John Lorne Campbell: To be re-buried at island home

Historians in the News

JOHN Lorne Campbell, the Gaelic folklorist, historian and author, will be buried later this week on Canna, the island that was his home for six decades.

He died in Italy 10 years ago, but his remains have been exhumed from near Florence and will be taken back to Scotland on Wednesday, to lie in a grave set amidst trees he planted himself.

The decision to bring Dr Campbell's body back to the island was taken only after much soul-searching by his friend and executor Hugh Cheape, head of the Scottish Material Cultural Research Centre at the National Museums of Scotland.

Mr Cheape had the written support of Dr Campbell's late wife, Margaret Fay Shaw, the American folklorist, before she died in 2004 at the age of 101, after her own extraordinary lifetime collecting Gaelic songs and traditions.

He told The Herald yesterday that the only reason the issue had arisen was because Dr Campbell had died in Italy. He was on his annual holiday with Margaret at a convent acting as a hostel near Fiesole, where he was surrounded by Gaelic-speaking nuns.

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