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Patrick Thompson

Joined: 04 Feb 2006
Posts: 175
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 10:33 pm    Post subject: THINGS ARE FALLING INTO PLACE WITH RESEARCH Reply with quote

IF YOU HAVE NOT READ VOLUME I OF A HISTORY OF CLAN CAMPBELL, YOU WILL NOT APPRECIATE WHAT THIS WORK HAS DONE FOR THE CLAN MACTAVISH. Alastair Campbell of Airds writes in a most subjective manner about the true origins of the Campbells, excusing the false pedigree they have long held out to the world. This exclusive tone is on more than one page, but I cannot re-write Mr. Campbell's words to the full, since they are copyrighted. Here is an example.

Alastair Campbell of Airds writes in, A History of Clan Campbell, Vol I, Page 19, “I suggest the genealogy of the Campbells was used to overcome three obstacles. The first was when the line of Loch Awe was establishing itself, against competition as we will see, as the chiefly line of the Clan. The second was when the Campbell leaders, heads of what was a relatively new and not particularly important clan, were establishing themselves as the leading power in Argyll, and the third was when that power had expanded and was now seeking to dominate the West Highlands and Isles and beyond, mostly at the expense of the forfeited Lords of the Isles. This demanded the establishment of a pedigree which would underline the position of Mc Cailein Mor as a great highland Chief, a Gael among Geals and a fit successor to the Lord of the Isles in that position. Such a pedigree would then support his claim for acceptance at the Scottish Court, where Norman or Flemish blood was considered desirable rather than that of wild and uncivilised savages from beyond the highland line. These obstacles were overcome not without considerable difficulty; and the 'official' pedigree, with all its faults in content and with its composition in impressionistic rather than detailed representational terms, nevertheless gave the Campbell chiefs the respectability of descent which their ambitions required.”

Mr. Campbell, writes with such an eloqence about the true nature of the Campbells, that it is refreshing that the truth is finally revealed (something we have known for a long time); that the Campbells were newcomers into Argyll, and we can discount the Campbell traditional pedigree, and proceed to lay out other data in its place. The belief, with some hard evidence, and some very supportive circumstantial evidence, is the MacTavishes are far older than what most have considered.

Two of those hard and fast facts are:

1.We know when the Campbells obtained Dunardry. That is shown in an updated charter (c.1353) when ‘John Lord of Menteth’ (Stewart) grants lands in Knapdale to Gillespic of Lockae (Lochawe) the ‘pennylands’ of ‘Arnannu (Ardnoe) Eruery, Ariluig, Arienrioch (Arichonan?), Bercorara, Leachenaban, Drumlynd (Drumfynn?), Craglyne (Craiglin), Obinhan (Oib?), Bealalah, Tonardri (Dunardry), Danna (Dunnans?), Glen Cagiduburguill, Arigeargage, Lagan, Kyllmychel (Inverlussa), Cragnanyach (Drynach?), Lergnahunsend (Ashfield), Drumhaherisage (Dunorsay?), Metnach, Achagnadarach (Barrdarroch?), Achagngarthe, Brackwerneill (Brackley), Kylladuersealan (Kirkduskland), Atichuan (Attichman) and Inwernell (Inverneil)’. (This charter confirming Dunardry to the Campbells appears both in A History of Clan Campbell and on the internet at the Kilmartin House Museum website.)

2.The Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, Vol. VII. p 229 notes during Wallace's and Bruce's Wars of Indepencence that, “But in these movements it was necessary to ascertain how the enemy was situated, and to act in concert with Sir Neil Campbell, and, therefore, the old scout Gylimychael was despatched to this valiant chief, still stationed on Creag-an-uni. And it is of importance to bear in mind that, on the shortest notice, he could move his men from this strategical position to the Rue of Tirvine, where a ferry was kept from time immemorial by a family of the name of M'Tavish;1 and from this point open communication existed across the boundary hills of the parish of Glenorchay with the head of Loch fine, the head of Lochlomond, and the head of Loch- dochart—all of them within an easy day's march of the head of Lochow.

The footnote reads: 1 The M'Tavishes counted themselves older than the Clan-Donachie family of lnverawe, who were descended of Duncan Campbell, brother to Sir Neil Campbell of Lochow, the last of whom, in the direct male line, father and son, gallantly fell at Ticonderoga, in America, 1755.

The text says -- MacTAVISHES-- from time immemorial, hence before anyone can remember, and that would take us back to the very foundations of Dalriada, where the records of events and peoples is scare. What the foot note reveals is that we are 'actually' older than Neil Campbell himself (older than his brother Duncan who is the same generation as Neil), who was among the very first Campbells to appear in any record.

It is all falling into place. Our progenitor Tavish (Tavis or Taus) is said to have been born in the 1100s and this, coupled with what you have just read, does not make the MacTavishes, Campbells, by any stretch of the imagination.

Tirvine is on the southern shores of Loch Awe near the Pass of Brander, where a great battle was fought by Robert the Bruce. There was a Ferry there for centuries. Tirvine still exists under this very name, in the district of New Inverawe.

Now the question. If the MacTavishes were at Tirvine from "time immemorial", and the Campbells were newcomers to Argyll, how much older are we, compared to the Campbells? As the information researched so far figures, were are several centuries older.

Still doing some research into very old texts, and some of them have revealed some pretty amazing things.


Patrick Thompson

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