Bobby Higgins is originally from Dorset, England. In March 1770, he was one of the British soldiers involved in the Boston Massacre. Bobby was convicted of manslaughter, but pled clergy and was realeased. However, he was branded with an "M" on his cheek. Shortly after his release, Bobby was beaten in a tavern, losing sight in one eye. He was hired as a sailor, but it soon became clear that it wasn't a job for him. Upon hearing Bobby's story from the captain of his ship, Lord John Grey hired Bobby as a servant.
Events of the NovelsEdit
Bobby Higgins comes to the Fraser's Ridge for the first time in April 1773, with a letter from Lord John Grey to Jamie Fraser, in which Grey describes Bobby's story and asks Claire to examine him, as Bobby occasionally faints.
Over the next few years, Bobby comes to the Ridge from time to time, delivering letters and packages from Grey. He also forms an attachment to Lizzie Wemyss, and later also Malva Christie. In September 1774, Lord John writes to Jamie mentioning Bobby's intentions to marry either Lizzie or Malva, however, Bobby's proposals aren't accepted by the girls' fathers.
In 1776, as many people (politicians and army personnel) come to stay with Lord John Grey, Bobby starts to feel uncomfortable at his estate due to the brand on his cheek, marking him as a murderer. In September, he comes to the Ridge and decides to stay. Roger MacKenzie introduces him to a young widow Amy McCallum.
Bobby and Amy married in December 1776, and live in the cabin that used to be occupied by Roger and Brianna MacKenzie. In March 1777, as Jamie and Claire prepare to leave the Ridge to go to Scotland, Jamie appoints Bobby factor, with the responsibility of overseeing the Frasers' property in their absence.
During Jamie and Claire's two year long absence, Bobby cleared of trees the land on which the Frasers' new house is to be built, laid timber in stacks and piled a large quantity of stones for the house's foundation.
Upon meeting Bobby for the first time, Claire describes him as a sweet-natured boy. He is well liked by his stepsons, and Brianna's son Jemmy.
Bobby is a slight, thin young man with pale skin and blue eyes. He has lost sight in one eye, and has a brand on his cheek, marking him as a murderer.
During his initial visits to Fraser's Ridge on behalf of Lord John Grey, Bobby became smitten with Lizzie Wemyss though she was already betrothed to Manfred McGillivray. He often sought out her company when at the Ridge and after the termination of her betrothal had, through Lord John, requested to speak with her father Joseph Wemyss about marrying her. His request was quickly dismissed by Joseph, who, out of concern for his daughter's welfare, did not want Lizzie to marry a branded murderer with little in the way of future prospects and stability. In the end, Lizzie ended up married to both Josiah and Keziah Beardsley.
Other than becoming interested in Lizzie during his trips to the Ridge, Bobby also developed an attraction to Malva Christie. This attraction grew into an intimate relationship. Bobby, via Lord john, had wanted to speak with Thomas Christie in regards to marriage, but the subject was never brought to Tom as Jame was very certain the answer would be no. When word got out that Malva was with child, supposedly by Jamie, a fight broke out between Bobby and Ian, both of whom knew the other had slept with Malva. In the end, nothing came of his relationship with Malva before she was killed by her brother Allan Christie. It was later revealed that the child was Allan's, and he had put Malva up to lying with several of the young men on the Ridge to make it impossible to discover whose child it really was.
Bobby was introduced to the widow Amy McCallum by Roger MacKenzie in September 1776 when he came to live at the Ridge permanently. By December, the two were married, making him the stepfather to Aidan and Orrie, both of whom Bobby is fond of. The small family moved into Roger and Brianna's old cabin after the MacKenzie family left. When the Frasers left the Ridge in 1777, Bobby was appointed factor of the Ridge and he and Amy minded the property in their absence.
- Robert is from the Germanic name Hrodebert meaning "bright fame", derived from the Germanic elements hrod "fame" and beraht "bright".
- Higgins is the Anglicized form of Gaelic Ó hUiginn "descendant of Uiginn", a byname meaning "viking", "sea-rover" (from Old Norse víkingr).