MAKING THE LISTS!
The Militia Act directed that schoolmasters, or other officers of each parish, should return to the Deputy Lieutenants at the first meeting,
"fair and true Lists in Writing of all the Men usually and at that Time dwelling within their respective Parishes and Places, between the Ages of Nineteen and Twenty-three inclusive, distinguishing their respective Ranks and Occupations, and which of the Persons so returned labour under any Informities incapacitating them from serving as Militia Men..."
MEN HAD LEFT THE PARISH...
There were many attacks on such schoolmasters in Scotland, but if the Lieutenancy Minutes of Argyll are any guide, this was not common in Knapdale. However, there were other issues to be faced: unbeknownst to the schoolteacher, or the constable, or the local landowner, men had moved from the Parish and joined other regiments, as per John McFarlane and Duncan McMillan, weavers from Shengarth.
MEN HAD CHANGED THEIR NAMES AND SOME WERE VERY POOR...
But then there were names, which were much more flexible than they are today. This was the era of many Gaelic people changing their names to something more "English." In 1801, John MCILEVEN's 'real name' was John McLachlan. Under that name, he was already on the muster roll. Peter McCarbrie's real name was 'MacDonald' "and that he had appeared at a former meeting and claimed and obtained his examptions under that name, he having three children and not being worth £50 Sterling...".The minutes have to make clear, again and again, that this "worth" of "£50" does not refer to a yearly income, but rather one's total assets (ie, 'land, goods or gear'). Furthermore, the children must have been born within 'lawful wedlock' and must be alive.
AND WERE FISHERMEN REALLY SAILORS AND THEREFORE EXEMPT?
In Skipness Parish, on 2d September 1802, the schoolmaster seems to have thought of himself as an 'advocate of the people':
... The Deputy Lieutenants observing observing that almost every Farmer was returned as a Farmer and Fisherman; and even the Blacksmith of the Parish returned also as a Fisherman; so that not twenty men in the whole Parish, out of a throng population, could be found liable to serve; it suggested to the Deputy Lieutenants the necessity of drawing the Line....
The whole "seamen" issue was thoroughly discussed in Inveraray, 20th November, 1802. Seamen and Seafaring men were exempted from the Militia. To quote the relevant memorial:
"In the Country of Argyll a very great proportion of the common people are occasionally employed in the Herring Fishery, either in open boats or in decked vessels, which go for some months of the year to the North Highlands, or remain in the Arms of the Sea, in the County, and they all wear the dress of Sailors, whether they are employed or not in this way. These people return in the winter Season, and in general have houses and small farms or Crofts of Land, and many of them have trades which they follow in the Country when the Fishing Season is over....
"The memorialists consider persons of the above description as by no means coming under the description of persons intended to be exeemed by this Act, which they suppose was meant only to apply to real Seamen, whose sold profession is to serve on board trading vessels, and who have no fixed residence, nor earn any part of their subsistence on Shore...."
PAYING A 'PENALTY' INSTEAD OF JOINING THE MILITIA
If a man's name was drawn, he could avoid the 'draft' and avoid being declared a 'deserter' by paying a penalty. In 1797, this penalty totalled £10, and by 1801, it became £20. What did this mean, to a man in Mid Argyll? In 1803, Cosandrochaid Farm, in the Lands of Ulva, was 'sett" to 4 men in the following manner:
IN CONSIDERATION whereof, the said Niel McGugan Ronald Johnston John McGalloghich and Angus McGugan hereby engage to pay the said Duncan Campbell, his heirs and successors the Particular Tack duties after mentioned each for his own part as after divided viz the said Neil McGugan Ronald Johnston John McGalloglich the Sum of Twenty one pounds Ster’g EACH of Tack Duty for the three quarters of the said farm at present occupied by them severally and the said Angus McGugan the sum of Twenty two pounds Ster’g for the remaining quarter thereof to be occupied by him and now possessed by Dugald Graham and that yearly by equal Moieties Martinmass and Whit(sunday) immediately of the Commencement of this Set
Another clue as to the meaning of this 'penalty' can be found in Account Book of John Campbell, Factor of the Poltalloch Estate, 1799 - 1803. A Lime Kiln was built to improve the moss of Experiment Farm in 1801. It cost £7/4/0 for a horse and driver, for 32 days , to haul stones and lime. Also in 1801, 6 farmers divided Kilmahumaig Farm among themselves, each paying £10 for that privilege.
INSURANCE COMPANIES WOULD PROVIDE A SUBSTITUTE FOR ITS CLIENTELE
Andrew Templeton, a Glasgow insurance representative, insured Angus McMillan (Castle Sween), and provided a substitute for him in 1800. Arnold Morrison, in his "The Defence of Scotland" reproduces the following poster: