The purpose of this site is to make available 50 years of research into the Campbells of Inverawe and, eventually, their branches. They almost certainly stem from Duncan Sceodnasach, brother of Sir Colin Iongantach of Lochawe (1336-1412-14). They were sons of Gillespic of Lochawe, son of Sir Colin who was made Lord of Lochawe in 1316 and who was grandson of Cailean Mor, k. 1296, whose father or grandfather was first of the O’Duines to be nicknamed Cam buel or ‘wry mouth.’ The earliest Inverawe family records survive from 1470-1485 identifying an Archibald MacConnochie (of the sons of Duncan) Campbell to whom a grant of Inverawe must have been given by Colin 1st Earl of Argyll just after 1470. They also held the island castle of Fraoch Eilean on Loch Awe. Inverawe and Fraoch Eilean were sold, as were so many other responsibilities for people and lands in Argyll in the second half of the 18th century – Inverawe in 1765.
From the mid fifteen hundreds until the mid to late eighteenth century, the family were represented in roles of leadership under the Earls, the Marquess, and later the Dukes of Argyll. They were never titled or entered politics and, after the Reformation of 1560 remained mostly as supporters of Reform. They were involved in bloodshed, mostly due to that choice, in the time of conflict from the mid 14th century to the mid 18th century and that was expected of them as leaders of communities in the cultures of their years. Judging earlier generations by modern cultural ethics merely looks shallow.
Many of the chapters in these volumes were written as individual academic-style papers and therefore there are a number of repetitions and overlaps. So chapters can be read alone.
Towards the later chapters of volumes III – where the old purpose of a Highland kindred in protecting and nurturing people is lost through the influx of commercial economics, the shift from people to products and profit, the material focus of the place of Inverawe was lost, as was the active focus of a ‘head’ of kindred in Argyll – then cohesion falls apart and there are differences, not least over the relationship of Archibald 12th of Inverawe and the succession of representation. The emphasis shifts to the family at Auchendarroch simply because they remained connected to Argyll and their material has often survived.
The mostly polite divisions over representation – as to who was head of the kindred – are explored in the two chapters on Campbell of Inverawe-New Inverawe and Alexander of Auchendarroch – only son of Archibald 12th of Inverawe. That was a parting of ways with one line staying in Argyll and another moving away, leaving neither feeling any desire, ultimately, to cause hurt to the other by being forward in taking interest in the whole family and making a point of coming to know many others and delighting in any cohesion..
I had asked whether others of the Inverawe-New Inverawe family – descendants of Duncan the West Indies Planter and his son James Archibald, who came to represent Inverawe as the 13th head of kindred – were interested to write the chapter on their extensive descendants, but none were. He who might have had not yet retired and hopes to write on the applicants to the Inverawe fund, set up in 1718 to assist poor members of the family. And when I gave my version to one of them they did not want to be associated with it since I had felt it important to include information about the Archibald’s relationship as a marriage.
And of course, those who live outside the Highlands and seldom visit Argyll often adopt the culture of being cool to family relationships, an unconscious attitude which is more common elsewhere and among those with more urban and disparate lives. When you live constantly in crowds it is understandable to have like-mindedness more as a reason for contact than any common heritage.
There are three volumes on the main line of Inverawe up to about 1902.
Over the next two years two more volumes, 4 and 5, will be included once indexed. These concern the branches or ‘cadets’ and associated families. They are researched and written, much with the help of other researchers and historians.