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The Lairds of Glenlyon:  Historical Sketches
Relating to the Districts of Appin, Glenlyon and Breadalbane by Duncan Campbell (1886)


THE following Historical Sketches were first published in the form of articles contributed to the "Perthshire Advertiser" at various dates between August, 1855, and June, 1858. Their Author, Mr. Duncan Campbell, now of Inverness, was at that time Parish Schoolmaster of Fortingall, Glenlyon; he was thoroughly conversant with the topography, antiquities, and legends of the districts of Appin, Glenlyon, and Breadalbane, and had access to the family records preserved in Glenlyon House. The Sketches have been collected by Sir Donald Currie of Garth and Glenlyon, and carefully revised for him by the Author, with a view to their reproduction in the present volume.

May, 1886.

INVERNESS, July 4th, 1885.

DEAR SIR DONALD CURRIE, "The Lairds of Glenlyon" which you are republishing for private circulation from the old files of the Perthshire Advertiser; were written by me in weekly or fortnightly instalments, long, long ago, when I was schoolmaster of Fortingall, and as yet quite a young man. I was full of traditional stories I had heard in my boyhood from my grandmother, from Archibald M'Arthur, miller of St. Eonan's Mill, and many other aged persons. I possessed papers left by my grandfather, and had access to papers then at Glenlyon House, which, at a time when repairs were going on, I had the good fortune to save from being burned. Very few of the papers went further back than 1670, and the few that dated from 1620 did not tell much about Glenlyon. I had therefore at first to rely upon tradition alone in respect to the earlier history, and I found that while agreeing in the main my chief informants, who were John M'Arthur alias "Iain Mor Mac Rob," my grand-uncle, Donald M'Naughton alias "Domhnull Ciotach," Archibald M'Diarmid alias "Gilleasbuig Mor Scoileir," and the Kirkton of Fortingall veteran soldier, John Campbell alias "Iain Caimbeul a Chlaoidh," differed in details and modes of telling their stories. Before the series of papers was concluded, The Black Book of Taymouth came out; and that gave me an opportunity of supplementing and correcting traditions. The reprint will therefore contain within itself recorded history, along with traditions. The proofs of this reprint now before me contain all the purely traditional part, and what strikes me most is its general faithfulness to recorded history, and the elucidatory light it throws thereon. But on the other hand traditions always confuse chronology and obliterate or expand periods of time without remorse. I have much pleasure in sending you for an appendix to the reprint a few notes which will, I hope, help to give the book a decent historical backbone, and to atone for the defects of tradition.

I remain,

Yours truly,


of Garth and Glenlyon,
Fortingall, Perthshire.


We have 6 pages of pictures of Glenlyon

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20
Chapter 21
Chapter 22
Chapter 23
Chapter 24
Chapter 25
Chapter 26
Chapter 27
Chapter 28
Chapter 29
Chapter 30
Chapter 31

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