Although Lieutenants were appointed to a few counties in Scotland from about 1715, it was not until 1794 that a Royal Warrant ordered the development of volunteer forces for the defence of the country and permanent lieutenancies were established. Forces were based in each County led by a Lord-Lieutenant who was appointed by the Sovereign and who in turn appointed Deputies. The duties included provision for the protection of their counties in the event of invasion, threat or civil uprising. They directed volunteer forces and, after the 1797 Militia Act, were empowered to raise and command county militia units. After 1802 the Lord-Lieutenant was ex officio a member of the police committee and the local authority but the Local Government (Scotland) Act of 1889 abolished these functions and the role of lieutenancies gradually became largely ceremonial.

The traditional links with the military have been preserved in a modern form in the association of the Lord-Lieutenant with the Armed Forces, the Territorial Army and other Reserve and Cadet Forces. In recent years the links between the Lord-Lieutenant and the uniformed organisations have also led to links with a wide spectrum of voluntary organisations. However the principal role of the Lord-Lieutenant is to represent the Monarchy in the Lieutenancy area.

Lord-Lieutenants of Renfrewshire


1794 William McDowall
1810 George (Boyle) 4th Earl of Glasgow
1820 Robert Walter (Stuart) 11th Lord Blantyre
1821 Sir Michael Shaw Stewart 5th Bart
1825 Archibald Campbell
1838 Alexander Speirs
1844 James (Carr-Boyle) 5th Earl of Glasgow
1869 Sir Michael Robert Shaw Stewart 7th Bart
1904 Archibald Campbell (Campbell) 1st Baron Blythswood
1908 Sir Thomas Glen Glen-Coats 1st Bart
1922 Sir Michael Hugh Shaw Stewart 8th Bart
1943 Alexander Archibald Hagart Speirs
1950 Sir Walter Guy Shaw Stewart 9th Bart
1967 John Scott (Maclay) 1st Viscount Muirshiel
1980 John David Makgill Crichton Maitland
1994 James Duncan (Goold) Baron Goold
1998 Cameron Holdsworth Parker
2007 Guy Wyndham Nial Hamilton Clark
2019 Col.Peter McCarthy


For further information on Lieutenancies in general please see: 'The Lord-Lieutenants and their Deputies' by Miles Jebb published by Phillimore.