Videos Produced by the CCEF on the Families of the Clan Campbell
How one kindred came to establish
over 200 landed family branches
in the Highlands of Scotland
The name Campbell is found all over the world, from Alberta to Zimbabwe and from Ireland to New Zealand, but the name originated in Scotland. Many other names are associated with Clan Campbell as Septs and many of these also originate from the same area and culture. This digital video/disc series describes the origins and early evolution of Clan Campbell in Scotland. Theirs was a phenomenal growth in strength from the mid twelve hundreds onwards. This colorful story is outlined here in a four-part history lecture tour of romantic castles and strongholds, handsome country houses and gardens created or owned by Campbells over the centuries.
You will be introduced to the heartland of Campbell country, Argyll in Scotland (pronounced ‘are-GYLL’). In rapid succession you are taken forward in time from the Ice Age through the creating of the landscape, the arrival of early people, the mystery of standing stones, the arrival of the Celts and the Picts, Christianity, the Norse and their cousins the Normans. You will be welcomed by the late Chief, Ian Campbell, Duke of Argyll at his castle of Inveraray and study the earliest evidence for the ancestors of the Campbells. From the conquest of Argyll by Robert Bruce and his Campbell and MacDonald allies you will watch these two families grown to be rivals.
From their island castle of Innis Chonnel (pron. Inch-CONN-ul) you will follow the colorful branches of the clan as they left the house of their fathers the Chiefs and settled on lands of their own, often building castles - and later fine houses, some becoming great lords in their own right. The phonetic sounds of their territorial titles, like CRAIGnish - straHUR - LOUDon - dunTROON - glenORRhie - ahinBRECK - echo down the ages. You will meet Alastair Campbell of Airds, author of The History of Clan Campbell and then explore the extraordinary expansion of the kindred. Now and again you will the camera will pick up one Campbell or another expounding the history and legends of the clan and learn the true facts of the terrible Massacre of Glencoe.
Following acceptance of the Norse concept of primogeniture in Scotland, the eldest son usually inherited the family lands. Had this system not been adopted, continued subdivision of property among a family's sons would have over time resulted in increasing poverty in the Highlands. For Highland fathers, finding land or livelihood for younger sons was often a more difficult task than marrying off their daughters.
The original Campbell Country was produced about 10 years ago with poor equipment and represents our first attempt at producing quality videos about the Clan Campbell. What we offer here is a completely remastered video using digital technology in a DVD format. The length of the production was expanded and is now on two DVDs.
Historian Alastair Lorne Campbell of Airds is the Former Chief Executive of Clan Campbell and Archivist at Inveraray Castle for His Grace, the Duke of Argyll. As Unicorn Pursuivant, a herald in Her Majesty's Household in Scotland, he is a member of the Court of the Lord Lyon King of Arms. Presently, he is authoring a definitive three volume history of Clan Campbell.
Diarmid Alexander Campbell is editor of the Journal of The Clan Campbell Society of North America. Growing up in Argyll and graduating from Cambridge University inspired his interest in Highland and Campbell history, enabling him to both script and narrate the videos with a unique perspective. In addition, he brings to this three-cassette series skills honed from producing documentary films in Hollywood.
Duncan Beaton is the Scottish Contributing Editor for the Journal of The Clan Campbell Society, and is a local historian and genealogist in Argyll. He appears in Volume I, and his many helpful suggestions have contributed greatly to the value of this production.
The Producer, Dr. Frederick Walter Campbell, a practicing physician with a special interest in Argyll, filmed and edited this series of videos.
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Please note that all funds received go toward the educational projects of the Clan Campbell Education Foundation.