Hugh Munro was a friend of Jamie Fraser. He was captured at sea by the Turks, who tortured him by pouring hot oil on his legs, and he also lived as a slave in Algiers, where they cut out his tongue. When Claire met him, he had several gaberlunzies which granted him license to beg in various parishes.
Hugh Munro used to be a schoolmaster but was captured by the Turks at sea and had his tongue cut out, his leg broken and his feet plunged into boiling oil in an attempt to make him convert to Islam. He had a wallet adorned with four gaberlunzie tokens, which gave him the license to beg in four parishes on the one day of the week that begging was allowed in each parish, in recognition of the trials he endured at the hands of the Turks.
In late 1742 to early 1743, Hugh married a widow who had six children. They lived in near poverty for a few years, and had one baby of their own. He supplemented his begging with poaching.
Munro appears to Jamie while the latter is on his honeymoon with Claire. He gives Claire a dragonfly encased in amber as a wedding gift, and tells Jamie some news concerning Horrocks.
Dragonfly in Amber
Hugh briefly appears in the latter half of the novel, when Claire spots him casing the estate of the Duke of Sandringham, where she has been taken by the British to be questioned about Jamie. After seeing her escorted into the estate, he climbs a tree in order to see into the study on the second floor, where the Duke is questioning Claire. Hugh gestures to Claire that he is going to find Jamie and tell him where she is, but Claire later witnesses him being captured by the groundskeepers. She is later told by Mary Hawkins that Hugh was hanged upon being discovered.
Upon Claire's rescue by Jamie, Murtagh, and Hugh's stepson, Ewan, the men manage to locate Hugh's body and return it to his widow. Murtagh also presents her with the head of the Duke in a bag, as vengeance for Hugh's death.
Hugh was an animated conversationalist, his lack of verbal speech notwithstanding. He was a loyal friend to Jamie and Claire.
Described as bald with leathery skin and a full beard, blue eyes, one shoulder higher than the other and one leg shorter than the other. He cannot speak as his tongue has been cut out.
- Hugh is from the Germanic element hug, meaning "heart, mind, spirit".
- Munro is from the Gaelic Rothach "man of Ro". Tradition says that "ancestors of the Munros came from Ireland, from the foot of the river Roe in Derry." Variants include Monroe.
- The title of Dragonfly in Amber, as well as serving as a metaphor, also refers to the wedding gift Hugh gives Claire during the events of Outlander – a piece of amber with a preserved dragonfly inside.
- In the television series, Hugh is not killed during Claire's rescue from the Duke of Sandringham.
English actor Simon Meacock portrays Hugh Munro in the Outlander television adaptation.