THE UNIFORM OF THE ARGYLL MILITIA
From James Miles Riddell, November 11, 1809: Gentlemen:
The Duke of Argyle has desired me to settle the business relative to the Cloathing of the 1st Regt of Argyle Local Militia, and to Employ that Contractor ... Shall be Supervisor - in the quantity of Cloathing and quality of the Materials.
They leave to inform you that the Regt will wear the Highland Uniform - that the Jacket will be the Same with that of the Regular Militia of the County (Argyle).
I wish them to wear a Belted Plaid; the Jacket without lining and waistcot with Sleeves - a good Bonnet and feathers - a pair of Shoes and if possible a pair of buckles - the under Vest to be of coarse woolen materials - your Letter of the 21st April has been given to me - and if you still wish to be a competitor - I shall be Oblidged to you - to send your estimates as soon as possible. Other Contractors have given in theirs with patterns of the different articles; Addressed to Sir James Riddell, Bart. No. 30 George Street... PS Of Course you must take into your consideration the expense of sending the Cloathing to Head Quarters, Inverary, ArgylShire.
(National Archives of Scotland. Ref GD1/395/13/2)
FRENCH INVASION OFF KINTYRE
According to a story related in the Inveraray Records (see Kist No. 60, Autumn 2000), in 1798 rumours of an actual French invasion were rife:
"Shortly after six o'clock of the evening of 8th October, a horseman, who had ridden his beast hard and fast, judging from the worn-out appearance the horse presented, trotted past the church. He enquired for the Provost's house, which was shown to him. He then instantly sprung from his horse, and walked a few steps to the door of the house then occupied by Provost Lachlan Campbell. He he met the stately old gentleman, wearing his long-tailed dress coat, ornamented with silver buttons, knee breeches, black silk stockings and brogues with heavy silver buckles. The messenger had ridden post haste from Campbeltown, and informed the Provost that he was dispatched to summon the military - that a French fleet was cruising off the coast of Cantyre - that several crews had already landed, and begun hostilities by plundering one or two farm houses - that the people were panic-stricken, and many had fled in the direction of Tarbert. The prevailing opinion was that the vessels observed, and their plundering crews, were awaiging reinforcements before landing in force and attempting the invasion of the kingdom....
A regiment of Volunteers marched down the east side of Kintyre, to Kilkenzie and Carradale, where they spied a French ship. A few shots were exchanged between soldiers on land and sailors on their ship.
"Before daybreak on the morning of 12th October the Volunteers were startled to hear heavy firing coming from the sea, and they saw flashes of fire as guns were discharged....When daylight came they (the men on shore) saw the French and British ships engaged in deadly combat, and before noon they were spectators to a British naval victory. It afterwards became known that the French vessels formed part of a fleet of nine French ships, with troops, stores, and ammunition, which were attempting a landing in Ireland. They were attacked in the early morning of 12th October by a British squadron, under Sir John Warren, off the north coast of Ireland....