Taken from
Issue Number 24 December 1988


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The following two documents were first printed in the Campbeltown Courier for October 7lh 1922 under the headline:
THE NAPOLEONIC SCARES IN KINTYRE. VOLUNTEER FORCE IN SOUTHEND. An invasion was viewed as a serious threat, and the Government was concerned about the reaction of lte civil population in areas considered 'unreliable' - these events were taking place only 51 years after the Battle of Culloden. It was feared that Highlanders might not be enthusiastic in their defence of the realm if an invasion did take place, and the west coast of Scotland was seen as strategically vulnerable.

The first document gives instructions from the Duke of Argyll in his capacity as Lord Lieutenant of the Shire of Argyll: the second gives a list of Volunteers enrolled in accordance with the Lord Lieutenant's instructions. The original spelling is preserved. Unsurprisingly, most of the Volunteers are the descendants of the Lowland settlers who came to the parish in the 17th century.


1st. Before you Act under the Commission sent you the Law requires that you take and subscribe the oaths of Allegiance and abjuration and subscribe the Assurance appointed for persons having places of trust - Any Justice of the Peace can Administer these Oaths, but the same must be certified to the next Quarter Sessions of the County of Argyll with your original Subscription.
2nd. Although your Commission is General and extends over the whole Shire of Argyll yet your particular attention is requested to the Parish of Southend.
3rd. Should there at any time exist, circumstances rendering it proper for Deputy Lieutenants of other bounds to Act within yours, they will while there observe your directions: and in like manner should you be called into the bounds of another you will conform to his directions.
4th. Invite all Loyall Subjects within your District attached to our happy Constitution and willing to take the oath of Allegiance to enroll their names under an engagement to Appear either on Horseback or on foot as may be Settled betwixt you and them, and on receiving Arms to Act under you without Pay in Aid of the Civil Magistrates in the Suppression of Riots and the quelling of all illegal or tumultuous Meetings tending to disturb the PEACE and tranqui1ity of the Country, or to resist the Attacks of Any foreign enemy.
5th. From the persons so enrolling themselves select a few of those most proper to Act as Constables within your Bounds, and send to me a list of their names, their designations and Characters.
6th. In like manner Select as many as you find able and wi11ing to Attend you on Horseback when called upon and Consider how they can be most usefully employed in cases of emergency by conveying Intelligence and otherways.
7th. Should anything material happen within your District you will please immediately to acquaint me with the same.
8th. Concert with your neighbouring Deputy Lieutenants the easiest and most expeditious Mode of conveying Intelligence to me and to one another: and if you agree on certain Signals inform me of them.
9th. If any difficulty arise to you in the execution of the duries of your office, state the same to me that I may send you such further Instructions as may appear necessary.
10th.Find our and inform me as soon as you Conveniently can of the numbers of Horses, Cows, Sheep, Hogs and other 1ive Stock on the Grounds of your District: also the quantities of Corn, Hay and dead stock upon them, that measures may be Concerted for removing them at the expense of Government out of the power of the enemy in case of Need.
Inveraray, 24th May, 1797


We whose names are hereunto subscribing being animated with the firmest loyalty and fidelily to our Most Gracious Sovereign King George, and feeling the wnrmest attachment to our present happy constitution hereby engage and oblige ourselves to appear on foot or on Horseback, as specified at our respective names and on receiving Arms from Major Malcolm MacNeil of Carskey as Depute Lieut. of the District, to act under him, without pay, in the Supression of Riots and quelling of all illegal or tumultuous Meetings tending to disturb the Peace and tranquility of the Country, or to resist the attacks of any foreign enemy.

SOUTHEND PARISH, June 20th. 1797

John Greenlees, Machrebeg and horse.
William Wallace, and horse.
Wm. Wilson, in Machreebig on foot.
George Greenlees, Tennant and horse.
Gavin Ralston, Tenant in Gartloskan and a horse.
Thomas Ralston, Breckat with a horse.
Hugh Breckenridge, Kilblan with a horse.
Edward Brown, Tenant and a horse.
Archd. Boyd, Machrie More Mill on foot.
John Pickan, Macherimore and a horse.
James Macdonald. Dungless and a horse.
Hugh MacVicar, Dunglass and a horse.
Niel McTavish, Dalmore and a horse.
Malcolm Shaw, Tennant in Dalemore on foot.
Malcolm taylor, and a horse.
John Taylor. Tennan on foot.
Robert montgomery, Cristloch and a horse.
James Caldwell, Cristlach and a horse.
Archibald McLean (?) tnant and a horse.
Hugh Reid, tenant in Kerranbeg and a horse.
William Allan, Corranmore on foot.
Robert Langlands, tenant in Corranmore and a horse.
Robert muntgomery, on foot.
Andrew Ralston, tenant in Glenemucklach on foot.
Dugald McLen, tenant Gartloskan and horse.
James Giffen, Dalbuie on foot.
Neill Fleeming, Killirvan and horse.
Archibald McWilliam, on foot.
Andrew Ferguson, tenant Kilirvan and horse.
Colin McCollem (his X mark), on foot.
Thomas Brown, Machermore and a horse.
Matthew Corner, tenant in Glenemucklach and horse.
James Willson, tenant in Belebranan and a horse.
Andrew Ralston, tenant in Knockstapel with a horse.
Willm. Pickan, Knokst. and horse.
(Name undecipherable) and horse.
William Ralston, Dalbue and horse.
John McKay, Achadaduie serve afoot, or horse.
James McKay, Achadaduie serve afoot.
David Reid, Achenclarey on horseback.
David Andrew, jun., Edin on horseback.
David Andrew, Edin on horseback.
John Huie, Kildavie afoot or horse.
James Pickan, Kildavie afoot or horse.
John Reid, Kildavie on horseback.
Peter Huie, Kildavie afoot.
Angus (his X mark) McEachran, Pennyland Miln, on foot.
John Kerral, Bronnerikin on horseback.
Angus Kerrall, Killmanchan on horseback.
Neal McEahran, Killmanchan on horseback.
Nill McGeachy, Cnockmoran on horseback.
John Forgin (?) on foot.
John McCoig, Cuildrain on horseback.
Neil McCoig, on foot.
John Reid, Pouilling serve on horse.
William McFarlane, Pouilling serve on horse.
Andrew Reid, serve on horse.
William Reid, serve on horse.
Donald Loinachan, Glenharvy serve on horse.
John Grenlies, Gartincorach to serve on horseback.
Neill Conley, Caintaig on horseback.
Donald McMichal, Glenmuirt on horseback.
Colin McEachran, Glenhervy on horseback.
John McEachran, Glenhervy on horseback.
Angus McIsaac, Faochag on horseback.
Archibald Donald (?) Faochag on horseback.
Robert Hall, Gleneharvy on horseback.
Nivin Turner, Penysorach on horseback.
Archibald Taylor, Auchruae on horseback.
James Hall, Pirdenknow, on horseback.
Wm. Hughie, Kildavie, on horseback.
Dun. McCoig, Penlaughter on horseback.
Dond. McKay, Eridell, on horseback.

A.I.B. Stewart

I approach this essay with more than usual diffidence as I have no gaelic and less knowledge of philology.

But a study of the early lists of Kintyre tenants has provoked certain thoughts which may be worth further examination by experts.

The earliest list is dated 1505 and was made at Kilkerran (Campbeltown) by the second Earl of Argyll, (the Crown Chamberlain appointed on the forfeiture in 1493 of John Macdonald Fourth and last Lord of the Isles) and David, Bishop of Argyll. (Exchequer Rolls XII.352 et seq).

In this list the 12 merkland of Carskey and Mull of Kintyre is shown as occupied by Hector McIain MacGilliecallum. He was in fact a McNeill and is given this name later in the list where he appears with the Earl as joint guarantor for Donald McGillicallum McGorre tenant of the 17 mkland of Killeonan. Although they did not trouble to get a feudal charter till 1700 McNeills continued to occupy Carskey till the male line failed in 1824.

In 1541 the tenant of Killeonan is shown as Cory McNeill McIllchallum. In 1596 most of this holding was occupied by Donald Dow McNeill. In 1605 it was said to be waste but in a decree obtained by the Earl against his Kintyre tenants in 1609 the occupier is named as Gillichollum McNeil McGorrie McNeill. In 1636 the occupier of inter alia 8 mklands of Killeonan is Archibald Roy McOlchallum. Killeonan appears to have been an important McNeill holding and it was there in 1594 that a Bond of Manrent was entered into between Sir James MacDonald, last of the MacDonalds of Kintyre, and various leading McNeills. I suggest that all the above named persons were really McNeills, that Archibald was the son of Malcolm McNeil, that the successors may have been Malcolm, Neil, Gorrie, Neil Malcolm & Archibald and that since at that period patronymics were becoming fixed as surnames Archibald and his descendants became McCallums.

It is not surprising that in the vicinity of Kilcolmkill, Southend, Kintyre, the traditional first landing place in Scottish Dalriada of St. Columba, there should be a special devotion to the Saint and that Gillecallum should be a popular christian name and that MacGi1lieca11um shortened to HcOlchal1um and eventually to McCallum should become the commonest local surname.

The names of the tenants in Gartingerriche in namely Gillicallim Mcgougane, Gillaspie McCallim and McCallim suggest that any Gillicallum (Malcolm) could rise to a family of McCallums.

Gorry was also at one time a popular McNeill Christian name and it seems to me probable that the 1505 Gillaspie Makquhar, Gillicallum McNeill HcQuhare and Donald McGillicallum McGorre were in fact all McNeills., Some of them were no doubt ancestors of McWarrichis and McWhirries who eventually became Englished as Curries. The name Weir which occurs as early as 1636 with Gillicallim Weir in Borgada1e and which recurs over the centuries may derive from the same source. In North Kintyre Curries may have derived from the McAllisters of Loup with whom 'Godfrey' or 'Gorrie' was even commoner than with the McNeil1s.

Most writers warn against confusing Maceachan, the family which held Tangy up to 1709 with Maceachran who had the lands of Killellan from at least 1499 up to 1740, apart from a forfeiture after Dunaverty. In Roman times Kintyre was known as the land of the Epidii, the horse people, and both names obviously derive from 'each', a horse, though Maceachan is translated as son of Hector while Maceachran is said to mean 'son of the horse Lord'.

It seems to me that an examination of the lists suggests that both names have a common origin and, in view of the fact that 'Hector' is the most persistent McNeill name, that they might well originally have derived from a Hecter McNeill, although I hasten to add there is no evidence for this latter proposition.

Colin Maceachran of Killellan, Mair of Fee of South Kintyre, is named with others of his family in the 1505 list, but the possessor of the neighbouring lands now known as Uigle and Auchencorvie is named as Gillaspie Makachane though elsewhere he is named Gillespie McAcherne with Colin McAcharne as surety. And is there any doubt that Acharne McCollin, surety for the tenant of Lephenstrath was the son of Colin McEachran of Killellan?

Others who appear in the lists are as follows:-

1505 1541
Knockriochbeg Angus Makacherne John Roy McAuchin
Kinloch John HcAcharne Neill McAuchane
Gillaspy McAuchane
Kearameanach Achern McAchern John McNawchan
Gartnawaye Angus McNachtan (Cardaway)
(Surety Colin McAcharne)
John McNauchane

In 1596 the two latter holdings are tenanted by Angus Maknachan or HcNachan, and in 1605 by John Dow McNachane and Angus McNachtane, respectively, though later in the list Kerrameanach is said to be tenanted by John HcKecherane. Are the two Johns the same?

By 1636 the joint tenants of Gartvaich and Kerromenach are shown as John Dow HcNachtane, Gillendreis McNachtane and Angus McNachtane, and McNaughtons continued to farm in the district for the next two hundred years.

One is bound to note the interchangeability in earlier years of the names McEachan and McEachran, and apparently the eventual adoption by some bearers of the earlier forms of the name McNaughton. On the basis of tha evidence it can, I think, be stated with confidence that these Kintyre McNaughtons had no connection with Dunderave, or with the Pict Nechtan from whom Black derives this surname. In South Kintyre at least it would appear to have come from an Eachan or Hector.

In North Kintyre and Knapdale the name McKichan no doubt derived from another Hector who may have been either a McNeill or a McAllister. This form in some cases became McKeich, McKeith and finally Keith.

Another name of local interest is McVicar, which first occurs in the person of Gilquhane McVicar, joint tenant with Hector McNeill, Carskey, of the Mull of Kintyre in 1591. However it is to be noted that in 1505 the Rector of Kilblaan (Southend) was Sir Morice McNeill who had a let of the Kilblaan lands. He died in 1527 and was succeeded by Gillicallum McNeill alias McPersone who was tenant of Kilchattan, Cristlach and Dalnauchlclk, also in the Southend district. We can see the tentative adoption of the surname McPherson by the son of a parson and no doubt the McVicars got their name in the same way and perhaps even from the same man. Certainly there were in later times strong family connections between the Carskey McNeil1s and the McVicar family.

By 1636 the old 4 mkland of the Mull of Kintyre occupied in 1505 by Hector McNeill, Carskey, and Neil HcMolan had been divided into several small farms named after their occupiers, Ballevcviccar, Ballevcilconeltiche Dnd 8allevccurnbra; the occupiers of the first named being Jon McViccar, Hew McViccar and Duncane his brother.

The descendants of the occupiers of the otller two farms eventually became Conleys and Montgomerys respectively.

A number of McMillans with various spellings are shown in the 1505 lists. They were obviously then a family of some importance in South Kintyre and I suggest that they, like the Kintyre McCallums and McEachrans, may well have had a local origin and did not necessarily immigrate from Knapdale.

It may be noted that "McKay", one of whom had received a charter from Robert Bruce, seems to have been stabi1ised as a surname earlier than most of the others. In 1541, apart from HcKaymore himself in Ardnacross, there are numerous McKays, particularly in North Kintyre, identified only by a Christian name. Two have the descriptive names of "Dow" and "Bain" attached but only one, the chief's son, has a patronymic, "John Evirmore McKay". By 1605 McAllister or McAlester is also becoming fixed as a surname.

Kintyre was of course McDonald country but only the head of the family and his nearest of kin bore the name. In 1609 we find Angus Illiche McGillispick HcInnes Illiche. McDonald and Alester Oig HcIllespick vc Angus Tilliche (sic). The original Angus Ilach was a younger son of lain Cathanach MacDonald of Dunnyveg and the Glens, executed for treason by James IV in 1496, and was the founder of the Sanda family. Alester Oig above mentioned was the second in descent being as indicated the son of Archibald who was the son of Angus of Islay. Alester was in due course succeeded by his son Archibald Mor who, with his son Archibald Oig, perished at Dunaverty. The Angus Illiche of 1609 was his younger brother.

The most important cadet branch of the Macdonalds in Kintyre - that of Largie, descended from Ranald Bane, a younger son of John Mar and Marjorie Bisset of Antrim and a grandson of John of Islay 1st Lord of the Isles. The head of this family in 1505 is named Donald McRynald Waan (McRanald Bane) and designed simply as the Laird of Largie in 1596 and 1605. It is not till 1636 that the name is written fully as Alexander MacDonald, Laird of Largie.

Such persistent local names as Omey and McShannon (then McO'Sennage) had already been fixed in 1505 but Macgillaspick does not seem to have survived, even as Gillespie, till 1541. Andrew HcKerral in "Kintyre in the Seventeenth Century" suggests that certain names including McCallum, McTavish and McConnachie came with the Campbells and that in particular Campbell of Inverawe brought the name McConnachie when he got a lease of 52 merklands of the forfeited Largie Estates in 1652. He was known as the MacConachie.

The list of 1636 is the first that actually' shows "the poor people that labouris the ground" as distinct from tacksmen. It contains some five hundred names and only one Campbell. There are however a number of the names of McCallim, McAvis and Mcconachie or Mcdonaehie. The name of Duncan Mcondoquhy Vane appears as early as 1605 in Kildavie though this farm is occupied by McNeills in 1609 and 1619. In the last two lists Donald McEanne vic Dondochie Kay and Donald McCondochie vic Can, presumably the same man and a McKay, is the tenant of Peninver etc. but if in these cases the name is clearly a patronynic ,it would appear to have been fixed as a surname in 1636.

What is remarkable is how many of the names in the 1636 list survive today in Kintyre though sometimes in a slightly altered form. McQuilkan, McKillop, McFater, McKendrick, McMurchy, McKerral, Sinclair, McKelvie, McGougan, McInnes, Gilchrist, McSporran, Matheson (in the form of McMath) Stalker (McStokkir) Mcllchere, NcKinlay, McLarty, McTaggart (then McIntaggirt) Kelly (then Okaldie) Taylor (then Mcintailer) McKellar McIvor Hyndman in addition to others mentioned above all occur in the 1636 list and are still well known in Kintyre while Neill McVretnich has no doubt Galbraith descendants to carry on the name.

The O'Brolachans however have become Brodies and the O'Loynachans (not mentioned in 1636) are Langs, while the O'Dreans became Hawthornes. The McCambridges are no longer here, though they flourish in County Antrim and there are no NcMarcuses though the Mcillephadris and Mcillephaddirs may be represented by the modern Patersons and the Mcillernarteines by the Martins.

Copyright belongs to the authors unless otherwise stated.

The Kintyre Antiquarian & Natural History Society was founded in 1921 and exists to promote the history, archaeology and natural history of the peninsula.
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