The History of Leith

January 2, 2012

The spectre of Dundee

A strange story went abroad concerning the spectre of Dundee; the terrible yet handsome Claverhouse, in his flowing wig and glittering breastplate, appearing to his friend the Earl of Balcarres, then a prisoner in the Castle, and awaiting tidings of the first battle with keen anxiety. About daybreak on the morning when Killiecrankie was fought and lost by the Williamites, the spectre of Dundee is said to have come to Balcarres, and drawing back the curtains of his bed, to have looked at him steadfastly and sorrowfully ” After this” (says C. K. Sharpe, in a note to ‘ Law’s Memorials’), ” it moved towards the mantelpiece, remained there for a short time in a leaning posture, and then walked out of the chamber without uttering one word. Lord Balcarres, in great surprise, though not suspecting that what he saw was an apparition, called out repeatedly on his friend to stop, but received no answer, and subsequently learned that at the very moment the shadow stood before him Dundee had breathed his last near the field of Killiecrankie.”

source-Old and New Edinburgh

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