The History of Leith

January 12, 2012

Lady Eleanor Campbell

Lady Eleanor Campbell, widow of the great marshal and diplomatist, John Earl of Stair, was by paternal descent related to one of the most celebrated historical figures of the seventeenth
century, being the grand-daughter of the Lord High Chancellor Loudon, whose talents and influence on the Covenanting side procured him the enmity of Charles I.
In her girlhood she had the misfortune to be united to James Viscount Primrose, of Castlefield, who died in 1706, a man of dissipated habits and intolerable temper, who treated her so barbarously
that there were times when she had every reason to fear that her life was in peril. One morning she was dressing herself before her mirror, near an open window, when she saw the viscount suddenly appear in the room behind her with a drawn rapier in his hand. He had softly opened the door, and in the mirror she could see that his face, set white and savage, indicated that he had nothing less than murder in his mind. She threw herself out of window into the street, and, half-dressed as she was, fled, with great good sense, to Lord Primrose’s mother, who had been Mary Scott of Thirlstane, and received protection ; but no attempt was made to bring about a reconciliation, and, though they had four children, she never lived with him again, and soon after he went abroad.

source-Old and New Edinburgh

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