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The Gaelic Place names of Glen Aray + Inverary

The Historical and Linguistic background

( The Original copy of this manuscript was given to historian James Beaton by the local historian at Inverary - it had been given in the form of an address to the local historical society.
Presumably he gave a copy of this to Ian McNeur or Alice Collins and it was found among Ian's papers.

In the typing of it, I have omitted all the references and abbreviations used throughout.)

In examining the place names of an area, it is necessary to know something of the history of that area, and also what the linguistic situation in it has been. This will be dealt with in this first section, with some account of the history of the parish of Glen Aray and Inverary from the 15th century to the present day being given. The linguistic changes which have taken place in the parish in that same period will also be discussed.

Although dealing with the history of the parish from the 15th century onwards, we note the first mention of the parish is almost 100 years before the beginning of the period under discussion, This is in 1304, when the rector of the parish, Gilbert, is a witness to a grant of land from Ewen of Argyll, Lord of Lorne, to Andrew, Bishop of Argyll. The name of the parish at this point is Kilmaduff, which would seem to indicate that the main chapel in it was dedicated to St Mael-dubh, as is suggested in "Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae". By 1450 the name of the parish has come to be written Kilmolew, suggesting a change in pronunciation, which will be discussed in the section dealing with the place names themselves. Kilmolew, or Kilmalieu, remained the name of the parish up until 1650, when it was divided in two parishes, Glen Aray and Inverary. The parish boundaries in this early period seem to have been much the same as they are today, with one exception. The eastern sideoif Glen Shira was added to the parish in 1650, with the River Shira being the boundary marker up until then.

The situation of the chapel of kilmalieu was somewhere between the River Aray and the present day burial ground of Kilmalieu. It's site is marked by a green knoll. However, this was not the only chapel in the parish. The others were Kilblaan, Kilmun, Kilian and Kilbride. There was also a chapel at Auchentiobart, on the hillside, above the present village of Furnace. But there is no evidence to suggest to which saint this was dedicated. In "Origines Parochiales Scotiae", Cosmo Innes mentions there being a chapel in Glen Shira, but this may well refer to the one at Kilblaan, which is in that glen.

Of the town of Inverary itself, not much is known in the early stages of its development, However, it seems likely that there was a considerable settlement there by the time that the castle was completed by Sir Colin Campbell, the first laird of Glenurqhuay. In 1432, with the element of attractive growth which the castle and the period of its construction must surely have afforded, it seems likely that the town underwent expansion from the 1420's onward.

Initially, the parish appears to have been within the sphere of influence of the MacDougall lords of Lorne, as the charter of 1304, would seem to indicate. But by the beginning of the 15th century the main power in the area had become the clan Campbell. It seems possible that Campbell influence in the area had existed long before the beginning of the 15th century, as their rise to importance had begun with their support of King Robert Bruce in the Scottish Wars of Independence in the early 14th century, which resulted in the barony of Lochow being granted to Sir Neil Campbell. They can be seen making gains of land in that parish in the early 15th century. In 1403, it is found that Margaret, daughter of Gyllecrist called Macgillegeachin, with the consent of her son and heir Fynlay Macawaran, resigned to Colin Campbell, Lord of Lochow, her overlord, the sixth part of the lands of Glenserw, and other lands which heritably belonged to her, and which had formerly belonged to Alexander M'Neachden, lord of the same lands. It is possible, and indeed likely, that this acquisition of lands in the area by Campbells had been going on for some time prior to this.

That the area was Gaelic speaking at this point cannot be doubted. The place-name evidence, which will be discussed in the next section, shows this, as does the geographical situation of the parish. The area seems to have been on the edge of the territory of the Gaelic-speaking Scots from an early period, and was thus probably Gaelic-speaking from well before 1000AD. The Campbells themselves were a Gaelic kindred, and in the 14th and 15th centuries, they were part of the confederacy of clans which looked to the Lordship of the Isles for leadership. They had, however, been involved in Lowland Scottish politics since the time of the Wars of Independence, and as the 15th Century went on, they began to take a more separate line from the Lordship, becoming more an more involved in Lowland politics. This can be seen by their rise in the Scottish Peerage, and also by their rise to eminence in the public life of Scotland during the 15th Century. The clan chief was created the first Lord Campbell in 1445. The 2nd Lord Campbell was made the first Earl of Argyll in 1457, and became the Master of the Royal Household in 1464, the title becoming hereditary ten years later. The first Earl was also the Chancellor of Scotland, as was his son. The 3rd Earl was prominent also in the political life of the kingdom, and in the 16th century, the 4th and 5th Earls were among the leaders of the movement for a reformed church. Since those men were so prominent in the life of the court and government, which had had Scots as its official language since 1398, they were, without doubt, extremely fluent speakers of that tongue. The practical result of their Lowland involvement can be seen in the Highlands themselves, as in 1442, Duncan Campbell of Lochow founded the collegiate church of Kilmun. This church had a provost and seven chaplains, the only one of its kind inside the Highland line.

Despite this high level of participation in the affairs of the Lowlands, the Campbell chiefs remained Gaelic. Perhaps the best evidence for this is the relatively large amount of extant classical verse addressed to members of the clan. Professor William Gillies has commented that the total of surviving classical verse addressed to Campbells is considerable by Scottish standards. Poems in classical verse are also attributed of members of the House of Argyll. There is, for example, a short poem in the 16th Century manuscript "The Book of the Dean of Lismore", which is ascribed to Iseabal Ni Mheic Cailein, the wife if the first Earl of Argyll.

It is highly likely that the chiefs of the Clan were given a training in the language used in classical verse. This classical dialect was somewhat different from the vernacular by the 15th century, and it was therefore necessary for the recipients of those poems to have some knowledge of the language in which they were written. There is some evidence for this in the first poem in W.J.Watson's edition of Scottish verse from the Book of the Dean of Lismore. In that poem, Fynlay McNab of Bovain, the poet, urges the compiler of the manuscript not to send any poor quality poems to the Early of Argyll. In Watson's translation, the quatrain reads "write expertly, learnedly, their lore and their tuneful works, bring unto Mac Cailein no poem lacking artistry to be read". This may be bardic hyperbole, but it can also indicate that the chiefs of the Clan Campbell had some knowledge of the language of classical verse. This is further borne out by the introduction to John Carswell's translation of the Book of Common Order, which is in the classical dialect and is addressed to the Earl of Argyll. The Campbell chiefs also patronised the MacEwen bardic poets and this points to their deep involvement in Highland culture and politics. To quote Professor William Gillies "...only a man with acceptable claims and pretensions in the Gaelic sphere would have aspired to keep an ollamh in the first place".

(Note by KM:, Ollamh appears to be a wise or holy man and poet.
Originating from early Druid cults, the ollamh was the most holy level of Druid, who could speak several languages, wrote most of the poetry and was considered the leader of the community or of the country)

Therefore, it can be seen that by the end of the 15th Century, the House of Argyll straddled the Highland Line, participating actively in both Highland and Lowland politics. Perhaps the best example of a member of the family doing this is the 2nd Earl of Argyll, who had a good enough knowledge of the classical language to understand the poem "Ar sliocht Gaohal o Ghort Greag", and incitement to battle composed before the battle of Flodden. He was also the Chancellor of Scotland, a post which surely demanded a thorough knowledge of, and great fluency in, Scots.

This ambivalent attitude on the part of the Earls of Argyll can also be seen in the translation of the Book of Common Order, under the auspices of the 5th Early of Argyll. It was surely the Campbell involvement in the Lowlands which had made them aware of the religious developments taking place there, and it was their role as a considerable power in the Highlands which allowed them to introduce those new ideas and changes.

Therefore, the question arises: what effect did this have on the parish itself? First of all, it is necessary to determine if Campbell involvement in the Lowlands brought people from there to the Highlands.

As has already been mentioned, the first evidence for Campbell presence in the parish is in a document of 1403. Notaries public were necessary for drawing up those charters. They played an important part in the legal life of 15th and 16th century Scotland. They wrote the charters in many cases, and it was their duty to take the names of all witnesses and to certify the time and place at which the transaction took place. It is from the orthography of many of the Gaelic personal names in those documents that it is possible to see that the Notaries who wrote them had a knowledge of Scots and that they may well have been Scots speakers in an otherwise Gaelic-speaking area. However, it must be borne in mind that the documents were probably intended to be read by a Scots speaker who would not be able to read Gaelic orthography. But the spelling system is certainly Scots and seems reminiscent of the orthography if the Book of Dean Lismore. For example, in 1403, the personal name Giolla-criosd is spellt Gyllecrist, and the surname MaIomhair is found spellt in 3 different ways. In 1558 it is M'Iver, in 1562 it is M'Keuir and in 1572 it is written Makewer.

This would therefore suggest that there may have been Scots speakers in the area in the form of Notaries Public. However it is likely that there were other legal officials in the parish in the 1st quarter of the 15th century. This was because of the baronial court. The parish had probably come under the jurisdiction of the Lord of Lochow from the 14th century onwards. This barony had been granted to Sir Neil Campbell in 1315. When a barony was accepted, the baron became responsible for law and order in it. He had the power of "pit and gallows". This type of court might be presided over by the baron or his baillie, by both of them, or by 2 baillies. The judges of the court were called suitors. They held land by suit of court, and for them, attendance at court was a feudal duty. Scots had become the official language of the Kingdom in 1398, and it seems not unreasonable to suggest that there may have been courts being conducted in Scots in the parish by the time that Campbell settlement in the area was made permanent in 1432. Therefore, as the Campbell involvement in the Lowlands had begun by this time, Lowlanders may have been taken in to the area to administer the court, and it also seems likely that there were local Gaelic-speaking men involved in this who may have learnt Scots as part of their duties as administrators or judges.

The Campbells also probably imported lowland craftsmen and merchants into the town and parish. There is no direct evidence for this in Inverary, but a parallel can be seen at the court of the Lordship of the Isles in the 15th Century, where there was a taylor named Henry Tulloch, whose name suggests that he came from the Scots-speaking North East of Scotland. It is likely that the Campbell chiefs also had such people in their employ.

In 1457, Colin Campbell, 2nd Lord Campbell, was made 1st Earl of Argyll, and it was from this point on that Inverary's fortunes began to flourish, In 1474, the town was created a burgh of barony, because of its lord's loyalty to King James III, and his father before him. This meant that Inverary had new treading and administrative powers. The burgh was entitled to hold a market once a week, and 2 yearly week-long fairs, one beginning on the feast of Michael the Archangel (29 Sept) and the other beginning on the feast of St Brandon (16 May). The burgh was also entitled to have burgesses and bailies and any other officers needed for the government of the town.

The setting up of a burgh probably led to the existence of a burgh court in it. Those courts evolved to deal with petty misdemeanours in the burgh itself, and it probably existed alongside the baronial court. All burgesses had to attend the court, which convened three times annually. It us highly unlikely that the proceedings of this court were carried on in any language other than Scots. Therefore, some of the burgesses must have had a knowledge of that language and I would suggest that they were merchants or tradesmen who were in the town, It seems likely that there were also local men involved in the administration of the burgh. This can be seen at the end of the 16th Century when a Duncan M'Iver was the town's chamberlain.

Traders and craftsmen from the Lowlands can be seen in the burgh after the elevation of the town's status. This became particularly clear in the 16th Century. At the time of the Reformation, there is mention of one Duncanson, in a local tradition concerning the Parson of Kilmalieu, John MacVicar, a local seer. Duncanson is said to have been a glovemaker, and if he was an historical character, this name would suggest that he came from the Scots-speaking east of Scotland. However, more concrete evidence than that of local tradition exists for trading links between Inverary and the Lowlands. In 1555 it is found that fishing boats from the Lowland ports of Glasgow, Ayr and Irvine had resorted to Loch Fyne for herring. This is made all the more likely by Inverary's situation, which makes it very easily accessible from the Lowlands by sea.

In 1595, one Duncan M'Iver made over to the Earl of Argyll his offices of chamberlain and mayor of Inverary. This included lands which he held, and amongst those lands are places called "peatland", "brewsterland" and "Maltland". Those names appear alongside Gaelic names such as Auchareoch and Portinstonnich, so that they do not appear to be translations of Gaelic names into Scots. The document in which those names are found is, in fact, in Scots. Therefore, the fact that there were Scots names in the parish at that point would seem to indicate that there were Scots speakers there as well, who had been taken in to deal with local industry. One of those names, "maltland", has survived until the present, indicating that the level of Scots speakers in the parish was high enough to ensure that the Scots version of the name became the accepted local usage.

However, despite the influx of Lowlanders into the parish, traditional Gaelic society seems to have been little affected. The Earls of Argyll remained involved in Gaelic culture, with the 4th Earl seemingly visited by an ollamh in 1555. At a lower social level, society remained traditionally Gaelic, as can be seen from the composition of "Luinneag MhicNeachduin", a song about the chief of the kindred closest to the Campbells, the MacNaughtons of Dundarave. This song seems to commemorate an event which took place in 1627.

Before moving on to consider the 1640's and 50's, which were in many ways the beginning of a new era for the parish, it seems appropriate to try and ascertain what exactly was the linguistic situation in the town from the creation of the burgh of barony to the mid 17th Century. It seems likely that the answer lies in bilingualism to a certain extent among the Gaels, especially those of some social standing, and it seems probably that this can be said to apply to all Lowland settlers in the town. The latter would have had to deal with monoglot Gaels whose incentive to learn Scots would not have been great. It is possible that there may have been a dialect, which was a mixture of Scots and Gaelic, in existence. There was a dialect like this in the Kintyre area up until the present century, so this was not unlikely in Inverary's case.

It can be seen, however, that despite the number of Lowlanders in the town, Gaelic remained important to the Earls of Argyll. In the 1630's, the then Lord and Lady Lorne, the later Marquess and Marchioness of Argyll, sent their son to Campbell of Glenorchy to be fostered. He also seems to have been sent there to learn Gaelic, a task which he apparently undertook without much enthusiasm. In a letter to Campbell of Glenorchy, his mother voices her concern over this in the following terms "...I heair my sone begines to wearye of the Irishe landwadge. I intreatt yowe to cause hold him to the speaking of itt, for since he hes bestowed so long time and paines in the getting of itt, I sould be sorry he lost itt now in not speaking of itt." Underneath this maternal concern, it is possible that the real reason for the wish that the young chief should not lose his Gaelic, is that he would find it necessary for the part that he would play in the politics of the Highlands.

The 1640's and 1650's were a period of great change in the parish, and they witnessed the first real decline of Gaelic there. In 1638, the 8th Earl of Argyll, the later first Marquess, became a supporter of the National Covenant, and in the 2 decades which followed, he was much involved in the events of the time. His sympathy with the ideals of the Covenant led him to provide a haven for Lowland Covenanters who were being harried by Royalist forces. They seem to have begun arriving in the 1640's, and by 1650 there were enough of them for provision to be made for a separate Lowland charge to be set up. Their religious beliefs were important to them, and this new charge enabled them to hear regular preaching in their own tongue. As a result, the parish of Kilmalieu was divided into 2 parishes, Glen Aray - the Gaelic charge, and Inverary - the English charge. The Marquess of Argyll did not hesitate in showing which language he intended to worship in. He became a member of the Lowland congregation and Kirk Session, having been a member of the Kirk Session of Kilmalieu.

The Marquess of Argyll seems to have turned away from Gaelic society at this time. He seems to have dispensed with the services of the MacEwen bardic family at this point. This can be seen in a poem, ascribed by professor Derick Thomson to a member of that family, in which the poet asks for his patrimony to be restored. Professor Thomson has dated the poem to between 1641 and 1645. Therefore it can be said that the Highland aspect of the Campbells political life was being ignored to a great extent, for, in dispensing with the bard, who's existence was necessary in Highland society to perpetuate the society and to comment on its politics, the Marquess seems to have distanced himself from Highland Society.

There is other evidence for the increasing use of English or Scots in the are during this period. The Synod of Argyll debated its business in Scots from its inception in 1639, although the names of its members do not reveal anyone who is likely to have been a monoglot speaker of Scots. In the parish itself, a school was mooted in 1639 by the Synod. However, due to a lack of funds and the sack of the town in 1644 but the Marquess of Montrose, the school did not materialise unto 1649, when the Inverary Grammar School was founded. The where-with-all to do this was provided by a fund set up to relieve destitution caused by the Royalist incursions, and money donated by the Marquess of Argyll. Despite the fact that the original intention of the Synod had been to provide a schools for training up boys in Gaelic for the Ministry, and they had been empowered by an act of parliament to do so, it seems unlikely that this ever took place. In the 1650's, the Lowland Kirk Session are found running the school, and sending their children there, although Gaelic speaking children also attended there. It is highly improbable that the medium of instruction was Gaelic however, when the names of the school-teachers in the first decade of the School's existence were Fleming, Cooke and Burns!

In the 1600's, evidence is found suggesting that the more affluent Highlanders in the area had some knowledge of Scots. This can be seen in the records of members of the assize of the Argyll Justiciary Court when they were held in Inverary. On the 28th Sept 1669, the assize was made up of local men, with one exception, a man from Dunoon. There is a mixture of Lowlanders and Highlanders in it, as can be seen from the following list: Nicoll M'Nicoll in Elrigmore, Duncan M'Nokaird in Coulfockan, Duncan M'Vicar in Salachrie, Patrick M'Kellar in Mame, John M'Allister in Inverary, Walter Graham ther, Duncan M'Kenechow ther, Adam Marshall ther, John M'Arthor in Dunoon, William Ewing in Kilmalieu, Duncan Fisher in Inverary, Duncan Duncanson ther, Sorle M'Dowgall ther, Donald M'Inroich, fier of Stuckagey.

This list contains both Highland and Lowland names from the country and from the town. The members of the assize had to be men of some substance, and resident in the area of the crime. The proceedings of the court seem to have been in Scots, and there is no mention of an interpreter , so it must be assumed that the members of the assize whose names show them to be Gaelic speakers, had a knowledge of Scots.

The latter years of the 17th century were difficult ones for the house of Argyll and also for the parish. In 1661, the Marquess of Argyll had been executed and his marquessate forfeited. His son, the 9th Earl succeeded him, but by 1681 he had also become a cause for royal displeasure for refusing to subscribe to the Test Act. He was condemned to death for this, but managed to escape from Edinburgh Castle and fled abroad. He returned from Holland in 1685, hoping to lead a rebellion against King James VII , on behalf of the Duke on Monmouth. Argyll hoped to rally his men in the county to his cause, but only 37 came out. As a result, any rebellion which the Earl had planned had to be abandoned. He was captured trying to ford the River Cart near Glasgow, and executed on June 30th 1685. His heritable jurisdictions were taken over by the Marquess of Atholl, who proceeded to devastate the surrounding countryside. Relief for this was slow in coming, and in fact not much seems to have been done by the beginning of the 18th Century to alleviate the distress of the people. This can be seen by a petition sent by the people of the town to the Duke or Argyll, asking him to provide better living conditions for them. From this it is learnt that there was neither manse nor school in the parish and that only 10 men in it could speak English. It is not clear from the source which parish is being referred to. But if it were the Lowland parish, which is the more likely of the two, as the complaint is from the people of Inverary, it seems scarcely credible that a parish would be maintained for only 10 English speakers and their families, Also, as Inverary had been a Royal Burgh for more than half a century by this time, it seems highly unlikely that only 10 English speakers would have been able to deal with the complex administration of a Royal burgh, and the running of the courts which were situated in the town at this time.

At this point it is appropriate to look at the Dukes of Argyll and Gaelic in the 18th Century. As has already been said, the trappings of a Highland chief had been discarded by the Marquess of Argyll in the 17th Century, and by the 18th Century the Dukes of Argyll had become more English than Scottish in political involvement and in outlook. On the whole, they seem to have spent more time in London than at their desmesne at Inverary. The 4th Duke, who succeeded to the title in 1761 does not seem to have much time at the castle either, as there was much construction being undertaken during his tenure of the Dukedom. His son the 5th Duke finished the building of the new castle, which had been begun by the 3rd Duke to provide himself with a house when he returned to Inverary from London for the autumn. The 5th Duke spent more time at the castle than any of his predecessors , but his outlook seems to have been more European than Highland, as part of the interior decoration of the castle shows. French was also spoken fluently by him and his family, and the estate appears to have been run in English.

English continued to have increasing use in the parish in the 18th century. An English School was opened in 1736, the purpose of which was to relieve the master of the Grammar School from having to teach English to Gaelic-speaking pupils. From this, it can be seen that Gaelic in the parish was in a healthy state, as monoglot Gaelic-speaking children were coming to the school. Two other schools were opened in the parish in the latter half if the 18th century, one at Clunary in 1776, for the education of the mill workers there. The Old Statistical Account mentions a school in Glen Aray, which was run by the Scottish Society for the Propagation of Christian Knowledge. There is no evidence available to indicate in which languages these schools taught.

In 1745, the 2 parishes were made a collegiate charge, that is, one parish with two ministers - one for the Gaelic congregation, the other for the Lowland one. This new parish was Glen Aray and Inverary, which has remained its name to the present day. The year before, a military road had been constructed between Inverary and Dumbarton, and by this time there was a weekly runner going between the two towns.

In the 1740's, plans were drawn up and put into effect by the 3rd Duke of Argyll to completely rebuild the town and castle at Inverary. This massive project lasted until the early decades of the 19th century, and it resulted in a large influx of labour into the town. Most of this labour came from the Lowlands, and the overseers of the work seem to have been either English or Lowland Scots. The work at Inverary became famous thoughout the country and prompted many visitors. In the 18th century, visitors included such notable men as Boswell and Johnson, and the Duke of Rutland. It even drew people from abroad and amongst those foreign visitor was a Frenchman called Faujas de St Fond. In the 18th Century, the town itself was a centre of administration and commerce, and just before the abolition of the Duke of Argyll's heritable jurisdictions in 1746, the town contained the town houses of the Duke's tacksmen, the courts and houses of lawyers and merchants. In the 1750's, ships from as far away as Liverpool were tied up at the quay.

By the end of the 18th century, Gaelic does not seem to have survived to any great extent in the town itself. This can be seen from the Old Statistical Account, which says that English was the language of the town and Gaelic the language of the country. This is borne out by the account of Dorothy Wordsworth who visited the town in 1803. She comments that she did not hear any Gaelic from the children who she observed playing near the town. She also noted that they did not speak the usual standard English of the Highlanders. She comments:

"I observed that the children who were playing did not speak Erse, but a much worse English than is spoken by those Highlanders whose common tongue is the Erse"

The 19th century witnessed the final decline of the Gaelic language in the area. This did not happen however, until the latter part of the century. In the early decades of the 1800's, Gaelic sees to have been in a healthy state in the landward charge. This can be seen from the roll of the Gaelic School at Kenmore on the south side of Inverary. In 1830, there were 60 children in the school and the following year, there were 47 children and 7 adults. However, by 1843, the New Statistical Account reveals that Gaelic was beginning to lose ground, especially as many of the Gaelic speakers from the country were coming to the town looking for work. By 1951, the census shows that the number of Gaelic speakers in the parish had fallen to just under 10% of the population. It must be assumed that the majority of them were incomers to the area, as the Third Statistical Account mentions that there are hardly any native gaelic speakers who are also natives of the parish left alive.

The question that arises from this is, why did this demise come about so relatively quickly? After all, Gaelic and Scots or English had co-existed in the area since the 15th Century.

Perhaps one of the most important things to try and ascertain in attempting to explain this decline, is the attitude of the non-Gaelic speakers in the town towards the country people. Many of the older generation in the town can remember Gaelic as a spoken language in the area, but it was very much considered to be socially inferior, and indeed those who spoke it were regarded somewhat as bumpkins. This seems to have been especially true among children. One of the older members of the community to whom I spoke, told me that both of his parents had been Gaelic speakers, but they had not passed the language in to their children. Both had been monoglot Gaelic speakers when they went to school, and they had been jeered at for this by the town children. They did not want the same thing to happen to their offspring. It seems that treatment like this made children unwilling to speak the language. The parish had also been in a situation very like that which existed near the Highland line, ie a Gaelic-speaking area and an English-speaking area very close together. This had some effect on the Highlanders own attitudes to their culture and language, as J F Campbell of Islay found

"Highland peasants and fishermen, especially those dwelling near the Lowlands, are shy and proud, and even more particularly sensitive to criticism than peasants elsewhere."

The Gaels of the parish had been living next to a Lowland town for nearly two and a half centuries by the end of the 19th Century.

The refusal of the Gaels to speak their language in the presence of those who did not speak it, also seems to have had a detrimental effect on Gaelic as a vernacular. There is no direct example, that I know of, of this happening in Inverary, but it can clearly be seen elsewhere on Loch Fyneside. In the words of a Tarbert fisherman Hugh MacFarlane, who was born in 1884 of Gaelic speaking parents, but who did not speak Gaelic himself, the situation was as follows:

"it was dyin' oot gradually aal the time, barrin' when the ould wans wid get together... the incomin' crowd wir aal speakin' English, and not tae offend them, they spoke English too. It jeest died away from that."

Thus linguistic passivity also seems to have been a contributing factor to the decline of Gaelic in the parish.

The Education Act of 1872 made no provision for teaching through the medium of Gaelic, so it seems likely that any school using the language as a medium of instruction stopped doing so at this point. It is highly likely that this dealt Gaelic in the parish a blow from which it did not recover.

Gaelic was also not the language of advancement. I have spoken to people whose families have been in the parish for some generations, and one man told me that his father had taught himself to speak Gaelic, as his parents would not speak it to him, wishing him to be brought up speaking a language in which he would not be at a disadvantage in the world, and that language was English.

Gaelic has continued to decline in the parish in the 20th Century, as the census figures show. In 1901, 43% of the parish's population spoke Gaelic. In 1911, 37%, in 1921, 30%, in 1931 25% and in 1951 just under 10%. In the burgh itself, in 1961 the figure was 8%, and in 1971, 6%. Those last 2 figures probably do not represent the number of Gaelic speakers who were also natives of the parish. It can also be seen that the number of Gaelic speakers in the parish did not drop by any inordinate amount between 1911 and 1921, which would suggest that the number of people in the parish who were Gaelic speakers were not eligible for war service, ie they were older members of the community, and that the younger men who were being killed had no active knowledge of the language.

As Gaelic has declined in the parish in the 20th Century, the importance and power of the town and the house of Argyll has declined also. The zenith of influence of the Dukes of Argyll had been reached in the pervious century, with the marriage of one of Queen Victoria's daughters to the 9th Duke. His father, the 8th Duke, was an eminent Liberal politician, and he held the posts of Postmaster General, Lord Privy Seal and Secretary of State for India. The 9th Duke was the Governor-General of Canada. Although the interest of the 9th Duke's mother-in-law prompted a passion for things Scottish among the Victorians, that passion does not seem to have extended to Gaelic on the parts of the 8th and 9th Dukes of Argyll. However, the 2nd son of the 8th Duke, Lord Archibald Campbell, was interested in the culture of the area and made several collections of local lore and traditions, including "Records of Argyll". In the 20th Century, the family has not really participated in the political life of the country.

The town's importance has also declined, with the role of the burgh as centre of the Justiciary in the area disappearing. The last High Court in the town was held in 1934 and the Sherriff Court was no longer held in the town after 1954. Votes at General Elections are no longer counted in the burgh, a change which was first mooted as early as 1909. Inverary's traditional industries have also ceased to exist, with the town not being permitted to function as a landing port for herring after 1938. The final demise came in 1975, when the town ceased to be a Royal burgh, with the advent of Regionalisation.

The death of Gaelic has meant that there is longer any need for a minister to preach in that language. In 1929, the Free Church of Scotland and the Church of Scotland were united after nearly 90 years apart, and this meant great changes in the parish of Glen Aray and Inverary. The Gaelic charge had been vacant for some years by this time, and the 2 ministers who were in the town demitted their charge, and 1 minister took over the united charge. This was the Rev Angus Grey and under him, Gaelic services continued on a regular basis. He was translated to St James, Edinburgh in 1949. His successor was the Rev Donald MacKenzie, who has been the last Gaelic speaking minister of the parish to date. He was translated to the Barony Church, Auchterarder in 1966. He has been followed in the ministry by 3 ministers since then, the Rev David Kellas, the Rev Alexander Sommerville and most recently, by the Rev John MacQuilken.

Whereas the decline of the importance of the town occurred relatively suddenly in the last 100 years, the demise of Gaelic in the area seems to have been a process of attrition over a long period. From the 15th century to the middle of the 17th, the situation seems to have been one where the great majority of the population was Gaelic -speaking, but with a sizeable minority of Scots speakers in the parish, probably mainly concentrated in the town itself. With the large influx of Lowlanders into the town in the mid-17th Century, the parish became split in two, linguistically as well as ecclesiastically, with Gaelic being the language of the country area and English or Scots being the vernacular of the town. This situation lasted up until the 19th Century, when Gaelic died out, due to its lack of status, and also because of the negative attitude of the townspeople and the country-dwellers towards it.

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