I read about Helen Gloag in a book on Perthshire by Archie McKerracher (sp?), which I was given for Christmas.Coincidentally I was planning a spring trip to Morocco and this story certainly increased my interest.
I don't think it's unlikely that Helen would have survived the attack by the pirates, and if her family wanted to cover up a scandal why go out of their way to attract more attention to her by dreaming up such a ludicrous story?McKerracher cites contemporary travellers in Morocco who heard the sultan had a Scottish wife, also, some recent visitors to Rabat were told about a memorial to a Scottish empress.
If she appealed to the British government for help after Yazeed took over, perhaps there is some evidence in contemporary British records?Obviously though if the story was made up, news of a British fleet in the area would have fitted in very nicely.
I will try to find out more about the memorial when I go to Rabat in April (tricky though since I know no Arabic) - I'm inclined to believe the story that much at least!