Craignish Summary




Principal Sources


RMS IV (1592) 1559

RMS V (131) 1580-1

RMS VII (1697) 1614


AS I (47) 1618, (138, 141) 1621, (205, 225) 1622, (314) 1649, (355, 360-2) 1652, (463, 472) 1660


AS II (88) 1620, (238) 1628, (471) 1633, (1169) 1664, (1324) 1666, (1386, 1388) 1667, (1467-8, 1492) 1669


GD1/426/1/2/1 1590

GD1/426/1/2/2 1609

GD1/426/1/7 1592

GD1/426/1/8/1 1678

GD1/426/1/9/1 1481

GD1/426/1/11 1660

GD1/426/1/15 1694

GD1/426/1/18 1581


GD112/1/249 1564


GD437/23 1673

GD437/34 1544

GD437/40 1590

GD437/127 1532

GD437/128 1614

GD437/129 1614

GD437/130 1622-3


Argyll Retours (13) 1609

DR6 (Argyll & Bute Archives) – Campbell of Craignish Papers

G Langlands, Plan of Craignish, 1797, copy in RCAHMS (B7554 CN & B7555 CN)

RHP 31880 Plan of Barbreck estate, Bald 1808

Roy(PC) Sheet 25

OPS II, I pp 97-100

Genealogist 29

Historical Manuscripts Commission IV p 477

Miscellany (Scottish History Society) IV pp 175- 299. (The Latin text of p 293 No 6 is given in WC Dickinson, The Toschederach, Juridical Review, 1941).


Craignish was 69½m in the 1751 Argyll Valuation Roll and the same in Smith’s table in his General View of the Agriculture of the County of Argyll of 1798. I find a minimum of 74¼m and a maximum of 76¾m. OPS II, I p 97 (quoting from Argyle Charters) states that Craignish yielded 65m p.a. to the crown in 1493. On the same page is the statement that ‘The lands of Crygnish and Glendoan extended to 90 marklands’ (quoting a ‘Paper at Taymouth’). The lands of Barbreck amounted to 40m in 1572 although this total included lands as far NE as Loch Avich as well as lands on the east side of Glen Domhain which were in Kilmartin parish. OPS II, I p 99 quotes another ‘Paper at Taymouth’ which states that Barbreck only amounted to 20m – perhaps meaning just one side of the glen. How do we reconcile all these totals?


The figures from 1572 give 12d on the east side of Glen Domhain, 9d (+1m) on the west side and 4d over the watershed below Loch Avich. Using the conversion ratio of 1d to 1½m these translate into totals of 18m, 14½m and 6m respectively. Their cumulative total is 38½m which is 1½m (or 1d) short of the nominal total of 40m. Using other data I can plot farms worth up to 19m on the east side of Glen Domhain (Kilmartin parish) and either 16m or 20¼m, (depending on whether or not we include Kilbride), on the west side which was in Craignish parish. These merkland figures do not include the farms below Loch Avich which I think should be excluded since technically they were in Dalavich parish.


It appears likely that Glen Domhain proper was 40m and that each side of the glen was worth 20m. In early times it was probably a unit in itself since there seems something artificial in the use of the river as a dividing line between the two parishes of Kilmartin and Craignish. I could well believe that in some early mediaeval reorganisation Glen Domhain was divided lengthways between its two larger neighbours.


I find between 74¼m and 76¾m for Craignish and the west side of Glen Domhain. The attrition of time usually means that the assessment we have is less than its original so it may be that it was once worth 90m – of which we have lost about 15m. In this case I suspect that some of the loss is due to the fact that Craignish includes several fair-sized islands whose values were probably forgotten when they were absorbed by mainland farms. The rate of exchange locally seems to have been 1d to 1½m, (as in Kilmartin), which means that 90m was the same as 60d or 3 ouncelands. I can only find 36d but there are large gaps in the pennyland record. (If however we presume that the full assessment survives than the total was probably 75m or 50d or 2½ ouncelands).


On the basis of Miscellany (SHS) IV p 275 No 57 of 1606 it appears that horse-gangs had crept into Craignish as other parts of the Highlands. In the same volume (p 293 No 6) we find evidence of a ‘Toisachdoir’ of Craignish in 1446-7 (see also WC Dickinson above).


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