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Civic heraldry of the United Kingdom

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Incorporated into: 1975 Argyll and Bute District (1996 Argyll and Bute Area Council)

Arms (crest) of Campbeltown

Official blazon

Quarterly: 1st, Vert, a castle triple-towered Or, masoned windows and port Gules; 2nd, gyronny of eight Or and Sable; srd, Argent, a lymphad Sable, sail furled and oars in action, flagged Gules, at the masthead a beacon in flames Proper; 4th, Argent, a fret Sable.

Above the Shield is placed a coronet suitable to a Royal Burgh, thereon a Helmet befitting their degree, with a Mantling Vert doubled Or, and on a Wreath of their Liveries is set for Crest a herring naiant Proper, and in an Escrol below the Shield this Motto "Ignavis Precibus Fortuna Repugnat".


The arms were granted on July 10, 1929.

Campbeltown was created a Burgh of Barony in 1667 in favour of Archibald, 9th Earl of Argyll, and was raised to a Royal Burgh by King William III in 1700.

The quartered arms show :

  • I the Castle of Kilkerane in Kintyre said to have been built by King James IV; the colours chosen combine the Royal colours with Thistle green which was much used by King James IV as a livery colour; the use of green and gold is doubly appropriate as these are the ancient colours of Dalriada, and Campbeltown is built on the site of its capital Dalruadhain.
  • II The gold and black gyronny of the Campbell Earls and Dukes of Argyll, first borne by their forebears, the Campbells of Lochow.
  • III The black galley of Lorn, with the flaming beacon at its masthead, the Lordship of Lorn being now held by the Dukes of Argyll.
  • IV A black fret on a silver field, taken from the arms ofTollemache of Helmingham in Suffolk, to commemorate the long association with the town of Elizabeth Tollemache, wife of Archibald, 1st Duke of Argyll; she lived at Limecraigs House nearby, died there in

1735 and is buried in Campbeltown.

The crest of a herring refers to the local fishing industry and also commemorates the time of the Herring Bounty when hundreds of herring "busses" used to assemble at Campbeltown to receive the Bounty.

The Latin motto has been freely translated as "Fortune helps those who help themselves".


Seal as used in the 1890s
Arms (crest) of Campbeltown

The arms as used on a JaJa postcard +/- 1905

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Index of the siteLiterature: Urquhart, 1974