A crime that gave Queen Victoria nightmares

The disappearance of the corpse of the 25th Earl of Crawford from a sealed burial vault beneath the chapel at Dunecht House in 1881 was a world-wide sensation.

Paul and Shona.
Paul and Shona.

The public lapped up every twist and turn of a case of body-snatching so weird and darkly gothic that it remains among the most baffling in the annals of 19th century crime.

Many an armchair detective pondered the mysterious trail of clues the hunt revealed: among them were letters from a shadowy figure known only as ‘Nabob’, a drunken ‘confession’ overheard in a country inn, and a cryptic message in a bottle washed up on a Shetland beach.

In his illustrated talk, as part of Aboyne and Deeside Festival, Simon Welfare reinvestigates the ‘Dunecht Outrage’, a crime that gave Queen Victoria nightmares.

Television producer and author Simon Welfare

The talk takes place at Aboyne-Dinnet Church on Tuesday, August 16 at 7.30pm.

Music fans are in for a treat as Paul Anderson and Shona Donaldson join the festival line up on Sunday, August 21.

Join world renowned traditional fiddler Paul Anderson and award winning singer Shona Donaldson at Migvie Kirk, Tarland from 3pm for slow airs, strathspeys, reels and bothy ballads.

Already something of a legend in the time honoured fiddle tradition of Scotland; Paul is the finest Scots fiddlers of his generation.

He is an icon of traditional music in Scotland, a fact duly recognised by two commissioned portraits of him. A sought after composer, teacher and performer he has played the world over and won many awards in his career.

Singer Shona is one of Scotland’s leading tradition bearers. A fiddler and singer she grew up in Huntly, and was surrounded by music and song from a young age.

She particularly enjoys singing and teaching local Aberdeenshire songs in Doric and is a sought after tutor. An able performer, she has sung at many events from folks clubs to The Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow with the Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

Tickets for both events cost £10; £5 for those aged 16 and under and are available from www.aboyneanddeesidefestival.org.uk or call 03336 663366.