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Isabella Campbell Memorial Garelochhead

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Isabella Campbell Memorial, 2007
Isabella Campbell Memorial
© George Rankin

A memorial to Isabella Campbell (1807 - 1827) lies along a signposted track leading west off the B833 road near the head of the Gare Loch.

The memorial stone simply reads:


Isabella Campbell was the the daughter of Donald Campbell, an ensign in the West Coast Indian Regiment. Isabella and her sister Mary Campbell are said to have experienced an anointing of the Spirit. Mary was said to possess the gift of tongues, and came to be associated with the Irvingites and the Catholic Apostolic Church.


It is unclear as to precisely why this memorial lies here. The photograph shown above carried a reference to "the first ever recorded move of the Holy Spirit after the Reformation was recorded here in this part of the world in the early 1800s". Seeking further enlightenment regarding the people and the movements resulted in a huge mass of writings, as may be expected when considering religious matters of the time, and the following (brief) notes should be considered only as starting points in relation to the to the question, and not any sort of definitive reason.

Irvingites were people or movements rooted in the revival begun in the 1830s by Edward Irving in London, and which was later brought forth as the Catholic Apostolic Church movement. References to Irvingites appears in many writings of the time, but are not generally accepted by those who were involved, and are considered to be misleading and historically incorrect. Irving toured Scotland during the summers of 1827 and 1828, when tens of thousands of believers are reported to have attended to listen to him speak.

Of local interest are references to Alexander J Scott, who visited Scotland in 1830 and convinced Mary Campbell of baptism in the Spirit and its consequences of healing and speaking in unknown tongues. From there, there is a route through Margaret McDonald and her brothers James and George where "manifestations continued to be in evidence at prayer meetings in the Macdonald’s (sic) house and at large gatherings in Helensburgh at which Mary Campbell wrote in tongues and prophesied". (Edward Irving as a Forerunner of the Modern Pentecostal Movement)

Presbyterian John McLeod Campbell was appointed to the parish of Row on the Gareloch in 1825, and preached in Scotland that Christ died, in principle, for all believers and not only for a small group of 'elected people.'

In 1830 prophetic utterances were recorded in Port Glasgow, Scotland among Dissenters and Karlshuld, Bavaria among Roman Catholics. These took the form of prophecy, speaking in tongues and miraculous healing. They were regarded as the answer to the prayers that many had been making. These occurrences spread in Scotland and England where certain ministers allowed their practice, although they were not approved of by existing church authorities; however they died out in Bavaria under the opposition of the responsible clergy. (The Nature of Atonement, John McLeod Campbell, 1825)

External links

Aerial views


Note. The precise location of the memorial is unspecified, and the marker shown indicates only the nearby road, from which the access track is signposted, and leads off to the west.


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