Category Archives: Samuel Collings

Outlander Characters Season 5: Edmund Fanning

imagesAnother upcoming character due to reappear  for Season 5 is Edmund Fanning. We first met Mr. Fanning (Samuel Collings) in season 4 episode 8, Wilmington. Fanning was the unfortunate man who Jamie jabbed as a diversion to distract at the theatre and warn Murtagh of Governor Tryon’s plot to capture him at the taxes raid. What was a hernia was operated on by Claire in front of the theater crowd with the assistance of the vain Governor Tryon. Earlier in the episode, we hear of Fanning’s dealings with the regulator mob and his taking a casket of drink to appease them, and injuring himself.

In the book The Fiery Cross during The Gathering at Mount Helicon, we learn the details of the Governor’s declaration about hunting The Regulators, and Jamie’s mustering of men that he must do to keep Fraser’s Ridge. This is in response to the Hillsborough riots.

Just who was Edmund Fanning that he would become such a close associate and protégé of Governor Tryon? Quite simply, through the office, he helped collect Poll Tax money for the Governors’ new Palace. Fanning was a graduate of Yale College in 1757 and studied law there. He had further studies at Kings College, Harvard College, Dartmouth, and Oxford University. He settled in Hillsborough, North Carolina and became an administrator for several posts he held there. He then became a clerk of the Superior Court in Orange County. He then attained the role of Associate Justice when the residing Judge, Moore, publicly spoke against the new Stamp Act. Moore was later reinstated.

The North Carolina Regulators blamed Fanning for political corruption, embezzlement, and the abuse of collecting excessive taxation. The Regulators demanded written accounts of how the Governor’s new palace in New Bern was being funded (Poll Tax). At the courthouse, Regulators served on the jury and the trial began on September 1, 1768. The trial was presided over by Judge Fanning was charged along with Francis Nash of extorting money from residents of Hillsborough. He was found guilty of embezzling money (along with Francis Nash) but was fined only one penny per charge.

Later Herman Husband confronted Fanning and challenged his Whig alliance. A Mob of regulators assaulted Fanning and torched his home.

Samuel Collins plays Edmund Fanning and has just finished shooting episodes 5.1 and 5.2 of Outlander Season 5. We assume that one if not both of these episodes cover the trial and The Regulator Riots.