Sieing the bark is come heir with the meal I desire now that you send onelie about threttie seckis alongis in Auchnabrekis boat and lat all the rest remaine till my farder ordours. In the meantime haist heir all the amunitione, powder, lead and matches that come fra Glenurquhy and send back this boatt of Macleanis with it and send some trustie man with it and some of the sojouris that are coming up to guard it. And lat it be haisted with expeditioune. Iff this overtake Auchnabrekis boatt lat the amunition be sent on hir. And howsoevir you shall not faill to haist both McCleanis boat and your awine sax oared boat with all possible diligence. And so I rest, your loving Coosen,
Inverlochie, last Jan. 1645.
After the writing hereof I have stayed yor awine boatt and so send the amunition in the reddiest boatt.
Argyll, I am informed that one Lietennant Colonell Stewart imployed heere (as it is sayd) by the Earle of Montrose, hes deponed something of his dealing with Traquaire, and that by him I should haue giuen asseurance of disposing of some vacant Places, to such persones as was joined in a laite Band with the E. of Montrose, thereby insinuating that my jurnie to Scotland was onlie desyred and procured by Montrose and Traquaire, and lykewais that my intent there in is rather to make and forder parties, then to receaue from, and giue contentment to my Subjects: Now since that (by the grace of God) I haue resolued of my jurnie to Scotland it makes me the more curius, that my actions and intentions, be not misconceaued by my subjects there: Therefore in the first place, I thinke fitt to tell you that I intend my jurnie to Scotland for the satling of the affaires of that Kingdome, according to the Articles of the Treatie, and in such a way as may establish the affections of my People fully to me; and I am so far from intending diuision, by my jurnie, that I meane, so to establishe Peace in State, and Religion in the Churche, that there may be a happie harmonie amongst my Subjects there: Secondlie I neuer made anie particular promis, for the disposing of anie places in that Kingdome, but meanes to dispose them, for the best aduantadge of my seruice, and therein I hope to giue satisfaction to my Subjects: And as for my Letter to Muntrose, I doe auow it, as fitt for me to wryte, bothe for the matter and the person to whome it is written, who for anie thing I yet know, is no wais unworthie of such a fauor: Thus hauing cleered my intentions to you as my particular seruant, I expect, that as occasion may serue, you may helpe to cleere those mistakes of me which upon this occasion may aryse: Lastlie, for the preparations for my cuming home I doe rather mention it, to show the constant resolution of my jurnie, then in anie dout of your diligence therein: and so I rest
Your asseured frend
WHYTHALL THE 12 OF JUNE 1641.
— Letters to the Argyll Family, Edinburgh: T. Constable, 1839.
The father of the late Earl of Airlie, for several years acted as Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. Among his retainers were two pipers; and at a levee at Holyrood Palace, the Moderator of the Assembly requested that the pipers should play “The Bonnie House o’ Airlie.” His Lordship replied that he was not certain whether they would, as one of the pipers was an Ogilvie, and the other a Campbell, but promised to try, and instructed his butler to give the order to the pipers to play the tune. In a little while one of them, the Ogilvie, marched into the room playing with much spirit. Summoning the butler again, the Earl asked why Campbell had not also come in. “I gave him the message, my Lord.” “Well, what did he say?” The man hesitated. “What did Campbell say?” again demanded the Earl. “He said—eh!—eh!—” still hesitating—”he said he would see your Lordship—” the rest of the sentence was lost in a cough and the skirl of Ogilvie’s pipes!
— The Celtic Monthly, February 1905.
* * *
It fell on a day, a bonny summer day,
When the corn was ripe and yellow,
That there fell oot a great dispute
Between Argyle aye and Airlie.
Lady Margaret looked o’er yon high castle wall,
And O but she sighed sairly.
She saw Argyle and a’ his men
Come to plunder the bonny hoose o’ Airlie.
“Come doun, come doun Lady Margaret,” he said.
“Come doun and kiss me fairly
Or gin the morning’s clear daylight
I willna leave a standing stane in Airlie.”
“I’ll no come doun, ye false Argyle,
Nor will I kiss thee fairly.
I wouldnae kiss the false Argyle
Though you wouldna leave a standin’ stane in Airlie.”
“For if my gude lord had been at hame,
As he’s awa’ wi’ Chairlie,
There wouldnae come a Campbell frae Argyle
Dare trod upon the bonny green o’ Airlie.”
“For I hae bore him seven bonny sons,
The eighth yin has never seen his daddy
But if I had as mony ower again
They would all be men for Chairlie.”
But poor Lady Margaret was forced to come doun
And O but she sighed sairly
For their in front o’ all his men
She was ravished on the bowlin’ green o’ Airlie.
“Draw your dirks, draw your dirks,” cried the brave Locheil.
“Unsheath your sword,” cried Chairlie,
“We’ll kindle sic a lowe roond the false Argyle,
And licht it wi’ a spark oot o’ Airlie.”
— Version collected by Hamish Henderson and Peter Kennedy at Fetterangus, 27 June 1955.
Reasons against the Restoration of Argyll Confiscated Property.1
Some reasons why Archibald Campbell, sometime Lord Lorn, ought not to be restored to the honour or estate of his late father, Archibald, sometime Marquess of Argyle (“Argyll”):—
BECAUSE it hath been alwaies held very dangerous, both for the interest of the Prince and peace of the people, to restore the children of powerful traitors to their fathers’ honours or estates, which experience demonstrated to be too true in the Gowries.
The restoring of this family is in a special manner most dangerous, by reason of the scituation and vast bounds of the estate of Argyle (“Argyll”) in the Highlands, the great claim, many vassals and tenants that depend on it, all, or for the much greater part, ill principled, and inured to rebellion these last 20 years, who blindly follow their master’s commands, without any regard to their duty to God or the King, so that it is a most ﬁt place to be the nest and seminary of rebellion, as it proved in the late Argyle’s time, to the great prejudice of his Majestie’s service, and mine of many loyal subjects. And this same very reason was brought by the late Argyle against the Marquis of Antrum, to dispossesse him of the lordship of Kentyre (Cinntìre), which he had purchased with the consent of his late Majesty. For he pretended that it was dangerous to suffer the said Marquis of Antrum to enjoy these lands, by reason of the great power of the family of the MacDonalds, and of the bad consequences that usually follow the restoring of persons to an estate which they had formerly lost by forfeiture. But it’s evident to all men that this reason is much more forcible against Argyle himself and his posterity.
It’s directly against the council and advice of the modern Solomon K. James, his Majestie’s grandfather, of blessed memory, who, in his ‘Basilicondoron,’ speaks thus to his son: “As for the matter of forfeitures, which are also done in Parliaments, my advice is, you forfeit none but for such odious crimes as may make them unworthy ever to be restored again.” And in the same book, speaking of the High-landers and their oppressions, he subjoyns this good council to his son: “Put in execution the laws made against the over-lords and chieffs of their clans, and it will be no difficulty to daunton them.”
The restoring of this family would prove a dangerous president to encourage rebellious and traiterous spirits to perpetuate such horrid crimes as the late Argyle did, upon hopes, that whatsoever treasons they commit, their families and posterity may still stand: whereas, upon the contrary, the exemplary punishment and eradicating of this family (especially at this ﬁrst happy appearance of his Majestie’s justice) will be a scar-crow to all others, and serve as a beacon to make them shun the rocks of rebellion, which they know will undoubtedly shipwreck not only themselves, but also their posterity. In conﬁrmation whereof, it was observed that the late Argyle, when he received sentence, was more moved at that part which touched the ruine of his posterity and family, than for what concerned his own person.
The restoring of the son would be prejudicial to many of his Majestie’s loyal subjects of the best quality, and to divers orphans and widows who have been opprest and almost ruined by the father, and can expect no other reparation of their losses, but from the forfeiture of the said estate, unlesse his Majesty would put himself to unnecessary charges to repair them some other way.
The restoring of this family is not only dangerous and inconvenient for the aforesaid general reasons, but also for the said Archibald his particular faults and misdemeanors; for, besides that vice runs much in a bloud, as King James hath observed, it’s well known that both he and his brother Neil are of the same principles with their father, who died impenitent, asserting the Covenant, and sowing the seeds of sedition and rebellion, and, as it were, entailing it upon his children, as appears by his last speech — which bad principles were instilled in them both with their milk; and to make the elder more compleat, he was sent abroad to be bred at Geneva, with recommendations from his father to that Kirk, and to the Presbyterians of France, where he kept correspondence between his father and them; and the younger was lately proved to have been privy and consenting to all his father’s treacherous complyances with the English in Scotland, and to have been actually in arms with them.
The bad principles and inclinations of the elder appeared when his Majesty retired from St Johnstons, with intention to go to some of his loyal subjects in the northern parts of Scotland; for immediately upon that news he rifled his Majestie’s cabinets, and, after his Majestie’s return, he being captain of the guard, put a padlock on his Majestie’s door, keeping him a prisoner — which sufﬁciently shows that he is his father’s son.
To evidence further his bad inclinations and aversion from his Majestie’s service, he never raised regiment or company all the time the King was in Scotland to joyn with the Royal army. But a little before his Majesty was to march into England, he eagerly urged that some parties might be drawn out of every regiment to make up one for himself, under pretence of the King’s Guard; and though he knew that would be undoubtedly denied him, yet he still persisted to press the same, on pur pose to have some pretence of discontent, that so he might avoid marching into England with his Majesty, which shal be testiﬁed by some who were then privy to his father’s and his own designs.
Though it be pretended, for expiation of these misdemeanours, that he appeared thereafter in his Majestie’s service in the High-lands, under the Earl of Glencairne and Middleton, his Majestie’s generals, yet that doth no waies eveience his loyalty, and cannot expiate the least of his faults, for divers reasons: (1) Because when he was there, in his usual discourses he eagerly asserted the Covenant, and justiﬁed the barbarous death of the renowned Marquess of Montross, his Majestie’s general, as he had barbarously and scandalously insulted over him at his carting and execution. (2) Because even then he combined with the late Lord Balcarras to divide his Majestie’s forces, by endeavouring to renew and set up that fatal and rebellious Covenant. (3) Because he endeavoured also another way to destroy those forces by using all possible persuasions with the Viscount of Kenmure to make him usurp the general’s place, not only without, but against the King’s order; and fearing this unsuccessful treachery would come out, to shun his deserved punishment he immediately ﬂed away to his father’s bounds, from whence he wrote letters to make some chief gentlemen desert his Majestie’s general, and so break his forces. And this is all the great loyalty that ever he shewed, which is so much brag’d of by his friends and intercessours.
And that he persisted still in the same bad inclinations divers years after, appeared lately; for when General Monck, now Duke of Albemarle, was upon his last march into England, and had made some transactions with his Majestie’s loyal subjects of Scotland for promoting his Majestie’s happy restoration, the said Archibald, then dwelling in one of the Marquesse of Huntlye’s houses, did not only divert all those under his power, but also dealt with divers others, to enter into a combination with him, and to sign bonds to oppose the said general’s noble and immortal designs.
The restoring of the said Archibald will be also dangerous for the great store of money that in all probability is left him by his father, who received great summes from the pretended States of Scotland for all his treacherous and cruel expeditions against his Majestie’s loyal subjects there; and also from the Parliament of England, and particularly 40 thousand pound sterling at the delivering up of the ‘King at Newcastle, besides a good summe he had thereafter from Cromwell; and what he made up by the revenues of two bishopricks these 20 years, by seizing the Marquess of Huntlye’s estate, and a part of the Marquess of Montrosses; by exacting divers of his Majestie’s few-duties payable to the Exchequer; by oppressing of many gentlemen his neighbours, and dispossessing them of their estates: all which cannot amount to lesse then a hundred and ﬁfty thousand pound sterling, which summe must remain entire or little diminished, since it’s known he lived sparingly, and these last 20 years he would pay none of his debts, neither principals nor proﬁts; so that his son, having such store of money, is as powerfull as his father to do mischief if he be restored.
Lastly, as the restoring of this family would be a notable prejudice to many who have been opprest by it, and no small grief to his Majestie’s loyal subjects, who justly apprehend the dangers that may thence ensue to his Majestie’s prejudice and disturbance of the nation, and would strengthen the hands of his Majestie’s enemies and weaken his friends, so it is the only hopes and desire of those who have been enemies to his Majestie’s father, of blessed memory, or who by this means expect the resurrection of the rebellious Covenant so destructive to monarchy. And therefore that family in prudence ought not to be restored.
1 From the Pamphlet of an Enemy of the Argyll Family.
— Lord Archibald Campbell’s Records of Argyll (1885).
The following correspondence, reproduced in Cosmo Nelson Innes’ Preface to The Black Book of Taymouth: with Other Papers from the Breadalbane Charter Room, Edinburgh, 1850, intimately details the fostering of Archibald Campbell, 9th Earl of Argyll, son of Archibald Campbell, 8th Earl — and 1st (and only) Marquess — of Argyll, by Sir Colin Campbell, 8th Laird of Glenorchy and his wife, Juliana Campbell, daughter of Hugh Campbell, 1st Lord Campbell of Loudoun.
* * *
From Sir COLIN CAMPBELL of Glenurchy to ARCHIBALD LORD LORNE.
MY NOBLE LORD AND CHEIFF,
I receauit your lordships letter from Archibald Campbell schawing me that syndrie of your lordships freindis wer most desyrous to have your lordships eldest sone in fostering, yet for diuerss respectis your lordship wes better pleasit to have him brought vp with me, quich I acknowledge is a great testimonie both of your lordships trust and love, and I hop in God evir so to approve myself to be most willing and desyrous to deserue both. And in regard that your lordship and it may be your lordships lady have occasioun to be ane great part of this sommer in the Lawlandis, gif it may stand with your lordships pleasour, I desyre that your lordships sone may come heir to me about the 17 or 18 of Maii nixt, quhair, God willing, he sall have all the cairfull attendance that may ly in my powar to give him. And in regaird that I am not weill able to travell myself so far a iourney, I intend to send my wyfe and some vther of my friendis to be his convoy, quhairwith I thought guid to acquaint your lordship, hoping that agane that tyme your lordship will provyde some discrit woman and ane sufficient man quha hes bothe Irisch and Englisch and will have a care not onlie to attend him, but sometymes lykewayes to learne him and quhat else may concern him quhill he is in my company. God willing, my wyfe and I sail have a speciall care thairof. As for the rest of the particularis contenit in your lordships letter, I sail ansuer thame at my wyfes coming to your lordship or vtherwayes at my meiting with your lordship the aucht of Junii as your lordship hes desyrit at Stirling, to quhich time with the remembrans of my humell seruice to your lordships nobill lady, and evir I remane
Your lordships assurit frend and kinsman to my powar to serue,
[COLIN CAMPBELL of Glenurquhay. 1633.]
LORD LORNE to GLENURCHY.
For my loving cousing the Lard of Gleanorquhay.
Man propons bot God dispons. I intended to heave gon presentlie to Inuerraray bot I had ane letter within thir two or three days from the Thesaurar Traquair desyring me to be in Edinburgh so soon as I could, quhiche hes altered my resolution that my familie cannot stur till it pleas God I returne. I will assoor you your foster longs very much to see you and doethe not dar to tell he had rather be thair nor her, and I assoor you he shall heave his choice, bot as you may see be this letter of his grandfathers the Erle of Morton that he intends to be in Scotland so shortlie, his mother desyrs if it pleas God to heaue hir childring togither till that tym, to draw her father her; and if wee hear any contrair advertisment of his dyet you shall immediatlie heaue him (as Archie calles it) home. So remembring my service to your lady I rest
Your loving cusin,
Rosneithe last May.
ARCHIBALD CAMPBELL of LORNE to GLENURCHY.
To my lowing foster-father and respected freind the Lard of Glenvrqhey, thes.
Louing foster-father, I thoght good to wryt thir few lyns to yow to shawe yow that I am in good health and am vearie sorie that ye wryt not for me and I long weri much to sie yow; and as ye wold wis me to be well and to come to yow, send to me in all the heast and diligence ye can, Duncan Archibald and tuey horse with him, on to Mr Johen and on for my cariage: and prays and requests yow to send them in all the heast ye can, and I wil looke for them that they may be heir a Fryday or at the fardest at Setterday at night: and take it not in anay vncounes that I send not back the ansuere of the letter that I got in Edinbruch. I could not stay because I was in heast; and bring my commendations to your shelf and to yowr wyf and houpes that I wil seie yow my shelf shortlie, if ye doe yowr deutie, not duting but ye wildoe the same, comiting yow to Gods protection for euer. So I rest
Yours at pouer,
ARCHIBALD LORD OF LORNE.
Wryten at Inderaray,
the thretie day of September.
From the LADY LORNE to GLENURCHY.
To my much respectit and gud freind the Laird of Glenurquhy.
I haife sent this bearar to knowe how yea and my sone are in healthe, and to shaw you thatt all freindis heare are weall. I heair my sone begines to wearye of the Irishe langwadge. I intreatt yow to cause holde hime to the speakeing of itt, for since he hes bestowed so long tyme and paines in the getting of itt, I sould be sory he lost it now with leasines in not speaking of itt; bott this I know yea wilbe more cairfull as in ewery thing that concernes hime, so that I will fully leaffe him to your awin caire; only prayeing the Lord to giffe ane blessing to all the meanes of his educatioune: And so I shall still remain
Your most assurett friend,
the 14 of December 1637.
GLENURCHY to LORNE.
I have desyrit my brother Roberte to schau your lordship in quhat manere Maister Jhone Makleine misbehauis himself. I am sorie that I haue caus to do it, bot the respect I carie to my lorde and to your lordship and the loue I haue to your lordships sone makis to do so. Quhen your lordship plaissis your lordship may lede my lorde knau it, and I thinke it may be best remediete be provydinge in deu tyme on to supplie Maister Jhone his place, and your Lordship knauis it is requisit he be ane discreite man that is ane scollar and that can speike both Inglis and Erise, quharof I think thair may be hade in Argyll. Your lordship may do heirine as my lorde and your lordship thinks expediente. Your lordships sone is veill and in guide healthe, praysit be God. The Lord continou the same. So vissinge your lordship all prosperitie I remain
Your lordships assurite and affectionat friende to serue you,
Balloche the [1638.]
ARGYLL to GLENURCHY.
For my loving Cusin the Laird of Glenwrquhy.
Since it hath pleased God to call my father to his eternall rest, I doubt not bot you kno als weall as I can desyr you what is fitting for yourself to doe. Onli in this I desyr you to suffer your foster with you to wear murning. And so ever mak use of me as
Your most affectionat cusin to my power
4 September [1638.]
The COUNTESS OF ARGYLL to GLENURCHY.
To my loveing freind the Laird of Glenvrquhy.
Accordeing to this other lettre of my lordis, I will earnestlie desyire you to send heire my sonne, and to have him at your house in Glenvrquhy on Frayday at night the tuentie ane day of this instant preceislie, and I shall appoynt folkes to meitt him thair on Satterday in the morneing, for bringing him alonges heir. I hoipe ye wilbe cairfull to send sufficient company with him and to caus prowyd some secure place be the way, quhar he may be that night he comes frome you. So referring all to your cair, exspecteing assuredlie that ye will send him the tyme foirsaid,