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Murders, executions, child slavery, just some horrors from Aberdeen's "Black Kalendar" of crime!

The Black Drummer's Boxing Match against the Argyllshires

An old route revived! Learn of the horrors which occurred around Aberdeen's old medieval marketplace beginning at Old Blackfriars, once a merchant's house where the dastardly folk involved in child slavery hid their kidnap victims, and including many tales from Aberdeen's Black Kalendar, the city's list of court proceedings over several centuries, including:

  • John Sampson, the Black Drummer, who was brutally stabbed to death at Maggie Creek's Brothel in Justice Port following a boxing match at the Castlehill Barracks where Sampson had inadvertently killed one of the Argyllshire Highlanders. 
  • the scuffle outside Pitfodels' Lodging which lead to the death of Adam Gordon of Haddo, the fatal blow struck by John, the Master of Forbes
  • the poor unfortunates who suffered at Aberdeen's Whipping Stane, including housebreaker, Adam Frain who was only 13 years old when he was birched and banished from the city
  • the shameful tale of Aberdeen's witch burnings of 1596/97, featuring Janet Wishart, wife of John Leys, shipmaster of Fittie.  Local jealousy ensured this well-off but eccentric lady was targetted.
  • and the creepy history of Aberdeen's "Frankenstein" doctors!

Starts/ Ends: Old Blackfriars, Castlegate, Aberdeen
Terrain:  Pavements - circular route
Probably suitable for wheelchairs/ mobility scooters and those with difficulty walking, but due to the roadworks in Broad St, inadvisable at present




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Hidden Aberdeen Tours (founded 2011) is wholly owned by Dr Fiona-Jane Brown as a sole-trading operation which occasionally works with contractors.

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