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Kay's Originals Vol. 2


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 5 how much was “ to pay,”-“ Whe, gentlemen, let me see,” he would say, casting an eye towards the shelf; “nine bottles (or whatever the number might be) ; ye’ve dune no amiss the nicht.” John was frequently puzzled, however, by the company placing some of the bottles under the thble, or otherwise concealing them ; yet he never expressed any displeasure at such jokes. Mr. Dowie ultimately scraped together a fortune of about six thousand pounds. He lived’till 1817 ; and to the last continued to wear a cocked hat -the honoured badge of former times-although he latterly dispensed with the use of knee and shoe buckles. He was twice married, and had several children by his first wife. His son entered the army, and attained the rank of Captain. The successor of Johnnie Dowie continued to keep the house open, under the designation of “Burns’s Tavern,” until the demolition of the Wynd in 1834. The premises had been considerably repaired and improved, and were lighted with gas. The little room called the [email protected], in which Burns used to sit, was covered with green cloth, and fitted up with a new table. No. CLXXII. COLIN CAMPBELL, ESQ. OB’ KILBERRY, ARGYLESHIRE. IN his earlier years this antiquated beau had been in the army, where he acquired an unenviable notoriety in consequence of a fatal assault committed by him on a brother officer, Captain John Macharg (eldest son of James Macharg of Keirs), while stationed at the Island of Martinico, in the year 1763. Campbell was then Major-Commandant of the 100th Regiment of Foot. The cause of difference is said to have originated at Jersey, where the corps lay prior to their embarkation for Martinico, and to have been owing to pecuniary dificulties, in which Captain Macharg had involved himself, and which were so formidable that Major Campbell, by the advice of his superior officer, was compelled to take the payment of his company entirely out of his hands-a proceeding which gave great offence to Macharg. Upon the arrival of the regiment in Martinico, Captain Macharg is reported to have taken every opportunity of vilifying the Major, which procedure having reached the ears of the latter, he was naturally very much provoked, and immediately despatched the following card to his defamer :- “SIB,-~ am this moment informed that, on some occasions since our arrival here, you have taken liberties with my character, unbecoming a gentleman. I desire an immediate and explicit answer, per bearer ; and am, t i i then, your humble servant, c. CAMPBELL.”
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6 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. The reply brought by the bearer was :- “ SIR,-~ have just received youm, and have taken no liberties with your character but what I am able to anawer for. Youra, etc. J. MAOHARQ.” On receipt of this imprudent answer, although the= dark (about eight o’clock in the evening of the 26th March), Major Campbell, with a bayonet by his side, and a small sword in his hand, proceeded to the tent of Macharg, whom he found sitting without any other arms than a broadswor’d. On demanding satisfaction-which he did in no very measured terms-the Captain endeavoured to evade a meeting, on the ground that he had not proper weapons. The Major thereupon struck him several times with his sword, and, seizing him by the breast, dragged him to the door of the tent. Being thus compelled to stand on the defensive in the best way he could, a scuffle ensued, when both parties fell-the Major uppermost. In this situation the victor tauntingly ordered his antagonist to beg his life, which the latter did, but almost immediately afterwards expired. On examination it was found that Macharg had received no less ,than eleven wounds, two of them mortal. Neither did they appear to have been all given by the same instrument. One incision evidently had been by a thrust of the bayonet, which was found unsheathed where the struggle had occurred. Major Campbell was immediately put under arrest ; and, on the 6th of April 1762, tried for murder by a court-martial held at Fort-Royal, in the Island of Martinico. The following is a summary of the evidence given before the Court :- “ William Gillespie, who carried the letter from the Major to the Captain, and brought back the answer, deponed-That he followed him to the Captain’s tent ; that he saw him give the Captain three or four strokes with the sword, the scabbard being on the blade ; that he asked him to turn out -who replied that he had not a small sword ; that he then took hold of him by the breast, and bid him turn out any way; that he hauled him by the breast till he got him ontside the tent, and threw him down there ; that in struggling both were down together ; that they got up, and both fell a second time ; and that the Major, while they were on the ground a second time, asked the Captain to leg his life three or four times. “ Alexander M‘Kenzie deponed-That he heard the Major say, ‘ Turn out if you be a man ;’ that he saw them on the ground together, and that the Major said, ‘Beg your life, or you are a dead man ;’ that the Captain answered, ‘I do beg my life-I am a dead man-send for the surgeon ;’ that the Major said-immediately after the Captain had said ‘ I am a dead man ’-‘ Is there nobody there to go for the surgeon ? ’ “ Robert Haldane deponed-That he heard the Major say, ‘You have made free with my character in tom-turn out immediately ;’ that the Captain replied he had no small sword, and begged he might get one ; that he saw them struggling together, and fall to the ground ; that the Major said, ‘Beg your life ;’ that the Captain said, ‘I do beg my life ;’ that the Major afterwards asked him again if he begged his life ? to which he replied, I am a dead man ;’ that then the Major got up and ordered the surgeon to be sent for. “Donald Morison deponed-That they came out of the tent on each side of the door pole, struggling with each other ; that when they were on the ground, the MIajor said, ‘ Do you beg your life now P’ that the Captain answered-‘Yea ;’ that the Major required him to beg his life a second and a third time, the Captain still answering-‘Yea ;’ but that at the last time he said he was gone ; and the surgeon was sent for.” Major Campbell endeavoured to invalidate the evidence of the witnesses. In explanation of being armed with a bayonet he said, it was well known by
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