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Some Historical Odds and Ends

Circa 1060 King Malcolm III (Canmor) ceded the all the islands in the West of Scotland to King Magnus of Norway around which he could navigate his ship (which included Kintyre when Magnus had himself drawn across the isthmus in a skiff).

Circa 1130 Somerled defeated the Norse in Morvern and recovered the lands of Lorne, Argyll, Kintyre and Knapdale.

In Somerled’s time Domlig or Cuduilig (the Hound of Leaves), an Abbot of Lismore circa 1150 was able to appanage his heirs in Morvern, indicating that, if the Christian Norse ever threatened the abbey and lands, they were certainly restored by Somerled. The first chief of the Clan MacLean, “Gilleathain na Tuagihe,” (circa 1210), was Domlig’s great great grandson. 

In 1164 on Somerled’s death his kingdom was divided in the Norse fashion amongst his three sons, and Dougall, the eldest son succeeded to the Kingdom of Argyll and was styled King in the Isles, Lord of Argyll and Lorn.

In 1200 John Scotus, Bishop of Dunkeld made application to the Pope to have his See divided into two, detaching that part of it which lay in Argyle. The Pope granted the bishop s request and appointed Harald as the first bishop of the new See. Initially based at Muckairn, in 1236 the seat was moved to Lismore, even though at this time it was technically in Norway. This Roman Catholic Diocese was poorly endowed with only 25 merks. 

In 1263 Ewan of Argyll, 3rd chief of the McDougalls, (who owed fealty to the Kings of Scots for the mainland possessions and to Norway for the islands) declined to join Haakon in a raid against the Scots and resigned his island territories.

In 1266 Norway ceded the isles to Scotland following the defeat of King Haakon of Norway at the battle of Largs in 1263 (therefore there were no feudal lands in the islands before 1263).

In 1289 Pope Nicholas IV wrote to Laurence, Bishop of Lismore, saying that Iona Abbey is immediately under Rome and outwith the See of Lismore.
In 1292 Argyll was created a shire and Alasdair of Argyll, lord of Lorn and 4th chief of the McDougalls was made sheriff.

At Achinduine, 10th September 1334, Ewan Lord of Lorn granted to Andrew, Bishop of Argyle, a £10 land in the island of Lismore, called Frakersek, Craiginche, and Achinduine (Achindiune is the site of the Bishop’s Palace and was previously the land of the Petitioner’s ancestor An Gorm Mor, and as late as the last century Frackersaig was in Livingstone hands).

In 1462 Pope Pius II agreed that the Cathedral Church of Dunoon should be granted to the Bishop of Lismore and Argyll for his support and that by 1512 the Cathedral of Lismore was said to be ruinous and deserted. 

From 1540 on, the 4th Earl of Argyll took action to secure his land-holdings. On the 14 March 1540 he received from the King a renewed grant of all his lands. In 1541 he resigned the Lordship and Barony of Lorn, of which he received a new grant. In 1542 the same lands were resigned and erected anew in favour of Archibald, his heir.

John McMolmore Vic Kevir, Baron a Bachuil, Coarb of St Moluag received a Charter of Confirmation from Archibald, the son of Archibald, Earl of Argyll, on 9th April, 1544, confirming the grant of lands ‘as freely as the father, grandfather and great-grandfather and other predecessors of the said John, held the lands of our predecessors, Lords of Lorn’ and ‘cum custodia dicti bacculi in puram et liberam elimosynam’.

No fresh grants FRANKALMOIGN were permitted to be made legally after 1290, except by the Crown. FRANKALMOIGN has been defined as follows. “Sometimes religious bodies and religious persons, monasteries, bishops, parsons, hold lands for which they do no earthly service to the lord. They are said to hold by way of FREE ALMS, FREE CHARITY, PER LIBERAM ELEMOSYNAM, IN FRANKALMOIGN. The theory of tenure is saved by the doctrine, that they owe spiritual service, that they are bound to pray for the soul of the donor who has given them this land.” 

In 1544 Archibald, the son of Archibald, Earl of Argyll was consolidating his own position, and that he claimed that his predecessors, the McDougall lords of Lorn, had made the original grant, but that this was improbable in the extreme, given the terms of the grant and the nature of a Coarb.

Circa 1610 Sir Donald Campbell of Airds acquires possession of all the lands of Livingstone south of Fuaran Frangaig, including Bailegarbh, Cnoc na Croiche to the Lake of Cileandrais, Garadh nan Cleireach, Peighinn Chailean, and on to Crois Dughaill.

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Last modified: September 02, 2004