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Campbell of Breadalbane and Campbell of Argyll Boatbuilding Accounts 1600 to 1700

By Dr D C McWhannel, ©2003


Ship service arrangements and the aristocratic deployment of galleys in the west highlands and islands of Scotland and in Argyll in particular have been discussed by Campbell of Airds, MacInnes, McWhannell and Rixson (1). The possibility of building meaningful marine archaeological replicas of such vessels has been greatly hampered by the lack of any proven remains of a historical lymphad or birlinn.

Since the hereditary shipbuilding families left no descriptions, drawings, dimensional information or boatbuilders’ trialsticks as evidence of the form and structural details of such west highland galleys an understanding of these vessels has so far been based on the information that may be elucidated from sculptured stones, graffiti, seals, heraldic devices, language and literature plus two brief Mac Gille Chonaill boatbuilding cash accounts of 1691 and 1695 together with the MacLeod account of 1706 (2). The apparent similarities of the known images of west highland galleys to Viking Age and medieval Scandinavian vessels allows inferences to be made about the form of the galleys and the construction techniques employed (3) The likelihood of a mainly Norse origin for the west highland galley, lymphad or birlinn is extremely strong. Whether the hereditary boatbuilding families of Argyll had a Gaelic, Norse or mixed Norse-Gael (Gall-Ghàidheil) origin is not presently known. It may however be of significance that in the case of the descendants of Gille Chonaill, (Clann Mhic Gille Chonaill), persons having the surname Mac Gille Chonaill are to be found in the records for Galloway (from 1296), the Isle of Man (from 1442) and Argyll (from 1482). Although these records are clearly of a much later period than that of the Gall-Ghàidheil there is perhaps a hint, in this geographical spread, of a Norse-Gael as the eponym for this kindred.

Two Campbell of Breadalbane boatbuilding accounts, one of 1635 and the other of 1695, are discussed below and the information they contain related to possible visualisations of the actual vessels constructed. The detailed nature of these “bills of materials” are likely to be of significance to persons or groups who may be considering the possibility of producing a marine archaeological reconstruction of a birlinn. Further Mac Gille Chonaill accounts, which relate to work carried out for the Earl of Argyll, are also reported on.

The uses to which west highland galleys were put are commented on and a brief review of the society that produced these vessels is provided. The costs of the vessels are considered relative to the incomes and outgoings of the Campbells of Argyll and Breadalbane at the time of building of the vessels. An overview is given of published work concerning the activities of shipbuilders, based in Scotland, of conventional ships up to 1700. The Campbell vessels are thus located within the socio-economic and historical contexts at the time of their construction

Campbell of Breadalbane woodland resource management in relation to the provision of boatbuilding timber is described in Appendix I. Short biographical sketches of some of the key individuals involved, the boatbuilders, their clients and their clients’ men of business are provided in Appendix II while Appendix III addresses incomes, costs and values in 17th. Century Argyll.

Hereditary shipwrights and other professionals in Argyll

The Gaelic speaking areas of Scotland (A’ Ghaidhealtachd ) had an elaborate culture with ancient roots. One particularly interesting facet of this culture is that of the hereditary learned and professional orders. These consisted of families who specialised in providing legal experts, physicians, poets, musicians, ecclesiastics, smiths and armourers, stonemasons and sculptors and indeed shipwrights. These families both supported and were dependent on the patronage of the major magnate families. Persons drawn from these professional orders were closely associated with the chiefly household and were considered to be a part of the gentry (daoine-uaisle ) of the clan. The chief’s chaplain and servitors were often recruited from these learned families. In Argyll there were some twenty-one such professional families, including two families of shipwrights, the Clann Mhic Gille Chonaill and the Clann Mhic Gille Lùcais, who served the Campbells (4).

Although the position in society of these hereditary learned families was being eroded by the 17th.Century it can be seen from the boatbuilding cash accounts reported on below that the Mac Gille Chonaill shipwrights were still actively employed throughout the 17th.Century in support of both the Campbells of Argyll and the Campbells of Breadalbane. Unfortunately documentary evidence for the activities of the Mac Gille Lùcais wrights is in comparison very restricted

The use of galleys in Argyll

In Argyll the early forms of Dalriadic ship service were likely to have been progressively modified or replaced by Scandinavian forms during the period of Norse and later Gall-Ghàidheil lordship. Scottish Crown related feudal ship service arrangements in Argyll are known to have existed from the reign of Robert I onwards. Some twenty-five Crown ship service charters (dated from 1312 to 1582), four miscellaneous ship service charters (dated from 1451 to 1593) and some twenty-four Campbell ship service related documents (dated from 1451 to 1762) exist in relation to Argyll (5).

In 1493 the MacDonald Lordship of the Isles was forfeited ushering in an era known in Gaelic as Linn nan creach, (the age of forays), a period of inter-clan warfare generally considered to have spanned the period from 1560 to 1746. Galleys were used extensively in pursuit of inter-clan warfare during the age of forays.

Starting in the 13th. Century and continuing up to the 15th.Century, large numbers of heavily armed warriors, (gallóglaig), were transported by galleys to fight in Ireland. Similarly during the 16th. Century galleys carried “redshank” mercenaries to fight in Ireland. After the Union of the Crowns, in 1603, up to at least 1642, military expeditions from Argyll to Ireland, albeit on a reduced scale and involving government troops rather than mercenaries, were still being carried out.

The forfeiture of the MacDonald Lordship led to a significant shift in power to the Campbells of Argyll. The Statutes of Iona of 1609 and subsequent agreements in 1616 and 1620 were designed to assimilate the clan elites of the western seaboard into Scottish landed society. In 1616, after the rebellion of Clan Donald South, the central government sought to limit the island chiefs to one galley, of either sixteen or eighteen oars, per chief. It appears that this requirement was not fully honoured or effectively imposed.

The use of galleys, lymphads or birlinnean and indeed smaller boats such as scouts, was vital to the Campbells and other magnate families of Argyll in the exercise of power. In the period 1600 to 1700, as in earlier times, significant raiding and local warfare was pursued requiring galleys to transport men, materials and booty around the coastlands of Argyll, too and from offshore islands such as Islay and Mull and to Ireland.

Changes in Argyll between 1600 and 1700

The period from 1603, The Union of the Crowns, to1638, the signing of the National Covenant, may be considered one in which legislative reforms both prompted and accelerated the assimilation of the chiefs (ceann-fine or ceann-cinnidh) and the clan gentry (daoine-uaisle) into the main body of the Scottish landed classes. Patriarchal and protective structures were being partially or wholly subordinated to proprietary interest. The movement characterised as that from chiefs to landlords had begun (6). Campbell families were at the forefront in promoting change and the Campbell heartland was generally efficiently organised and managed.

The Civil War (1644 to 45) brought about massive disruption in Argyll due to the activities of Alastair MacColla’s troops in laying waste large areas of Campbell land. The Campbells also suffered the heavy defeat inflicted on them by Montrose and MacColla at the battle of Inverlochy. In total some two thousand two hundred adult males from the Campbell estates were killed while the majority of livestock was slaughtered or driven off and the granaries and homesteads burned. In addition in 1645 Murdo Maclaine of Lochbuie devastated the Campbell of Breadalbane lands in Argyll and Perthshire causing losses amounting to £Scots 800,000.

Despite the devastation of the Civil War period the Argyll Campbells recovered and by the period 1679 to 1681 were embroiled in local warfare deriving from the Earl of Argyll’s take over of the indebted Maclean of Duart properties.

The Glenorchy Campbell family, later of Breadalbane, who possessed lands in both Argyll and Perthshire, had had very effective leadership under Sir Duncan Campbell, (Donnchadh Dubh), (1550-1631). Sir Duncan had greatly increased his possessions partly at the expense of the MacGregors. He had carried out a considerable castle building programme and was known as “Black Duncan of the Castles”. Sir Duncan also implemented a significant programme of afforestation on his lands. His successor John (1635-1713), who took control of the family estates in 1655 was equally effective in pursuing his various interests and was employed during 1690-1 by William of Orange in a scheme to bribe the Jacobite chieftains into submission.

Despite the large political repercussions nationally of the “Massacre of Glencoe”(1692) this event is likely to have had a negligible impact on the MacGille Chonaill shipwright family living at Killispickerril, near Inverawe, Loch Etive. It is of interest however that in 1669 and again in 1679 bonds of manrent were entered into by the MacIans of Glencoe with Archibald Campbell of Inverawe recognizing past “acts of kindness” and “good nichbourhood” between the two parties.

More significant, from the viewpoint of the shipwright families, would have been the general problems caused by the poor weather conditions experienced in the 1690’s with a succession of failed harvests. Significant deprivation is likely to have been in evidence and would have particularly affected the small tenants and cottars. The tacksmen, chiefs and chiefs’ retainers would have experienced a reduction in the incomes from their lands and would have had a tendency to incur increasing debts. Notably Campbell of Breadalbane implemented measures to redistribute subsistence food to the deprived and destitute within the areas he controlled (7). It is also significant that the Earl of Argyll had previously, circa 1688, placed effective limitations on the level of indebtedness he would allow his feudal vassals and relatives to incur (8).

In the particular case of Lorn, that part of Argyll where the two vessels considered here were constructed, comparing living conditions in 1695, when the twelve oared boat was built, with those in 1635, the year of construction of the sixteen oared birlinn, it seems probable, due to the effects of past military campaigning combined with subsequent poor harvests that there was little likelihood of a significant increase in population. Indeed there would appear to have been the possibility of straightened circumstances among some sections of the population. Breadalbane estate management had become commercially focussed under John Campbell, 1st. Earl of Breadalbane. Literacy and the use of English within the community would probably have increased from 1635 to 1695 and have begun to extend beyond the confines of the clergy, chamberlains and lawyers. It is clear however, from the documents reported on below, that the Mac Gille Chonaill wrights were not literate. The incomes of tacksmen and chiefs from the annual cattle drove were likely to have been increasing during the late sixteen hundreds. This increase in income would have to some extent mitigated the effects of increased governmental tax demands during the mid sixteen hundreds and perhaps ameliorated some of the particular difficulties of the “famine years” from 1695 to 1699.

The Campbell vessels in a socio-economic perspective.

Campbell of Breadalbane’s income and other financial data
In Argyll, the Laird of Glenorchy, later Earl of Breadalbane, held the lands of Kilbride (near Inveraray), Glenorchy, the four-penny lands of Auchakenny and Auchnamaddie, the two-penny land of Keillag, the five-penny land of Inverinan, the one-penny land of Creughamoran and the two-merk land of Sandachan. The whole computed at eighty merklands for ward, part of the reliefs and a galley of sixteen oars. (9). Additionally Breadalbane held significant lands in Perthshire.

In 1688, “up to two thirds of the actual rents (from Breadalbane’s Argyll lands) were apportioned as the valued rent from which the heritors met their fiscal liabilities” (10). It appears, from data collated and tabulated by MacInnes, that in 1688 Breadalbane’s actual rental income from his Argyll lands amounted to £210-13s-41/2d and that after he had settled with the Crown he had a net income of £70-4s-51/2d or £Scots842-13s-6d from these lands (11).

In 1697 it appears that the rent on Breadalbane’s Nether Lorn lands amounted to 6% of the pound Sterling valuation and that after deductions for outgoings his net income from these lands was only £78-05s-10d or approximately £Scots936 (12).

The total cost of the birlinn of 1635 including a sail plus standing and running rigging probably represented around a third of the net annual income accruing from Glenorchy’s Argyll lands. Clearly Glenorchy had further sources of income from his Perthshire lands, from fines from his heritable jurisdictions, from his fisheries, and from his valuable woodlands. He also had significant outgoings apart from the monies spent on boats. It is however the case that the £Scots227-08s-04d cost of the birlinn plus say £Scots30 for the sail and rigging, together with maintenance costs and any additional costs surrounding the provision of a crew of warrior rowers and other seamen, would have been significant. The birlinn, barring accidental loss, would probably have required replacing at intervals of around thirty years. It is noticeable that the costs of a sail and cordage, which clearly need repair or replacement on a regular and possibly more frequent basis, do not appear in the records other than in the case of the rental for Tiree in 1678 where “a saill and hair taickle to a galley” is valued at £Scots40 (13).

On the question of a general lack of information on the costs of finished sails, sailcloth, rigging and ships’ ropes in the Campbell Papers, it may be significant that weavers in Islay in 1729 were paid for their work in meal at “the local rate”. The local courts for Seil and Luing, in the late 1600’s, set the rates for weaving woollen materials as “ a white woollen plaid of twelve ells- one firlot of meal, for a common grey plaid- three quarters of a firlot and for hewit (multi-coloured) cloth- one firlot (14). If such payments in kind to weavers of woollen cloth were the norm throughout Argyll in the 17th.and early 18th.Centuries then this may explain the general lack of data for the costs of sails and by inference of ropes.

The Earl of Argyll’s income
The whole of Argyll’s rental income including the silver rents from the lands of Cowal, Argyll and Lorn, part of Bute, Kintyre, Ardnamurchan and Sunart plus duties from Clanranald’s and Locheil’s lands, fines from hereditary jurisdictions together with rent in kind of meal, salted marts and other victual, plus the duties from shipping at Rosneath and the significant income from the west coast “assize herring” was in 1694 computed to be £Scots61, 326-19s-03d. (15). By 1707 Argyll’s rental income from all his estates had only increased to around £Scots63, 408. In 1707, after the Earl’s liabilities in the form of life rents, chamberlains requirements and his own personal spending etc., were taken into account he was left with a surplus in that year of only some £Scots4,848 or approximately £404 Sterling

Comments on Campbell wealth and conspicuous consumption
When reviewing the costs of the 1635 birlinn and the 1695 boat in relation to a highland magnate’s personal wealth in the 17th. Century it is useful to put the Campbells’ position into a wider Scottish perspective. It has been established that in the 1630’s a relatively poor peer such as the first Lord Jedburgh had an annual income of £Scots12, 543 while the richest peers such as the second Earl of Buccleuch enjoyed an annual income of around £Scots100, 000. The average income of the Scottish higher nobility in the early 17th.Century appears to have been around £Scots60, 000. The Earl of Argyll’s income is thus close to this average. (16)

An interesting facet of the lives of the Glenorchy Campbell chiefs’ households was a partiality to exotic spices, Spanish oranges and fine wine drunk from imported crystal glasses. Feasting and wining and dining were of great social and political importance to the highland nobility. Interestingly funerals were occasions for conspicuous consumption and it is quite remarkable that the funeral of Sir Duncan Campbell of Glenorchy in 1631 cost £Scots4, 667 (17). This expenditure matches the potential cost, at that time, of building some twenty new birlinnean. It should however be noted that Duncan was very long lived, having been born in 1550. He had also been a most powerful Campbell chieftain and had greatly expanded his family’s holdings in Perthshire.

Scottish conventional shipbuilding

As distinct from west highland boat and birlinn building, which appears to be derived directly from Norse shipbuilding, there existed in Scotland a continuing tradition of shipbuilding linked closely to mainstream European practice.

15th. Century Scottish shipbuilding
In 1435 a large barge was constructed at Leith for the Royal fleet. In 1437 James I’s fleet consisted of a great ship, two normal sized ships, the barge and a balinger. The Cornton family of shipbuilders were active at Leith from at least 1439. In 1457 Scottish owned ships described as a 140-ton carvel, a 150-ton barge, a 350-ton barge and a 500-ton barge visited Sluys in Flanders. In 1497 Thomas Dias (the elder), John Gardiner and Thomas Ballantyne were all involved in shipbuilding at Leith while in 1499 the following persons are listed as shipbuilders in Leith; John Brown, Thomas Dias, John Loudon, Thomas McKaskey (or Balkasky) and Richard Torry.

It is noticeable that most of the technical terms appearing in early central Scottish shipbuilding records appear to be of Dutch origin. It is possible that James I, who is known to have encouraged shipbuilding, had hired wrights from the Netherlands to assist in constructing his own vessels (18).

Shipbuilding in the time of James I also took place at Ayr, Dumbarton, and Glasgow. Later in 1494-5 a rowbarge costing £Scots500 was built for the King, James IV, at Dumbarton (19). Guns, ammunition, rope, and cable were imported from Flanders while timber, tools and nails were brought from France.
16th. Century Scottish shipbuilding
As early as 1502 it is known that, “Scottish shipwrights were considered quite competent to build vessels up to 50 tons.” James IV (1488-1513) was, from 1502, instrumental in vigorously establishing a Royal navy. Shipbuilders were brought to Leith from Brittany, France and the Netherlands. Persons such as Jacat Terrel, from France, oversaw the construction of the "Great Michael" while Jennan Diew, from Brittany and John Lorans, from Dieppe, appear in the records of Leith. A shipwright called “Goherrall”, possibly from Portugal, is recorded as building a ship at Dumbarton around 1506.

Timber for the Leith shipyards was brought from forests in the Borders, Fife, Badenoch and Lochaber. Keels for large ships were however being imported from France with the implication that large Scottish oak trees of suitable quality were already becoming scarce.

To facilitate the building of large ships a new royal shipyard was developed at Newhaven near Leith between 1504 and 1507. A fitting out dock for large royal ships was also created at Airth on the upper reaches of the Forth estuary.

In the first years of his reign James IV spent some £ Scots1, 482 on ships at an average expenditure of approximately £Scots140 per annum. This spending increased rapidly rising to approximately £Scots8, 710 per annum in the period 1511-13. The “Margaret” of 600 to 700 tons, launched in 1505 cost around £Scots8, 000. This was an amount greater than a quarter of James IV annual income at that time. The “Margaret” used wood from Strathearn, Kincardine, Fife, possibly from Caithness, and from both France and Norway. The “Michael” of approximately 1,000 tons and which took five years to build was launched in 1511 and cost approximately £Scots30, 000; an amount approximately equal to the King’s annual income. The “Michael” used wood from Fife, Ross, Moray, Lanarkshire, Cawdor, France, Denmark and Norway.

During the 16th.Century the Scots had developed a considerable reputation for shipbuilding. The “Michael” had been one of the most imposing warships in Europe. The Swedish monarchy had sought to copy Scottish warships while the Danish monarchy had employed a Scot as naval architect to the royal shipyards.
17th. Century Scottish shipbuilding
By the 17th Century the situation had changed markedly. Scottish shipowners were purchasing vessels abroad, mainly from Norway and the Netherlands. Indeed from 1660 to 1707 there is only evidence for continuity in shipbuilding at a small shipyard in Leith. Scottish shipyards were unable to compete with the good qualities and particularly the low costs of vessels available from Dutch yards.

The output of the Leith yard was insufficient to satisfy Scottish needs and the Scottish government made efforts to increase shipbuilding capabilities at Leith. Rope and sailcloth manufacture was established between 1690 and 1700. A sawmill was constructed in 1695 and an English ship’s carpenter recruited to train others in the trade.

It is likely that small craft in the northern clinker tradition, adapted to suit local conditions, were constructed all around the Scottish coasts. Ferryboats and fishing boats are likely to have been constructed close to where they were used. It is however the case that small craft in prefabricated form were often purchased from Norway and Sweden. Prizes of war and ships from various countries such as England, Germany, and Ireland (and even in 1706 a vessel from New England) were auctioned at Leith.

Scottish ships in the17th. Century appear to have been fairly small, perhaps around 80 to 90 tons burden. Tucker’s Report of 1656 notes one hundred and forty vessels, the majority from east coast ports, whose combined tonnage does not exceed 6,400 tons and where the majority of vessels are below 60 tons burden (20). This small size not only reflected the relative poverty, in European terms, of Scotland but also the practical point that most Scottish harbours were shallow with only Port Glasgow, constructed in 1676, being capable of accepting large ships.

A Robert Allan had a new ship built in Holland in 1664 at a cost of £Scots6, 000. The useful life of such a ship barring major accident was probably around thirty years. In 1699 Andrew Pyper of Edinburgh owned five ships each valued in the range £Scots1, 200 to £Scots7, 680. Scottish owned ships of the 17th. Century appear to have been valued within the range £Scots1, 200 to £Scots8, 000. Hence in the 17th.Century a new Dutch built conventional cargo ship was equivalent in cost to around twenty new Argyllshire built birlinnean.

The 1635 Glenorchy Birling (birlinn)

In transcribing both the 1635 and the 1695 documents the texts and general layout of the original English language documents have been reproduced in full for those parts of the originals which refer specifically to boatbuilding activities. Archaic words have been explained by adding their modern equivalents in parentheses. Non-standard Gaelic name forms have had their standard modern Gaelic forms added; again in parentheses. In the case of the 1695 document a paragraph of standardised legal wording, in Latin in the original document, has been omitted since it added nothing to the understanding of the boatbuilding activities. Placenames given in both documents are identified on a map showing the relevant area of Argyll. See Fig.1 below.

The 1635 birling (birlinn) is described in a document, “The Roll of Braygilmes”, in the Breadalbane Muniments held in the National Archives of Scotland (21). The simplified and annotated transcript is given below.

“Memorandum of the fialls (payments) given to the wrights that did make the lairds birling (Gaelic; birlinn) for their work ane month £Scots Shillings Pence  
Firstly given to the principal wright, (probably a Mac Gille Chonaill of the hereditary boatbuilding family), for his fiall 17 6 8  
Mair given to him for ane stand of clothes 10 0 0  
Mair given to him for ane pair of shoes 0 12 0  
Mair given to Donald Odhar, (sallow complexioned Donald), his father 6 13 4  
Mair given to him for ane pair of shoes 0 12 0  
Mair given to the said wright, his boy 0 20 0  
Mair given to Donald Macantyre, (Mac an t-Saoir), wright 6 13 4  
Mair given to the said Donald for ane pair of shoes 0 12 0  
Mair given to Callum McIllehauis, (Mac Gille Thamhais) 6 13 4  
Mair given to him for shoes 0 12 0  
Mair given to Duncane McIllehauis 0 54 0  
Mair given to the two boys that they had with them 0 20 0  
Mair given to the smith for six hundred and fifty seam and ruife (clench nails and roves) 20 0 0  
Mair given to the smith for the rudder irons 0 54 8  
Item spent in Glenwiring, (probably the area around Allt a’ Bhiorain, Loch Etive), upon a want first to cut woods and second in dighting (finishing) of the oak and cutting the furnishings of the birling (birlinn), fee of meal, one boll. Item of cheese, two stones Item of butter, one stone Item of ale 4 0 0  
Item mair spent upon the wrights entritt to the birling and to the time that they endit, of meal, four bolls Item of malt, four bolls Item of cheese, eighteen stones Item of butter, three stones Item of three, year old wedders (castrated yearling lambs) 6 0 0  
Item given to Callum McIllehauis for cutting and dighting of the oak in Glenwiring and cutting of the oars in Glenurquhay 3 0 0  
Item mair given to Duncan McIllechonill (Mac Gille Chonaill) for helping of cutting and dighting of oak in Glenwiring and Glenurquhay 3 0 0  
Item mair given to Eoin (Eoghan) McIllehauis for helping of the cutting of the oak of Coiregyle, (Coiregoill, near Dalmally, Argyll), and the oars 3 6 8  
Mair given for drink at their being there and as for meat it was gotten of the tenants of good will 0 40 0  
Item given for the smith for cutting of five hundred speakings, (lengths of iron bar, possibly chain links, since in another account “great cable speakings” are mentioned (32)), and five hundred seam and ruive and to make them therefore, six shillings and eight pence out of the hundred which extends to 3 6 8  
Item of aquavitae spent at the making of the birling, two gallons Item mair receivit from the tenants of Auchnaba of butter whilk was spent, one stone and three quarters Item to the wright MacLeionell (Mac Gille Chonaill) and his man for the making of the oars being eight days in making of them of fee forty shillings and more for them meat and drink 4 0 0  
Item for making a mast and wand (sail spar) 0 30 0  
Summa 227 8 4  
forbye the aquavitae and six shillings and twopence of ale for Auchnaba (possibly for the tacksman of Achnaba, a ferme toun, (baile), just west of Ardchattan, Loch Etive, Argyll)”

Review of the 1635 account

This vessel was clearly of high quality. It was constructed of oak throughout and was created, starting from growing trees, all within one month, by a team of eight or nine men and three boys led by the “principal wright” who was in turn supported by his no doubt knowledgeable father Duncan Odhar.

In Scandinavia the “principal wright” was the “stem wright” whose carving of the stem and sternposts, setting up of the keel and end posts and laying the lower planking and floors determined the unique form of the vessel being built.

With such a person assisted by his father and aided by his “man” plus five or six skilled wrights, three boys, (no doubt apprentice wrights), a smith and the “unskilled” labour of the local tenants it is entirely possible that this birlinn was constructed in one month and was of at least sixteen oars, the size of galley required of Glenorchy in relation to his Argyll lands, and possibly even of eighteen oars, the maximum recognised size for this class of galley. Discussions held with John L. Ferguson a well known builder of traditional clinker built Scottish fishing cobles and loch boats, constructed from personally selected, locally felled, Perthshire trees, confirmed this estimated size range as a realistic possibility. It is also believed that two skilled men would have been capable of felling and converting a sufficient number of suitable trees to have produced at least nine pairs of sound oars, in eight days, using only axes, hafted wedges, draw knives, ordinary knives and scrapers

It is estimated, based on the number of clench nails and roves made by the smith, that the birlinn was probably eight strakes high, double ended and of “Scandinavian” or “Viking Age” general form, around 14 metres long and 3.4 metres beam. Such a run of planking at this size and shape with clench nails set at the traditional distance apart, approximately a large hand span, is compatible with the number of clench nails made. It would appear that the floors of the birlinn were treenailed to the planking as no “great nails” are mentioned also the use of treenails for such fastenings is representative of good early Scandinavian practice. It is also striking that the number of “seam and ruife” listed matches closely the number of clench nails used in the Skuldelev, Wreck 3 replica, “Roar Ege”(22)

Indeed it seems that a vessel close to the form of Skuldelev 3, but equipped with eight or nine pairs of oars and with stern sections, stern post and rudder similar to those illustrated on the Rodel galley, would be a highly plausible representation of Glenorchy’s 1635 birlinn. (23) Such a vessel would row and sail in a manner compatible with its proposed historical use. Strikingly “Roar Ege” has sufficient rooms to allow for up to nine pairs of oars.

Due to the implied high quality oak construction of this birlinn, a useful life without accident, of at least thirty years might have been expected of it. The possibility then arises that it was this very birlinn that Archibald Campbell, Marquess of Argyll, required Sir Robert Campbell of Glenurquhay to make available to take Inverliever’s Company to Ireland in April 1642 (24). It is known that the average size of a Company in the Marquess’s Regiment of 1642 was around 100 men (25). It therefore would appear that, contrary to the proposals given in “Ship service and indigenous sea power in the west of Scotland” and in “The galleys of Argyll” (26), an alternative hypothesis needs to be considered. In that better definitions of the size, form, displacement and load carrying capacity of a real Glenorchy birlinn built in 1635 are now possible and indicate that such a vessel would only have been capable of accommodating around 40 men and their equipment, then such a birlinn is likely to have made at least three voyages to and from Ireland in fulfilling its particular 1642 mission of taking Inverliever’s Company to Ireland. That this may have been the case is based on the proposal that, for a safe return from Ireland, mainly under sail, a minimum crew of a skipper/steersman, a man to tend the braces, two men to tend the sheets, two men in the bow to handle the tack of the sail, two halyard men, a lookout man, and a man for bailing and general duties would have been required. This crew is the same in number as the ten individuals listed as crew in the famous poem, “birlinn Chlann Raghnaill”, composed by Alexander MacDonald, (Mac Mhaighstir Alasdair), circa 1750 (27). A vessel redolent of “Roar Ege” would almost certainly, in the hands of ten competent persons and ballasted and trimmed to her marks, been capable of such voyaging. See Fig. 2 below.

The 1695 Breadalbane twelve oared boat

This boat is described in the Barcaldine Muniments held in the National Archives of Scotland (28). The simplified and annotated transcript is given below.

Ane particular accompt of the expenses of making up such ane boat as Agent Forbes broke belonging to the Earl of Breadalbane as is given up by Donald Oig McLechonell, (Domhnall Oig Mac Gille Chonaill) boatwright. £Scots Shillings Pence  
Firstly for twelve dozen of oak boards at £3-6s-8d per dozen made 40 0 0  
Item for ane dozen of broad and thick fir planks at 13s-4d the piece 8 0 0  
Item for eight hundred seam and rooves charged at 40s per hundred made 16 0 0  
Item for three hundred great garrowe (strong) naills at half a crown per hundred 4 10 0  
Item for two stone weight of ockum (oakum) at £3 per stone 6 0 0  
Item for the keill and binding timber of the boat 13 6 8  
Item for six (n.b. pairs) oares at 13s-4d per pair made 4 0 0  
Item for six gallons of tar at £4 per gallon 24 0 0  
Item for six stones of pitch at £3 per stone 18 0 0  
Item for ane new cable such as was broken and lost 20 0 0  
tem for ane new criper (grapnel) 8 0 0  
Item for meal and wages to the wright making the boat 20 0 0  
Summa 181 16 0  

There now follows a standard Latin preamble and statement that the notary is writing on behalf of Donald. This is subscribed by George Small N.P. and by Alexander Campbell and Duncan Campbell as witnesses.

Finally there is a statement as follows.

“I, John, (Iain Glas Mac Chailein ‘ic Dhonnchaidh), Earl of Breadalbane, grant me to have received from the above named Agent John Forbes, payment of the above sum of ane hundred and eighty one pounds sixteen schillings as the price of the above named boat and therefore discharged him and all others concerned thereof in testimony whereof I have signed this at this fifth of March 1695 before thir witnesses (signature) Colin Campbell, Writer to the Signet, and (signature) Allexander Campbell of Barcaldine ( Breadalbane’s factor in Lorn). Signatures of Breadalbane, Colin Campbell (of Carwhin) and Allexander Campbell, (Alasdair Mac Iain Mhic Phara Bhig of Barcaldine, 1643-1720, grandson of Padhruig Dubh Beag, Campbell of Innerzeldies, 1592-1678), witnesses”.

Review of the 1695 account

Considering the number of clench nails mentioned, together with the number of large nails or spikes, (great garrowe nails), and the fact that six pairs of oars were made for this boat, leads to the conclusion that the 1695 boat is likely to have been “six strakes high” and approximately 12 metres long by 2.5 metres beam.

It is again notable that the Skuldelev wreck 6 replica, “Kraka Fyr”, in its original form was a “six strakes high” boat around 11.2 metres long by 2.3 metres beam that used eight hundred and forty clench nails and two hundred treenails in its construction (29).

It is possible that the use of spikes in Breadalbane’s 1695 boat, together with fir planks and oak boards, most likely to have been pit sawn, indicates changes in the construction and style of this vessel compared to the birlinn of 1635. It appears that the twelve oared boat was intended as a “work boat” with a lower life expectancy than the birlinn of 1635.It is also likely that this boat was more burdensome and so would have had a greater beam to length ratio than the birlinn

The 1695 twelve-oared boat may be the actual “great boat” that “McLechonell boatwright” took to “Izdeall”, (Easdale, south west of Oban, Argyll), for “scleat” (slate) in 1697 (30). It is possible, but not certain, that Agent John Forbes, who “broke” Breadalbane’s boat sometime prior to 1695, was in some way connected with Breadalbane’s slate quarrying operations. From 1690 to 1698 Breadalbane was engaged in a major reconstruction of Kilchurn Castle (Loch Awe, Argyll). The master mason engaged on this work was an Andrew Christie. Alexander Campbell of Barcaldine supervised the work in his capacity as Breadalbane’s chamberlain in Lorn. In November 1693 a slater, Thomas Williamson, was paid to mend the hall roof of the castle while in 1696 Williamson was quarrying slates in Easdale, probably for the roofs of the new barrack blocks (31). It is likely that the trip by the “great boat” sometime prior to 22nd. February 1697 was to collect slates for these barrack roofs.

Mac Gille Chonaill accounts for the Earl of Argyll

Previously published Mac Gille Chonaill accounts refer to work carried out in 1691 for, (a) cutting oars, cutting “entrails” for a birlinn and building a “yoill at the Earl of Argyll’s desire” (b) buying oak and fir deals for Argyll’s birlinn and (c) in 1696 for cutting oars, making a mast and “dressing my Lordes birline” (32).

The following accounts are of particular interest since they also refer to work carried out for the Earl of Argyll rather than for Campbell of Breadalbane (33).

“litill Patrik”, who may be a Mac Gille Chonaill;

1636, 8th May at “Castelcalcharne” (Kilchurn Castle, Loch Awe).

Robert Campbell of Glenfalloch to the laird of Glenurquhay, his brother

birlinn, “quhilk is lang eneurch undone”. Argyll has a wright in Inveraray, to be employed on the galley, called Archibald Ure; “he is deir for he draweth xii s skotts in the day by his met sua giff your m(astership) cane have your awin wreichts thairtill thay wald be (?)frie to work in this auld of the mon thairfor haist word for litill Patrik ffor till cut tymer in this auld”.

Later in the same letter there is a curious statement; “smith to make a roof to the galley”

(ii) 1678, 2nd September at Inveraray, to “Captain of Insh Connell” (Inch Connell Castle, Loch Awe, Argyll

“You sall upon sight delyver to Donald McIlchonnel boatwright for the maintenance of his men in cutting of some timber in our wood of Dowart Lochow (Dubh Ard, Loch Awe) ane halfe boll of meall and the samen sall be allowed to zie in your accompt. Given at Inveraray the 2 of Sept. 1678. Argyll.”

Endorsed paid by the martay (maor tighe, major domo) of Innconnell, (Inch Connell Castle, Loch Awe).

(iii) 1679, 7th February at Inveraray

“Precept by Archibald, Earl of Argyll to Mr.William Spebns his Chamberlain, to pay Donnald McIllchonnell boatwright £72 Scots resting to him by the Earl”. Signed, Argyll.

Discharged at Inveraray on 6th March 1679. Colin Campbell N.P. signs, as Donnald McIllchonnell could not write. (iv) 1679, 15th March at Inveraray Discharge by Donald McIllchonill boatwright to Mr. William Spens, Servitor to the Earl of Argyll, of £72, “for to go to Lochaber, (Lochaber was well known for its oak woods), to buy clowe boords (clove boards) for the building of ane great birline for his Lordships use for which sum the granter is comptable to the Earl”. Witnesses Alexander Campbell writer hereof and Alexander Bennet
Donald McIllchonill his mark.

(v) 1692, 2nd.April at Inveraray

Receipt by “Donnald McIlchonnel, Boatwright in Lorne, for cutting timber for the Earl’s work at Tobbermorie and Dunstaffnage”.

“I, Donald Mcilchonnill, Boatwright in Lorne, grant me to have receaved from Coline (Cailean) Campbell. Chamberlaine to the Earle of Argyll the soume of fourtie pound scotes money for cutting of timber to be poles for the work at Tobbermorie and bringing the samen to Dunstaffnage to the number twenty quhich I am (to) bring to Dunstaffnage accordingly with all convenient dilligence as witness my hand at Inveraray 2 April 1692.
Witnesses, John Campbell sone to Walter Campbell of Skipnidge (Campbell of Skipness) and Coline Campbell in Inveraray writer heirof ”.
Donald signs with his mark.

and (vi) 1692, Account due to Donnald McIlchonnell boat wright.
Accompt dew to Donnald McIlchonnell boat wryt £Scots Shillings Pence  
Firstly for cutting and squareing of 120 Iests (joists) in Lochnell’s, (Campbell of Lochnell), woods reckoning each of them at 6s-8d each 40 0 0  
Item for cutting in Mcconchie’s (Mac Dhonnchaidh, Campbell of Inverawe) woods of 80 Iests 26 13 4  
Item for cutting makeing and bomging down the ten oars for my Lord’s birleing 3 6 8  
Item to the men of the countrey for drawing of the timber in Glenkinglys, (Glenkinglas, Loch Etive, Argyll), to the water 3 12 0  
Item upon the same account to them 3 0 0  
Item in Glen Etive upon the same account 01 04 00 1 4 0  
Summa 77 15 0  

Review of the Mac Gille Chonnell accounts for the Earl of Argyll,

(a) “litill Patrik”, this wright is probably one of the McIlchonnell boatbuilding family since the name, Patrick, was not uncommon among members of the Clann Mhic Gille Chonaill.

(b) Archibald Ure may have been an Argyll Mac Iomhair.

(c) The 1679 date represents a late use, in both British and European terms, of cloven rather than pit sawn boards and is indicative of not only the survival of a very old traditional practice but more importantly of the clear intention to build a lightly constructed high quality rowing and sailing vessel in the Scandinavian tradition. Splitting logs with wedges and dressing the resulting clove boards with axes to form planks achieves the most structurally efficient clinker planking possible and was a key element in the success of Viking shipbuilding.

(d) There exists a memorandum by Archibald, 9th Earl of Argyll, to Duncan Fisher, June 1674 “ There must be a house mad up lykewayes for the 12 oared birlin at Inveraray and if it can be mad to hold a biger boat or mair boats it is the better”(33).

(e) The requirement in 1679 is for a great birling i.e., a birlinn of eighteen oars. In 1678 the Earl of Argyll owned at least a twenty-oared galley, a fourteen-oared birlinn and the twelve-oared birlinn mentioned in (d) above.

(f) Archibald Campbell, 9th. Earl of Argyll, (1629-85), gained possession of Mull and other Maclean lands. In 1678 he organised a notable expedition, employing a fleet of one galley, four birlinnean and seventeen other boats, including five scouts (probably eight oared, single masted, vessels), against the Macleans of Duart. He was executed in 1685 for rebelling against James VII.


The initial cost of Glenochy’s 1635 birlinn, which appears to have equalled approximately 30% of the net annual income from his Argyll lands, makes this birlinn a prestige item. The twelve-oared boat of 1695 in its turn cost around 19% of Breadalbane’s net income from his Argyll lands and was also a significant investment.

The Earl of Argyll, in 1679, could it seems readily afford to have owned a twenty oared galley, a fourteen oared birlinn, a twelve oared birlinn and a new “great birlinn”, probably of eighteen oars. The total initial cost of these four vessels probably amounted to around £Scots1, 000 which was perhaps equivalent to some 20% of the Earl’s surplus annual income in the mid to late 17th.Century and probably less than 2.0% of the Earl’s gross annual income in 1694. Remarkably the combined original capital costs of these four prestigious vessels, which were both useful troop transports and assault craft, probably only amounted to around 8.3% of the Earl’s personal allowance in 1707.

Mainstream Scottish shipbuilding, from the 15th.up to the 17th.Century as reviewed briefly above, has been described in detail by Graham, Mowat, Macdougall and Smout, however the maritime traditions and shipbuilding activities of A’ Ghaidhealtachd have perhaps been generally less well known (35). Due to the meticulous nature of Campbell record keeping the shipwrights’ cash accounts presented above are the most detailed and informative contemporary materials available relating to traditional west highland birlinn and large boat construction. It is hoped that by drawing attention to these accounts the skills of the hereditary shipwrights of the western seaboard will become better known.

In addition to the various chieftains’ galleys and birlinnean there was a large population of other indigenous vessels in 17th. Century Argyll including smaller single masted rowing and sailing boats called scouts, which are likely to have been similar to the single square sail equipped, eight oared, Manx scoute, plus ten, eight, six, and probably four oared boats, various fishing vessels and a number of specialised ferry boats at well established ferry crossings. All these vessels provided good opportunities for ship and boat wrights to make their livings through both repair work and new building. The accounts presented above, based on original documents in the Argyll Archives and Barcaldine and Breadalbane Muniments, provide valuable historical information and yet are only brief glimpses through a 17th. Century window into boatbuilding in Argyll, an activity that has roots stretching back to prehistoric times.

Appendix I; Campbell of Glenorchy Woodland Management

The Baron Court records of the Campbells of Glenorchy, later Earls of Breadalbane from 1681, cover the period from 1571 to the mid 1700’s and give a clear indication of active woodland management by the Glenorchy family. A study of these records carried out by Watson indicates that the Baron Courts met up to four times per year and controlled the Glenorchy network of some sixteen baronies reaching from Benderloch in the west to Loch Tay in the east. Control of Breadalbane’s estates was operated through the support of cadet families such as the Campbells of Barcaldine, Glenfalloch and Monzie.

Ground officers, tenant foresters, tacksmen and tenant farmers oversaw woodland management. The woodlands were inspected, before the Baron Courts met, to establish that the condition of the woodlands was to the required standard. Fines were imposed for misdemeanours. Foresters were required to oversee authorised woodcutting and to punish offenders. Park dykes were established to prevent animals eating young trees. Specially prized woodlands were enclosed. Alder, birch, willow and hazel were considered to be common woods while ash, pine and above all oak were seen as prized woods.

That woodland related offences were treated as a serious matter can be seen from the size of the fines imposed on offenders. The Benderloch Court fines relating to such offences in 1619 reached the considerable sum of £Scots234, an amount comparable to the cost of Glenorchy’s birlinn of 1635. At the dates of building of the vessels described above there is evidence, within the context of the Glenorchy Campbell lands, of disciplined community involvement in woodland resource management (36).

Appendix II, Notes relating to the 1635 and 1695 accounts

(i) Notes on the 1635 account

(a) Archibald Campbell, (Gilleasbuig Caimbeul, Mac Cailein Mor), 8th Earl and 1st. Marquess of Argyll, (1607-61), the most powerful of the Covenanters, but he was defeated by Montrose and Alastair MacColla between 1644-7. He withdrew in his galley from the battle of Inverlochy on 2nd February 1645. The Marquess suffered from a squint giving him a distinctly shifty look. He was executed as a traitor in 1661.

(b) The Mac Gille Chonaills, (Mac Gille Chonaill, son of the servant of St.Conall, various English spellings occur); were hereditary ship and boat builders to both the Campbells of Argyll and the Campbells of Breadalbane. The Clann Mhic Gille Chonaill kindred also provided servitors and a chaplain to the Campbells of Breadalbane and servitors to various other Campbell families. The kindred may have had its origins in Galloway. There are demonstrable links between southwest Scotland and Argyll, including early Campbell marital links, however the eponym of this kindred, some presumably notable Gille Chonaill, has not yet been identified. In Campbell related documents the earliest recorded occurrence of a person with this surname is the inclusion, in a letter of remission issued by James III on 7th.January 1482, (in connection with the King’s abduction at the “Raid of Lauder”), in favour of Colin, (Campbell), Earl of Argyll, Duncan Campbell of Glenurquhay and their supporters, including a “Duncan Reouch MackGill Quhamyll” (Donnchadh Riabhach Mac Gille Chonaill) whose obit appears in 1526 in the Chronicle of Fortingall. (37).

(c) Mac Gille Hauis, (Mac Gille Thamhais), son of the servant of St. Thomas, a surname associated mainly with Perthshire and Stirlingshire. Persons with this surname are not generally known to have provided shipwrights in Lorn.

(d) Mac an Tyre, (Mac an t-Saoir), the son of the wright, a surname traditionally associated with the MacDonalds but known to history as subordinate to the chiefs of upper Lorn. Included among the “native men” of the Stewarts of Appin and said to have been hereditary foresters to the Stewarts of Lorn and later to the Campbells. Members of “Clan Teir” gave their bond to Campbell of Glenurquhay in 1556. The chief of the MacIntyres held Glen Noe, Loch Etive, Argyll. Other leading MacIntyres are listed, in the 1715 “Valuation of Proprietors of Argyllshire”, as holding Grunachy and Lettirs.

(ii) Notes on the 1695 account

(a) John Campbell, 11th. Laird of Glenorchy and 1st. Earl of Breadalbane, 1635-1717), the Earl of Argyll was the nephew by marriage of Breadalbane. Breadalbane, known to his contemporaries as “Grey John” (Iain Glas) was famously described as, “cunning as a fox, wise as a serpent and as slippery as an eel”. He is also stated to have been a, “bold looking, impressive man of fair complexion”, and to have had, “the gravity of a Spaniard”. He submitted to William of Orange in 1689 and offered to treat with the rebel chiefs after the battle of Killiecrankie, meeting them at Achallader in June 1691 and signing private articles with them. It has been suggested that he may have given the Earl of Stair the idea to proceed against the MacIans of Glencoe, but his involvement is unlikely. Imprisoned by the Scots Parliament but released on the orders of William, Breadalbane was a half-hearted participant in the 1715 Jacobite Rising. He was not generally liked or trusted other than by his own people who gave him the respect and unquestioning loyalty due to a Ceann-cinnidh, the chieftain and head of his kin.

Breadalbane was cousin to Robert Campbell, 5th. Laird of Glenlyon, (1623-96), who had suffered great loss when his lands were despoiled by the MacIans of Glencoe and the Keppoch MacDonalds. Glenlyon’s losses from the raid of 1689 were said to have amounted in total to £Scots8, 373-14s-7d. Glenlyon commanded the two British Army Companies of the Earl of Argyll’s Regiment sent to Glencoe and ordered to attack the MacIans resulting in the notorious “Massacre of Glencoe” (13th. Feb.1692), subsequently the official Commission of Enquiry into the massacre condemned him for his actions at Glencoe.

(b) Alexander Campbell of Barcaldine was Chamberlain to the Earl of Breadalbane at the time of the “Massacre of Glencoe”. He offered to secure the Glencoe men remission and restitution if they exonerated the Earl.

(c) Colin Campbell of Carwhin, Writer to the Signet in Edinburgh, was the law agent for the Earl of Breadalbane and active in Breadalbane’s interest throughout the tortuous events surrounding the “Massacre of Glencoe”.

(d) John Campbell of Innerzeldies was Breadalbane’s Chamberlain in Lismore and feuar of Balliveolan and Ballimakillichan, two townships on the island of Lismore, from 1678. The Innerzeldies Campbells had held the wadset of Balliveolan from 1664 and had rented parts of Ballimakillichan since at least 1656.

Appendix III Some comparative costs and values in 17th century Argyll

Payments to Craftsmen

The rates of payment for particular wrights and a smith doing particular tasks are detailed in the accounts listed above. It was often the case in the highlands and islands of Scotland that skilled professional people were given concessions in their rents or a rent free holding. Two examples may be cited (38).

(i) In 1679 the halfpenny land of Salchur, Mull, was held by “the tinklers relict (widow)” who claimed she had it rent free since her late husband had been tinker, (a smith of non-ferrous metals), to MacLean of Duart.

(ii) In 1718 Donald Chisholm, wright, was tenant of the four penny land of Kilbeg in Skye. Chisholm also held a further penny land, rent-free. A sure sign that he was held in esteem by the MacDonalds of Sleat on account of his skill as a wright

Of the Mac Gille Chonaill wrights mentioned above Donald Oig McIlchonil together with Duncan and Donald, past sixty years old, were living at Inverawe, Loch Etive, Agyll in 1692 while Callum lived across the river Awe at Killispickerill (now Taynuilt) (30). It is not known if any of these persons enjoyed rent relief or any free land. It would however seem that it was family members from these persons’ parents’, or grandparents’, generation who built the 1635 birlinn.

Values for livestock in 17th.Century Argyll

It is interesting to compare the costs of the two boats with the mid 17th.Century values for livestock in Argyll. (39).
  Animal Cost - £Scots  
  Horse 9 (Approx)  
  Mare 9 to 13  
  Sheep or Goat 1 (approx)  
  Cow 8 to 14  
  Stirk (young bullock) 9  

Hence the birlinn was approximately equivalent to the value of twenty-four good cows while the twelve-oared boat was equal in value to only sixteen good cows.

Wages claimed for the Marquess of Argyll’s Regiment in 1644

Comparing the costs of these boats with the claimed costs of military personnel based on figures given for the Marquess of Argyll’s Regiment in 1664 provides the following surprising facts (40).
  Numbers of and Rank Wages £Scots per individual per month  
  3 Colonels 1000  
  3 lieutenant commissioners 200  
  26 Captains 100  
  26 Lieutenants 45  
  52 Sergeants 15  
  78 Corporals 12  
  52 drummers and pipers 12  
  26 Captains at arms 12  
  3 Regimental Quartermasters 45  
  3 Regimental Scryveners 30  
  3 Provost Marshalls 45  
  3 Chirugeons 45  
  3 Ministers 40  
  3 Drummers Majors 18  
  2600 Common soldiers 5200  

In brief each boat cost in the order of the wage of one lieutenant commissioner for one month or conversely the monthly wages of some twenty to thirty common soldiers.

Testaments from 17th.Century Argyll

Testaments are of much interest in defining the relative wealth of individuals throughout society and it has been calculated that the average net estate left by Scottish peers between 1610 and 1637 was £Scots 24,541. This contrasts with the average testament for all members of the community during the same period of £Scots 96. (41) A particularly interesting comparison of the costs of the boats described above is with the value of the testaments of small farmers in Argyll. Shaw has published a sample of such testaments for the period 1675 to 1708 extracted from documents held in the National Archives of Scotland (42) and this indicates that a small tenant farmer left an average estate valued at £Scots130; approximately half the cost of a birlinn or a twelve-oared boat


The author wishes to thank all the persons without whose help and encouragement this paper would not exist particularly Ronald Black, Dr. Steven Boardman, Alastair Campbell of Airds, Prof. Allan I. MacInnes, and Dr. Ole Crumlin-Peterson


(1) Campbell of Airds, A., and McWhannell, D. C., “The MacGillechonnells, a family of hereditary boatbuilders”, West Highland Notes & Queries, July 1995, Series 2, No.14, 3-9. ; MacInnes, Rev. J., “West highland sea power in the middle ages”, Transactions of the Gaelic Society of Inverness, Vol. XLVIII, 1973-74, 527 ; McWhannell, D.C., “Ship service and indigenous sea power in the west of Scotland”, West Highland Notes & Queries, Aug. 2000, Series 4, Vol.1, 3-18. McWhannell, D.C., “The galleys of Argyll”, The Mariners Mirror, Feb. 2002,Vol. 88, No.1, 14-32 ; Rixson, D., “The West Highland Galley”, pub. Edinburgh,1988, 53-83
(2) Grant. I.F., “The MacLeods”, pub, London 1959, 359-360.
(3) Crumlin-Pedersen, O., et al, “Viking age ships and shipbuildingin Hedeby/Haithabu and Schleswig”, pub. Roskilde, 1997.
(4) Campbell of Airds, A., “A History of Clan Campbell”, Vol.1, pub. Edinburgh, 2000, 181-189.
(5) McWhannell, D.C., “The galleys of Argyll”, The Mariners Mirror, Feb. 2002,Vol. 88, No.1, 14-32
(6) Dodgshon, R. A., “From Chiefs to Landlords”, pub. Edinburgh, 1988.
(7) Ibid., 96-97.
(8) Macinnes, A. I., “Clanship, Commerce and the House of Stuart, 1603-1788”, pub. East Linton, 1996, 75.
(9) Argyll Archives, Bundle 93/260 (dated 1748), (with kind permission of His Grace the Duke of Argyll).
(10) MacInnes, A.I., “Landownership, land use and elite enterprise in Scottish Gaeldom”, in “Scottish Elites”, ed. Devine, T.D., pub. Edinburgh, 1994, 5.
(11) Ibid. Appendix 6, Landed Elites, 41
(12) N.A.S., Breadalbane Muniments, GD112/9/1/3/7.
(13) Argyll Archives, Bundle 132/4, (dated 1678), (with kind permission of His Grace the Duke of Argyll).
(14) Shaw, F.J., “The Northern and Western Isles of Scotland”, pub. Edinburgh, 1980, 135.
(15) Argyll Archives, Bundle 147/1, dated 1694, (with kind permission of His Grace the Duke of Argyll).
(16) Brown, K.M., “Noble Society in Scotland”, pub. Edinburgh, 2000, 32.
(17) Ibid.84.
(18) Mowat, S., “The Port of Leith”, pub. Edinburgh, 1994, 33-34.
(19) Macdougall, N., “James IV”, pub. East Lothian, 1997, Chapter 9, 229.
(20) Graham, E. J., “A Maritime History of Scotland, 1650-1790”, pub. East Lothian, 2002, 13-14.
(21) National Archives of Scotland, (N.A.S.), Breadalbane Muniments, GD112/9/5/15/6.
(22) Andersen, E., Crumlin-Petersen, O., Vadstrup, S., and Vinner, M., “Roar Ege, Skuldelev 3 skibet som archaelogisk eksperiment,” pub. Vikingeskipshallen i Roskilde, 1997, Denmark.
(23) Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments in Scotland, (R.C.A.H.M.S.), Inventories, Outer Hebrides, No.111, Rodel, Harris.
(24) McWhannell, D.C., “The galleys of Argyll”, The Mariners Mirror, Feb. 2002,Vol. 88, No.1, 14-32
(25) Campbell of Airds, A., “A History of Clan Campbell, Vol. 2”, pub. Edinburgh. 2002, 209-222; Furgol, E. M., “A Regimental History of the Covenanting Armies”, 1639-1651, pub. Edinburgh, 1993, 6-7 and 80-93.
(26) McWhannell, D.C., “Ship service and indigenous sea power in the west of Scotland”, West Highland Notes & Queries, Aug. 2000, Series 4, Vol.1, 3-18. McWhannell, D.C., “The galleys of Argyll”, The Mariners Mirror, Feb. 2002,Vol. 88, No.1, 14-32
(27) National Library of Scotland, MS 72.2.11, (see also MacLeod, A., “Sar Orain”, Glasgow, 1933, 21-129).
(28) N.A.S., Barcaldine Muniments, GD170/203/15/17, (with kind permission of the Trustees of Sir A.W.D. Campbell of Barcaldine).
(29) Private communication from Dr. O. Crumlin-Petersen.
(30) Campbell of Airds, A., and McWhannell, D. C., “The MacGillechonnells, a family of hereditary boatbuilders”, West Highland Notes & Queries, July 1995, Series 2, No.14, 3-9.
(31) R.C.A.H.M.S., Argyll, Vol. 2, Lorn, pub. Edinburgh, 1975, 239.
(32) Campbell of Airds, A., and McWhannell, D. C., “The MacGillechonnells, a family of hereditary boatbuilders”, West Highland Notes & Queries, July 1995, Series 2, No.14, 3-9.
(33) Inveraray Texts, Original letters in the Argyll Charter Chest Inveraray, (with kind permission of His Grace the Duke of Argyll).
(34) . McWhannell, D.C., “The galleys of Argyll”, The Mariners Mirror, Feb. 2002,Vol. 88, No.1, 14-32
(35) Graham, E. J., “A Maritime History of Scotland, 1650-1790”, pub. East Lothian, 2002, 1-89 ; Mowat, S., “The Port of Leith”, pub. Edinburgh, 1994, 33-4, 66, 69, 154-5, 212-13, 225-7, 277-8, and 271 ; Macdougall, N., “James IV”, pub. East Lothian, 1997, 223-246 ; Smout, T.C., “Scottish Trade on the Eve of Union, 1660-1707”, pub. Edinburgh, 1963, 47-71.
(36) Watson, F., “Rights and responsibilities” in Smout, T.C., ed., “Scottish woodland history”, pub. Edinburgh, 1997, 01-114
(37) Innes, C., (ed.), “The Black Book of Taymouth”, pub. Edinburgh, 1885, 119 ; N.A.S., Breadalbane Papers, GD112/3/6
(38) Shaw, F.J., “The Northern and Western Isles of Scotland”, pub. Edinburgh, 1980, 133-4.
(39) Ibid., 110-117.
(40) Argyll Archives, Bundle 7/139-41, (with kind permission of His Grace the Duke of Argyll).
(41) Brown, K.M., “Noble Society in Scotland”, pub. Edinburgh, 2000, 106-7.
(42) Shaw, F.J., “The Northern and Western Isles of Scotland”, pub. Edinburgh, 1980, 111-7.