invented by English hacks who were out to demonise anything Scottish. The pamphlet writers of Fleet Street described the Scots as a dirty, violent and deceitful race and Jenny was depicted as a spoilt child who went to the bad in Edinburgh, bedding all-comers and ending up having several children from an incestuous relationship with her brother.
The emergence of Jenny Cameron on the scene must have been a godsend to them; now they had sex to write about as well as violence. They naturally went on to assert that she was the mistress of Bonnie Prince Charlie although there is no evidence for this. As is well known, the rebellion was finally crushed by the Duke of Cumberland and his army at Culloden. After that battle, Cumberland systematically set about clearing any supporters of the Bonnie Prince from even the most remote parts of the Highlands and Jenny Cameron was forced from her home.
She eventually settled in South Lanarkshire, at East Kilbride, although at that time it was open countryside. She obviously managed to bring some of her wealth with her for she bought a fine house called Blacklaw. Jenny renamed the property Mount Cameron and started a school for orphans of the '45 rebellion. She became a respected and well-liked member of the local community and despite the fact that she was a Catholic she attended the local Protestant parish church. She died in 1772 and
her last wish was that she be laid to rest at Glendessary, but in those days it would have taken many days to reach such a remote part and, instead, her relatives buried her in the grounds of her house in South Lanarkshire. East Kilbride was the first of the so-called 'new towns' to be built in Scotland during the 1950s and 1960s, and Jenny Cameron's estate was eventually cleared to make way for. a golf course, although her grave was preserved. On several different occasions in the evening, when the light had started to fail, golfers are said to have witnessed a strange light hovering around the grave. Was this the spirit of Jenny, restless at being in this place so far from home? We don't know for sure, but we do know that the lights are no longer seen
. The area around her grave is now a children's play park surrounded by a housing estate. Jenny lives on in the memories of local children; they learn of her part in those violent times and her story plays an important part in local history. Two of the local schools are called Blacklaw and Mount Cameron, and the streets around the play park have names such as Glendessary, Mount Cameron Drive, Glen Nevis, etc, all names with which she would have been familiar.
Far from being more disturbed by the presence of such a modern creation as a housing estate, Jenny seems to be quite at home there, and in 1995, on the 250th anniversary of the uprising, a new stone was erected on the site. As Maggie Craig says in her book, 'She may not have reached the Highlands, but they have been brought to her.' Driffield, Yorkshire | Aberdeen, Scotland | Arbroath, Scotland | Basildon, Essex | Blairgowrie | Cerro del vale | Edinburgh | Fife, Scotland | Ghost in Dumfries | Ghost in Perhshire | Harrises | Hereford, England | Hertfordshire, England | Killiecrankie, Scotland | Littlecote, Wiltshire | London, England | York |
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