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The name Arthur is a Celtic one - of ancient Briton origin, Artos meaning a bear. Its most famous holder was Arthur, a leader of the Britons in the fight against the Anglo-Saxons around the year 500. There is little known of him from contemporary sources but he was clearly someone of substance given the number of occasions on which his name was used by later generations. This use then faded until the 13th century when in answer to the French ‘Chansons de Geste’, the fabulous tales of King Arthur and the Round Table developed.

Of more local interest was Arthur, son of Aidan, a Prince of the Scots who was killed in 596 when the Scots were in battle against the Pictish Miathi .

The name seems to have had strong connections with the Lennox, the area around Loch Lomond, part of the British Kingdom of Strathclyde, where it was used by such local clans as the Galbraiths and the MacArthurs of Darleith as well as by the Campbells all of whom are reckoned to be of Lennox origin. The name occurs several times in ‘Ane Accompt of the Genealogie of the Campbells’ where Diarmid O'Duine's son is Arthur Armdhearg.

Arthur Armdhearg has no less than three sons called Arthur - Arthur ‘Urchanach’ -‘of the Orchy’, Arthur Cruachan and Arthur Andrairan. This last Arthur Andrairan was said to have two sons, Patrick Drynach from whom came the MacArthurs of Inistrynich on Loch Awe and Duncan Darleith from whom the MacArthurs of Darleith. (1) (HP ii, 80.)

As with so much in ‘Ane Accompt’ the compiler of the pedigree is using an impressionistic rather than a representational brush; what he is in fact admitting is that he realises there are various MacArthur families but does not know how they fit together, if at all.

In fact it is quite clear that various MacArthur families derive from more than one stem. The MacArthurs of Darleith have been identified by David Sellar as coming from the MacAulays of Ardencaple.

In more modern times there was a family of MacArthurs on Islay who were armourers to the Lords of the Isles; the tombstone of MacArthur of Proaig in Kildalton churchyard is a unique one for the period substituting a musket for the more prevalent claymore. And a family of MacArthurs - possibly kin to the Islay armourers were pipers to MacDonald of Sleat on Skye.

The pipers were said to have come to Skye from Ulva, off Mull, where they had a school of piping. Pennant's report of his visit to Lord MacDonald's piper in 1774 would imply that there was a school of instruction at Penigorm near Duntulm. where they held a croft for their services. The last hereditary piper of this line, according to Angus Mackay's account was Angus, son of John Bane, whose brother Charles MacArthur was taught by Padruig Og MacCrimmon. Angus was the author of MacArthur's manuscript collection of Pipe Tunes, written at his dictation by John McGregor, around 1800. The collection is the earliest complete collection of Pipe Music on the stave.

Where these MacArthurs came from is unknown but it has been claimed that they were MacDonalds by descent as they certainly were by allegiance.

Loch Awe seems to have been early on the area from which various MacArthurs hail. The Arthur of Orchy in ‘Ane Accompt’ would seem a likely reference to the connection of the MacArthurs with the north end of Loch Awe while the Drynach added as identification to Patrick Drynach is a reference to Inistrynich - the one-time Island in the same Loch.

An early reference to MacArthurs here occurs in ‘The Manuscript History of Craignish’ where Dougall Campbell of Craignish who is said to have succeeded his father around 1250 ‘was nursed as his Father & Grandfather were, ever since the Maceachairns left Craiginsh by a principal Family of the MacArthurs on Lochow, & so the whole race continued to be nursed by them untill the unhallowed Christian gave that fatal blow to the Estate anno 1361 . . .’ (2) (SHS Misc. iv, 209.)

If this is an accurate statement then the MacArthurs must have been on Loch Awe at least by the year 1200. Further references to members of the family are sparse at this early period but what there are imply that the family was a professional, learned one, one of the ‘Aes Dana’. ‘Cristinus Arthuri’ - Christine MacArthur - is witness on a charter of the Campbell chief's in 1403 and his son appears in a similar capacity in 1432 . (3) (A/T.) ‘John MacArthua’ (sic) Clerk, diocese of Argyll, of noble race on both sides, student in Canon and Civil law in Bolgna and other universities has the parish of Medulf (Melfort ?), Argyll, for life and power of exchange in 1426 (4) (SHS, Scottish Supplications to Rome 1423-8, 140.) while in 1440, Dominus Gilbertus M'Arthour appears on a charter of the Countess of Lennox to Colin Campbell of Glenorchy. (5) (A/T. ) A Duncan MacArthur was also Prior of Ardchattan in 1514

Towards the end of the 1400s two names reappear on charters of the Earl of Argyll. John MacArthur appears several times in 1493 along with Archibald Uchiltree. It would seem that John died that year for in 1494 he is replaced by Charles, presumably his son, who acts as witness in several instances alongside the aforesaid Archibald. On no less than twenty six of the surviving Earl's charters between 1494 and 1523 he appears in one capacity or another, usually as a witness, and in places not only around Argyll but as far afield as Glasgow, Stirling, Inverness and Edinburgh. It is clear that he is acting as man of business for the Earl in days before lawyers as we know them now existed.

An important change occurs around 1510. Prior to that date Charles signs as Charles MacArthur but after it he is always Charles MacArthur ‘of Terivadich’ having been granted that property by the Earl for his services. From now on the MacArthurs could claim the status of Lairds. From now on, no doubt making full use of their legal expertise, the MacArthur landholdings spread around the north end of Loch Awe.

As well as becoming owners of property, the MacArthurs appear to have maintained a strong foothold in the Church and the emerging legal profession. Between 1550 and 1560, there appear Master Niall MacArthur, Vicar of Muckairn, Finlay MacArthur, Priest of the Diocese of Lismore, Dougall MacArthur, Clerk to the Sheriffdom of Argyll, Duncan MacArthur, Clerk to the Sheriffdom of Argyll, and Dougall MacArthur, Servitor to the Earl of Argyll, all in the Argyll Transcripts.

Patrick MacArthur, son to Duncan MacArthur of Terivadich, was appointed Captain of the old Campbell Castle of Innischonnell on Loch Awe in April 1559. (6) (A/T.) This important post was held by successive members of the family until 1617 when the then incumbent was dismissed for theft, the post of Captain thereafter going to a younger son of MacLachlan of Craigenterive.

In 1568 Gilbert Makeane VcArthur is referred to by the Earl of Argyll in a charter as his ‘kindly servitor’. It should perhaps be explained that a servitor was a trusted personal assistant and no mere servant. ‘Kindly’ can mean ‘of the same kindred’ or ‘by long inheritance’. The former meaning seems the intended one, particularly as a MacArthur had been appointed to the Captaincy of the old, principal Campbell place of strength, Innischonnell - a post of sufficient symbolic as well as actual importance as to make it unlikely that it would go to anyone regarded as being outside the Clan.

The rapid acquisition of land around the head of Loch Awe produced strained relationships with the leading family in the area, the MacConnochie Campbells of Inverawe. In 1567, Duncan MacArthur of Terivadich and his son Ian together with several of their men were drowned in a skirmish with these Campbells who had previously held undisputed sway in the area. In 1569 the 5th Earl of Argyll issued a charter to John MacArthur of Terivadich of the office of Bailie on all the lands in Over Loch Awe belonging to Clan Arthur, thus settling the quarrel in favour of the MacArthurs The lands are given as (modern spelling for identifiable sites) Barbreck, Auchnagum, Larach Ban, Terivadich, Mowey, Drummork, Capehin, Bocardie, Campurruck and Ardbrecknish. A MacArthur also held Drissaig at this time. while there were a number of lands around Innischonnell which went to support the Captain of the castle. (7) (HP iv, 54.)

By 1751 the MacArthur landholdings had dwindled once more. The most important was MacArthur of Inistrynich who held lands rated at £30. 14s. 1d which put him in 75th position among the Argyllshire lairds. The only other MacArthur was MacArthur of Ardbrecknish whose lands were valued at £5.0s 0d. The lands of Terivadich had been set in wadset to a MacCalman; their valuation was £8. 13. 1d. Patrick MacArthur of Terivadich sold the estate in 1771 and died in Jamaica; his only son Charles died on his way to India, leaving no issue, around 1787.

There has been endless confusion over the identity of the MacArthurs and the MacArthur Campbells of Strachur who descend from Bruce’s Constable of Dunstaffnage Castle, Sir Arthur Campbell. (There never was a MacArthur who held this post). Campbell of Strachur goes by the Gaelic title of Mac-Artairr - ‘Son of Arthur’ - while MacArthur of Terivadich is Mac’ic Artair - ‘Son of the son of Arthur’. So too the ‘John MacArthur’ executed by King James I in 1428 is in fact the descendent of Sir Arthur Campbell’s younger son, also Arthur, who had a charter of her lands from Christina of Garmoran whom he may have been about to marry. Trouble had continued between the MacRuaris and the descendents of Arthur Campbell over the validity of the charter and James I adopted the drastic expedient of executing both of the contestants in order to bring peace to the area. (8) (Skene, Highlanders, 358. Bower, Scotichronicon xvi, 261.)

There were also MacArthurs in Lochaber who had gone there apparently along with the MacGlasrich Campbells after the MacDonald of Keppoch defeat at the hands of the Stewarts of Appin and the Maclarens in Glenorchy in 1497.

One of the name murdered Stewart of Appin at the instigation of a member of the Keppoch family. The deed was done with his battleaxe, hence the Lochaber saying

Tuagh Bhearnach Mhic Artair The notched axe of MacArthur

No less than five families emigrated to Glengarry in Canada from here in 1802. (9) (MacMillan, Bygone Lochaber, 158.) The name was also common along both sides of Loch Tayside where the local name for the MacArthurs was on occasion Mc a Chruim and McGilleChruim. (10) (Gillies, In Famed Breadalbane, 359.) From the number of names in Breadalbane of Argyllshire origin the probability would seem to be that these MacArthurs were of Loch Awe stock.

The most famous holder of the name is probably the U.S. General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Commander in the Pacific Campaign of World War II whose family roots are in Argyll. His great-grandfather, Archibald MacArthur in Achantiobart sailed for the United States in 1815. (11) (Fraser, Lochfyneside, 66.)

Recently, a derbhfine of MacArthurs was convened and petitioned Lyon for the appointment of a Commander of the Clan MacArthur until such time as the current Representor of MacArthur of Terivadich could be identified. The duly nominated Commander is Mr. James MacArthur - formerly MacArthur-Moir - of Milton, Dunoon, descended of a family who were treasurers to Montrose. This new organisation now groups together all those of the name MacArthur, whatever their origins.



The name Bannatyne is said to be the same as Ballantine and to derive from Bellenden in Selkirk. The Campbell connection with this name refers only to the Bannatynes of Bute and later of Arran. There are many other Ballantynes and Bannatynes across Scotland who do not share this link.

The head of the Bute Bannatynes was Bannatyne of Kames, a property on Bute which came to the family when Gilbert, son of Gilbert, received it in a charter of King Alexander III.

The then head of the family signed a mutual Bond with Stuart of Bute in 1547 in which each undertook to support the other against all comers with the exception of the King and the Earl of Argyll. This followed a Bond of Manrent of 1538 in which Bannatyne had bound himself to the Earl.

From then on, they seem to have followed the Campbell Chiefs loyally, with Bannatyne of Kames acting as a Campbell chieftain in all but name.

In the 1547 Bond Bannatyne is described as ‘Chief of the MacAmelynes’ - a scribe’s botched attempt but one at a name which sounds a great deal more Gaelic in character and which may reflect the true origin of this kindred. A possible derivation for this name may be Amhalghaidh, possibly given on occasion as Aulay. Alwin, 2nd Earl of Lennox had a son by the latter name who was great-grandfather to Allan of Faslane. (12) (per W.D.H. Sellar. Scots Peerage, v, 329, 330.)

The arms of Bannatyne of Kames, in use prior to 1672, are gules a chevron argent between three mullets or. (13) (Balfour Paul (Ed.) Ordinary of Arms,56.) At first sight there seems to be no connection with the arms of the Earls of Lennox (argent a saltire between four roses gules) but on occasion the arms of argent a chevron between four mullets gules have been used by a Bannatyne. A chevron is of course the bottom part of a saltire and it has been used by Lecky of that Ilk (argent a chevron between three roses gules) (14) (Burke, Ordinary of Arms; this is set out alphabetically and no page numbers are given.) whose ancestor was also a son of Alwyn, 2nd Earl of Lennox. Mullets (five-pointed stars) are not roses but the shield as a whole to a heraldic eye might seem to have a possible connection. A link between the Bannatynes of Kames and the Earls of Lennox might well repay further investigation.



The inclusion of the name Burns as a sept of the Clan Campbell is based on very thin evidence and can only be classed as a prime example of optimism!

The only link would seem to be a rumoured connection between Robert Burns, Scotland’s National Poet and a particular family of Campbells who lived near Taynuilt. The family were almoners to the ancient Priory of Ardchattan on the far side of Loch Etive and Guardians or Dewars of a Holy Relic, the Staff of Saint Maol Rubha of Applecross. There is a signpost off today's main road just to the north of Taynuilt marked for Balindore or ‘the Township of the Dewar’ in Gaelic, which ties in with the story. (15) (Carmichael, Carmina Gadelica, 269-270.)

According to the tale, the Campbells were set upon by a roving band of poets who could, according to ancient Highland Custom, billet themselves on whomsoever they liked for as long as they liked, eating their involuntary hosts out of house and home.

The son of the house was splitting a log of wood with a wedge one day when the voracious band of rhymers came strolling by. He invited them to help by pulling the log still further apart but with the next stroke of his hammer, instead of driving the wedge still further in, he knocked it right out so that the edges of the log sprang together trapping the poets in agony by their crushed fingers.

He kept them there until they had promised to leave his father's house without further ado and then released them. They kept their promise with an ill-grace and managed to stir up so much annoyance locally at this disrespect for old custom that young Campbell was forced to leave home and take refuge on the other side of Scotland. Here, for added security, he changed his name. Taynuilt is Tigh-an-Uillt in Gaelic or ‘House of the Burn’ so he is said to have adopted the name Burnhouse, an anglicised version of the same name, as an alias. This shortly became adapted to the local name of Burness - pronounced as having two syllables. Two generations or so later, the family moved south to Ayrshire where the name changed slightly again, this time to Burns and this is the origin of Robert, the Bard of Scotland !

This story apparently originated with the Revd. Alexander Greig, Minister of Stonehaven who recounted it to the family. His mother was a member of the family.

According to him, the episode which led to young Campbell's flight took place during the Civil Wars. There does not seem to be any supporting evidence apart from the place-name Balindore; there is now no trace left of the family of dewars there who are otherwise unrecorded.

But the family themselves believed it - at least for a time - and the records of Lord Lyon King of Arms still contain a detailed family tree showing the Poet's descent from Walter Campbell which was deposited in Lyon Office by the family. When, in 1837, the Poet's cousin, James Burnes of the Honourable East India Company took out arms, Lyon granted him a shield of arms which contained the Campbell device of gyronny of eight which appears in it no less than three times. In 1851, he altered his arms and this time the Campbell reference was dropped - for what reason is unknown, although we do now know that a family called Burness were in Bogjordan much earlier than the reputed arrival of the Poet's ancestor there and this knowledge may have been the reason for the change of opinion.

Whether true or not, this tale is of importance for those of the name of Burns since it appears to be the only reason for the statement that the name Burns in its various forms is a sept of the Clan Campbell. There would seem even less reason to include the name Burnett in the above list - because, it would appear, from the fancied resemblance between the names Burness and Burnett. But the Burnetts are a perfectly good clan of their own in the north-east with their Chief Burnett of Leys.



The name is geographical in origin and it appears in various forms in various parts of Scotland; Calder in Caithness, Lanarkshire, Inverness, Ayrshire, and Midlothian; Cadder is in Glasgow; Cawdor is in Nairn.

It is the last which has the Campbell connection; elsewhere in this volume will be found the story of Muriel, heiress of Cawdor or Calder, whose removal for safekeeping to Argyll as a child enabled her to marry John Campbell, younger son of the 2nd Earl of Argyll and thereby to found the important branch of the Campbells of Cawdor whose head, the Earl Cawdor, still possesses the old family seat of Cawdor Castle today.

Muriel’s family would seem to be probably one of the incoming southerners, most likely Flemish, planted in Moray during the twelfth century to subdue the local tribes who had a constant history of rebellion. Many of them were expelled as a result, but not all and many of the incomers married into the families of the ancient possessors of the land to found new dynasties based upon the old. From an early stage the family held the position of Thane although any connection with Shakespeare’s Macbeth has immediately to be discounted.

First on contemporary written record is Donald, Thane of Cawdor in 1295. (16) Thanes of Cawdor, xiii and 3). Then in 1310 King Robert the Bruce granted a charter of the Thanage to William Thane of Cawdor - ‘as had been the custom in the days of the Lord Alexander, King of Scots, of Blessed Memory’. (17) (Thanes of Cawdor, 3.)

With the arrival of Muriel and her Campbell husband her uncles at first made trouble but in due course all was dealt with and the Calders settled down under the new regime.

Lord Cawdor, today, is still referred to, by friends of the family, as ‘The Thane’.



MacConochie in its various spellings is the Gaelic for ‘Son of Duncan’. It is in use in various parts of Scotland in various forms, notably by the Robertsons who usually spell the patronymic MacDonachie.

In this particular case the name was used by the descendents of a Duncan Campbell who was either the son of Dugald, younger son of Sir Neil Campbell of Lochawe as suggested in ‘Ane Accompt’ or, rather more likely, the Duncan Skeodnish (‘from Ardskeodnish’) who was a younger brother of Colin Iongantach Campbell of Lochawe who is also put forward as as an alternative in the same pedigree.

Nothing for certain is known of him nor of the intervening generations until, in 1485, Colin, 1st Earl of Argyll, grants a charter of the fees of the Wardenship of Over Lochow to his beloved cousin Dugald Campbell of Inverawe. An undated charter by the 2nd Earl (who was killed at Flodden in 1513) is granted to ‘Archibald, son and apparent heir to umquhile Dugald MacDonachadh Campbell of Inverawe macand mention the said umquhile Dugald in his lifetime obtenit ane chartour and seasings of said landis, salmond fishings etc. conform to the evidents of umquhile Archibald Campbell, father to the said umquhile Dugald . . .’

The patronymic of MacConnochie was also used by two related families, the Campbells of Lerags, in Lorne, just south of Oban, overlooking Loch Feochan and the Campbells of Stronchormaig who became the Campbells of Glenfeochan, also at the head of Loch Feochan. Duncan, son of the late Duncan Campbell of Lerags is on reecord in 1509 and John MacConnochie of Stronchormaig in 1510. From the dates it would appear most likely that the elder Duncan and John are brothers of Dougall, or Dugald of Inverawe.

It is thought that the Inverawe family were previously based on the island of Fraoch Eilean in Loch Awe opposite the mouth of the Pass of Brander where the tower house is first on record in a charter to MacNaughton in 1247 . Lerags and Stronchormaig are both placed on an important route into the heart of Campbell territory and Inverawe is at the further end of the equally important Pass of Brander. ‘Inver’ , of course, means ‘at the mouth of’ and the present house is a mile or so inland. At the actual mouth of the river, however, is a motte, or man-made mound which would once have had a palisaded fort on its summit which dominates the river crossing of the Awe where, until recent times, there was a ferry, operated for many generations by a family named Turner, and also the crossing over Loch Etive. This is known as ‘The Dunan (or ‘Little Fort’) of Inverawe’ and is clearly the site of the first occupation by the MacConnochie Campbells before, some years later, they decided to build themselves a more comfortable habitation.

The Campbells of Inverawe were a particularly ferocious branch of the Clan. In 1587 their chieftain appears on ‘The Roll of the Names of the Landlordis and Baillies of Landis in the Hielandis, quhair Broken Men hes duelt and Presentlie duellis’ contained in an Act of Parliament and the same year, the Campbells of Inverawe are included in ‘The Roll of the Clannis (in the Hielandis and Iles) that hes Capitanes, Chieffis, and Chiftanes quhome on thay Depend, oft tymes aganis the Willis of thair Landislordis: and of Sum Speciale Personis of Branchis of the Saidis Clannis’.

At the end of the 16c, John Dubh Campbell, Tutor of Inverawe was the leader of the Scots Gallowglasses fighting in Ireland. Major Duncan Campbell of Inverawe was mortally wounded at the Battle of Ticonderoga in North America in 1762; he is the hero of a famous West Highland Ghost story.

He was alone at Inverawe, so the tale goes, when a frantic man burst in and rushed up to touch the hearth, claiming sanctuary and explaining that he had killed a man. Inverawe hid him in the upper part of the house, in a room which is there to this day; when the posse arrived, he was dismayed to find that the murder victim was his own foster-brother. The laws of Highland Hospitality, however; held him firm and he did not give up his unwelcome guest. He did however transfer him to a cave on Cruachan. That night the ghost of the murdered foster-brother appeared to Inverawe, telling him to give up the killer. This he refused to do. The same thing happened on the second night and on the third, the ghostly apparition bade him farewell saying ‘we meet again at Ticonderoga’. When he took food up to the cave it was empty; the murderer had fled.

The years passed and time dulled the memory. Duncan Campbell joined the Army and rose to be Second-in-Command of his Regiment, the Black Watch. The Army were due to attack the heavily defended French position of Fort Carillon. The night before the engagement, Duncan saw again the ghost of his foster-brother; enquiry revealed the Indian name for the fort was Ticonderoga and Duncan knew that his fate was sealed.

The Black Watch were kept in reserve as the British troops flung themselves against the French, being cut down by the score. Eventually it was the turn of the Black Watch, who hurled themselves in vain at the thicket of cut-down trees that shielded the French palisade. Their casualties were heavier than any they were to suffer until the carnage of the First World War. Among them was Inverawe, heavily wounded and to die some ten days later, in fulfilment of his fate.

With his death and that of his only surviving son Alexander who died the following year, having failed to overcome the effect of his wounds sustained at the same battle, the lands of Inverawe passed to Duncan’s daughter Janet who married a Captain Pitman, an Englishman. They sold Inverawe to Janet’s maternal uncle, Campbell of Monzie, through which family the estate eventually passed through a daughter to the Campbells of Dunstaffnage. After various vicissitudes the house at least is once more in Campbell hands, the present owner being Robert Campbell-Preston, heir male of the Campbell-Prestons of Ardchattan.

The Representation of the family of Inverawe passed to the line of Duncan’s younger brother, Archibald Campbell of Blackhouse and Finlayston, near Greenock on the Clyde, who had pursued a prosperous career as Comptroller of Customs at Greenock. In 1908, Alastair Magnus Campbell of Auchendarroch, great-great-grandson of Alexander, was granted the undifferenced arms and recognised as Campbell of Inverawe by the Lord Lyon. His son, the present MacConnochie, Chieftain of Inverawe, is Alan Campbell, who lives in Yorkshire.



Black in his ‘Scottish Surnames’ notes the similiarity between the various spellings of the names Denoon and Dunoon. It would seem strange, therefore, that the Official List of Campbell septs should include the first and not the second, since Douglas in his ‘Baronage of Scotland’ states clearly that the name derives from Dunoon in Argyll. The only other Denoon or Dunoon appears to be the farm of Denoon near Glamis, in Angus.

Douglas goes on to tell the tale ‘handed down by their bards and sennachies’ of a younger son of the House of Argyll having been appointed Hereditary Governor and Keeper of Dunoon Castle, was succeeded in due course by a descendant, one Duncan Campbell who got into trouble for cattle rustling. His kinsman the Earl of Argyll had him tried and condemned to death by drowning in the waters of Clyde but he escaped and, with his brother, set off to the far North where they took their mother's name of Denune. Duncan's brother, Donald, became in due course, Abbot of Fearn, in Ross. From Duncan descended the Denunes of Cadboll in Ross, this estate having been passed to his nephew by Abbot Donald.

The earliest mention of one of the family is given by Black as Walter de Dunoun, a witness on a charter of the Church of Maleuille to Dunfermeline Abbey 1255. (18) (Reg. de Dunfermelyne, 206.) Alexander Dunon holds the lands of Neuyd now Rosneath, (19) (ER i, 30.) and as Alexander de Dunhon serves on an inquest in Dumbarton in 1271, (20) (Reg. Mon. Passelet, 191.) Around 1285, he is granted the 3/4 carucate of Achencloy Nether ‘which in Scots is called Arachor’. (21) (HMC 2 Rep, Appx., 166.)

Arthur de Dunnon, who appears on a Charter of James the Steward in 1294 (22) (Reg. Mon. Passelet, 96.) was among the magnates of Scotland who appears in Ragman Roll signing allegiance to Edward I of England. His seal is of particular interest, its blazon being given as A shield, fesse chequy of three tracts, charges in chief obliterated, supported by two lions,: 'S' Arthuri de Dvnnovin'. (23) (Cal. Doc. Scot. ii, 591.) while he is described as being ‘del conte de Ayr’.

This would seem to indicate that by blood the Dunoons may have been Stewarts and agents of the latter's early dominance over the district of Cowal.

Donald, Abbot of Fearn is on record as having been appointed around 1526 and to have died in 1540. (24) (SHS, Calendar of Fearn, 79-82.) The editor of the Calendar of Fearn says that Abbot Donald's parentage is unknown. The Calendar includes an entry for 1534 which records the death at Cadboll of one David Dunowne and, in 1539, Abbot Donald, John Denoon of Davidston and William Denoon of Pithogarty succesfully claimed to be tenants-in-chief of the earldom of Ross. (25) (Calendar of Fearn, 14.) Abbot Donald as was not uncommon with churchmen of his day was not exactly celibate and produced nine sons by two mothers; it is not entirely impossible that he and his brother could have produced the considerable number of Denunes who appear around this time in the area. Douglas says that Abbot Donald's nephew for whom he obtained Cadboll was Andrew but this Andrew does not appear in the Calendar.

A final twist to the story is provided by the family of the Campbells of Denoon. Research carried out by the College of Arms in London traces them back to one David Campbell alias Denoon who lived at Hilton, Tain, and who died aged 65 in 1793 when he was buried in the churchyard at Fearn.

The family history which may or may not be true is that they descended from the original Campbells who took the name Denune and had fled from Arran to Ross-shire after the '15. This could only have happened if their forebears had returned south and had then followed the example of their earlier ancestors and had again taken refuge in Ross when things became difficult. Be that as it may, David's son, Andrew, went South to London where he prospered as a goldsmith in the early 1800s. His grandson, William Branch Campbell, emigrated to Australia in 1850 and settled there becoming a man of considerable substance.

William Branch's grandson was Arthur Alfred Campbell, who, having taken out arms at the College of Arms in London, in 1838 had them matriculated at the Court of the Lord Lyon as ‘Campbell of Denoon’.

This strange territorial designation was apparently put forward by the future Lord Lyon Sir Thomas Innes of Learney in order to establish a new House within the Clan Campbell, the arms being those of an indeterminate cadet, that is to say one whose exact connection to the chiefly stem is unknown.

Dunoon Castle was captured from Balliol in 1334 by Robert Stewart and by Sir Colin Campbell of Lochawe or Dougall Campbell - accounts differ. It was thereafter held by a variety of constables until 1460/1 when Colin, 1st Earl of Argyll received a liferent of the castle lands in return for garrisoning it and keeping it in good repair. In 1473 he received a charter giving him the hereditary custody of the castle with the power to appoint constables. In 1550, Archibald, Master of Argyll, later the 5th Earl, granted the keepership of the castle together with the twenty seven merklands that went with it to Colin Campbell of Ardkinglas for the service of two boats. In 1571 , Archibald, by then 5th Earl, granted the castle acre and the office of Baillie to Archibald Campbell, a cadet of the Ardkinglas family, as Captain of the Castle of Dunoon. From him descended the Campbells of Innellan and Dunoon.

It would therefore seem, if this story is true, that the two brothers that fled to the North came from another family who held the post of Captain of Dunoon after 1473 and before about 1500 when it would seem likely they had to leave Argyll in a hurry.



This is another collection of names popular across the English speaking world deriving ultimately from the Old English name Gilbert. According to Black its popularity in Scotland is owing to its having been taken as the Anglicised form of MacGille Bride - ‘Son of the Servant of Saint Bride’. This evolved into many forms, not all of which are given here.

As it is, there can be no suggestion that all those of the above names are automatically Campbells. Gibson is a late addition to our list.

The other three names refer in all probability to a small Cowal tribe of MacGibbons of whom the leading family were the MacGibbons of Auchangarrane who held lands in Glendaruel. These MacGibbon lairds were among the small lairds of the area who were wont to be referred to in popular parlance as ‘Barons’ - a possible reference to their once having held their properties, however small, directly from the Crown, or, more probably, from the Stewarts before they became Royal.

This appears to be an example, Dungallus Gibbonsoun of Auchingarne having resigned his lands into the hands of King James IV as Tutor to his son, James, Prince of the Isles and Steward of Scotland, who having died shortly thereafter, his post as Steward reverted to his father King James. The King in 1508 granted the lands to Colin Earl of Argyll (26) (RMS ii, 3213.) Thereafter the MacGibbons held of the Earls of Argyll until the earl passed the superiority of the lands to Campbell of Auchinbreck. (27) (OPS ii, 57.)

Christian MacGibbon of Achnangarn is on record in 1520 and Duncan MacGibbon of Auchnegarryn in 1525.. Iain McGibboun of Auchangarrayn is on record in 1569 and in 1598. (28) (NDC notes.)

Duncan Macgibbon of Auchnangarn appears in 1632 and 1648 - the latter date being when he and his brother were re-armed by Argyll, having lost their arms - and his brother's son, at Stirling.

Dougall MacGibbon of Auchnagarran is mentioned in 1683. He must have been dead by 1696 when Archibald MacGibbon appears as Tutor to the Baron MacGibbon.

Duncan MacGibbon of Auchnagarran - presumably the youthful baron aforementioned - appears in 1704 as a Commissioner of Supply for Argyll. In 1715 he appears on the list of Argyllshire lairds who sign an affirmation of loyalty to King George. In 1740 he sells land to John Macleod of Muiravonside by which time he holds the position of Surveyor of HM Customs in Glasgow and by 1751 he is out of the county since he does not appear in the Valuation Roll of that year.



The attribution of these names to Clan Campbell is a puzzle. Frank Adam and Sir Thomas Innes of Learney in their ‘Clans, Septs and Regiments of the Scottish Highlands’ include Hawes, Haws and Hawson as Campbell septs.

Black, on the other hand, in his ‘Surnames of Scotland’ only mentions Hawson of the above three names while of Harris (of which Harres is presumably a variant) he merely says that it is a surname more English than Scottish.

Hawson he says is probably English and a variant of Halson.

All the above names derive from ‘Son of Henry’ - not a Campbell name. None of them appear in any record of Argyll that I have come across and their inclusion remains a puzzle.

It may just be that an eager empire builder has come across the name M'Herries or M'herres among those holding land from the Campbell chief and has seen this as justification for including the above. But if so, why the omission of Harrison ? In any case the derivation is false since M'Herreis or McKerris derives from MacFhearguis or ‘Son of Fergus’ and refers to the Fergusons of Glensellich, a small but ancient Cowal clan who look as if they were the ancient holders of Strachur and the surrounding lands until they were taken over by the Campbells for whom they acted as Officers of Strachur.

The last Chieftain of the Clann Fhearghuis of Stra-chur was a colourful individual who spent his latter days based in the Explorers’ Club in New York where he habitually wore Highland dress. He was a larger than life character who made extravagant claims both for himself and for his clan whom, he claimed, were the oldest clan in Scotland, being directly descended from Fergus MacErc who was one of the founders of the Scottish Kingdom of Dalriada in 500 AD. When Lord Lyon granted him arms, they incuded the supporters of an ancient chiefly family while the arms themselves were the same as those given to the Fergussons of Kilkerran, Chiefs of the name of Ferguson, with the additional difference of a white wand through the buckle at the centre of the shield, a reference to their position as Officers or Stewards of Strachur. There is no blood connection between the two families.

Gilbarchan M’Kerras had sasine of the lands of Stronchrevich in 1542; in 1547 the Earl of Argyll confirmed these lands to his beloved servitor, Iain Makane VcKerres of Kilcatrine and Gyllebarchane McKerres, his natural son. In 1599 Johne Makilleberchan Vecfergus of Ardeline (Ardchyline) gives Stronchrevich to his natural son Fergus M’Keane VcPhergus and after him to John Makeane Vc’illeberchan VicFergus, reserving the life-rent. (29) (A/T.)

In 1603, while John M’Kerres of Ardeline appears alongside John Keyr M’Donchie VcDonnel VcErres in Glensellich who by 1637 is described as ‘of Glensellich’ implying his progression from being the tenant of Glensellich to becoming its heritable owner. (Argyll Archives, NE6) The descent of Iain Ciar as given here, incidentally, by his patronymic, differs markedly from the pedigree claimed by the last Chieftain of Clannfhearguis.



Once again, the reasons for attributing membership of all those of the name of Hastings to Clan Campbell seem remarkable tenuous.

The name Hastings is English in origin. A branch of this distinguished family came to Scotland in the reign of William the Lion and was given land in Angus. John de Hastings was Lord of Duns and Sheriff and Forester of the Mearns in 1178.

The only discernible Campbell connection comes with the marriage in 1804 of Flora Campbell, Countess of Loudoun, daughter and heir to James Mure Campbell, the 5th Earl of Loudoun, to Lord Rawdon. Lord Rawdon succeeded his mother as Earl of Moira and, among other titles, Baron Hastings of Hastings, as a result of which he added the name Hastings to his surname and became Rawdon-Hastings. The barony of Hastings of Hastings is an English title which dates back to 1461. A distinguished soldier who was Commander-in-Chief of the Army in Scotland 1802-6, he was created a Knight of the Garter in 1812. He was Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief in India 1813-22 during which time he conquered Nepal and concluded a treaty with the Ghurka nation which endures to this day. In 1817 he was created Viscount Loudoun as a result of his marriage, Earl of Rawdon and Marquess of Hastings. He died in 1826 and the present Countess of Loudoun is his descendent through several marriages of heiresses. Her family surname is now Abney-Hastings.

Quite why this should result in all those of the name of Hastings owing allegiance to Mac Cailein Mor is beyond the comprehension of this author but it is the only connection he has been able to discern.



There are two possible origins for the name, the most prevalent one being Mac Isaac - ‘Son of Isaac’. But another possible derivation is from Mac-Gille-Kessock. ‘Son of the Servant of Saint Kessog’, an early Celtic saint whose shrine was at Luss on Loch Lomond where his relics were guarded by a family of Dewars who went by this latter name.

A popular account of the name MacIsaac is that one of the name which was born by a sept of the Clanranald MacDonalds got into trouble and came south where he took service under the Campbells of Craignish, where, in 1544, John MacIsaac was appointed Sergeant and Mair of Craignish. (30) (Adam, CSR, 299.)

A Gillanders McYsac is witness on a Beauly Charter in 1231. (31) (Kissack, MacIsaacs, 4.)

There were for long a numerous tribe of MacIsaacs on South Uist, where they were known as the Clann Mhic ‘ille Riabhaich. They are said to have come to Scotland as part of the dowry of O’Cain, the Irish Chieftain’s daughter when she married Angus Og., contemporary and erstwhile ally of King Robert the Bruce. Not all MacIsaacs in South Uist, appear, however, to be of this stock since the name has also been born as an alias by various MacQueens. (32) (Maclean, ‘Notes on South Uist Families’, TGSI liii, 506.)

The name Isaac, possibly an anglicisation of Sitheigh (33) (per W.D.H.Sellar.) is said to have been born by a son either of Angus Og or of his brother Alexander. Contemporary opinion favours the latter, whose sons, Isaac among them, went to Ireland where they founded a tribe of MacDonald galloglasses, the MacSheethys

We do not know the identity of the mysterious Squire, Thomas Isaac, later Sir Thomas, who married the Bruce’s daughter Mathilda. Their daughter, Joanna Isaac, in due course was to marry John, Lord of Lorne. (34) (Scots Peerage i, 8.) In 1510 Esaig M’Thome V’Esaig is a witness on a sasine of the lands of Craignish to Archibald Earl of Argyll (35) (A/T.) - his father was almost certainly the Sir Thomas Esok, Canon of the Cathedral Church of Argyll in 1448. (36) (A/T.)

But the MacIsaacs in Craignish would seem to go back much further in that part of the world than the 16th century; in a 1592 Craignish Bond of Manrent, Malcolm Moir Makesaig and his three sons are described as among the ‘native men’ of Craignish - in other words descended from the early inhabitants of the district, when they give their Bond of Manrent to Ronald Campbell of Barrichbeyan as their Chief. (37) (Coll. de Reb. Alban. 198.)

They share a common origin with the family who became the MacCallums and later the Malcolms of Poltalloch who are said to descend from one of the six sons of a baron MacKessock of Largie. One of the Largie properties was long known as Largie MacKessock to distinguish it from the other properties also using the same name (38) (Notes [1844] by W. Forbes Skene sent by Dugald Malcolm in New Zealand to his namesake Captain Dugald Malcolm CMG, CVO, TD, to whom my thanks.) In 1731 there was a row between the Malcolms of Poltalloch and the McKessocks of Slockavuillen over who owned the family burial ground in Kilmartin Churchyard (at this time, the Malcolms were mere bonnet lairds with none of the wealth they were later to amass in the West Indies.) The Kirk Session (39) (Kilmartin Kirk Session Book, 23 November 1731, Argyll and Bute Council Archives.) found in favour of the MacKessocks but pointed out that both sides were of the same stock.

The statement by Black that the MacKissocks on the Moray Firth probably came there with Colin, 6th Earl of Argyll who married the widow (not daughter as Black has it) of the Regent Moray seems very unlikely. Saint Kessog was venerated on the Black Isle where there are several sites dedicated to him and it would seem more probable that their name is in fact MacGille Kessog and that the family there were local devotees of the Saint.

Isaac, of course is a name of great importance in the Old Testament story and as such is likely to have been used by a number of people throughout the Highlands and the rest of Scotland. It appears frequently in the Isle of Man where it is on record first The name therefore is clearly one which stems from a variety of unrelated origins which no doubt includes those of purely Jewish blood who have settled here in Scotland.

As far as being a Campbell sept is concerned, this obviously only applies to those MacIsaacs once settled in Craignish.



The above are all variations of Mac Iomhair meaning ‘Son of Iver.’

Iver or Ivarr was a popular Norse name and, as such, found over most of Scotland, particularly in the Western Isles.

There seems little or no likelihood of a common origin and of a single ‘Clan MacIver’ but the waters were considerably muddied by the efforts of Principal P.C.Campbell who wrote an anonymous book ‘Account of the Clan Iver’ seeking (unsucessfully) to strengthen his petition to the Lord Lyon for the chiefship of such a Clan. There is a good deal of interesting information in the book but it has to be extracted with some care.

According to ‘Ane Accompt’ Iver was one of two illegitimate sons of Colin Maol Math - the other one being Tavish Coir from whom descended the MacTavishes. Iver’s mother was said by the same source to have been the daughter of Sween of Castle Sween who as ‘Swineruo’ or ‘Suibhne Ruadh’, was the leading chief of the kindred of Anrothan, possessors of the districts of Cowal, Glassary and Knapdale.

This myth is further given credence by the existence of Dun Mor, at Kilmory, near Lochgilphead, a most impressive small fort which, according to legend, was a stronghold of the MacIvers. (40) (Campbell, PSAS xcv, 52.)

The MacIvers’ early possessions were said to have been in Glassary. First on written record is Malcolm M’Ivyr who features in the list of magnates in Balliol’s new Sheriffdom of Argyll/Lorne in 1292.

‘The Lordship of MacIver’, however, was further north; the area of country immediately south of the mouth of Loch Melfort near the site of the present-day Loch Melfort Hotel and Arduaine Gardens. The rocky spur by the road just to the south of the hotel is Dun an Garbh-sroine, site of a fortification thought to have been the MacIver base here from the 14th to the 17th century.

The leading family of the MacIver Campbells was MacIver of Lergachonzie and Stronshira. Lergachonzie is just south of Dun an Garbh-sroine and Stronshira is at the mouth of Glen Shira near Inveraray where a branch of the MacIvers were Captains of the Castle of Inveraray. The standing stone in the grounds of Inveraray Castle in the Winterland, the field on which the annual Inveraray Games are held, is said to have marked the boundary between the MacIver lands and those of the MacVicars.

Other subsidiary branches include the MacIver Campbells of Ballochyle in Cowal, the Campbells of Kirnan in Glassary, the MacIvers later Campbells of Pennymore on Loch Fyne, south of Inveraray, and the Campbells of Ardlarach near Ardfern, Craignish. The inheritors of the main line were the MacIver Campbells of Asknish, the old name for the area in the old Lordship of MacIver now known as Arduaine. When the family moved to Loch Fyneside, they took the name of Asknish with them and gave it to their new house.

Less certain is the branch to which Principal Campbell belonged - the Campbells of Quoycrook in Caithness, allegedly descended from Lergachonzie in the persons of a Kenneth Buey MacIver and his brother Farquhar, claimed to have gone North to protect the interests there of the Countess of Argyll c 1575. From them, according to Principal Campbell come the families of Campbell of Duchernan, of Thurso and Lochend and the Iverachs of Wideford away up in Orkney. Both the Iverachs and the Campbells of Duchernan display the Campbell gyronny in their arms.

Much is made of the use by the MacIvers in their heraldry of the coat quarterly , or and gules, a bend sable which is claimed by Nisbet to be the ancient arms of MacIver in contrast to the Campbell gyronny. In fact the coat is a popular one displayed by, among many others, the family of Eure as far back as 1300 and it would seem all too likely that this is a case of a fancied resemblance between that name and that of MacIver in its form ‘Ure’ resulting in its assignation to or adoption by the MacIvers in Argyll.

In June 1564, at Dunoon, Archibald 5th Earl of Argyll resigned to Iver MacIver of Lergachonzie, in return for certain sums of money, all calps paid to him by those of the name MacIver, reserving to himself the calp of Iver himself and his successors. (41) (A/T.)

The significance of this act has been given various interpretations. It would also seem to be the case that after this date those of the name MacIver started to use the name Campbell in addition or instead of their former one. It has been claimed that this was recognition of the MacIvers as a separate Clan and that the change of surname was part of the deal and in effect forced upon them. For this last there seems to be no actual proof whatever; what seems to be more likely is that the move was for administrative convenience; the various MacIvers in Argyll were now firmly placed under a chieftain who would be answerable for their actions to his Chief, Argyll, in whose hands his own calp very specifically remained. The move would seem a popular one and those affected appear keen to have stressed the continuation of their status as part of Clan Campbell by increasing their use of the name.



The name MacKellar derives from the Gaelic MacEalair, - ‘Son of Hilary’ a probable reference to the 4th century Saint Hilary, Bishop of Poitiers. In 1422 at Dumbarton, Eilar MacKellar was a witness on a Duntroon charter. The name first appears in Argyll in 1432 when Felanus Hilarii, possibly a son of Eilar’s appears as witness on a charter by Duncan, 1st Lord Campbell of the lands of Glenorchy to his son Colin. (42) (A/T.) He may be the same as the Patrick Mackellar who, the same year, witnesses a charter at Carnasserie. (43) (Poltalloch writs.) In 1470, reference is made to Cristinus McAlare de Ardare who has a precept addressed to him by Colin 1st Earl of Argyll. (44) (A/T.) Ardare is on the South bank of Loch Awe. Cristinus is the same as the Gilchrist Makalare of Ardare who in 1476 resigns Ardare into the King’s hands as does his wife Mariota MacIsaac her property of Craigmurell - also in Glassary - for a regrant of both estates to Gilchrist. (45) (A/T.)

In 1489 a licence to trade in England on horseback or on foot is given to Archibald Makelar of Argile at the instance of Thomas Graham, merchant in London. (46) (A/T.)

The first reference to MacKellars in Cowal is the 1494 sasine to Duncan Alarii of the lands of Corrief, Glaslet and Drimsyniemore at Lochgoilhead. (47) (A/T.) It would have been his son. who as Archibald, son of Duncan MacKellar who had sasine of these lands around 1496. (48) (Argyll archives, bundle 114.)

How these MacKellars were connected is unclear but it seems more than a coincidence that when, in 1528, a precept of sasine was granted by Campbell of Corvarron to infeft Duncan M’Allar of Ardare and his wife, Margaret Drumment and their son Patrick M’Callar in the liferent and feu of the 1 merkland of Kilmun near Lochavich, the transaction should have taken place at Kenlochgoil (Lochgoilhead) with Malcolm M’Callar and Duncan M’Gillepatrick M’Callar as Corvarron’s Baillies and Maculin M’Callar Murche, piper and Sir Michael M’Callar - obviously a churchman - among the witnesses. Kilmun had been in the hands of the Ardare family as early as 1520 when Campbell of Craignish had given a charter of it to Duncan M’Kellar. (49) (NDC note on Fisher pedigree.)

Duke Niall was of the opinion that the MacKellars had come to Cowal as Officers of Over Cowal for the Argyll family, an opinion born out by both the 1558 letters of reversion by Duncan M’Dowle V’Kellar of half the lands of Glaslet and half the sergeandry of Lochgoilhead and by the 1583 sasine to Archibald MacKellar ‘an honest youth’ who has sasine of the 20 shilling lands of Glaslet as nearest heir to the late Dougall MacKellar, ‘nepos fratris proavi’ and who is vested and seized in the said lands with the office of Serjeandrie of Over Cowal. (50) (SHS Misc iv, 295.)

Duilettir in Glendaruel was also for a time a MacKellar possession; in 1587 ‘Duncan M’Eanmore VcKellar of Duisletir’ sold the property to his ‘liberall’ or illegitimate son, ‘Archibald M’Donachie VcEanmore VcKellar’ with the consent of his eldest legitimate son ‘Gillepadrig’. (51) (A/T.)

Another branch of the family had possession of the lands of Cruachan on the opposite shore of Loch Awe to Innischonnell Castle. In 1560 Malcolm MacKellar is fiar of Corribuie; his father Gilbert has the 3 merkland of Cruachan Middle and the 40 Pennyland of ‘Dirmaldony’ wherever that may be. According to Dewar, one of the MacKellars of Cruachan was killed in a fight by the young sons of his neighbour, MacArthur of Barnaline, supposedly over his intention of exercising his right of ‘Jus Primae Noctis.’

The MacKellars took part in the infamous plot to murder Campbell of Cawdor in 1592. The fatal shot that killed him at Knipoch was fired from a hackbut by Patrick Og MacKellar who was later hanged; his brother Gillemartin was also involved.

Yet another MacKellar kindred is to be found in Glenshira where they had the lands of Maam, Kilblaan and Stuckscarden. According to a letter written by Patrick MacVicar to the Duke’s Chamberlain, James Ferrier, in 1802, soliciting lands or posts for his young MacKellar nephews, the MacKellars together with the MacVicars had long formed part of the Leuchd-crios or personal bodyguard of the Campbell chiefs; the MacKellars had also been their musicians and the writer recalled seeing the harp in his grandfather’s house - this would have been around the middle of the 1700s. According to him the Harper’s Ford in Glenshira is so named for the two family heads, of Kilblaan and Maam who would sit on a summer’s evening on either bank playing to each other. (52) (Argyll archives, bundle 696.)

There was also, it appears, a concentration of MacKellars on Loch Fyne and in the late 18th century no less than 25 separate MacKellar families were living on the Knockbuy Estate. (53) (Duncan Beaton quoting Miss Marion Campbell of Kilberry.)

The Mackellars had, over the years, owned a number of small lairdships in Argyll. By the time of the 1751 Valuation, three small MacKellar lairdships remained, those of Dell, Kenchregan and the family of MacKellar in Kilmichael. many had emigrated; the Glassary Mackellars seem to have gone to Canada, those from around Inveraray and Loch Fyne to Australia where they flourished. Many went to Glasgow where hey seem to have been numerous in the seafaring profession even to the extent of becoming shipowners.Descendents of this small Argyllshire kindred turn up in a wide variety of places and range from such kenspeckle figures as Kenneth Mackellar, the Scots singer, to Lt-Colonel George Mackellar, DSO, OBE, Commanding Officer of the 8th (Argyllshire) Battalion of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders in many a North African battle during World War II, to the late Princess Dimitry of Russia, born a MacKellar. (54) (per Duncan Beaton).



Fergus, Loarn and Angus , the sons of Erc, are said to have been the leaders of the invasion of Argyll from Ireland which set up the Scottish Kingdom of Dalriada around 500 AD. Loarn's portion was north Argyll whence the title of the area around modern Oban where Loarn had his base at Dunollie.

Somerled's rebellion carved out a new kingdom and after his death in 1164, the district of Lorne was included in the share of his eldest son Dougall whose descendents, the MacDougall chiefs used the style of de Ergadia - ‘of Argyll’ - as a family surname and the title of ‘Lord of Lorne’.

The title passed out of the family to the Stewarts and from them, in turn, it went, in 1470, to the Campbell chiefs who ever after combined the Galley of Lorne with the Campbell gyronny of eight in their arms. The courtesy title of the Duke's son and heir has long been the Marquess of Lorne.

As a surname, Lorne is of territorial origin. There is no means of knowing from what blood its users descend and assignation of the name to Clan Campbell rests on the Campbell Chief's possession of the title which, as already stated also belonged, at various times, to the MacDougalls and the Stewarts.



The name is geographical from Loudoun in Ayrshire.

In 1318 Sir Duncan Campbell, son of Donald, younger brother of Sir Neil Campbell of Lochawe received a charter of the lands of Loudoun and Stevenson from King Robert I in a barony with Loudoun as its caput, for services of a knight. This was following his marriage to Susanna Crawford, heiress of Loudoun with whom also came the office of hereditary Sheriff of Ayr. Thus started the important branch of the Campbells, later Earls of Loudoun.

There is a complication in that early usage, following local pronunciation, often used Loudoun for Lothian - again for a geographical name but one with no Campbell connections.



According to ‘Ane Accompt of the Genealogie of the Campbells’ the Clan Tavish - not, be it noted, the Clan MacTavish - descend from Taius or Tavis Coir, illegitimate son of Colin Maol Math, great-great-grandfather of Sir Cailean Mor, a man said to be of great courage and valour, who conquered Cowal from the Lamonts.

The name Tavis is anglicised as Thomas and nearly all the names here grouped together from the ‘official’ sept list mean either Thomas or ‘Son of Thomas’

The last two are exceptions; Maclehose derives from ‘Mc Gille Thamais’ - ‘Son of the Servant of (Saint) Thomas’ - as does MacLaws, a variation of the same name, and the name seems to have been found in Perthshire and Stirlingshire. It is a quite distinct name from MacTavish.

Why two further variations of ‘Son of Thomas’ - MacCombe and MacCombich - have been left off the list is unknown and seems odd since they are both to be found in Argyll as is also the variation MacOmish.

It is quite wrong to suggest that all Sons of Thomas derive from the Argyllshire MacTavishes. Thomas or Tom was widely used as a Christian name across the English speaking world and a whole number of totally unconnected users of the name exist including the Clan MacThomas, in Glenshee, who have a Chief of their own and who forms part of the Clan Chattan confederation, while the MacTavishes in Stratherrick are considered a sept of the Frasers (Black, p. 566).

If the evidence for Tavis Coir is uncertain we can be quite sure about Sir Thomas Cambel who appears in 1292 among the list of landowners in Balliol's new sheriffdom of Kintyre. (55) (APS i, 91.)

In 1296 he signed the oath of loyalty to King Edward I at Berwick (Ragman Roll) as ‘Thomas Cambel among king's tenants in Perthshire’. (56) (Bain, Cal. Doc. Scot. ii, 202.) and the following year he was liberated from imprisonment in the Tower of London. In 1308 he signed a letter to the French King. (57) (APS i, 13.)

In 1324 by which date it is probable he was dead, his probable son Duncan had a grant from the King of many lands in Argyll for the services of a ship. (58) (A/T.) He appears among ‘the Barons of Argyll’ at an inquest at Inverleckan in 1355 under the name of ‘Doncanus MacThamais’ or MacTavish - ‘Duncan Son of Thomas’. (59) (HP ii. 138-9.)

It would seem highly probable that this Sir Thomas was the ancestor of the later MacTavishes of Dunardry, the chief family of the name in Argyll, if not the actual eponymus from which they took their name; the formation of clans as we know them today date from this period and only very seldom do they appear earlier. Sir Thomas was an important member of the Clan Campbell at a time when the Chiefship was not clearly established and there is strong reason to think that the later MacTavishes took their name from him. It seems probable that later compilers of the Official Genealogy, ‘Ane Accompt’, did not know of Sir Thomas and were anxious to insert the MacTavishes into the account somehow.

The dwelling place of Dunardry, of whatever it consisted, is no longer to be seen. It lay directly in the path of the Crinan Canal where the name is still in use for the highest of the canal's locks.

The mausoleum in the churchyard of Kilmartin which houses a number of stones formerly recumbent in the open air includes one on which is the daunting figure of a warrior in his pleated warcoat, iron helmet, carrying sword and spear, across whose chest is carved McTAVISH. His identity is unknown although it may be that of a Dunardry MacTavish who was so commemorated. The stone itself is thought to date from the 14th-15th century but of course the inscription may be a later addition as is clearly the case on several neighbouring stones. (60) (RCAHMS, Argyll Inventory vii, 137.)

In 1488 ‘Donald Duin MacTavish’ gives up any claim to the 2 mkl of the south half of his toun of Sokachgaunan in the barony of Strachur to which he had been given a charter by Evar Campbell of Strachur in return for the payment of 40 merks Scots. (61) (A/T.)

In 1490, Allan and Duncan McTaus are baillies on precepts by James Scrymgeour, Constable of Dundee. In 1493 following the succession of the 2nd Earl of Argyll, sasine was given to him in the various parts of his estates. Sasine was given to him at Otter on the 8th of May and among the witnesses was Thomas Mctavish - obviously a local since his name does not appear as a witness on the other sasines.

Ewin MacTavish is thought to have died serving under the earl of Argyll at Flodden in 1513. In 1533 his grandson Iain Makalister VcEwin McCaus and Dougal McAne his son received a charter of feufarm from Archibald 4th Earl of Argyll of the 3 merkland of Dunardry, the 2 merklands of Dunans, the 1 merkland of Barderiche, the 1 merkland of Barloskiin, the 1/2 merkland of Barindaif, extending to 7 1/2 merklands in Knapdale, Shire of Tarbert. (62) (A/T.)

From probably the early part of the 16c comes the poem Ciallach Duine Fioruasal in which the anonymous author boasts of his widespread connections. One of the verses, listing the various families with whom he is related, is translated as follows: -

Clan Lachlan and Clan Lamond, Clan Neill who study valour, Clan Tavish on the floor and on the brae of Glassary are kin to me . . . (63) (Watson, Scottish Verse, 238-9.)

Duke Niall of Argyll wrote ‘Though the MacTavishes were never a large or powerful clan, they have nevertheless been deemed a brave and honourable race and numbers of them still live in Argyll under their old patronymic. Though the clan as a whole never seem to have made the slightest sign of adopting the name Campbell, they followed always the bratach or banner of the Lords of Lochow in war and all hostings . . .’

The name was also to be found on Loch Tayside and notwithstanding the above statement by Duke Niall, the Rev. William Gillies specifically mentions that some of the name also used the name Campbell. (64) (Gillies, In Famed Breadalbane, 359.)

These patronymics give us four generations of the family which correspond with those given in a pedigree thought to be drawn up around 1790 by Lachlan MacTavish of Dunardry This, however, does not connect as far back as Duncan, the son of Sir Thomas already mentioned, nor do its later generations correspond exactly with the pedigree published by Duke Niall in an article in the ‘Oban Times.’ (65) (Bradford, MacTavish of Dunardry, 176. Oban Times, 22 December 1909.)

Donald MacTavish of Dunardry joined the 9th Earl of Argyll's Rebellion against King James VII in 1685 and eventually surrendered Carnasserie Castle where the last remnants of the defeated Earl's forces had taken refuge; his brother Alexander was subsequently executed.

His grandson Dugald, however, went along with his friend and neighbour Campbell of Auchinbreck and became a Jacobite, following his leader into imprisonment for plotting to overthrow the government. He was released in 1747. (66) (Fergusson, Argyll in the '45, 43, 57.)

In the mid 1600s there had been a number of MacTavishes with small properties or as tenants. but by 1751, these had all reverted to the main family and MacTavish of Dunardry was the only MacTavish landowner left in Argyll. His lands held a valuation of £53. 13s. 9d which placed him at 49th in a list of 248. The lands concerned were 3 mkl Dunardry, 1 mkl Barinloskin,1 mkl Bardarroch, 4 mkl Dunoronsay, 2 mkl Dunans and 3mkl Auchachoish.

The last of the family to hold his ancestral lands was Lachlan MacTavish of Dunardry who sold the entire property on 31st December 1795, the purchaser being Colonel John Campbell of Barbreck. (67) (Bradford, MacTavish of Dunardry, 7, quoting NDC. ) MacTavish found a job as Assistant Surveyor General of Window and House Duty in the Tax Office in Edinburgh, a somewhat humdrum appointment but a welcome aid to keeping the wolf from the door. He died in 1796, his efforts to buy back at least part of his ancestral estates having come to nothing although they nearly succeded since Barbreck had put the lands on the market again in 1792 and MacTavish had made an agreement with Malcolm of Poltalloch to come in with him at least as far as the property of Dunardry was concerned. Sadly, had he survived, things might have turned out differently since help was at hand in the person of Simon McTavish, an eminently rich Canadian who had been one of the founders in 1783 of the North West Company, the principal rival of the Hudson's Bay Company until they eventually merged in 1821. He paid off Malcolm of Poltalloch for the money promised and in 1799 became the owner of Dunardry. He sent Dugald, Lachlan of Dunardry's elder son, for training as a lawyer while gaining entry for John the younger son into the Hudson's Bay Company where he prospered. Dugald also did well, becoming Sheriff of Campbeltown where he built Kilchrist House (a handsome villa recently dignified by the present owner with the more grandiloquent title of ‘Kilchrist Castle’) where he lived with his wife. They had nine children who scattered round the world. William, the eldest son became Governor of Red River where he was Hudson's Bay Company Factor. (68) (Bradford, MacTavish of Dunardry, passim.)

When Simon MacTavish became Laird of Dunardry, Lachlan's two sons disponed to him their claim to the Chiefship of the MacTavishes and Simon who descended from a younger son of MacTavish of Garthbeg, a cadet branch of the main stem, became MacTavish of Dunardry. He died in 1804 and the designation of MacTavish of Dunardry was inherited by his elder son William. William died in 1818 without any children when his younger brother Simon succeeded. He appears to have been totally disinterested in the position and offered it back to Sheriff Dugald who also declined.

In 1793. Lachlan MacTavish petitioned the Lord Lyon for arms which were granted to him as follows -

Quarterly first and fourth, gyronny of eight sable and or, second and third Argent a Buck's head cabossed Gules attired Or, on a chief engrailed Azure a Cross-crosslet fitched between two Mullets of the third.

His crest was a Boar's head erased Or langued proper and his Motto, NON OBLITUS - ‘Not Forgetful’.

These arms are of considerable import. The first and principal quarter displays the Campbell gyronny. The boar's head crest copies that of the Campbell Chief and the Motto is a direct response to his demand ‘NE OBLIVISCARIS’ - ‘Do not Forget’. Heraldically speaking, the status of MacTavish of Dunardry as a member of Clan Campbell could hardly be stated more clearly.

In 1997 by Letters Patent, Edward Stewart Dugald MacTavish of Dunardry was recognised by the Lord Lyon King of Arms as ‘MacTavish of Dunardry and Chief of the Name and Arms of MacTavish’.

The fact that there is now an officially recognised Chief of the MacTavish name, obviously raises questions in the minds of those of the name who had hitherto considered themselves as Campbells. It is suggested however, that there is no real reason for confusion, since the Argyllshire MacTavishes were and are part of the same stock as the Campbells. It seems perfectly proper for those named MacTavish or any of the variations thereof, as far as Clan Societies are concerned, to join both if desired.

The position would be clearer if MacCailein Mor was to be recognised as High Chief of the various branches and branch clans which make up the Clan Campbell as is the case with Lord MacDonald, and Mackintosh of Clan Chattan.



The name has a number of spellings all meaning ‘Son of Diarmid’.

It is reckoned to be the name of one of the earliest tribes inhabiting Glenlyon, in Perthshire. As Glenlyon became a holding of the Campbells of Glenorchy, its inclusion as a Campbell sept seems appropriate.

According to the Rev. William A. Gillies, (69) (Gillies, In Famed Breadalbane, 360.) there were three branches of the MacDiarmids in Perthshire; the ‘Royal’ MacDiarmids who had the right of burial in Cladh Dobhi, Morenish; the Dubh-bhusach (‘Black -lipped) MacDiarmids and the Craiganie MacDiarmids who went by the name of the ‘Baron MacDiarmids’.

It is, however, more likely that it has been listed due to the habit of referring to the Campbells as ‘Clan Diarmid’ and attributing their descent from the mythical Diarmid O’Duine.

The form MacDermott is an Irish rather than a Scottish form of the name and while Dermot is often given as a form of Diarmid in Ireland, its inclusion here seems inappropriate. (70) (Woulfe, Irish Surnames, 349.) MacDermott of Moylurg was Chief of the race who descended from Tadhg O’Connor, King of Connacht in the 11th century.

The name does appear in other parts of Scotland and, given the popularity of the name Diarmid (there were no less than eleven Irish Saints of the name) a common ancestry seems unlikely.



I can discern no reason for the inclusion of this name among the septs of Clan Campbell. Black who derives the name from Mac Shealbhaigh - ‘Son of Selbach’ - gives various instances of the appearance of the name but they would seem to centre on Galloway if anywhere. The local telephone Directory gives five instances of the name in various parts of Argyll.

Under Macelvie or Mackelwee, all forms of the same name, Black gives mention of the existence of the name M’Ilwee in Bute in 1656. The name also exists as McElwee.



The name as above is said to derive from the Gaelic for ‘The Son of the man from Glassary’ - the district by that name in mid-Argyll. According to Black the name MacGlasserig was a Breadalbane one, the family dying out on Loch Tayside as the result of a curse by a witch.

The name is also found in Brae Lochaber used by descendents of a Campbell who had to leave Argyll in a hurry.

Neither his identity nor the circumstances are clear but it seems that the reason of their hasty leaving had something to do with the imposition of jus primae noctis by their feudal superior on a new bride which was resented by her husband who took his revenge and then had to flee.

Another version, that of the Rev. Somerled MacMillan, is that the Lochaber Campbells returned with the MacDonalds after their 1497 defeat in Glenorchy by the Stewarts of Appin and the MacLarens .

Be that as it may, the MacGlasrich Campbells are found as bodyguard to MacDonald of Keppoch in the 16th and 17th century , also acting on occasion as foster parents to children of the Chief. Following the famous murder of Alexander of Keppoch in 1663, in which his uncle Alasdair Buidhe MacDonald was almost certainly implicated, the Campbell foster father of Alasdair's eldest son Ailean Dearg, killed his foster son in a drunken skirmish and was hung for his crime. The Brae Lochaber Campbells asked Argyll to interpose but he, sensing the difficulties of becoming involved, offered all the Campbells in that area altenative tenancies instead. Most apparently chose to stay where they were.

Several of the families held their lands in Lochaber from Argyll and subsequently from Breadalbane and I have heard it suggested that some of the name MacGlasrichs were MacDonalds after all but ones who finding themselves on the earl's side of the river found it politic to adopt the Campbell identity.

There were other families by the name of MacGlasrich in Brae Lochaber - it was , it seems, a name also used by the MacGlashans who were hereditary pipers to Keppoch.

But they certainly regarded themselves as Campbells and were prepared to put themselves at risk in support of their ancient loyalties as the following extracts from two letters show.

The first letter is dated 29 May 1746 and is from John Campbell of Achalader to Donald Campbell of Airds.

‘ . . . Some of the McIlasrichs of the Breas of Lochaber came here in order to be Advised, Directed, where and to whom, they should submit themselves and Deliver upp there Arms. You Know they are all Common Fellows, and tennant to Keppoch and its very well Known, that they Resisted being Concerned in this Rebellion, as much as they were able, or could well be Expected of a few poor men in the heart of a country all prone to Mischief. Their Choice would be to submit to General Campbell and some of them are gone to him to have his Directions about it, and to Know from him whether he will chose to have them come to him wt there Arms, of if he will order them to Give them to some other that Lyes nearer them. . . . . There Misfortune is and what they are frighted for is this. They are Informed that some of of the Loos people in that country pretend to Keep theirArms, and it being surmisd that the Mc Glassrichs wanted to Submit, ther was threatning Messages sent them, that if they offered to Deliver there Arms there would be sever courses taken wt ther wives, Children and Catle. And what they beg is that when they are ordered to deliver their Arms they may be taken Immediately under the protection of the Government as they will be Defenceless, and cannot protect themselves or their families, from those who they Reckon Much more ther Enemies than the Kings troops, and mor so than ever, when they give upp there Arms. I need not tell yow how useful these poor fellowes us'd to be, to any of our Name, that went into the Breas of Lochaber, and what Endeavours they us'd to Keep themselves from being Ingag'd in the Rebellione as ye would hear of it formerlie. And you Know that when they coud do no more they positively Refused to wear White Cockades, and put upp Black and Yellow, which did not a litle vex ther Leaders, but they could not help it. I therfor Beg you would do them all the Service yow can in Representing ther case to Collonell Campbell . . . You Know very well that the familie of Breadalbine hes no particular concern in them, more than other Campbells have, yett I should be sorie, if such a faithfull few as they have always been to the name of Campbell should be destroyed, when their enmi is such as was not in their power to help. . .

The second letter, written shortly afterwards, is from Lieutenant-Colonel John Campbell, ‘Colonel Jack’ the future 5th Duke of Argyll, to General Campbell of Loudoun. Dated from Stontian, he writes.

‘ . . . The bearer hereof is one Macglaserich, a Tribe consisting of about thirty families in the Braes of Lochaber who have sent this man desiring to deliver up their arms to the General. For as they look upon themselves to be Campbells they, in the highland way, thought themselvs obligd to deliver their arms to him rather than any other of his majesties officers. However as Your Lordship is more contiguous to their country & the General does not choose to indulge them in any of their clannish principles, he has directed them to deliver their arms to you or any other officer commanding in that part of the country . . . .’

(71) (Both these letters are among the Campbell of Loudoun papers in the Huntington Library, San Marino, California. My thanks to Professor Allan MacInnes.)

Some of these people were among the emigrants from Keppoch who went to Nova Scotia where they appear to use the name Campbell. A famous MacGlasrich was the late Archbishop of Glasgow, the Most Reverend A. Campbell, who was born in Brae Lochaber and who died in 1963.



This name derives from the Gaelic MacThearlaich - ‘Son of Charles’; as such it has been used on occasion by a number of totally unrelated persons. MacKerley and MacKerlich are other forms of the name.

In this case, the name derives from a Charles Campbell, living at the beginning of the 16th century.

While his origin as a Campbell of Craignish is beyond doubt there are conflicting versions of his exact identity. One version says that Charles Campbell was an illegitimate son of Dougall Campbell of Craignish who died in 1527. His by-name was Tearlach Eranich - ‘Irish Charles’ - so-called from his having served in Ireland as a soldier under Archibald Campbell of Danna.

Another makes him son of Archibald Campbell of Craignish. Charles was known from his size as Tearlach Mor and lived on the property of Corranmore in Craignish. Unfortunately, he had a furious temper and having killed Gillies of Glenmore in a scuffle and wounded his cousin, he was ‘obliged to retire’ to Perthshire where he and his family settled in Glenlyon. But his temper again got the better of him and after another unfortunate fight, he again was forced to remove, this time to Rannoch where he took the name of MacVrachater (‘Son of the maltster’). Here he married again and sired another family.

Charles’s descendent was Sir James Campbell of Inverneill, Hereditary Usher of the White Rod for Scotland, Member of Parliament for Stirling. In 1795 the heads of five related families signed a document declaring him to be the Chief of Clan Tearlach. They were representatives of the Clan M’Kater Campbells in Breadalbane, the Clan Tearlach Campbells in Breadalbane, the MacVrachater Campbells in Breadalbane and Glenlyon, the Clan Ich Kellegherne in Breadalbane and the Clan Haister Campbells in Rannoch.

This claim was accepted by Lyon in 1875 when arms were matriculated by Campbell of Inverneill. He was given the single galley supporter of Craignish with a shield displaying the gyronny of eight, or and sable, with a border azure.

His case is extremely unusual if not unique since he has actually been recognised by Lyon as a Chief albeit of a Clan within a Clan. The late Chief of Clan Tearlach was the famous folklorist and historian John Lorne Campbell of Canna whose younger brother was Colin Campbell, who by family arrangement took the designation of Campbell of Inverneill, younger, and who was a noted expert on Heraldry. (72) (Campbell, ‘The Origins of the Campbells of Inverneill’, Scottish Genealogist xxxv No. 2, 63-72. Innes of Learney, Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland, 34-35.)



The name MacNichol in its various spellings and anglicised as Nichol or Nicolson is widespread in Scotland, and is particularly well-known in the case of the Nicolsons or MacNeacails of Scorrybreac.

The attribution of this name to Clan Campbell applies uniquely to the kindred of this name long settled in Glenorchy and in Glenshira. Their origin is unknown. Local tradition apparently had it that the family were originally MacPhees sprung from one Nicol McPhee who left Lochaber in the sixteenth century.

There were indeed MacNichols in Lochaber. They descended from the MacPhees of Colonsay and had held their lands in Lochaber since before the 1493 forfeiture of the Lordship of the Isles. (73) (MacMillan, Bygone Lochaber, 96.) The names in the MacNichol of Socach line repeat names commonly in use by the MacPhees.

Duke Niall of Argyll on the other hand noted that he thought they were MacNaughtons of Dunderave. This, however, may derive from a too-hasty reading of one of the unpublished Dewar Manuscripts which tells a tale of one Thomas Ruadh Mac Sheumas Ruadh mhic Sheumais -dhuibh mhic Dhonachie Mhic Ghiobhaine -mhoire a Mhorara who came to a sticky end in a skirmish with the MacGregors. He was the ancestor of James MacNichol in Achalader and was said to have been of MacNaughton origin but the crucial point which for once eluded Duke Niall is that he was apparently MacNichol’s maternal ancestor.

Be that as it may, the MacNichols were long in Socach in Glenorchy. The first to settle there was Nicol who married MacTavish of Dunardry’s daughter. His brother Duncan settled in Achnafannich. In 1593, Nicol’s son, ‘Gillepatrick mac Nicol mac Duncan Riabhach’ in Socach was given a charter of the lands of Elrigmore in Glenshira by MacNaughton of Dunderave. This property was taken on by Gillepatrick’s younger son, Nicol Ban MacNichol. (74) (Gillies, ‘Some Thoughts on the Toschederach, Scottish Gaelic Studies xvii, 340.) The name Elrig denotes the narrow pass which formed the culmination of a deer drive where the fleeing beasts, collected together gradually over a period of days and a huge territory, were concentrated in a narrow pass where they faced the arrows and swords of the hunters waiting for them. The MacNichols also acquired the next door Elrigbeg.

Famous in his day was the Gaelic Scholar, the Reverend Donald MacNichol, (1735-1802) Minister of Lismore, whose spirited defence in his ‘Remarks on Dr. Samuel Johnson's Journey to the Hebrides’ of the authenticity of the Poems of Ossian which had been rubbished by the great Doctor caused that worthy to ‘growl hideously’. (75) (Sellar and Maclean, The Highland Clan MacNeacail, 25-26.) A poet himself, with his family, the Glenorchy MacNichols, long celebrated for their knowledge of the ancient songs and poems of the Highlands, the Reverend Donald was a friend of the renowned bard, Duncan Ban Macintyre whom he assisted in writing out his songs.

This combination of the Church and a reputation for knowledge of and skill in poetry suggests that this family of MacNichols may have been a hereditary professional kindred. This may be further supported by mention in 1618 of ‘Donald M’ilpatrick Leiche M’Nycle’ in Achnaraiff (recte Achnafannich ?) (76) (Campbell, Argyll Sasines ii, 9.) who is clearly the same as ‘Donald M’Gilpatrick Leiche’, servitor to George Loudoun, who has sasine of Inverliver the same year. This mention appears to combine both medical and clerical expertise since a ‘servitor’ was much more of a personal assistant than his title might appear to imply.



The name derives from the Gaelic Mac na Cearda - ‘Son of the Smith’. The Smith in this case being a whitesmith rather than a blacksmith, skilled in working in brass and the lighter metals and producing ornaments and jewellry and household metalwork, goods much prized in early Celtic society.

But in time the craft was debased to the mere patching of pots and pans and its practitioners became synonymous with travelling people or ‘Tinkers’ whose modern reputation was not very salubrious. So it is that Black in his ‘Surnames of Scotland’ records the fact that the MacNocairds frequently used the alternative name of Sinclair without perhaps realising that this was adopted as a very much more respectable name than ‘Tinkler’ which it closely resembles but without having any of the unfortunate associations of the latter.

The name Caird is a shortened form of MacNocaird and the compilers of sept lists might well have included it as well. The form MacNocaird is early found in Argyll and neighbouring areas and Black gives several examples: ‘Gregor Makenkerd’ appears in 1297, ‘Iain Mac nocerdych’ is a witness in Lismore in 1525. ‘John M’Necaird’ was tenant in Eyich in 1594 (Ewich, just between Tyndrum and Crianlarich) ; ‘Archibald M’Nokaird’ is merchant burgess of Inveraray in 1695 and ‘Donald McNougard’ is in Islay in 1741. ‘Gilfolen Kerd’ a sailor in the service of Alexander of Argyll was arrested in Bristol in 1275 for being a suspected pirate; in the form Caird the name appears more widely across Scotland as one might expect from a common workname.



There is surprisingly little record of this name which is not even recorded by Black, although he does give some reference to it under the heading of MacCorran.

According to family tradition, the name, more correctly McCorran, was taken by young Campbell of Melfort who, during the later half of the seventeenth century had to leave Argyll in a hurry having killed a man named MacColl He went to Menteith and took service under the Earl who rewarded him with the farm of Inchanoch. He married a Miss Haldane, neice to Haldane of Lanrick and the family prospered.They were very much mindful of their Argyllshire connections and two of the farms they reclaimed from the Moss were named Easter and Wester Lorne. Once away from the area, members of the family resumed the name Campbell, among them being the families of Campbell of Tullichewan and of Campbell Adamson of Stracathro which included the British Prime Minister, Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman. Apparently the local people used to say ‘there was never a Campbell in the Inchanoch or a McOran out of it’. (77) (Campbell, Memorial History of the Campbells of Melfort i, 8 and ii, 75-81.)

Dugald M’Corran appears in Fernoch, Kilmelfort in 1698.



In ‘Clans Septs and Regiments of the Scottish Highlands’, Frank Adam and Lord Lyon Sir Thomas Innes of Learney state that ‘MacOwen was the name of the family who were the sennachies to the Campbells of Argyll’ - a reference to the name described elsewhere as MacEwan. (78) (Adam, CSR, 300.)

Black however, gives another version, a more likely one deriving MacOwan or MacCowan, from Mac Gille Chomgain - ‘Son of the Servant of Saint Comgan’. In this form the name may originate with a family who served the shrine of the saint concerned or from someone who, being born on that Saint’s Day, has been named for his servant.

Saint Comgan inherited the throne of Leinster in 715 only to take up the mantle of the Christian Missionary two years later. He is said to have first settled on Loch Alsh but then moved east to Aberdeenshire where he became Abbot of the monks at Turriff. When he died, tradition has it that his nephew, Saint Fillan, took his body for burial at Iona. His stay in Wester Ross is marked by a number of churches dedicated to his memory by the use of his name in the form Kilchoan. The name occurs further south in Argyll where there are Kilchoans in Ardnamurchan, on Islay, on Loch Melfort and near Poltalloch. At the last there was a family of Dewars or guardians of a Holy Relic, the MacLucases, who held the lands for their services but the nature of the Relic they looked after is unknown. (79) (Towill. Saints of Scotland, 51-54. Farmer, Oxford Dictionary of Saints, 109.)

The name MacGille Chomgain appears notably in Argyll, further north on the West Coast and around Dingwall. The Cross in the Main Street of Inveraray has an inscription which declares that it commemorates the noblemen Duncan Meicgyllichomgnan, his son Patrick, and Maolmore, Patrick’s son, who caused the cross to be made. It has been suggested that the cross may have originally stood in the nearby cemetery of Kilmalew but it may have come from much further away.

The existence at one time of a noble kindred of the name is further underlined by the appearance as witnesses on a charter of around 1355 by John Campbell, lord of Ardscotnish, to Gilbert of Glassary, of Roderick and Iver, ‘sons of M’Gillecoan’ - the style M’Gillecoan without any further qualification denoting a chief. (80) (HP ii, 14. A/T.) Apparently, according to the MacDonald Historians, John, Lord of the Isles, had a strong standing force to protect Lochaber from incursion under the command of Hector More Macillechoan. (81) (HP i, 25.) ‘Donald Mcillichoan’ was in 1595 among the ‘native men’ of Craignish - the early inhabitants - who gave their Bond of Manrent to Ronald Campbell of Barrichbeyan as their Chief. (82) (Coll. Reb. Alban. 198).

The name also appears as MacIlhone, MacElhone.



The name derives from the Gaelic form of Paterson - MacPheaderain - or ‘Son of little Peter’. The original of the name is said to have been a MacAulay, according to Buchanan of Auchmar.

The family long held the lands of Sonachan on Loch Awe together with the lucrative office of ferrymen over Loch Awe from Portsonachan on the east side to Taychreggan on the west, the portership extending ‘between Teatle Water and the rivulet called Beochlych on the east bank and the rivulet called Ganevan and the Water of Aw on the west side’. (83) (Argyll Archives, 1098.)

The reason for this grant is given in two legends; in one, it was for MacPhederan's service in ferrying Robert the Bruce back to Scotland from his refuge on Rathlin Island; the other says it was for rescuing the son of the Campbell Chief whose galley capsized on Loch Awe when he nearly drowned. It is not impossible for both incidents to have been based on fact.

In 1439 (84) (Black has made a slip and gives the date as 1349.) ‘Domenicus M'Federan’ had confirmation from Sir Duncan Campbell of Lochawe of the 1 merkland of Sonachan and the ferry. In 1488 at Sonachan a notarial transcript (official copy) was made for ‘Morich McFedren’ of this charter. In 1501, ‘Gillemory M'Fedane’ received a charter of confirmation from the 2nd Earl of Argyll. In 1590, ‘Duncan Glas McFederan’ resigned the lands and office of Porter to the 7th Earl for a regrant in favour of his son ‘Gillemory’. The precept of sasine on this charter mentions that the family first had a grant of these from Sir Duncan Campbell of Lochawe in 1439 ‘as their evidents gave proof’. (85) (A/T.)

This at first sight may support the tradition that it was saving Sir Duncan's son that earned them their position although it is quite possible that this was the first written charter in the MacPhederans' possession.

The MacPhederans quarrelled bitterly with their neighbours and had a bloody skirmish with them at the burn between Upper Sonachan and Portsonachan. Eventually in 1619, the lands were handed over by ‘Duncan Glas McPhedren’ to Ewin M'Corquodale of Phantilands acting as attorney for ‘Duncan Campbell M'Dowell V'Inryda’ - Duncan Campbell, son of Dougald son of the Knight [of Cawdor] - in implementation of a contract of sale made by his grandson ‘Donald M'Gilmore V'Phedran’. (86) (A/T.)

The family is said to have moved to Lochfyneside and to have become mariners.

Another family of MacFederans, possibly of the same kindred were famous as smiths in Benderloch. They appear in the famous quatrain

Bogha dh'iubhar Easragain,
Ite firein Locha Treig,
Ceir Bhuidhe Bhaile nan gaillean,
Smeoirn o'n cheard MacPheiderean.
Bow of the yew of Easragan,
Feather of the eagle of Loch Treig,
The yellow wax of Baille-nan-gaillean,
Arrowhead from the craftsman MacPheidirean.


The MacPhederans had their forge at Ferlochan in Benderloch, near Barcaldine House Their swords were said to be of outstanding finish and quality. The Burn of the Easragan is near Ardchattan Priory, further up Loch Etive. (87) (Carmichael, Carmina Gaedelica ii, 359.)

It may well be one of this kindred who is buried further south down at Keills in Knapdale where a tombstone of 14th-15th century dated is inscribed in Latin

Hic jacet Cormacus MacPhaterin Here lies Cormac MacPhedran


Both Keills and the Church at Kilmory on the other side of Loch Sween are particularly noted for the concentration of wealthy craftsmen buried there. They would appear to have originated there when Castle Sween was the base of the powerful MacSween Lords and to have remained in the area after the castle itself had changed hands. A smith would have been an essential part of such a community and Cormac would seem to be a very likely candidate. (88) (Bannerman and Steer, Monumental Sculpture, 146.)



The name derives from Gaelic Mac-Ghille-Mhund or ‘Servant of St. Mund’ and is the same as MacMunn, which, however, is not included in the ‘official’ list of Campbell septs.

Saint Mund seems to have more than one claimant for his name but the most likely in this case would appear to be a 10th century Saint who was Abbot of Glenorchy with his seat at Clachandysart - the old name for Dalmally. (89) (Angus McLean, unpubl. MS.) He is said to be the patron Saint of Clan Campbell.

In 1497, the sale was confirmed by John Colquhoun of Luss to Archibald Earl of Argyll of various lands at the foot of Loch Eck. These included ‘dimedietate unius mercate terre (vocatus Pordewry) in territorio de Inverquhapil occupate per quendam procuratorem, cum baculo Sancte Munde, Scotice vocato Deowray . . .’ - ‘the half merkland (called Pordewry) in Inverchapple occupied by a certain Guardian, with the staff of Saint Munde, called in Scots the Deowray’. (90) (A/T.) The Keepers of this relic were supposed to be the MacMunns.

In 1525, Patrick and Ian McPune are witnesses to a Strachur charter of the 3rd Earl. (91) (A/T.) In 1566 Archibald Makyphunze has a charter from the 5th Earl of the 6 merkland of Innernaodan in Strachur. This family was the chief branch of the MacPhuns. In 1685 the laird of Innernaodan was forfeited for taking part with the 9th Earl of Argyll in the latter’s abortive Rebellion.

From this family sprang the younger branch of the MacPhuns of Drip, a property next door to Innernaodan. Of one of them the well known tale is told of how, having been hung on the gallows at Inveraray for some crime, his apparently lifeless body was cut down and given to his young wife for burial. On the way back across the loch, she noticed some faint stirring and, by dint of mother’s milk and brandy succeeded in bringing her husband back to life !



The inclusion of the name Mure, Muir, or Moore among Campbell septs is perhaps rather optimistic since the family have a perfectly good Chief of their own in the person of Mure of Rowallan, in Ayrshire, one of Scotland’s oldest and most historic families.

There are however two instances of a Campbell connection on which, presumably, the attribution is based. James Mure Campbell, who succeeded his cousin as 5th Earl of Loudoun in 1782 had added the name Mure to his own on succeeding to the estates of Rowallan. These he inherited through his mother who was the daughter of of David Earl of Glasgow and Jean Mure, heiress of Rowallan.

Members of the same family had been among the Presbyterian lowlanders imported into Kintyre the previous century by the Marquess of Argyll in order to ensure the payment of rent from his estates there and from the later 1600s onwards, the name figures among the Earl’s tenants in Kintyre..



Ochiltree is a name derived from a place near Linlithgow, West Lothian. Its users had nothing to do with the family called MacUchtrie or MacUghtre in Argyll who on occasion anglicised their name to Uchiltree or Ochiltree

Like the MacArthurs on Loch Awe-side, the MacUchtries appear to have been a professional family. ‘Alan Oghtre, Vicar of Kilmun’ and ‘William Oghtre’ appear as witnesses on a notarial transumpt of 1432/3 at Kilmun while ‘Sir David Ochtre’ is Provost of Kilmun in 1466 and in 1470 is a Notary Public. (92) (A/T. )

In 1492 we find the first mention of ‘Archibald Uchiltree’ on the sasine of his father's lands given to Archibald 2nd Earl of Argyll, along with Ian MacArthur , father of Charles MacArthur, later of Terivadich (see article on MacArthurs). Like MacArthur, Uchiltree travels the country clearly in charge of organising the Earl's charters. Between 1494 and 1524, ‘Archibald Uchiltree’ appears on 20 of the extant 40 charters of the Earl's.

Archibald does not appear after 1524 but ‘Ian Uchiltre of Kildalvan’ had already appeared in 1513. Whether he was the son of Archibald is not clear nor whether Kildalvan which in 1497 was among the lands regranted to Gilchrist M'Lamont of Inverneilbeg, had then been transferred to the Uchiltrees in reward for their services as men of business to the Earl at the same time and for the same reason as the MacArthurs received Terivadich. Both suppositions, however, would seem reasonable.

There is then a gap until 1540 when Ian or ‘John Uchiltre of Kildalvan’ signs nine times in seven years.In 1542, Ian is joined as a witness by Alan Uchiltre and by Alan's son, John.. Again we are given no clue as to the relationship between Alan and Ian but it would seem probable they are father and son since ‘Allan M'Ane Uchtre of Garvie’ appears in 1573, Garvie being close to Kildalvan in Glendaruel. Allan would seem to have had a brother John Glas who appears as ‘John Glas M'Ane’. Another brother, Donald, appears in 1586. In 1587 we find ‘Ian Keir M'Allan Uchiltre, apparent of Garvie’. ‘Alan Ochiltree of Garvie’ who appears in 1599 is presumably his son or brother. (93) (A/T.)

Thereafter there is no more mention and by 1614 an ‘Archibald Campbell of Kildalvan’ is in Garvie being appointed one of the Earl of Argyll Foresters in Cowal.. He had previously appeared in Inveraray in 1610 where he is identified as a notary. (94) (Duke Niall's genealogical notebooks.)

Duke Niall who made notes on this family of Campbells suggests they are Ardkinglas cadets, either through the Ardentinny or Carrick branches. But their following generations concentrate on using the names Ian and Archibald which while quintessential Campbell names also occur in the Uchiltree pedigree. The name of Uchiltree seems to vanish while the fact that Archibald Campbell was also a notary suggests that either the line of Uchiltrees died out and the lands were tied to the post of the Earl's Man of Business. It is just possible, if Archibald had not married the Uchiltree heiress, that the Uchiltrees changed their name to Campbell and continued on in Kildalvan until the end of the eighteenth century at least.

The name is now extremely rare.



The surname Pinkerton comes from the place of the same name near Dunbar, in East Lothian.

In 1483, Colin, 1st Earl of Argyll, ‘for his faithful and gratuitous service’, received a Royal Grant of the lands of Meikle and Little Pinkerton, forfeited by the Duke of Albany. The lands were by the same charter incorporated into the Barony of Pinkerton.

In 1505, his disposition of these lands, together with those of Whyterig, in feu farm to Thomas Inglis, merchant in Edinburgh was given Royal confirmation. It would seem that the superiority of the lands, the actual barony, remained in the possession of the Campbell Chiefs since in 1542 it is listed among a number of lands ‘previously incorporated by the King into the barony of Menstre.’

In 1571 it is among a number of baronies granted by his brother to Colin Campbell of Boquhan who was to succeed him as 6th Earl of Argyll but in 1663 on the restoration of the Argyll Lands to the 9th Earl, there is no seperate mention of it and it is no doubt incorporated under the Barony of Menstrie which continued among the possessions of the Chief’s family.

On the tenuous basis of the above, the name Pinkerton has been listed as a Campbell sept. The most famous holder of the name is the well known 19th century American detective, Allan Pinkerton.



According to Black there are places by this name in Kincardineshire and in Fife although Torrie of that Ilk had his seat in Dumfries. But the name is found widely across Scotland.

Some of them settled at Cawdor where George Torrie ‘in Cawdor’ is mentioned in 1639 and 1642. (95) (Thanes of Cawdor, 285, 301.) He appears to have been servitor to John Campbell, fiar of Cawdor in 1626 before the unfortunate young man was declared insane and the affairs of the family were undertaken by his brothers Colin and then George, as Tutors. (96) (Ramsay, Book of Islay, 374,379.)

Some of the name went with Cawdor to the Isle of Islay, acquired by the Campbells in 1614, and there are two of the name listed among the tenants on the island in 1686. (97) (Ramsay, Book of Islay, 519,520.) For the same reason, no doubt their name is also to be found on the island of Kerrera.

There were Torries in Islay as late as the 1830s; the name does not appear in the telephone book there any more although there are one or two scattered elsewhere in Argyll.



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