Argyll, Archibald Campbell, 1st duke of, d. 1703, Scottish nobleman; eldest son of the 9th earl of Argyll. Having unsuccessfully sought favor with James II in order to recover the estates forfeited by his father, he supported the cause of William of Orange and formally offered William and Mary the crown of Scotland in 1689. Since his support was important to William, particularly as a basis for encouraging the submission of the clans, he was restored to his estates and made a privy councilor. He remained William's chief adviser on Scottish affairs and was made a duke (1701). Although two companies from his regiment were used to perpetrate the massacre (1692) of the MacDonalds of Glencoe, it is unlikely that he was in any way personally involved.
Argyll, Archibald Campbell, 3d duke of, 1682-1761, Scottish nobleman; brother of the 2d duke. As lord high treasurer of Scotland (1705) and a commissioner for the union (1706), he helped negotiate the union (1707) of the kingdoms of Scotland and England. He had been created earl of Islay in 1705, and he sat as a Scottish representative peer in the united Parliament from 1707 until his death. Consistently loyal to the Hanoverian kings, he held high offices in Scotland and promoted the trade, industry, and schools of his native land. He succeeded his brother as duke in 1743.
Argyll, Archibald Campbell, 5th earl of, 1530-73, Scottish statesman. He and Lord James Stuart (later earl of Murray) became followers of John Knox in 1556 and led the troops of the Scottish Protestants, the lords of the congregation, against those of the Roman Catholic regent, Mary of Guise. Won over by Mary Queen of Scots when she arrived in Scotland (1561), he supported her until she proposed marrying Lord Darnley. He then tried to enlist the aid of Elizabeth I of England against Mary. Failing in this, he returned to Mary's party and is thought to have had some part in the murder of Darnley (1567). Argyll was in command of Mary's soldiers when they were defeated at Langside in 1568 by the soldiers under Murray, now regent, but he was reconciled with Murray the next year. Becoming a supporter of James VI, he was made lord high chancellor in 1572.
Argyll, Archibald Campbell, 8th earl of and 1st marquess of, 1607-61, Scottish statesman. He became chief of the powerful Campbell clan at the death (1638) of his father, the 7th earl. A staunch Presbyterian, he was a leading opponent of Charles I's attempt to strengthen episcopacy in Scotland. Charles sought to win his support by making him a marquess (1641), but after the outbreak of the English civil war Argyll represented the Covenanters in negotiating (1643) the alliance with the English parliamentarians. He commanded the Covenanter army against the earl of Montrose and was repeatedly defeated (1644-45). In 1646, Argyll negotiated with both the defeated Charles and the English Parliament, attempting to secure a Presbyterian settlement in England. He later supported Oliver Cromwell but suffered a serious loss of influence because of the revulsion of feeling in Scotland at the king's execution (1649). Hoping that Charles II could be restored as a Presbyterian king, Argyll turned from Cromwell and crowned (1651) Charles II in Scotland. He opposed the disastrous Scottish invasion of England in that year and submitted to the English Commonwealth in 1652. He was executed for treason at the Restoration.
Argyll, Archibald Campbell, 9th earl of, 1629?-1685, Scottish nobleman; son of the 8th earl. An ardent and active royalist and a Protestant, he opposed extreme measures against the Covenanters, thereby incurring the enmity of the duke of York (later James II), who in 1680 was high commissioner of Scotland. Argyll was accused of treason and sentenced to death in 1681. He escaped to Holland, was a leader of the rebellion in favor of the duke of Monmouth, and was captured and beheaded.
Argyll, John Campbell, 2d duke of, 1678-1743, Scottish general; son of the 1st duke, whom he succeeded in 1703. For his ardent support of the union of England and Scotland he was created (1705) earl of Greenwich. He served under the duke of Marlborough in the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-14) and rose to be commander in chief in Spain in 1711. On his return to Scotland he actively supported the succession of George I. He commanded the army that put down the Jacobite rebellion in 1715 and was made duke of Greenwich in 1719.
Argyll or Argyllshire, former county, W central Scotland. Under the Local Government Act of 1973, Argyll was divided between the new Highland and Strathclyde regions in 1975, with most of the county becoming part of Strathclyde. In the local government reorganization of 1996, Strathclyde was dissolved; the portion of Argyll in that region became part of the council area of Argyll and Bute.
Argyll, archaically Argyle (Earra-Ghàidheal in modern Gaelic), is a region of western Scotland corresponding with most of the part of ancient Dál Riata that was located on the island of Great Britain, and in a historical context can be used to mean the entire western seaboard between the Mull of Kintyre and Cape Wrath.

The early thirteenth century author of De Situ Albanie explains that "the name Arregathel means margin of the Scots or Irish, because all Scots and Irish are generally called Gattheli [=Gaels], from their ancient warleader known as Gaithelglas." However, it is often understood to derive from Earra-Ghàidheal, "East Gaels". Argyll was a medieval Bishopric too, with its cathedral at Lismore, as well as an early modern Earldom and Duchy, the Duchy of Argyll.

Today Argyll is a registration county for property.

County and district

Argyll (sometimes anglicised to Argyllshire) was a county of Scotland until 1975, when Scottish counties were abolished. At the time of abolition the county had boundaries as shown in the map. Argyll's neighbouring counties were Inverness-shire, Perthshire, Dunbartonshire, Renfrewshire, Ayrshire and Bute. Renfrewshire and Ayrshire were the other side of the Firth of Clyde. Bute was a county of islands in the firth.

The county town was historically Inveraray, which is still the seat of the Duke of Argyll. Lochgilphead later claimed to be the county town, as the seat of local government for the county from the nineteenth century. Other places in the former county were Oban, Campbeltown, Dunoon and Inveraray.

The Small Isles were part of the county, until they were transferred to Inverness-shire in 1891, by the boundary commission appointed under the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1889.

In 1975 the County of Argyll was abolished, with its area being split between Highland and Strathclyde Regions. A local government district called Argyll and Bute was formed in the Strathclyde region, including most of Argyll and the Isle of Bute from former county of the same name. The Ardnamurchan, Ballachulish and Kinlochleven areas of Argyll became part of Lochaber District, in Highland.

In 1996 a new unitary council area of Argyll and Bute was created, with a change to boundaries to include part of the former Strathclyde district of Dumbarton.


There was an Argyllshire constituency of the Parliament of Great Britain from 1708 to 1801 and of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1801 to 1983 (renamed Argyll in 1950). The Argyll and Bute constituency was created when the Argyll constituency was abolished.

Notable residents

  • Patrick MacKellar, (1717-1778), born in Argyllshire, military engineer, considered the most competent engineer in America.

See also


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