John Blaw of Castlehill, Culcross ~ Jacobite

John Blaw (born c1692) has gone down in history both for being a Jacobite in the 1745 rebellion, but also for taking part in a murder for which he was hanged. Blaw killed William Cairns a farmer in a Lamina inn on 4 September 1767. In the winter of 1745 (February) Blaw was sent by the Duke of Perth, on a secret mission to Paris to meet Prince Charles Edward Stuart. On his return to Scotland, Blaw was arrested and placed in the Tollbooth of Edinburgh as a prisoner. Subsequently taken to London for questioning, Blaw was eventually released under the Act of Indemnity of 1747. Not much else is known about Blaw’s role as a Jacobite. As for the murder the popular press of the time reported it in detail. On the 4 September 1767, John Blaw came to Clackmannan for the Bartholomew’s Fair. At that time Blaw aged about 70 was down on his financial luck. Whilst drinking with William Cairns and that farmer’s son a quarrel arose. Blaw, taking hold of a very small penknife he carried, stabbed the farmer’s son; a fight then broke out between Blaw and William Cairns. This resulted in another stabbing, this time William Cairns. He died some time later from the wound. John Blaw was apprehended and taken to Stirling Castle. He was executed in Broad Street, Stirling on 30 October 1767.