Marquis of Argyll’s Highland Levies

Active1644 to 1645
ConflictsFirst Civil War
ColonelMarquis of Argyll
Area RaisedArgyll
Coat ColourUnknown
Flag ColourUnknown
Flag DesignUnknown
Field ArmiesArgyll 1644-5

Covenanter Highland levies raised from Clan Campbell by the Marquis of Argyll to oppose Huntly and Montrose 1)

Service History


  • April: Argyll raises 1000 men in Argyll to oppose Huntly
  • April: Rendezvous at Dunottar Castle
  • May: Campaign from Aberdeen to Turriff, Elgin and Strathbogie
  • May: Quartered in Birse and Cromar then Aberdeen
  • June: Dispersed into garrisons at Birse, Cronar, Glentanar, Glenmuick, Abergeldie and Aboyne
  • July: March to Dunstaffnage Castle
  • July to August: Campaign in the Western Isles, Ardnamurchan, Morvern and Lochaber
  • August: Siege of Mingary Castle
  • September: Accompany Argyll to Stirling
  • September: March to Aberdeen, arriving on the 18th
  • September to October: Raid to Inverness, Dunottar, back to Aberdeen, and to Inverurie
  • October: Battle of Fyvie
  • November: At Huntly
  • November: Probably temporarily disbanded and return home


  • January: With his lands invaded by Montrose, Argyll musters the Campbell Highlanders, raising 1900 men in three battalions
  • February: Battle of Inverlochy
  • November: Remnants garrison Dundee


A history of the unit is shown in Edward M. Furgol’s A Regimental History of the Covenanting Armies 1639-1651 Edinburgh, 1990. ISBN 0 85976 194 0

Argyll's Highland levies formed a regiment during his campaigns of 1644 but after the Battle of Fyvie they seem to have stood down and returned home over the winter. Following Montrose’s invasion of Argyll's lands in 1645, Argyll hurriedly re-raised three battalions of levies from the Campbell Highlanders. They suffered very heavy casualties after defeat at the Battle of Inverlochy, but some remnants survived to be sent to garrison Dundee in the November. Argyll also raised a regular regiment of Highland foot, a Lowland regiment of foot and a Lifeguard troop of horse.

Notable Officers

Archibald Campbell, 1st Marquis of Argyll

Argyll (also spelt Argyle) (circa 1607-1661) was Chief of Clan Campbell and most prominent leader of the Scots Covenanters. In effect he ruled Scotland during the Civil Wars. Biographies can be found online at the BCW website, Wikipedia and the In 1639 he seized Hamilton's castle at Broddick. He led Covenanter forces in a raid on the Highlands during the Second Bishops' War of 1640, capturing Airlie and Dumbarton Castles. In 1644 he accompanied the Covenanter invasion of England but soon returned to Scotland, in May he took Aberdeen from Huntly's Royalists, then captured Kellie Castle. He led the Covenanters at the Battle of Fyvie and besieged Huntly Castle in winter 1644. In 1645 he was present at Inverlochy, but not a participant in the battle due to a dislocated shoulder and fled the scene in his galley on Lake Linhe. He was also present at Kilsyth. In 1648 he opposed the Engagers and later supported the Whiggamore rising, but in 1651 helped strike the deal that saw Charles II lead another Scottish army into England. In 1653 he opposed Glencairn's rising. Convicted of treason after the Restoration, he was beheaded in May 1661, his head being affixed to the same spike that had held Montrose's eleven years before.


  • April 1644: 1000 raised
  • May 1644: 800 men
  • 1000 at Inverlochy

See Also

1) Stuart Reid Scots Armies of the 17th Century 1. The Army of the Covenant Partizan Press 1998 ISBN 094652550 1