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Browse the 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand
Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.



The Legend of the Exiled Princess

This legend of the exiled princess, of which there are several versions, all highly romantic, is associated with heather plants that grow on the island, in all probability introduced by an early whaler or sealer. According to the legend a stone fireplace, a shell-paved pathway to the nearby water's edge, a ragged stand of flax bushes - at one time evidently a neatly planted windbreak - and some straggling heather plants identify the remains of the lonely home of an exiled lady of noble birth who is described usually as “the French princess” or “the Jacobite princess”. About 10 years after the Napoleonic Wars had ended this “princess” is said to have been involved in a plot which threatened to overthrow the then French monarchy. One version says that she was a daughter of Bonnie Prince Charlie, but this account is perhaps the least credible, because that daughter died in France. Another version states that the exiled princess was betrothed to a Scottish nobleman who laid claim to the thrones of England, Scotland, and France. For some reason it was desirable to send her out of harm's way. She was therefore sent overseas in the care of a sea captain who, eventually, put her ashore at Campbell Island. A small sod hut was built for her at Camp Cove and there, it is said, she was found dead of starvation a year later. Near the hut was found a patch of Scottish heather, which, according to the legend, was planted by the princess to remind her of her lover.