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Margaret Olympia Campbell.

A Memorial history of the Campbells of Melfort, Argyllshire : which includes records of the different highland and other families with whom they have intermarried online

. (page 1 of 13)
Online LibraryMargaret Olympia CampbellA Memorial history of the Campbells of Melfort, Argyllshire : which includes records of the different highland and other families with whom they have intermarried → online text (page 1 of 13)
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1917205 .



REYNOLDS HISTORICAli
GENEALOGY COLLECTlQIsI



ALLEN COUNTY PUBLIC UBRABY



3 1833 01219 7965



Digitized by the Internet Archive

in 2010 with funding from

Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center



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http://www.archive.org/details/memorialhistoryoOOcamp



A Memorial History



t.



(lite Olamylvulfe xrf M|l|ort



ARGYLLSHIRE.

WHICH INCLUDES RECORDS OF THE DIFFERENT HIGHLAND AND
OTHER FAMILIES WITH WHOM THEY HAVE
^ INTERMARRIED.



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"Air a' chuideachd chaomh so dh' fhai.bh uaim."
"Of the great and good who are cone."

OAEhlC SONG.



Pnntrb for .^ubsrribfrs anD Prilialr Cirnilatiun



LONDON:
SIMMONS ^K: HOTTEN, SHOE LANE, EC.

1882.



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A MEMORIAL HISTORY



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ARGYLLSHIRE.






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THE PASS OF MELFORT.



PREFACE.




1 E desire to preserve some record or memorial of the origin and
descent of the Family of Campbell of Melfort, has been inspired
by the wish to perpetuate the noble and patriotic duty of a race
during all time remarkable for their fidelity to their sovereign and
to the chief of their clan. We are instructed by the Highest
Authority that the glory of children are their fathers ; in this belief, and in expressing
the hope that the honourable devotion to duty in the past may be emulated in future
generations, I have been induced to undertake this labour of love, and to collate the
materials I have put on record.



In my researches, finding frequent mention of intermarriages between the families
of Campbells of Melfort, Achalader, Barcaldine, Lochend, Kinloch, Dunstaffnage,
and Duntroon, MacDougall of MacDougall, Maclachlan of Maclachlan, and Cameron
of Lochiel, I thought it might interest were some mention of each included in this
memorial of the Melfort family.



In bidding my worthy clansmen and fair clanswomen farewell, I do so with hearty
Xhanks for their sympathy in my labours, wishing prosperity and happiness to all who
may be sufficiently interested to devote a moment to the perusal of these, I fear, but
imperfect records of a family, whose lands, now possessed by strangers, might otherwise



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be forgotten. We may say with Ossian, " The chiefs of other times are departed ;
another race shall arise."

Lastly, I beg to express my thanks to my friend, I may say kinsman, Mr.
J. R. Scott, P'.S.A., for his kind advice and valuable help. The first idea of
collecting these Melfort records was awakened by the perusal of his valuable and
standard work both of family and historical interest in which he perpetuates the
records of the Scott (Baliol) family of Scots Hall, Kent.

To members of my own family, my recognition of their kind assistance is also
due, and hereby tendered.

• , '•'•■ '-'i' ' ■ "■ •■ '■'■ ' M.\RGARET Ol.VMPIA CaMPBELL.



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December, 1881.






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CONTENTS.



HISTOKY, LINEAGE, AN'I) I'EDIGREES I.— VII. OF THE CAMPIiELLS OF MELFORT . . i

RECORD, LINEAGE, AND PEDIGREE VIII. OF THE CAMPBELLS OF ACHALADER . . 20

RECORD, LINEAGE, AND PEDIGREE IX. OF THE MACDOUGALLS OF MACDOUGALL . 50

RECORD, LINEAGE, AND PEDIGREE X. OF THE CAMPBELLS OF LOCHEND . . .56

RECORD, LINEAGE, AND PEDIGREE XI, OF THE CAMPBELLS OF KINLOCH . . .63

SHORT NOTICES OF THE FAMILIES OF CAMPBELLS OF BARCALDINE, MACLACHLAN
OF MACLACHLAN, CAMERON OF LOCHIEL, AND THE CAMPBELLS OF DUNSTAFF-
NAGE AND DUNTROON 72

PEDIGREES OF THE DESCENDANTS IN THE FEMALE LINE OF THE CAMPBELLS OF

MELFORT, XII.— XVIII S5

APPENDIX.

CHARTERS AND DOCUMENTS. ,oy

A LAMENT ^^y

NOTES ...



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ILLUSTRATIONS.



THE PASS OF MELFORT ......••■ FrontispU;

CREST, ARMS, AN!) HAD(;KS (JF THE CAMPliELLS OF ARCYLL ■ Tojiue page
MEMORIAL CROSS. . . . . . . . ...

LIKENESSES OF SO.ME MEMBERS oF THE MELFORT FAMILY ... ,. '



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ERRATA.



Page \l, for 1264, read 1254.

19, Pedigree \\\., fvr Handon, read Ilendon.
2S., Pedigree W ., fur 13 read 16.
„ 34, Note \\\ for 1842, read 1846.



Crrst, ^rms, anti Datigfs nf t\}t €am^hdh of ^rgnll.




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A HISTORY



CAMPBELLS OF MELFORT

(PATRONYMIC, MACNIELL),



.^botoing Bfscfnt from tlj^ Ctlan Campbdl of ^rg^Il.



T/„\ History is awipilvd from CHARTERS, RECORDS, ami HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS.



^^^#^HE lands and Barony of Melfort were granted by King David Bruce

(K%^^ to Sir Archibald Campbell, Knight of Lochaw, for his loyalty and

'Xiy'^ faithful service, to be held by the said Archibald and his heirs male

'^^ of the king and his heirs for service usual and wont, dated at Aberdeen,

T 2nd May, 1343.

There is also a confirmation of the same, dated 14th March, 136S. In this last
Charter there is notice of Duncan MacDuine, Baron of Lochaw, as progenitor of the
Karls of Argyll.

Extracts from Royal Commission on Historical AfSS., from Argyll MSS.,
'■■'■'' by IV. Eraser, Es,/.



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2 A HISTORY OF THE CAMPBELLS OF MELFORT,

The progenitor of the Cnmpbells of Kenmor (now Melfort) is described in the
Argyll records as Niel, grandson of Sir Niel Campbell, and son of Sir Colin
by a daughter of Ildhui of Mull ; a lineal descent from father to son is clearly
shown until the death of Colonel John Campbell in iS6), who was succeeded by his
nephew.

Colonel John Campbell sold the lands of his forefathers in 1S38. The lands in the
lordship of Melfort were bestowed on Niel and his descendants. There is no record ol
the exact date.

The first charter now in possession bears date ist September, '1502. It is by Sir
Archibald Campbell, in favour of Nigel, who on the decease of his father, Dugald,
surrendered the lands to his chief of clan, according to the then usage ; each heir, on
succeeding, received a fresh charter granting him the lands.

In each charter a minute description of the different farms and islands is orjven.
The charter of 1502, by its details, clearly shows that earlier charters existed. The
chief of clan never renewed the grant of lands without the legal deeds showing titles to
them. As the lands of Argyll were twice forfeited to the crown, many of the older
charters and MSS. have been lost in transfer ; have perished by age or lack of

tlue care.

f

According to the Melfort charters and deeds, it would appear that the lands of
Melfort were strictly entailed, and that failing the Campbells of Melfort, they would
revert to the chief of clan and his heirs. They were held, as was the usao-e in those
times, on the tenour of military service ; the Campbells of Melfort had also in addition
to provide, fully manned, a galley of six oars (afterwards eight), for the service of
their chief

It was usual for those who held their land from their chief to pay a tribute in kind.
The Melforts were exempt from this ; but the heir on succeeding had to throw down a
glove at the cross of Inverary, in token of fealty, and that he would support his chief
and fight in his service. These ancient customs and usages became obsolete when the
Dulie of Argyll resigned his feudal privileges into the hands of the sovereign, about
the time of the union of the two countries.

One of these ancient feudal customs was revived to do honour to the present Duke
of Argyll when he brought home his bride. Twelve of the clan who had held their
lands of their chief of clan, amongst them Colonel John Camjjbell of Melfort, held each
a halbert in front of the castle, in presence of the Duke and Duchess, on their arrival, to
show they were ready to defend the interests of their chief to the last.



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A HISTORY OF THE CAMPBELLS OF MELFORT. 3

It may be interesting- now to record an old custom peculiar to the Campbells of
Dunstaffnage, Duntroon, and Melfort. When the head of the family died, the chief
mourners would be the other two lairds ; one supported the head to the grave, the other
walked before the corpse. In this manner Iriendship took the place of the nearest con-
sanguinity, for even the eldest son was not permitted to interfere with this arrangement.
This legendary custom was carried out, for the last time, at the funeral of Colonel John
Cani[)bell, 1861, when Dunstaflnage took his iilace as chief mourner.

From historical records, it is shown that the descendants of the Argylls followed
the fortunes of their chief, and we find John Campbell of Melfort disinherited, and lands
forfeited to the crown and bestowed on the Earl of Perth, 168 1, reign of James II.
of England. The Earl of Perth still holds the citle of Earl of Melfort. At this period
the chief of clan was the Earl of Argyll, who was beheaded in ^685 ; he was son of the
good Marquis who suffered a hke fate in (661. John Campbell the younger, of
Melfort, Lord Niel Campbell, of Ardmaddy, brother of the Earl, and others, were
likewise condemned for treason, 168 L In 1669 Campbell of Melfort, with others, were
appointed to raise supplies in Argyllshire.

In 1 68 9 the title of Earl and the lands were restored to Lord Lome,
son oi the ate Earl. He was one of the few Scots peers who came from Holland and
landed at Torbay, t688, with the Prince of Orange, afterwards William III. In 1690
a petition was sent up to Parliament for compensation for losses sustained by ravages
committed by the troops of the Duke of Gordon, Marquis of Athol, and others. Amongst
the sufferers a long list is given of damages and losses sustained in cattle and other pro-
perty by the Melforts (or Kenmors, as then designated). In this list is given the
names of the followers of the Melforts — the MacDermits, MacColls, MacCallums,
MacOran, and others who occupied the different farms. These names are now there
unknown ; they have all passed away.

We have also a record of John Campbell of Melfort, and his son Dugald, sending in
estimates of their losses in 1643 by the raid of Alister Macdonald, called Colkitto, from
being left-handed, a Scoto Irishman, who landed from Ireland on the west coast of
Scotland, with a large body of auxiliaries, to join Montrose. The following story is
related of this raid : — Colkitto and his men devastated the whole country, burning and
destroying all before them, and overrunning the lands of Melfort. On arriving at the
house of ArdinstLir, they found only the lady of Melfort and her attendants ; all the
men were out with their chief, antl were then lying in wait for Montrose. The lady
received Colkitto with courtesy and hospitality, and he was so won by her fearlessness
and kindness, that on taking leave he gave orders that her house and possessions should
be held sacred. What was his dismay when upon ascending a hill at some distance, he
saw the house in flames ! One of his men had remained behind, and had thus rewarded
the hosijitality she had shown them. Colkitto, furious that his promise to the lady



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4



A HISTORY OF THE CAMPBELLS OK MELFORT.



should be broken, caused the miscreant to be hanged on the top of the hill ; it is still
known in Gaelic as " Tom na crocken," viz., " hill of hanging."

The house of Ardinstur was rebuilt. It was occupied by the family until 1808,
when a new house, on a different part of the property, was erected by Capt. Archibald
Cam[)bell. The first house was called l'\:rnoch ; it was situated on the part ol lli<
estate of that name ; some of the old letters and pajjers are dated from it.

In the charters and deeds they are called Campbells of Kenmor in the lordship ot
Melfort. Kenmor is a conspicuous height overlooking the inner margin of the loch.
They were probably known as Campbells of Kenmor from this feature.

Also in old histories and records we find Loch Melfort called " Loch na Meal-
phord," which in Gaelic signifies the " Loch of the smooth round bay :" the surrounding
lands no doubt took their name from it. " Mael," in Gaelic, also means something
shining, pleasant, sweet, bright ; it well describes the lands lying round the loch, under
the wooded heights, which enjoying a southern and western asi)ect, nestle in the bright
warm sunshine.

There still remains in the possession of the family the small proijerty of Kilchoan,
situated at the western extremity of the estate. In order to facilitate the sale of the
lands by her son. Colonel John Campbell, his mother accepted Kilchoan as her d6wer_
in e.xchange for lands originally forming her marriage settlement, which lay in the centre
of the estate. This small property came into the possession of Lieut. Archibald W.
Frederick Campbell, nephew to Colonel John Campbell. He left it to his mother : on
her death, in 1S80, it reverted to her daughter, now Mrs. Paterson. Kilchoan, according
to tradition, was, in the days of old, held by the Bards of Argyll, the MacEwens, in
virtue of their office. After these times, history records that holy men from lona, sent
by Columba to Christianize the inhabitants, settled on this spot. A religious house was
built by them, surrounded by a wall enclosing a garden, the' earth for which was brought
from lona. Into the wall were introduced ilues for the conveyance of hot air to ripen
the fruit. A fine avenue of trees marked the road leading up to the gateway, and near
the gateway still llourishes a fine old yew tree, beneath which stood a stone lor hoi)-
water.

There are traces of the road and avenue, and also remains of the wall and of
the house ; the latter is now occupied as a barn and stable. It is beautifully situatetl on .1
steep slope, which descends from the wild moorland down to Melfort Cottage. Its site
commands an e.xtensive view over Loch Melfort and the ocean beyond, with its beautilul
islands of Scarba, Soel, Sluina, Luing, and others ; the high hills of Jura in the distance.
Some part of Kilchoan was originally included in the estate of INIelfort ; the remainder
came into possession by ptirchase from the Maclachlans, whose property it then was. It



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A HISTORY OF THE CAMPBELLS OF MELFORT. 5

is said a Maclachlan was the last Bishop of the olden times. We find the Maclachlans
, held Kilchoan by charter from the Earls of Argyll ; the first charter is dated 1669, the
' second and last dated 1729.

i

I On the shore, close to the loch, were a chapel and burial ground ; the foundations

L of the chapel, in the form of a cross, were discovered a few years ago, when the Ordnanci-
Survey was being carried out, and many stones and other relics have from time; to timi-
I been found. The prefix " Kil" denotes a burial-place.

Amongst other features of interest is a commanding height, situated on the steeps

lying back from the shore of the loch on which, it is said, stood a beacon tower, liifhted

i up in times of danger to warn the followers and neighbours of the laird to arms. This

' eminence is called in Gaelic the " Moulachandoon," viz., big round height ; it also signifies

I the Pig's Back. ■ ' ■. .

I

The property was sold by Colonel John Campbell to a powder manufacturing com-
pany ; its fine trees of various kinds being valuable to them. The cutting down of these
trees destroyed one of its attractive features ; but nothing could efface the natural beauty
derived from its situation. These woods were once a famous covert for deer.

The Bass of Melfort, which forms the entrance to the estate fnjm the north, is wiUl,
picturesque, and romantic ; its rocky heights, on either side, partially clothed by trees,
ferns, and mosses, form a barrier to the river Oude, which leaping and foaming over its^
rocky bed, discourses sweet music, as it at length quietly glides into the loch below. In
1824 a road was cut through the Pass ; hitherto the only access to the estate from the
north was by a rugged pathway over the hills and moors.

The [M'operty was subsequently sold by the powder company to Keith IMacLellan,
Es(|., 1S74, in whose possession it now remains, 1881.

No account of a Highland family would be thought complete which could not tell
some story of second sight or other mystery ; but there is little of this kind to relate of
the Melforts. Possibly, as all the old people are gone, many stories and trailitions of
tht; kind are lost. There remains, however, one perfectly authenticated ghost story.
Mrs. Giunpbell, of Melfort, four of whose sons were at the time (1801 — 3) serving in
India, was one night startled by seeing her youngest son. Lorn, standing by her
bedside, looking sadly at her. She marked down the month and the day. Some long
time after, she received the mournful tidings that her son had fallen on that day, in the
battle of Assaye.

The only mystery left to record is of a light which appears, at times, over one spot
on a bank near the river Oude, and which, on approaching, disappears, to the terror iA



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6 A HISTORY OK THE CAMPBELLS OF MELFORT.

the beholder. Curious to relate, when the present possessor of the estate was making a
new road, it necessitated a cutting- through this bank, which broughi. to light two stone
coffins, of which the stones were simply placed together withoui any fastenings. One of
these coffins was square, and contained the ashes of ?. man; .he skul' and some of the
bones remained unburnt. In the coffin was a flint, such as was used in very ancient da)s
for striking a light.

The other coffin was long in shape ; in it were the remains of a female and her
urnaments, a necklace and bracelet. The necklace was o" jet, with ; ,Dattem engraved
on it. Its design was remarkable, of an Oriental character; -t is said to be the most
perfect of that description ever discovered. This jet is found on the sea coast. The
bracelet is of copper, ornamented with tracery.

It is over this spot the light is seen. A bridge has been built there, across the
river, but the light still remains. No further search was made, in deference to the super-
stitious feelings of the work-people. The coffins and their contents were buried in
the Kilmelfort churchyard.

This mystery is not to be solved ; but it points to very ancient times, probably
to the days before Arthur, knight of the round table, or of the clan MacDuimhn.

According to old custom, the burial-place of the family remains in their possession.
It is situated not very distant from the house and grounds. Captain Archibald Campbell
was the first of the family who was laid in it.

The old burial-place of the Melforts is in the churchyard at Kilmelfort. In it
the Melforts and their followers found their last resting-place. There is an old tra-
dition that here was once the chancel of a church ; no trace of it remains.

In 1S73, on this spot, was erected an lona cross, by the surviving members of
the family, to the memory of the MacNeill Campbells of Melfort. The inscription
placed on it is as follows : —



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THE MEMORIAL CROSS.



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.S A IIISTORV OK THE CAMPBELLS OF MELKORT.

Although there exist no authentic records of collateral branches, yet the late Sir
James Campbell of Stracathro traced his descent from a Campbell of Mclfort. In a
h'tier written in 1870 to Colonel P. J. Campbell, R. H.A., lie gave the following account
ot the tradition of their descent which was held by the funily.

A young Campbell of Melfort was outlawed for killing, or being supposed to have
killed, a man in a duel or quarrel. He came in disguise to Monteith, and was received
into the service of the Earl of Monteith ; he had rapid promotion, and soon came to
have a principal charge of the Earl's household. It was believed from the first that the
Earl was aware who the stranger was. He then married Miss Haldane, a niece of the
Earl of Monteith and a daughter of Haldane of Landreck Castle, who were afterwards
the Haldanes of Airthray.

The young couple were settled on the farm of Inchanoch, which belonged to the
Earl of Monteith, where they and their descendants bore the name of MacOran ; so the
name was spelt latterly, but it is believed to have had a slightly different form at an
earlier period. It is said to be the contraction of a Gaelic name, signifying " Son of an
honest man." In accordance with the belief that MacOran was only an assumed name,
many of the family who left the district adopted that of Campbell. Sir James's father,
the last of the family who occu[jied Inchanoch, resumed the name of Campbell on
removing to Glasgow with his family. Such had been the relations of the family with
the Earl of Monteith, that Sir James's grandfather was the first who paid any rent for
the land. At the death of the last Earl of IMonteith it passed into the hands of the
G<irtmore family.

According to calculation made by the family, they suppose the Melfort of this
romantic story was born about 1649.

To corroborate their connection with the family, two of their farms, redeemed from
the Moss, were called Eastern and Western Lome. Sir James's elder brother John
purchased property in the State of New York, where he has established himself

In the lifetime of Sir James's father and grandfather. Captain Niel Campbell of
Melfort was a frequent visitor at Inchanoch. On the invitation of Captain Niel
Campbell, Sir James Campbell's father, when a young man, paid a visit to the family of
Melfort ; he had a promise of a commission from them if he would enter the army.


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Online LibraryMargaret Olympia CampbellA Memorial history of the Campbells of Melfort, Argyllshire : which includes records of the different highland and other families with whom they have intermarried → online text (page 1 of 13)