The Stewarts of Appin & a slave by Dougie Kinnear - written 18/11/2017 14:29:07

Hello All

I am a student at the University of Dundee and am currently studying on the Masters of Fine Art & Humanities course. For the Art side of the course I am working on Scotland & the Atlantic slave trade.

While doing some research into slaves in Scotland I discovered some records of a slave being arrested, by soldiers of Guise’s regiment, in 1750 for being ‘dressed in tartan Livery’ The slave is recorded as being owned by Mr Stewart of Appin. I’ve also seen a separate record noting that Stewart of Appin liked dressing his slave in tartan.

I am considering creating some artworks based on the arrest of this slave but am trying to find out more about him. I have his name and the fact he was arrested somewhere near Loch Rannoch. I am wondering if he was on the run as I would have expected him to have been at or closer to Ardsheal, if he was on the run it’s interesting to note that he was arrested for wearing tartan rather than being on the run.

Does anyone know of any references to The Stewarts having a slave? The use of the word Livery is interesting as it probably means he was wearing a servant’s uniform, presumably the same, as Scots servants may have been wearing. References to the running of the house might shed light on this if any survive. I am aware of a fire at Ardsheal and wonder if everything was lost. Paintings etc may also have shed light on this slave.

It is recorded that the slave was to be put before a Justice in the Rannoch area and I am hoping I might find records of that event also.

Apologies for the long ramble, I hope someone may be able to help or offer suggestions on where to look for information. I can be contacted at

All the best