SINCE the extinction of the direct line of the family of the Isles, in the middle of the 16th century, Macdonald of Sleat, now Lord Macdonald, has always been styled in Gaelic Mac Dhonuill nan Eilean, or Macdonald of the Isles. As the claim of Lord Macdonald, however, to this distinction has been keenly disputed. That the family of Sleat are the undoubted representatives of John, Earl of Ross, and the last Lord of the isles, appears to be admitted on all sides; but, on the other hand, if the descendants of Donald, from whom the clan received its name, or even of John of the Isles, who flourished in the reign of David II., are to be held as constituting one clan, then, according to the Highland principles of clanship, the jus sanguinis, or right of blood to the chiefship, rested in the male representative of John, whose own right was undoubted.
THE MacArthurs are Celts. A tribe of this clan were hereditary pipers to the MacDonalds of the Isles. MacArtair aided Robert the Bruce, from whom he received the forfeited estates of MacDougall. John MacArtair held princely state; but this ended when a later MacArtair was beheaded by James I, and his lands were forfeited. In later days the MacArthurs gained part of Strachur, in Cowal, Argyllshire, and also owned a portion of Glenfalloch and Glendochart. The family seat of the MacArthurs of Tir-a-cladich was on Loch Awe side. The title Mac-ic-Artair suggests that Tir-a-cladich was a cadet of the main MacArtair line.
THE name Campbell first appears in 1216, in connection with a proprietor of lands in Stirling; but the first of importance was Neil Campbell, who, in 1296, was made King Edward’s Baillie over lands in Argyll. His great-grandson was created Lord Campbell by James II, and was the first of the family to take the title of Argyll. His grandson, Colin, was made Earl of Argyll in 1457, and Baron of Lorn in 1470. The Marquis of Argyll was the great leader of the Covenanters during the Civil Wars in the reigns of Charles I and Charles II. The 8th Earl was created Duke of Argyll in 1701. The Peerages and estate descended to John, second Duke of Argyll and Earl of Greenwich (died 1743). He was succeeded by his brother, who died without issue, and so the title devolved upon his cousin, General John Campbell of Mamore. Inveraray Castle is the seat of the Campbell Chiefs, whose designation is MacCailein Mhor.