Tuesday, July 29, 2014

1685 - The Executions at Inveraray

[This is a series of articles on the year 1685.  It may be helpful to read the Overview first.]

July 1685

On June 24th the Privy Council of Scotland issued a proclamation "to prosecute and persew those execrable Rebells and traitors untill they be apprehended and brought  to condign punishment."  For "there are severalls of that hellish crew not yet taken, who may skulk and lurk in this our realme with these of their partie and be sheltered by disaffected persones.."

After the 9th Earl of Argyll had been executed (June 30th in Edinburgh at the hands of the Maiden) there was still a fear of rebellion from the scattered forces of Argyll and perhaps a desire to teach these rebels a lesson.  The recently dismissed forces of the Marquess of Atholl were recalled to the Highlands to round up the rebels.  "The heritors were to be captured and executed."

John Murray, the Marquess of Atholl, watched from the towering hill of Duniquaich as his forces surrounded the small town and castle at Inveraray, the home of Clan Campbell  (Legends, p. 252)  It was only a short while before the overwhelming forces convinced the rebels to surrender.

Faux tower on Dun-na-Cuaich today.  Also site of a legendary fort?
Dun-na-Cuaich as seen from the current Inveraray Castle.  The old castle was just to the right of this picture.  The old town of Inveraray was in the opposite direction... from this fence down to Loch Fyne .

Alastair Campbell (Vol III, p. 58) states that "Atholl carried out his orders with enthusiasm.  Among those captured and imprisoned in the tolbooth at Inveraray were John Campbell of Carrick, Alexander Campbell of Dunstaffnage, Archibald Campbell of Inverawe, John Campbell of Ballinaby, John Campbell - Baile of Jura, Donald Campbell of Scamadale, Donald Campbell of Achawulin, Colin Campbell of Glennan, Dougal Campbell - brother germane to the Laird of Glencaradell, and Angus Campbell - brother to Skipness."

Atholl issued a proclamation that all landed proprietors in Argyllshire were to go to Inveraray and swear allegiance to King James II.  Doing so would win them indemnity for any rebellious acts and restitution of their lands.

According to legend many complied, but 80 delayed to the final day.  When they arrived at Inveraray they were told it was too late, made prisoners, tried, found guilty, and sentenced to die.  They pleaded their case to the King, "but some gentlemen of the Grahams (related to John Graham of Claverhouse?  see article on Bonnie Dundee) were at Inveraray, who had great animosity against the Campbells on account of the execution of Montrose their Chief (after Cromwell came to power?)" and they proceeded to carry out the executions themselves.  By the time the King's reply came and put an end to the rampant killings, seventeen had been hanged.  "A monument is put up to these 17 gentlemen at the place where they were hanged, at Rua-na-hard-rainich, where the town now stands, and near the church." (Legends, p. 266) [The account of the lead officer, Patrick Stewart of Ballechin, says that he "hanged seventeen Campbell lairds from the walls of Inveraray."  p.8]

Despite this legendary account, the answers to the questions of how many were executed and who they were, are unfortunately unclear.   Most of those named in the tolbooth of Inveraray appear to have been spared.  Were the lesser lairds the victims of these executions?  These low-level "leaders" of the rebellion had fewer connections and wealth to buy their banishment than the powerful men whose names are recorded above.

Adventures in Legend's account continues...  "The plundering of the country went on gaily.  It is wonderful that there was anything left to carry off.  McIan of Glencoe was especially proud of this own part of the loot, which consisted of MacCailen's [with the 9th Earl dead, his eldest son Archibald was now MacCailen, Chief of Clan Campbell] calf, cows, and two dairymaids.  All fishing boats and nets which could not be carried off from Loch Fyneside were burnt.  They took with them all the butter, cheese, and clothes, besides the horses, sheep, cows, and goats."

This monument on the grounds of Inveraray Castle "...commemorates the execution by the 1st Marquis of Atholl of seventeen Campbell leaders in 1685..."

This monument was first erected in 1754.  It now stands on the grounds of Inveraray Castle to the north of the bridge towards Dun-na-Cuaich.
The inscription is in Latin:
Sacrum Memorice Colini Fratris Germani Gualteri Campbell de Skipness qui inter alios
Evangelica Religionis et Libertatis Populi Tenaces
injustce occubuit
Neci Anno D'ni  MDCLXXXV 
"Scilicet adversis probitas exercita rebus,
Tristi Materiam tempore laudis habet" [from Ovid]
Roughly translated...
To the sacred memory of Colin, the brother-germane of Walter Campbell of Skipness, among other adherents of Evangelical Religion and Liberty of the People, who were unjustly killed in the year 1685.
"To wit, against the honesty of actions, at the time of sorrow, affords a theme for praise." [Ovid]
Marker to the left of the Monument.

Inscription on monument - top half.

Inscription on monument - bottom half

Alistair Campbell, A History of Clan Campbell, Vol 3, p. 59.
Marquess of Lorne, Adventures in Legend, p. 251-264

Monday, July 28, 2014

1685 - The Capture of the "Campbells In Kildalvan"

[This is part of  a series of articles on the year 1685.  You might want to read the Overview first.]

June 19, 1685

The last days of the Argyll rebellion were spent mostly in the shire of Dumbarton.

According to the "Book of Dumbartonshire" Argyll's army crossed the River Leven at Balloch (very close to Loch Lomond) on the night of June 16.  On the 17th they diverted to Kilmaronock to find food.  Confronted by the King's forces they decided not to fight, but to make for the lowlands on a night march.  The darkness and the difficulty of the march through the marshes presented an opportunity for desertion.  When the forces regrouped in Kilpatrick on the 18th only 500 remained.

Argyll's army crossed the River Leven at Balloch, then sought refreshment near Kilmaronock.  The night march to Kilpatrick was more difficult than the 7 miles shown on the map.  Argyll crossed the River Clyde to Renfrewshire, but most of his forces were dispersing.  Many were captured in the area marked by the red oval.
From their testimonies, it appears that Joel's grandfather, Robert, deserted the 9th Earl on June 18th.  Robert and his brothers John and David, and his father Archibald were all in Argyll's army.

They are referred to as "Campbells in Kildalvan."  That is much different than "Campbells of Kildalvan."  For more detailed summary of the Highland customs of titles see Appendix I by Alastair Campbell in Vol I p. 200 of A History of Clan Campbell.  The form 'of' denotes ownership, whereas the form 'in' denotes a tenant or tacksman.  Archibald Campbell in Kildalvan and his sons, John, Robert, and David were tenants on the land of John Campbell of Kildalvan.  Major lairds were often referred to simply by the name of their lands ("Argyll", "Breadalbane", "Auchinbreck", etc.).

Robert stated that "he seperat the night before the defeat from Argyles forces."  The capture of the 9th Earl of Argyll, Archibald Campbell, occurred on June 19th, so this agrees with the desertion date of the 18th.  The location and date of Robert's capture is not stated.

John, Robert's brother, stated that he "was apprehended by Carsburne in his way home."  Perhaps further research into the exploits of one "Carsburne" can help pin down the time and place of John's capture.  The lands of Carsburne were near Greenock (west of Glasgow).  Both Crawfords and Murrays held this title, however I could not find any specific references to an officer in the King's forces of that title.

The records of the Privy Council contain the depositions of many of the captured deserters.  Most state that they were captured very close to Dumbarton as they were heading home to the west.  That area is shown by the red oval in the map above.

Others imprisoned in Canongate and deposed at the same time as the Campbells in Kildalvan said they were captured in "Kirkpatrick" or "beyond Kilpatrick".  Today this area is shown on the map as Old Kilpatrick.  It is just on the other side of the River Clyde from where Argyll was captured.

Looking over Old Kilpatrick towards the Erskine Bridge which spans the River Clyde.
Another was taken "near Levin."  Surely he means the River Leven.  Several were taken "neir Dumbartoun."  Another "above Duntreath."  [Duntreath Castle is about 9 miles NE of Dunbarton 56.013466, -4.346969]  One taken at Dumbarton says he was taken by the "Laird of Cowgraine." [Perhaps this is "Colgrain" in the Parish of Cardross in Dumbartonshire.]

It is very likely that Archibald Campbell, a tenant farmer in Kildalvan, and his sons, John, Robert, and David, were captured on June 18 or 19 in the area of Dumbarton.  The local landmark of Dumbarton Castle was probably in their view as they were made prisoners.

Dumbarton Castle and River Leven
An undated letter from Edinburgh included in the Atholl Chronicles Vol I p. 244 describes June 20th, the day on which Argyll was paraded up the Canongate to Edinburgh.  In the same paragraph he states that "This day ther is a great many prisoners coming in to town."   He is likely writing this letter on June 21st or shortly thereafter.  It is probable that the Campbells in Kildalvan are part of this group of captured rebels to be incarcerated in the many gaols around Edinburgh.

Although many rebels were still at large, it appears that most of those captured at a later date were captured and imprisoned closer to the Highlands. For more on those affairs see "1685 - The Executions at Inveraray."

Saturday, July 26, 2014

1685 - Overview

This is the first in a series of blogs about the year 1685.
[Author's Note: These articles along with additional content were published in 2015 in both hard cover and paperback editions. 1685 - The Year that Changed Scotland and Clan Campbell]

1685 May - The Legendary Escape of Lord Lorne - Eldest Son of the 9th Earl of Argyll
1685 May 15 - Anna MacKenzie - Countess of Argyll
1685 June 1 - Glendaruel - The last recruitments of Argyll's Army
1685 June 2 - Eilean Dearg - The Small Island Fortress of the Argyll Rebellion
1685 June 12 - Kildalvan in Glendaruel - Part 1
1685 June 12 - Kildalvan in Glendaruel - Part 2
1685 June 18 - The Cochranes and Bonnie Dundee 
1685 June 18 - The Argyll Stone
1685 June 19 - The Capture of the "Campbells In Kildalvan"
1685 June 20 - The Netherbow Port
1685 June 20 - John Campbell - Grandson of the 9th Earl Falls out of a Window
1685 June 22 - Canongate Tolbooth and the Declaration of Robert Campbell
1685 June 23 - The Fall of Carnassarie Castle
1685 June 30 - Edinburgh Castle and the Argyle Tower
1685 June 30 - "The Laigh Council House" and Argyll's Final Letters
1685 June 30 - The Maiden
1685 June 30 - The Mercat Cross
1685 July 15 - Dunstaffnage Castle
1685 July - The Executions at Inveraray
1685 Late July or Early August - Banished!
1685 August 13 - Lord Neil Campbell - Younger Brother of the 9th Earl - Settler of New Jersey
1685 August 18 - George Scot of Pitlochie
1685 September 5 - The Harbor of Leith
1685 December - The Henry and Francis
1685 - Epilogue and Bibliography

Why 1685?

This was a traumatic year for the Campbell Clan in general, perhaps the worst of all years.  Worse than 1745 when the clans were essentially abolished (Campbells happened to be on both sides of that conflict at Culloden, but mostly on the side of the victors).  Worse than 1513 when the Clan leader, Archibald Campbell, 2nd Earl of Argyll, was killed at the Battle of Flodden along with his king and many of his clan.

1685 was also a traumatic year for the grandfather of Joel Campbell.  Joel's grandfather was Robert Campbell.  The timing of Robert's arrival in New Jersey and our DNA signature that maps closely to Highland Campbells, make us believe that this is the same Robert Campbell that arrived at Perth Amboy on the ship called the Henry & Francis in December of 1685.  Admittedly, this series of articles stands on that rather large leap of faith, but it makes the story much more interesting.

The year started with the death of Charles II, the King of England/Scotland/Ireland, on February 6.    Charles II had executed the 8th Earl of Argyll (Archibald Campbell) in 1661 and had passed the same judgement on his son, the 9th Earl.  The 9th Earl, also named Archibald, sat in the Netherlands in exile.  So how much worse could the new king be?

The childless Charles II was succeeded by his younger brother James II.  James II was from the royal Scottish line so was also known as James VII of Scotland, but that did not mean the Scottish had a strong liking for him.  In fact his conversion to Catholicism and his marriage to the Italian Catholic Mary of Modena raised suspicions that he would reinject Catholicism into the government.  One of their main religious objections was their refusal to recognize a King as the head of the church.

Charles II had an illegitimate son, also exiled in the Netherlands, who was commonly known as the Duke of Monmouth.  The 36 year old Duke also fancied himself as an heir to the throne.

Over beers in Amsterdam the Duke and Argyll decided to mount a two front attack on England and Scotland.  They sailed in May.  By mid July they were both defeated and beheaded.

The Campbells who supported their chief lost their lands and were subject to rape, pillage, and slaughter.  In Inveraray a monument stands to remember seventeen Campbell leaders executed close to that spot.  Those with means and connections were able to sail to the Netherlands, France, or the colonies in America.  They often took with them convicted criminals and malcontents as their indentured servants.  These were prisoners that the Kings men were more than happy to be rid of.

1685 ended with the Campbell Clan leader dead, his heir in exile, his lands and titles forfeited, his people's homes, farms, livestock destroyed, his cadets scattered or dead, and his religion persecuted.  It had been a very bad year.

If this overview leaves you a bit confused, don't be alarmed.  These were times that cannot be explained with our current norms of church and state, clan loyalty and royalty, feudal power and religious freedom.  The other articles in the series are intended to stand alone. Hopefully they can be enjoyed without a complete understanding of the motives of the individual actors and the political and religious conditions of Scotland in 1685.

1685 - Eilean Dearg - The Small Island Fortress of the Argyll Rebellion

[This is part of  a series of articles on the year 1685.  You might want to read the Overview first.]

June 2, 1685

On about this date it was decided to use a small island as a cache for the ammunitions of the rebel forces of Archibald Campbell, the 9th Earl of Argyll.  The island's name was Eilean Dearg which in Gaelic means "Red Island" but was locally known as "One-tree Island."  In Gaelic the "D" is pronounced as a hard "G" so it was sometimes spelled as Eilean Gherraig, and was further corrupted (or simplified) to Ellangreg.  Note that among those who lost lands after the rebellion was one "Colin Campbell of Ellangreig."

It was a very small island, about two thirds the size of an American football field.  But clearly big enough for more than a lone tree.

Satellite View of Eilean Dearg
The island was located in the bay into which the Ruel River runs.   The Ruel River valley is where the Earl had been doing his last bit of frantic "recruiting."  Many would call it "impressing" or forcing the inhabitants into the army.  (More on that in the article on Glendaruel.)

The Ruel River Valley, or Glendaruel, was part of the Campbell lands.  It was where my ancestor Robert Campbell and his father Archibald were tenant farmers.  Part of the tenant agreement was an understanding that the tenant would go into battle at the command of his master.  Robert's master was John Campbell of Kildalvan. (More on that in the article on Kildalvan)

This bay was well protected from the ocean.  For starters, it sat between two peninsulas of the region known as Cowal.  The bay was called Loch Riddon.  [The Scots seem to call every body of water a lake or "loch."] At the outlet of the bay sat a larger island, the Isle of Bute, giving yet more protection to the bay and to Eilean Dearg.

Map of Cowal showing location of Eilean Dearg in Loch Riddon
A further protection was the shallow waters between the Isle of Bute and the two Cowal peninsulas.  These were called the Kyles of Bute.  They were so shallow that the drovers pushed their cattle and sheep across at low tide.  The large ships of the Royal Navy would jeopardize their vessels if they tried to maneuver this far.

Joel's grandfather [Joel is the namesake of this blog.  You can read his short bio and genealogy here.] was on this island while he was briefly in the rebel army.  Joel's grandfather's name was Robert Campbell.   Robert's deposition appears in the Privy Records of Scotland dated August 21, 1685.  "Robert Campbell, sone to Archibald Campbell in Kiltalvien, and declaires that he saw Kildalven [his master John Campbell of Kildalvan] in Allencraig [Eilean Dearg, the island fortress of the 9th Earl in Loch Riddon] and he separet the night before the defeate from Argyles forces, and that he ownes the Kings authority."  

Robert's father, Archibald, also testified regarding island's garrison.  He stated "Elandgreg [undoubtedly Colin Campbell of Ellangreg] keept the garisone of Eland Greg [Eilean Dearg]."

The life of the island fortress was short.  The Royal Navy did manage to navigate up to Loch Riddon and bombed the bejesus out of the fort.  It has lain in ruins since.

On an extremely rainy day I attempted to view the island from the east shores of Loch Riddon.  Unfortunately, the shore road deviates away from the Loch at the point where the island sits.  The land is all private and the rain decreased my desire to trespass.  I did manage to get a zoom shot through a hole in the wet leaves.

Eilean Dearg from the East Shore of Loch Riddon
On the following day I pulled off at a scenic overlook on the opposite side of Loch Riddon to find I was looking right down on the fabled Eilean Dearg.

Eilean Dearg is on the far left.  The Isle of Bute is in the upper right.  The small islands near the droving point can be seen in the Kyle of Bute top middle.
Eilean Dearg from overlook on west side of Loch Riddon.
There are couple of excellent articles and more references to the story of the island here.

Also see the RCAHMS listing.