Mary Campbell

Other names: 
"Highland Mary"
Dates: 
1764- October 1786

Mary Campbell was born in Dunoon, the eldest child of Archibald Campbell, seaman, and Agnes Campbell. The family moved to Campbelltown in 1768. In her early teens she worked as a nursemaid for Gavin Hamilton.

It is said that Mary had an intimate relationship with Robert Burns. This has been interpreted from the many songs Burns dedicated to her and in turn, she became known as 'Highland Mary'.

Mary died in October 1786. Some believe her death was caused by a fever she contracted while caring for her sick brother (possibly typhoid fever). It is also suggested that it was a fever brought on by premature childbirth. She was buried in the old West Highland Church in Greenock.

Sources
Campbell, 'Highland' Mary (1763-86)
Short biography of Mary Campbell and her connection with Robert Burns