A brief history of the Lieutenancies

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.

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

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   Colonel Peter McCarthy

Lord Lieutenant of Renfrewshire