Margaret Campbell is the sister of the Reverend Archibald Campbell. She was severely traumatized by events that occurred during the Jacobite Rising of 1745 and never recovered mentally, thereafter alternating between a normal state of mind, a catatonic state, and one of continual screaming.
Margaret's family supported the English government during the Jacobite Rising of 1745, but Margaret was a Jacobite. She fell in love with Ewan Cameron, a Jacobite soldier, and told him information about the English troops that she had gleaned from conversations with her family and letters from her brother Archibald, who fought as a soldier on the government side. After the Battle of Falkirk Muir, rumors reach Margaret that the Highland Army was facing defeat. She fled in the dead of night in March and made her way north to meet Ewan.
The day after Battle of Culloden, Margaret was forced to turn back and fell into the hands of a band of English soldiers, who raped her and left her for dead, lying in a ditch. She was found by a family of tinkers who took her with them, but she was so traumatized by her ordeal that she did not speak. Margaret's brother, Archibald, happened upon her by chance one day as he was returning to Edinburgh with his regiment, and the shock of their meeting caused Margaret to regain her voice. However, she never fully recovered, and continued to suffer from fits of staring and screaming. Archibald returned Margaret home, where they discovered that their father had died from influenza. Their mother died soon afterwards, so Margaret continued to live under the care of her brother.
Events of the NovelsEdit
In 1766, Margaret's brother accepts an offer from the Missionary Society to go to the West Indies and decides to take Margaret with him, and he employs a woman called Nellie Cowden who will look after Margaret. They go to Edinburgh first, where the Reverend meets Claire Fraser and asks her to look at Margaret to see if she can help her mental state.
Claire goes to visit Margaret in the Campbells' rooms, where she finds the woman in a catatonic state and realizes there is little she can do for her. Just as Claire is leaving, Young Ian arrives with a message from Jamie. On hearing the name Jamie, Margaret comes out of her trance, says 'Jamie?', and starts screaming.
Margaret's state of mind alternates from lucid and pleasant, catatonic, and raving.
Described as plump, with pale blue eyes, baby-fine brown hair, a soft round face with a small snub nose and a double chin.
- Margaret is derived from Latin Margarita, which was from Greek μαργαριτης (margarites) meaning "pearl", probably ultimately a borrowing from Sanskrit मञ्यरी (manyari).
- Campbell is a Scottish surname meaning "crooked mouth" from Gaelic cam "crooked" and béul "mouth".