“The Duke of Argyle's Courtship”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1930 (Ord)
Keywords: love courting rejection nobility
Found in: Britain(Scotland)


"Did you ever hear of a loyal Scot...." He courts a girl, begging her to marry. She refuses; she has no proof he can care for her. He persists; so does she. He reveals he is Duke of Argyle, and rejects her after she changes her mind


Ord suggests "The hero of this ballad was probably John, Duke of Argyle and Greenwich, who commanded the Royal army at the Battle of Sheriffmuir." The reference is to John Campbell, Second Duke of Argyll (1678-1743), a proponent of the Act of Union in 1707, British commander in Spain from 1711, and an opponent of Jacobitism who, as Ord says, commanded the Royalist forces in Scotland. I see no real reason to consider him the hero of this song, though. - RBW


  1. Ord, pp. 197-198, "The Duke of Argyle's Courtship" (1 text)
  2. Roud #3797
  3. BI, Ord197