Argyll, a district of Argyllshire, bounded NW and N by Loch Melford, Loch Avich, and the lower part of Loch Awe, which separate it from Lorn; E and SE by the upper reach of Loch Fyne, which separates it from Cowal; S by Loch Gilp and the Crinan Canal, which separate it from Knapdale; W by reaches and straits of the Atlantic Ocean, which separate it from the Slate Islands and Mull. Its greatest length, from NE to SW, is 32 miles; and its greatest breadth is 15 miles. Abounding in grand romantic scenery of lake and mountain, particularly along Loch Fyne, up the course of the river Ary, and along the shores of Loch Awe, it is rich, too, in old historic associations; and as to both its contour and its history it answers well to its name, which is said to be derived from the Gaelic words Airer-Gaedhil, signifying ‘land of the Gael’ It has given the title of Earl since 1457, and the title of Duke since 1701, in the peerage of Scotland, and in that of the United Kingdom since 1892, to the noble family of Campbell—One of the synods of the Church of Scotland bears the name of Argyll; meets at Oban, Rothesay, and Ardrishaig in rotation; includes or super-intends the presbyteries of Inverary, Dunoon, Kintyre, Islay and Jura, Lorn, Mull, and Abertarff, and, through these, exercises jurisdiction over all the old parishes of Argyllshire but one, and over five of the six old parishes of Buteshire. Within the bounds of this synod there were 11,735 communicants of the Church of Scotland in 1891, when the sums raised in Christian liberality by its 82 congregations amounted to £12,531—There is also a Free Church synod of Argyll, meeting at Lochgilphead on the fourth Wednesday of April; comprising or superintending presbyteries of Dunoon, Inverary, Kintyre, Lorn, Mull, and Islay; and through these exercising jurisdiction over 60 congregations, with 15,021 members or adherents in 1891.—The Episcopal Church of Scotland has a diocese of Argyll and the Isles, comprehending 86 churches or mission stations. The cathedral is at Cumbrae, and the bishop’s residence at North Ballachulish.—There is also a Roman Catholic see of Argyll and the Isles, comprising the counties of Argyll and Inverness, Bute, Arran, and the Hebrides. In 1891 it had 25 priests, 2 convents, 21 missions, 38 churches, chapels, and stations, and 7 day schools.
From Groome's Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland, 1896