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AOIGYLESHIRE,
Ue, as It 1b frequently written Argyllshire, 13 a large county In the isouth-western extremity of the Highlaiulfl. What iiia_v l^ t-jimed t&tt
continental part is bounded on the north by Inverness-shire, on the east by that comity and Perthshire and Dumbartonshire, and en tha
■outh and west by bays and straits of the Atlantic Ocean. Its extreme length is one'huudved and fifteen miles; its breadth averaging
about thirty-three; and it has not less than sis hundred miles of coast washed by the sea. The mainland, including the ptEinsuia or
KIntyre, has been computed to contain 2,735 square miles; while the islands connected with it are supposed to comprise 1,063 more:
whereby the whole extent of land in Argyleshire may be estimated at 8,800 square miles. The county is divided into six principal
districts— A rgTle PsoPEn, Cowal, Islay, Kintyre (or CantyreJ, Loun and Mull. Cowal is divided from Dumbartonshire by Loch
Long, and bounded by Loch Fyne on the west ; betwixt Loch Fyne and Loch Linnhe, and stretching away to the north, is Lorn"; from
■which, on its south-west quarter, there extends in a southerly "direction into the Ii'ish sea, the peninsula of Kintyre. The islands ot
Mull, Jura, and Islay are divided frrm the continent, or from each other, merely by narrow sounds; and may be taken from their
proximity and accessibility as little else than portions of the maiuland, surrounded by salt water rivers. There are other districts ot
inferior size within the principal ones— as Arduamurchan, the most westerly point of Sunart; Appiu, a piece of Lorn bordering on Loch
Linnhe ; Glenorchy, another portion of Lorn on its eastern side ; and Knapdale, occupying a position between Kintyre and Nether Lorn.
Early Histohy.— This county, together with that of Perth, is presumed to have constituted the ancient Caledonian Kiusdom, while
the Romans and Picts were in possession of the greater part of Scotland. In former ages the western coast of Arjuylcshlre was
perpetually exposed to the descents and depredations of the Danes and the Irish, but the original inhabitants never suffered them to
penetrate any considerable distance into the interior; if an enemy landed, or was seen hovering on the coast, in the course of a few
hours the whole country was alarmed, and the men repaired to the shore completely armed. The heroes celebrated by Ossian were a
militia, established in Ajgyleshire, for the purpose of defending the country in any sudden emergency. Of old the chieftain was
considered the father, rather than the master of his clan ; his followers loved him with a degree of enthusiasm, which made them cheer-
fully undergo any fatigue or danger; and it was his interest, as well as his pride and glory, to requite so animated an adherence to the
utmost of his power. The rent paid him was chiefly consumed in feasts given at the habitations of his tenants ; on these occasions they
all lived together as friends, and the departure of the cluef always occasioned deep regret. The cattle and corn formerly consumed at
these feasts of hospitality were, in more polished times, required to be brought to the landlord's mansion, and thus friendship
degenerated into oppression. Campbell of Auchmbreck had anciently a right to carry off the best cow he could find, upon several
properti'is, each Martinmas, by way of mart— the island of Islay paid five hundred such'cows yearly; but this badge of slavery has been
converted into a modus of twenty shillings a head. The inconveniences attending this state arose from the petty quavre'ls between
neighbouriug clans, excited by a spirit of plunder, and absurd points of fantastical honour. At this period the Scottish kings had no
authority over this part of the country ; the M'Donalda of the Isles assuming royal powers, holding parliaments, and enacting laws, until
the Bruces brought the disorderly clans into some kind of subordination. From this time, in their different wars with the English, the
chiefs had recourse to the assistance of the Highlanders, with whom and the inhabitants of the low country, they coutracted debts,
rendering the condition of the middle classes worse, as the chiefs found it necessary to require an addition to their yearly revenue, and,
in order to enforce obedience, reference was had to penal laws. In this respect the king was obliged to gratify his feudal barons; for
they were always formidable to his throne. But when the laws presented any obstacle to their rapacious exactions, they openly set them
at defiance : they erected gibbets, and hanged their tenants without trial or mercy. The evil became at last so flagranti that a jury and
bailiff or sheriff were introduced; but this measm-e did not remove the mischief; for the law officer was not unfrequeutli? bribed to
spare the real culprit, while the poorer and more innocent were considered fit subjects for the gallows. In 1748 these abominable juria"
dictions were totally abolished ; and no sooner were men emancipated from their fetters than they began to improve their properties :
and since that time the face and condition of this county has undergone the happiest change. The ancient inhabitants of the
Highlands of Argyleshire prided themselves on their endurance of hunger and fatigue; they were passionately fond of music and
poetry ; and the song and dance soon made them forget their toils. Now the sound of the bagpipe is more rarely heard; the taste for
poetry has disappeared ; the deer have abandoned the mountains, and extensive forests are either converted into sheep walks, or hava
succumbed to modern cultivation.
Soil, Surface, Produce, Climate, &c.— The surface of this county is, like most other parts of the Highlands, mountainous, bleak,
and uncomfortable to the view ; hills, rocks, and huge mountains rise upon each other in stupendous and fearful disorder. Glencroe and
Glencoe are, perhaps, amongst the most awfully picturesque valleys that can be contemplated. The coast is rockj-, but indented with
navigable bays and islets, which afford good harbours for shipping. The vales and fiat parts are cultivated; the mountaiiis feed great
quantities of sheep and black cattle ; the woods, of which there are still some, principally in the Breadalbane district, affo^ shelter to
deer and other game, whUe much wealth is got from the bowels of the mountains, which contain mines of lead, copper, &c. with
extensive quarries of slate — of the latter the most considerable, perhaps, are wrought at Ballachulish, and in Easdale ' Sell and
Behiahua Islands, &c.; there are likewise several large granite quarries ; of these, the principal are in Mull, by Auchnacraig and at
Furnace and Ardshiel. In the beginning of the eighteenth century, much of the natural wood was cut up and sold by the proprietors
at prices by no means proportionate to the injm-y perpetrated on "the face of the country; despoiling it of one its' most interesting
features, finding, in the introduction of modern plantations, lut meagi-e substitute for the noble forest tree. The county, altogether
abounds more in romantic scenes than fertile plains and wood-clad hUls. The number of acres in tillage bear an insignificant proportion
to those occui)ied by pasture, wood, hills, lakes and rivers. The Climate of the lower parts of Arg^iieshire is mild and temperate, but
In the upper inland districts the atmosphere is severe. On the tops of many of the hills the snow ofteu lies for months, chilling the air
and giving the country a cheerless wintry aspect, even in tolerably mild open weather. In the sinuosities of the vallevs the air is of a
more bland nature, these places being protected from the north and north-west winds, and having generally a southerly'exposuro. The
central districts are more subject to rains than the coast, from the proximity of high hills, whose summits attract and break the clouds
from the Atlantic. The most considerable elevations in Argyleshire are, Beininturk, 2.170; Sliagaoil, 2,228: Beneaton 2 306- Scur
Cioinice. 2,364; Beinima. 2,389 ; Creaeh Bein, 2,439 ; Paps of Jura, 2,476 ; Bennahua, 2,515 ; Buchael Etive, 2,537 ; Bem-eisipoll ' 2 661 •
Benanambran, 2,720; Scur Dhonuil, 2,730; Beiu-more, 3,185; Cruachlassa, 8,000 ; and Cruachan, 3,670 feet, respectively, above the sea '
The Manufactures of Arg^i'leshire are yet in so feeble a stateas to he scarcely worthy of notice. The principal article made on a
large scale for exportation is whiskey, which is of a remaruably fine quality ; there are distilleries in several parts of the county for
which Glasgow is the depot. From the peculiar form and watery intersection of tTiis county, the communication between its insular
and mainland portions has been greatly faciiitated by steam power navigation; and now a very considerable number of steam vesBels
are constantly employed conveying passengers and goods to and fro throughout the county, and in transporting the county produce to
Glasgow. There is not, at the present day, a bay, a loch, or inlet, but holds a daily or commands a weekly communication with tha
Lowlands, and the several districts of the country. By this means the farmers are encouraged to fatten stock which they would never
otherwise think of rearing. Steam boats are, in short, the lively causes of evei-j' kind of improvement intliis county and in agriculture
changes are yearly witnessed in the different districts, from the modern improvements in husbaudi-y. " ' *
Rivers and Lakes.— The county is well watered by rivers (not considerable), brooks and lochs, which abound with fish. Loch Fvne
is celebrated as furnishing the best herrings of any found on the coast of Scotland, and it was estimated that there were caught in thia
arm of the sea, fi-om twenty to thirty thousand barrels annually ; but the " take " has greatly fallen off in later years. Loch Awe (nro
nounced Loch O) is a beautiful fresh water lake, about twenty-eight miles long and from one to two broad. reckoned the most picturesnue
lake of any in the Highlands, and possesses many lovely woody islets, araojg which are seen the ruins of several old castles- its witorfi
which abound with salmon, trout, and eel, discharge themselves into Loch Etivo, a branch of the Atlantic Ocean, at Bonaw Ferry '
Ecclesiastical Divisions, Representation, &c.— This extensive county is divided, ecclesiasUcally, into not more than fiftv
parishes, which contain only two Royal Burghs. Inveeary, at the head of Loch Fyne, and Campbeltown, in Kintyre the former of which
is a station of the circuit court of justiciary. One member is returned to parliament for the county, the present representative beiu" the
Marquis of Lome. The burghs of Campbeltown, Inverary, and Oban, in conjunction with Ayr and. Irvine, are also represented the qiTt-
member being Sir W. J. Montgomoi-y Cuninghame. The parliamentary constituency for the burghs, in 1875-6, was 4 1G0- ftnafn^
county 3,072. The Dnkc of Argyll is the proprietor of a large portion of the shire ; and he is the chief of the family of Campb'^P a sni-nflmA
which is found over the whole region, among high and low. His eldest sou. the Marquis of Lome, was. on the 21st day of Murch 1871
married to Princess Louise, the fourth daughter of Her Majesty the Queen. The lordship of Campbell was elevated to the ppviJi'^y^ «f
Argyll in 1457 by James HI. ; to a Marquisaie in 1041 by Charles I., and to a Dukedom in 1701 by ^Villiam ITT Bv the retim^r^^ i?+i
eovernmeut in 1861, the county contained a population of 79.724, and by those for 1871, 75,679. "i-uiiiH maae to
^"1 325

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