Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Commons of Argyll Part II - Fencible Men

The Commons of Argyll is a very short book.  It is a transcription of some of the Inveraray Sheriff Court Records.  The first part of the book is a list of names of suspected rebels in the uprising of 1685.   (See previous blog)   The second part is a list of names of "fencibles" in the shires of Argyll and Tarbet.

Of particular interest to descendants of Archibald Campbell (the great grandfather of Joel...namesake of this blog) is the status of his village of Kildalvan in 1692, the date of the census of fencibles.

In 1685, the area of Kildalvan was ravaged and plundered.  Many homes in Argyll were destroyed and the livestock confiscated.  The laird of Kildalvan, John Campbell, was listed among the "common" rebels, but apparently he was not banished as were his tenants.   Those tenants were Archibald Campbell and his three sons.  Campbell of Kildalvan did lose his lands, livestock, and tenants.

Only four years later the tide had turned significantly.  In 1689 King James II abdicated and William and Mary acceded to the throne.  The 10th Earl of Argyll (the son of the leader of the Argyll rebellion in 1685) returned to Scotland with the new royalty.  His lands, titles, and lines were restored.

Lord Neil Campbell (the 10th Earl's uncle), who had emigrated to New Jersey at the same time as the Henry & Francis sailed, returned to participate in the restoration of Campbell lands.

John Campbell of Kildalvan sought restitution, even asking for compensation for his lost tenants. Those tenants included Archibald Campbell and his three sons who had been banished from the kingdom.  One of the sons was Robert Campbell, grandfather to Joel (namesake of this blog.)

Campbell of Kildalvan was restored to his lands, but all was not peaceful in Scotland.  In May of 1692 the fencibles were called out "for putting the Countrey in a posture of Defence against an Invasion of French and Irish Papists."

Fencibles were generally considered to be all able-bodied men between sixteen and sixty years of age.  The returns for fencibles from Argyllshire were preserved in the papers of the Inveraray Sheriff Court.  Two men were enumerated as fencibles in the village of Kildalvan in the parish of Kilmodan or Glendaruel, Argyllshire:  Gilbert and Duncan Smith.

Image from list of Fencibles in The Commons of Argyll
Does this mean that Campbells were no longer living in Kildalvan?  If they were, it appears they consisted only of the widows and young orphans of the banished Campbells and not of men of fencible age.  It also gives credence to the likelihood that Archibald and all of his three sons were truly banished to a place from which a return was unlikely.  By 1692 the climate in Scotland was very favorable to Campbells.  It would seem likely Archibald and his sons would have returned if that option were available.

Fencibles came from nineteen villages in the parish of Kilmodan.  No village had more than six fencibles listed.  Were the villages dotting this valley small?  It appears they seldom contained more than two to five families.

James Campbell of Glendaruel was listed as the Captain of the sixty-four fencibles from the parish of Kilmodan.  Campbell of Kildalvan was not listed.

The fate of any Campbell relatives of Archibald and his three sons is sadly unknown.  Surely there were some relatives who survived and stayed in Scotland.  Did they stay in Kildalvan or did they move to other villages now that their men were banished?  DNA testing has so far not detected any current resident of Scotland who could be related through Archibald or a close paternal ancestor of Archibald.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Commons of Argyll

2015 marks the 330th anniversary of my Campbells in America.

Joel Campbell, the subject of this blog, descended from Robert Campbell who arrived in Perth Amboy, New Jersey in December of 1685.  Robert was Joel's grandfather.

Earlier in 1685, Robert Campbell had been part of a rebel army in Scotland.  He was joined by his father and two brothers.  They were all captured, imprisoned, and banished from Scotland.

In the Inveraray Sheriff Court Records is a thirty-three page list of names of the rebels from the shires of Argyll and Tarbet.  "It is neither signed nor dated, but it appears to have been drawn upon for the list of rebels forfeited on the 12th October 1685 which is given on pages 18 to 22."

The small town of Inveraray was the center of Clan Campbell.  The clan leader had his main castle there, as he does even today.  It sits in the shire of Argyll.

Duncan MacTavish transcribed these court records in 1935 and published them as The Commons of Argyll.  The title comes from the proclamation of the occupying general, John Murray, Marquess of Atholl.
June 1685
"Whereas we are informed that many of the commons of thes two shyres of Argyll and Tarbet have been forced and prest by the rebells to joyne with them    Therefore by vertew of our Commission of Livtennentrie we doe hereby grant protection for ther lives goods and gear to all such commons Provydeing alwayes that they come in and lay down arms and compear befor us or befor the governor of Inverarey or any other governor or governors of garisons to be by us appoynted and hereby impowered to give protections to such personse  They always taking the benefit of this indemnitie Betwixt and the twentie day of this moneth of Juny  And to the effect that they may not pretend ignorance   We hereby recommend to the ministers of the rexive paroaches of thes two Shyres schoolmrs or readers in ther absence or to any oyr loyall persons within the same who can read to make publict intimatne hereof on the nixt Lord's day after these come to ther hands after Divine Service  And that they return cerificates yrof under ther hands to our Sherif deput."
Many of the "commons" or tenant farmers in these shires had been "prest" or forced against their will to join the rebel army.  Robert Campbell testified that he indeed was "prest" along with his father and brothers.

The only reference to them in The Commons of Argyll is on page thirteen where the rebels of the "Kilmeden or Glendaruell paroch" are listed.

"Kildalvine - Archibald Campbell and three sons all banished furth of the kingdome"

Their laird and master is listed separately as "Kildolvein - John Campbell of Kildolveine." [MacTavish states that items in italics were entered in the original list by a different hand.]

In rereading The Commons of Argyll a few observations can be made which may or may not be significant regarding Robert Campbell and his family.

1.  The entry for Archibald and his three sons (one of which was Robert) states they were banished.  Out of the hundreds of names in this list only one other had the "banished" notation.  However, we know from the Privy records that hundreds of rebels were banished.  Is this record inaccurate?  Or were the banished rebels mostly from shires other than Argyll and Tarbet?  It seems unlikely as these shires were the ones where Argyll recruited most heavily for his rebel army.

2.  The sons of Archibald are not list separately by name.  This is very unique in the list. In fact, only one other record in the entire list does not include the proper name of the rebel (p. 14 "his boy").  Were the sons' names unknown to the list maker?  Could they have been the only rebels from Argyllshire imprisoned outside of Inveraray (and hence did not "compear" in person before the governor in Inveraray)?  It seems a bit odd.

3. Many of the names have the word "prest" written after them.  This word was always entered in a "different hand."  Did this indicate a judgment as to whether they were truly forced into the rebel army?  For the parish of Kilmodan, the home of Archibald and his sons, nine of sixty-one names were tagged with the "prest" designation.  Did this mean that even though Archibald and his sons said they were forced into service (according to their depositions in the Privy Council Record), that the "courts" determined they were not "prest"?

4.  We know two of the names of Archibald's sons from the Privy Council Records:  John and Robert.  How common were these?  Was the Robert Campbell banished on the Henry & Francis the same Robert Campbell from Kildalvan?  There were at least two Robert Campbells in prison at the time the Henry & Francis sailed.  Luckily, "Robert" was not that common of a name.  Four other Roberts are listed in The Commons of Argyll and there is no indication they were imprisoned or banished.  [Robert Campbell of Orchard; Robert Campbell in Uig, Parish of Kilmun; Robert Campbell in Leckimor; Robert Campbell in Catteltoun.]

"John", however, was a very common name.  There are thirty-three "John Campbells" in The Commons of Argyll.  Tracking a "John" Campbell would be very difficult.

Robert Campbell's name appears on several occasions in the Privy Council Records in close proximity to a David Campbell.  It has been postulated that David was the third brother.  A David Campbell is on one of the Henry & Francis passenger lists.  Duncan Beaton (Campbell Genealogist) says that David Campbell is known to be from Falkirk, not Argyll.  Interestingly, there is no "David Campbell" listed in The Commons of Argyll.