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Breadalbane


BREADALBANE (properly BROADALBIN), earl and marquis of, the former a title in the peerage of Scotland, and the latter in that of Great Britain, possessed by a branch of the noble family of Campbell. Sir Colin Campbell, the ancestor of the Breadalbane family, and the first of the house of Glenurchy, was the third son of Duncan, first Lord Campbell of Lochow, progenitor of the dukes of Argyle, by Marjory Stewart, daughter of Robert, duke of Albany, regent of Scotland. In an old manuscript, preserved in Taymouth castle, named ‘the Black Book of Taymouth,’ (printed by the Bannatyne Club, 1853), containing a genealogical account of the Glenurchy family, it is stated that “Duncan Campbell, commonly callit Duncan in Aa, knight of Lochow (Lineallie descendit of a valiant man, surnamit Campbell, quha cam to Scotland in King Malcolm Kandmoir his time, about the year of God 1067, of quhom came the house of Lochow,) flourisched in King David Bruce his dayes. The foresaid Duncan in Aa had to wyffe Margarit Stewart, dochter to Duke Murdoch [a mistake evidently for Robert], on whom he begat twa sones, the elder callit Archibald, the other namit Colin, wha was first laird of Glenurchay.” That estate was settled on him by his father. It had come into the Campbell family, in the reign of King David the Second, by the marriage of Margaret Glenurchy with John Campbell; and was at one time the property of the warlike clan MacGregor, who were gradually expelled from the territory by the rival clan, Campbell. Sir Colin was born about 1400. He was one of the knights of Rhodes, afterwards designed of Malta. The family manuscript, already quoted, says that “throch his valiant actis and manheid he was maid knicht in the Isle of Rhodes, quhilk standeth in the Carpathian sea near to Caria, and countrie of Asia the less, and he was three sundrie tymes in Rome.? After the murder of James the First in 1437, he actively pursued the regicides, and brought to justice two of the inferior assassins, named Chalmers and Colquhoun, for which service King James the Third afterwards bestowed upon him the barony of Lawers. He was appointed guardian of his nephew, Colin, first earl of Argyle, during his minority, and concluded a marriage between him and the sister of his own second wife, one of the three daughters and co-heiresses of the Lord of Lorn. In 1440 he built the castle of Kilchurn on a projecting rocky elevation at the east end of Lochawe, under the shadow of the majestic Ben Cruachan, where – now a picturesque ruin, –

                        ............................................ “grey and stern
                        Stands, like a spirit of the past, lone old Kilchurn.”

According to tradition Kilchurn (properly Coalchuirn) castle was first erected by his lady, and not by himself, he being absent on a crusade at the time, and for seven years the principal portion of the rents of his lands are said to have been expended on its erection. An old legend connected with this castle states that once while at Rome, having been a long time from home, Sir Colin had a singular dream, for the interpretation of which he applied to a monk, who advised him instantly to return to Scotland, as a very serious domestic calamity could only be averted by his presence in his own castle. He hastened immediately to Scotland, and arrived at a place called Succoth, where dwelt an old woman who had been his nurse. In the disguise of a beggar, he craved food and shelter for the night, and was admitted to the poor woman’s fireside. From a scar on his arm she recognised him, and immediately informed him of what was about to happen at the castle. It appeared that for a long period no tidings had been received of or from him, and a report had been spread that he had fallen in battle in the Holy Land. This information surprised Sir Colin, as he had repeatedly sent messengers with intelligence to his lady, and he at once suspected treachery. His suspicions were well founded. A neighbouring baron, named M’Corquadale, had intercepted and murdered all his messengers, and having succeeded in convincing the lady of the death of her husband, he had prevailed upon her to consent to marry him, the next day being that fixed for their nuptials. Early in the morning Sir Colin, still in the disguise of a beggar, set out for his castle of Kilchurn; he crossed the drawbridge, and undiscovered entered the gates of the castle, which on this joyous occasion were open to all comers. As he stood in the courtyard one of the servants of the castle accosted him, and asked him what he wanted. “To have my hunger satisfied and my thirst quenched,” was his reply. Food and liquor were immediately placed before him. Of the former he partook, but he refused the latter, except from the hand of the lady herself. On being informed of this, she approached, and handed him a cup of wine. Sir Colin drank to her health, and dropping a ring into the empty cup returned it to her. On examining the ring, she recognised it at once as her own gift to her husband on his departure. Rushing towards him she threw herself into his arms. The baron M’Corquadale was allowed to depart in safety, but was afterwards attached and overcome by Sir Colin’s son and successor, who is said to have taken possession of his castle and lands. Sir Colin died before June 10, 1478, as on that day the lords auditors gave a dectreet in a civil suit against “Duncain Cambell, son and air of unquhile Sir Colin Cambell of Glenurquha, knight.” He was interred in Argyleshire, and not as Douglas says at Finlarig, at the north-west end of Lochtay, which afterwards became the burial place of the family. He was four times married. Nisbet, giving as his authority the contract of marriage still extant in the archives of the Breadalbane family, says, that his first wife was Lady Mary Stewart, one of the daughters of Duncan, earl of Lennox, and that she died soon after the marriage without issue, but he has evidently mistaken the lady’s name, as the three daughters of Duncan, the last earl of Lennox, executed in 1425, none of whom were named Mary, were all married in 1392, eight years before Sir Colin Campbell was born, and there never was another earl of Lennox named Duncan. His second wife was Lady Margaret Stewart, the second of the three daughters and co-heiresses of John Lord Lorn, with whom he got a third of that lordship, still possessed by the family, and thenceforward quartered the galley of Lorn with his paternal achievement. Of this lady there is a portrait by Jamesone in the Breadalbane collection at Taymouth, an engraving of which is given in Pinkerton’s Scottish gallery. By her he had a son, Sir Duncan, who succeeded him. His third wife was Margaret, daughter of Robert Robertson of Strowan, by whom he had a son and a daughter. John, the son, according to Nisbet, [Heraldry, v. ii. p. 212,] was educated for the church, and on the demise of Angus, bishop of the Isles, was preferred to that see. In 1506 he was joined in commission frm the crown with David, bishop of Argyle, and James Redheugh, burgess of Stirling, comptroller to the king, to set in tack the crown lands of Bute. He died in 1509. Douglas, however, thinks the existence of this John doubtful. [Peerage, v. i. p. 234.] Keith [Cat. of Scottish Bishops, p. 305] leaves the surname blank, and says that John, bishop of the Isles, was a privy councillor to King James the Fourth, and from that prince, with consent of the Pope, he got, in 1507, the abbacy of Icolmkill annexed in all time coming to the episcopal see of the Isles. The daughter, Margaret, married first Archibald Napier of Merchiston, and secondly John Dickson, Ross Herald. Sir Collin’s fourth wife was Margaret, daughter of Luke Stirling of Keir, by whom he had a son, John, ancestor of the earls of Loudon [see LOUDON, earl of], and a daughter, Mariot, married to William Stewart of Baldoran.


Interior view - Taymouth Castle

      Sir Duncan Campbell, the eldest son, obtained the office of bailiary of the king’s lands of Discher, Foyer, and Glenlyon, 3d September 1498, for which office, being a hereditary one, his descendant, the second earl of Breadalbane, received, on the abolition of the heritable jurisdictions in Scotland, in 1747, the sum of one thousand pounds, in full of his claim for six thousand. Sir Duncan also got charters of the king’s lands of the port of Lochtay, &c., 5th March 1492; also of the lands of Glenlyon, 7th September 1502; of Finlarig, 22d April 1503, and of other lands in Perthshire in May 1508 and September 1511. He fell at the battle of Flodden. He was twice married. First, in 1479, to Lady Margaret Douglas, fourth daughter of George fourth earl of Angus, by whom nothing is known. The daughter married Toshach of Monyvaird in Perthshire. The second wife was Margaret, daughter of Moncrieff of Moncrieff in the same county, by whom he had a son, John, styled by Douglas bishop of the Isles, )Keith states that the John Campbell who was bishop of the Isles in 1558 and 1560 was a son of Campbell of Calder in Nairnshire,) and two daughters, Catharine, married to William Murray of Tullibardin, and Annabella, who in 1533 became the wife of Alexander Napier of Merchiston.

      Sir colin, the eldest son, the third laird of Glenurchy, was of great use in assisting his cousin, the celebrated Gavin Douglas, to obtain possession of the see of Dunkeld to which he had been nominated in 1515, in opposition to Andrew Stewart, his own brother-in-law, who having procured himself to be chosen bishop by the chapter, had garrisoned the palace and the steeple of the cathedral with his servants. This Sir Colin is mentioned as having “bigget the chapel of Finlarig to be ane burial for himself and posteritie.” He married Lady Marjory Stewart, sixth daughter of John earl of Athol, brother uterine of King James the Second, and had three sons, viz., Sir Duncan, Sir John, and Sir Colin, who all succeeded to the estate. The last of them, Dir Colin, became laird of Glenurchy in 1550, and according to the “Black Book of Taymouth,” he “conquessit” (that is, acquired) “the superiority of M’Nabb his heill landis.” He was among the first to join the Reformation, and sat in the parliament of 1560, when the Protestant doctrines received the sanction of the law. In 1573 he was one of the commissioners for settling a firm and lasting government in the church. In the “Black Book of Taymouth,” he is represented to have been “ane great justiciar all his tyme, throch the quhilk he sustenit the deidly feid of the Clangregor ane lang space; and besides that he causit execute to the death many notable lymarris, he behiddit the laird of Macgregor himself at Kandmoir, in presence of the Erle of Athol, the justice-clerk, and sundrie other nobilmen.” In 1580 he built the castle of Balloch, in Perthshire, one wing of which still continues attached to Taymouth Castle, the splendid mansion of the Marquis of Breadalbane. He also built Edinample, another seat of the family. Sir Colin died in 1583. By his wife, Catherine, second daughter of William, second lord Ruthven, he had four sons and four daughters. Archibald, the fourth son, got part of the barony of Monzie by his marriage with Margaret, daughter and heiress of Andrew Toshach of Monzie, but had no issue. Beatrix, the eldest daughter, married Sir John Campbell of Lawers; Margaret, the second, married, in 1574, James, seventh earl of Glencairn, and had issue; Mary, the third, married John, sixth earl of Menteith, with issue; and Elizabeth, the youngest, became the wife of Sir John Campbell of Ardkinglass.

      Sir Duncan Campbell of Glenorchy, the eldest son, was named by King James the Sixth, 18th May 1590, one of the barons to assist at the coronation of his queen, Anne of Denmark, when he was knighted. On the death of Colin, sixth earl of Argyle, in 1584, he had been nominated by that nobleman’s will, one of the six guardians of the young earl, then a minor, the others being Dougal Campbell of Auchinbreck, John Campbell of Calder, Sir James Campbell of Ardkinglass, comptroller to the king, father of the above-named Sir John, Archibank Campbell of Lochnell, and Neill Campbell, bishop of Argyle. The guardians soon split into rival factions, Glenorchy, Auchinbreck, and Lochnell, who was the nearest heir to the earldom, being on the one side, and Calder, Ardkinglass, and the bishop on the other. The influence of the three latter preponderated, but jealousies soon broke out between Ardkinglass and Calder, and on the death of the former in 1591, his feelings of hostility were transmitted to his son and successor, Sir John, who being of a weak and vacillating disposition, was easily induced by his brother-in-law Glenurchy to enter into his plans. The principal administration of the affairs of the earldom now centered in Calder. He was supported by many of the nobility connected with the family of Argyle, and particularly by the earl of Murray, commonly called the “bonnie earl,” who was murdered in his own house of Donnibirsel in Fife, in February 1592, by a party of the Gordons, under the command of the earl of Huntly. In the same month John Campbell of Calder was assassinated in Lorn. Both crimes, by a late discovery, appear to have been the result of the same conspiracy, in which Glenurchy and other barons and chiefs in the West Highlands were involved, and one object of which was the death of the young earl of Argyle, as well as that of the “bonnie earl of Murray.” Gregory expressly charges Sir Duncan Campbell of Glenurchy with being the principal mover in the branch of the plot which led to the murder of Calder. “Glenurchy,” he says, “knowing the feelings of personal animosity cherished by Ardkinglass against Calder, easily prevailed upon the former to agree to the assassination of their common enemy, with whom Glenurchy himself had now an additional cause of quarrel, arising from the protection given by Calder to some of the Clangregor who were at feud with Glenurchy. After various unsuccessful attempts, Ardkinglass procured, through the agency of John Oig Campbell of Cabrachan, a brother of Lochnell, the services of a man named M’Ellar, by whom Calder was assassinated with a hackbut, supplied by Ardkinglass, the fatal shot being fired at night through one of the windows of the house of Knepoch in Lorn, when Calder fell, pierced through the heart with three bullets. Owing to his hereditary feud with Calder, Ardkinglass was generally suspected, and being, in consequence, threatened with the vengeance of the young earl of Argyle, Glenurchy ventured to communicate to him the plan for getting rid of the earl and his brother, and for assisting Lochnell to seize the earldom. Ardkinglass refused, although repeatedly urged, to become a party to any designs against the life of the earl, proposing to make his peace with Argyle, by disclosing the full extent of the plot. The inferior agents, John Oig Campbell and M’Ellar, were both executed; nor could all the influence of Calder’s relations or friends obtain the punishment of any of the higher parties. Glenurchy was allowed to clear himself of all concern in the plots attributed to him, by his own unsupported and extrajudicial denial in writing. He offered to abide his trial, which, he well knew, the chancellor, Thirlestane, and the earl of Huntly were deeply interested in preventing.” [History of the Western Highlands and Isles, pp. 250-253.]

      In 1617 Sir Duncan had the office of heritable keeper of the forest of Mamlorn, Bendaskerlie, &c., conferred upon him. He afterwards obtained from King Charles the First the sheriffship of Perthshire for life. He was created a baronet of Nova Scotia by patent, bearing date 30th May 1625. Although represented as an ambitious and grasping character, he is said to have been the first who attempted to civilize the people on his extensive estates. He not only set them the example of planting timber trees, fencing pieces of ground for gardens, and manuring their lands, but assisted and encouraged them in their labours. One of his regulations of police for the estate was “that no man shall in any public house drink more than a chopin of ale with his neighbour’s wife, in the absence of her husband, upon the penalty of ten pounds, and sitting twenty-four hours in the stocks, toties quoties.” [New Scot. Account, vol. x. p. 464.] According to the ‘Black Book of Taymouth,’ “in the zeir of God 1627, he causit big ane brig over the watter of Lochay, to the great contentment and will of the countrie.” He died in June 1631. He was twice married, first, in 1574, to Lady Jean Stewart, second daughter of John earl of Athol, lord high chancellor of Scotland, by whom he had seven sons and three daughters. Archibald Campbell of Monzie, the fifth son, was ancestor of the Campbells of Monzie, Lochlane, and Finnah, in Perthshire. Jean, the eldest daughter, married Sir John Campbell of Calder, and had issue; Anne, the second, married Sir Patrick Ogilvy of Inchmartine, and was mother of the second earl of Findlater; Margaret, the third, married Sir Alexander Menzies of Weem. His second wife was Elizabeth, only daughter of Patrick fifth Lord Sinclair, by whom he had a son, Patrick, on whom his father settled the lands of Edinample, and a daughter, Jean, married to John earl of Athol, and had issue.

      His second son, Robert, was engaged in 1610 in the Fight or Skirmish of Bintioch, also known as ‘the Chase of Ranefray,’ against the M’Gregors. The fight appears to have taken place at Bintioch, and the chase or pursuit to have reached as far as Ranefray. The transaction is thus narrated in ‘the Book of Taymouth:’ “Attoure, Robert Campbell, second sone to the Laird (of Glenurquhey) Sir Duncan, persewing ane great number of them (the Clan Gregor) through the countrie, in end overtuik them in Ranefray, in the Brae of Glenurchy; quhair he slew Duncan Abrok Makgregor, with his son Gregor in Ardchyllie, Dougall Makgregor M’Coulchier in Glengyle, with his son Duncan, Charles Makgregor (M’) Cane in Bracklie, quha was principallis in that band; and twenty utheris of their compleises slain in the chaiss.” A contemporary historian, Sir Robert Gordon, in his ‘History of the Earldom of Sutherland,’ (p. 247), says of this affair, that “here (meaning at Bintioch) Robert Campbell, the laird of Glen-Vrquhie his sone, accompanied with some of the Clanchamron, Clanab (M’Nabs), and Clanroland, to the number of two hundred chosen men, faught against three score of the Clangregar; in which conflict tuo of the Clangregar were slain, to wit, Duncan Aberigh, one of the chieftanes, and his son Duncan. Seavon gentlemen of the Campbell’s syd wer killed ther, though they seemed to have the victorie.” The same Robert Campbell, styled of Glenfalloch, in January 1611, besieged a garrison of the Clan Gregor in the small island of Varnak, near the western extremity of Loch Katrine, on its north shore, opposite Portnellan, but he was obliged to abandon the siege, owing, as stated in ‘the Book of Taymouth,’ to a storm of snow. In July 1612 several of the Clan Gregor were hanged at the Borough-muir of Edinburgh for the slaughter of a bowman of the laird of Glenurchy and eight other persons, and several other crimes, consisting of fire-raising, theft, and intercommuning with their proscribed clansmen.

      Sir Colin Campbell, the eldest son of Sir Duncan, born about 1577, succeeded as eighth laird of Glenurchy. Little is known of this Sir Colin, save what is highly to his honour, namely his patronage of George Jamesone, the celebrated portrait painter. The family manuscript which records the genealogy of the house of Glenurchy contains the following entries, written in 1635: – “Item, the said Sir Coline Camppell gave unto George Jamesone, painter in Edinburgh, for King Robert and King David Bruysses, kings of Scotland, and Charles I. king of Great Brittane, France and Ireland, and his majesties quein, and for nine more of the queins of Scotland, their portraits, quhilks are set up in the hall of Balloch, (new Taymouth) the sum of tua hundreth thrie scor punds. – Mair, the said Sir Coline gave to the said George Jamesone for the knight of Lochow’s lady, and the first countess of Argylle, and six of the ladys of Glenurquhay, their portraits, and the said Sir Coline his own portrait, quhilks are set up in the chalmer of deas (principal presence room) of Balloch, ane hundreth four scoire punds.” The family tree of the house of Glenorchy, eight feet long by five broad, described by Pennant, was also painted by Jamesone. In a corner is inscribed “The genealogie of the House of Glenurquhie, quhairof is descendit sundrie nobil and worthie houses, 1635, Jameson faciebat.” Sir Colin married Lady Juliana Campbell, eldest daughter of Hugh first Lord Loudon, but had no issue. He died 6th September 1640, aged 63. In Pinkerton’s Scottish Gallery are portraits of Sir Colin at the age of 56, and of Lady Juliana, his spouse, at the age of 52, both taken from the original paintings in the Breadalbane collection at Taymouth Castle.

      He was succeeded by his brother, Sir Robert, at first styled of Glenfalloch, and afterwards of Glenurchy. “In the year of God 1644 and 1645, the laird of Glenurquhay his whole landis and esteat, betwixt the foord of Lyon and point of Lismore, were burnt and destroyit be James Graham, some time erle of Montrose, and Alex. M’Donald, son to Col. M’Donald in Colesue, with their associattis. The tenants their whole cattle were taken away be their enemies; and their cornes, houses, plenishing, and whole insight weir burnt; and the said Sir Robert pressing to get the inhabitants repairit, wairit £48 Scots upon the bigging of every cuple in his landis, and als wairit seed cornes, upon his own charges, to the most of his inhabitants. The occasion of this malice against Sir Robert, and his friends and countrie people, was, because the said Sir Robert joinit in covenant with the kirk and kingdom of Scotland, in maintaining the trew religion, the kingis majestie, his authoritie, and laws, and libertie of the kingdom of Scotland; and because the said Sir Robert altogether refusit to assist the said James Graham and Alex. M’Donald, their malicious doings in the kingdom of Scotland. So that the laird of Glenurquhay and his countrie people, their loss within Perthshire and within Argyleshire, exceeds the soume of 1,200,000 merks.” Sir Robert married Isabel, daughter of Sir Lachlan Macintosh, of Torecastle, captain of the clan Chattan, and had five sons and nine daughters. William, the third son, was ancestor of the Campbells of Glenfalloch, the representative of whom is now the heir presumptive to the Scottish titles of earl of Breadalbane, &c. Alexander, the fourth son, got from his father the lands of Lochdochart in 1648, and was ancestor of the Campbells of Lochdochart. Duncan, the fifth son, possessed Auchlyne, and from him descended the now deceased James Goodlet Campbell of Auchlyne, who by his wife, a sister of Logan of Logan, had a son, Hugh Campbell, merchant in Glasgow. Margaret, the eldest daughter, married to John Cameron of Lochiel, was the mother of Sir Ewen Cameron; Mary, the second daughter, married James Campbell of Ardkinglass; Jean, the third, became the wife of Duncan Stewart of Appin; Isabel, the fourth, of Robert Irvine of Fedderet, son of Sir Alexander Irvine of Drum, and Julian, the fifth, of John Maclean of Lochbury. The other daughters were the wives respectively of Robertson of Jude, Robertson of Faskally, Toshach of Monyvaird, and Campbell of Glenlyon.

      The eldest son, Sir John Campbell of Glenurchy, married first, Lady Mary Graham, eldest daughter of William, earl of Strathern, Menteath, and Airth, and had a son, Sir John, first earl of Breadalbane, and a daughter, Agnes, who became the wife of Sir Alexander Menzies of Weem, baronet. Sir John married, secondly, Christian, daughter of John Muschet of Craighead in Menteith, by whom he had several daughters, of whom are descended the Campbells of Stonefield, Airds, and Ardchattan. Isabel, one of them, was married to John Macnachtane, and Anne, another, to Robert Macnab of Macnab, whom she survived, and died at Lochdochart 6th September 1765.

      Sir John Campbell of Glenurchy, first earl of Breadalbane, only son of Sir John, was born about 1635. He gave great assistance to the forces collected in the Highlands for Charles the Second in 1653, under the command of General Middleton, He subsequently used his utmost endeavours with General Monk to declare for a free parliament, as the most effectual way to bring about his majesty’s restoration. He served in parliament for the shire of Argyle. Being a principal creditor of George, sixth earl of Caithness, [see CAITHNESS, earl of,] whose debts are said to have exceeded a million of marks, that nobleman, on 8th October 1672, made a disposition of his whole estates, heritable jurisdictions, and titles of honour, after his death, in favour of Sir John Campbell of Glenurchy, the latter taking on himself the burden of his lordship’s debts, and he was, in consequence, duly infefted in the lands and earldom of Caithness, 27th February 1673. The earl of Caithness died in May 1676, when Sir John Campbell obtained a patent creating him earl of Caithness, dated at Whitehall, 28th June 1677. But George Sinclair of Keiss, the heir male of the last earl, being found by parliament entitled to that dignity, Sir John Campbell obtained another patent, 13th August 1681, creating him instead, earl of Breadalbane and Holland, Viscount of Tay and Paintland, Lord Glenurchy, Benederaloch, Ormelie, and Weik, with the precedency of the former patent, and remainder to whichever of his sons by his first wife he might designate in writing, and ultimately to his heirs male whatsoever. On the accession of James the seventh, the earl was sworn a privy councillor. At the Revolution he adhered to the Prince of Orange, and after the battle of Killiecrankie and the attempted reduction of the Highlands by the forces of the new government, he was empowered to enter into a negotiation with the Jacobite chiefs to induce them to submit to King William, and a sum of fifteen thousand pounds sterling was placed at his disposal for the purpose by his majesty. This negotiation was for a time interrupted, principally at the instigation of Mackian or Alexander Macdonald of Glencoe, between whom and the earl a difference had arisen respecting certain claims which his lordship had against Glencoe’s tenants for plundering his lands, and for which the earl insisted for compensation and for retention out of Glencoe’s share of the money with which he had been intrusted by the government to distribute among the chiefs. The failure of the negotiation was extremely irritating to the earl, who threatened Glencoe with his vengeance. Following up this threat, he entered into a correspondence with Secretary Dalrymple, the master of Stair, and between them, it is understood, a plan was concerted for cutting off the chief and his people. Whether the “mauing scheme” of the earl, to which Dalrymple alludes in one of his letters, refers to a plan for the extirpation of the tribe, is a question which must ever remain doubtful; but there is reason to believe that if he did not suggest, he was at least privy to the foul massacre of that unfortunate chief and his people, an event which has stamped an infamy upon the government of King William, which nothing can efface.

                        “The hand that mingled in the meal,
                        At midnight drew the felon steel,
                        And gave the host’s kind breast to feel
                              Meed for his hospitality!
                        The friendly hearth which warmed that hand,
                        At midnight armed it with the brand,
                        That bade destruction’s flames expand
                              Their red and fearful blazonry.

                        There woman’s shriek was heard in vain,
                        Nor infancy’s unpitied plain,
                        More than the warrior’s groan, could gain
                              Respite from ruthless butchery!
                        The winter wind that whistled shrill,
                        The snows that night that cloaked the hill,
                        Though wild and pitiless, had still
                              Far more than Southern clemency.”

      On the 29th April 1695, upwards of three years after the massacre, a commission was issued to inquire into it. The commissioners appear to have discovered no evidence to implicate the earl of Breadalbane, but merely say, in reference to him, that it “was plainly deponed” before them, that, some days after the slaughter, a person waited upon Glencoe’s sons, and represented to them that he was sent by Campbell of Balcalden, the earl’s chamberlain or steward, and authorized to say that, if they would declare, under their hands, that his lordship had no concern in the massacre, they might be assured the earl would procure their “remission and restitution.” While, however, the Commissioners were engaged in the inquiry they ascertained that, in his negotiations with the Highland chiefs, the earl had acted in such a way as to lay himself open to a charge of high treason, in consequence of which discovery, he was, 10th June 1695, committed prisoner to the castle of Edinburgh; but he was soon released from confinement, as it turned out that he had professed himself a Jacobite, that he might the more readily execute the commission with which he had been intrusted, and that King William himself was a party to this contrivance. When the earl of Nottingham, on the part of the English government, wrote to Lord Breadalbane to account for the money he had received for the Jacobite chiefs, the latter returned this laconic answer; “My lord, the Highlands are quiet, the money is spent, and this is the best way of accounting among friends.” When the treaty of union was under discussion, his lordship kept aloof, and did not even attend parliament. At the general election of 1713, he was chosen one of the sixteen Scots representative peers, being then seventy-eight years old. At the breaking out of the rebellion of 1715, he sent five hundred of his clan to join the standard of the Pretender, and he was one of the suspected persons, with his second son, Lord Glenorchy, summoned to appear at Edinburgh within a certain specified period, to give bail for their allegiance to the government., but no farther notice was taken of his conduct. The earl died in 1716, in his 81st year. Macky [Memoirs, p. 199] erroneously styles him Marquis of Breadalbane, and says, “It is odds if he live long enough but he is a duke. He is of a fair complexion, and has the gravity of a Spaniard, is as cunning as a fox, wise as a serpent, and as slippery as an eel.” His lordship married, first, at London, 17th December 1657, Lady Mary Rich, third daughter of Henry first earl of Holland, who was executed for his loyalty to Charles the First, 9th March 1649. The marriage is thus entered in the register of the parish of St. Andrews, Baynard Castle: – “Mr. John Campbell of Glanorchy, in the county of Perth, in the nation of Scotland, Esqr., was married to the Lady Mary Rich.” By this lady he had two sons, Duncan, styled Lord Ormelie, who survived his father, but was passed over in the succession, and John, in his father’s lifetime styled Lord Glenorchy, who became second earl of Breadalbane. He married, secondly, 7th April 1678, Lady Mary Campbell, third daughter of Archibald, Marquis of Argyle, dowager of George, sixth earl of Caithness, and by her had a son, Hon. Colin Campbell of Ardmaddie, who died in 1708, aged 29. By a third wife he had a daughter, Lady Mary, married to Archibald Cockburn of Langton.

      John Campbell, Lord Glenorchy, the second son, born 19th November 1662, was by his father nominated to succeed him as second earl of Breadalbane, in terms of the patent conferring the title. In 1721, at the keenly contested election for a representative of the Scots peerage, in room of the Marquis of Annandale deceased, his right to the peerage was impugned on the part of his elder brother, on the ground that any disposition or nomination from his father to the honours and dignity of earl of Breadalbane “could not convey the honours, nor could the crown effectually grant a peerage to any person and such heir as he should name, such patent being inconsistent with the nature of a peerage, and not agreeable to law, and also without precedent.” [Robertson’s Proceedings, p. 88.] These objections were overruled. At the general election of 1736 his lordship was chosen one of the sixteen representative peers, and in 1741 was rechosen. He was lord-lieutenant of the county of Perth. He died at Holyroodhouse, 23d February 1752, in his ninetieth year. He married, first, Lady Frances Cavendish, second of the five daughters of Henry, second duke of Newcastle. She died, without issue, 4th February 1690, in her thirtieth year. He married, secondly, 23d May 1695, Henrietta, second daughter of Sir Edward Villiers, knight, sister of the first earl of Jersey, and of Elizabeth, countess of Orkney, the witty but plain-looking mistress of King William the Third. By his second wife he had a son, John, third earl, and two daughters, Lady Charlotte and Lady Henrietta, who both died unmarried.

      John, third earl, burn in 1696, was educated at the university of Oxford, and when very young he exhibited an unusual degree of talent as well as progress in his studies. In 1718, at the age of twenty-two, he was sent as envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to the court of Denmark. He was invested with the order of the Bath at its revival, in 1725. At the general election of 1727 he was chosen member of parliament for the borough of Saltash in England, and in 1734 was re-elected. In December 1731, he was appointed ambassador to Russia. In 1741 he was chosen to represent Oxford in Parliament, and spoke frequently in the House of commons in support of Sir Robert Walpole’s measures. On 14th May 1741, he was appointed one of the lords of the admiralty, but was removed from that board, 19th March 1742, on the dissolution of the Walpole administration. In January 1746 he was nominated master of his majesty’s jewel office. In February 1752 he succeeded his father, and was elected a representative peer, 9th July of that year, in the room of the earl of Dunmore, deceased. In 1761, he was appointed lord chief justice in eyre of all the royal forests south of the Trent, and he held that office till October 1765. He was constituted vice-admiral of Scotland, 26th October 1776. He died at Holyroodhouse, 26th January 1782, in his 86th year. He married, first, in 1721, Lady Amabella Grey, eldest daughter and coheir of Henry duke of Kent, K.G., and by her – who died at Copenhagen in March 1727 – he had a son, Henry, whose death took place a few weeks after his mother, and a daughter, Lady Jemima Campbell, born 9th October 1723, who succeeded her grandfather, the duke of Kent, as Baroness Lucas of Crudwell and Marchioness de Grey, 6th June 1740. This lady married, 22d May of that year, Philip, second earl of Hardwicke, and by him had two daughters. The eldest, Lady Amabella Yorke, who married Lord Polwarth, son of the third earl of Marchmont, succeeded her mother as Baroness Lucas in 1797, the title of Marchioness de Grey then becoming extinct. Lord Breadalbane married, secondly, 23d January 1730, Arabella, third daughter and heiress of John Pershall, by Charlotte, daughter of Thomas Lord Colepepper, by whom he had two sons: George, born in January 1733, died at Moffat in April 1744, in the twelfth year of his age; and John, Lord Glenorchy, born in London 26th September 1738, died in the lifetime of his father, and without surviving issue, at Barnton, in the county of Edinburgh, an estate he had recently purchased, 14th November 1771, in the 34th year of his age. He married at London, 26th September 1761, Willielma, second and posthumous daughter and coheir of William Maxwell of Preston, a branch of the Nithsdale family, and had a son, who died in his infancy. Of this lady, the celebrated Lady Glenorchy, a memoir is given under the head of CAMPBELL, Willielma.

      The male line of the first peer having become extinct in 1782, on the death of the third earl, the clause in the patent in favour of heirs general transferred the peerage, and the vast estates belonging to it, to his kinsman, John Campbell, born in 1762, eldest son of Colin Campbell of Carwhin, descended from Colin Campbell of Mochaster, (who died in October 1688), second son of Sir Robert Campbell of Glenurchy. The mother of the fourth earl and first marquis of Breadalbane, was Elizabeth, daughter of Archibald Campbell of Stonefield, sheriff of Argyleshire, and sister of John Campbell, judicially styled Lord Stonefield, a lord of session and justiciary. He was educated at Westminster school; and afterwards resided for some time at Lausanne in Switzerland. In 1784, he was elected one of the sixteen representative peers of Scotland, and was rechosen at all the subsequent elections, until he was created a peer of the United Kingdom in November 1806, by the title of Baron Breadalbane of Taymouth in the county of Perth, to himself and the heirs male of his body. In 1793 he raised a forcible regiment, called the Breadalbane Fencibles, for the service of government. It was afterwards increased to four battalions. One of these was in July 1795 enrolled, as the 116th regiment, in the regular service, his lordship being constituted its colonel. He was one of the state counsellors of the prince of Wales for Scotland, and ranked as major-general in the army from 25th October 1809. In 1831, at the coronation of William the Fourth, he was created a marquis of the United Kingdom, under the title of marquis of Breadalbane and earl of Ormelie. In public affairs he did not take a prominent or ostentatious part, his attention being chiefly devoted to the improvement of his extensive estates, great portions of which, being unfitted for cultivation, he laid out in plantations. In 1805, he received the gold medal of the Society of Arts, for his success in planting forty-four acres of waste land, in the parish of Kenmore, with Scotch and larch firs, a species of rather precarious growth, and adapted only to peculiar soils. In the magnificent improvements at Taymouth, his lordship displayed much taste; and the park has been frequently described as one of the most extensive and beautiful in the kingdom.


View of Taymouth Castle

He married, 2 September, 1793, Mary Turner, eldest daughter and coheiress of David Gavin, Esq. of Langton, in the county of Berwick, by Lady Elizabeth Maitland, eldest surviving daughter of James, seventh earl of Lauderdale, and by her had two daughters and one son. The elder daughter, Lady Elizabeth Maitland Campbell, married in 1831, Sir John Pringle of Stitchell, baronet, and the younger, Lady Mary Campbell, became in 1819 the wife of Richard, marquis of Chandos, who in 1839 became duke of Buckingham. The marquis died, after a short illness, at Taymouth castle, on 29th march 1834, aged seventy-two. The whole of his personal estate, exceeding, it is said, £300,000, was directed by his will to accumulate for twenty years, at the end of which period it was to be laid out on estates to be added to the entailed property, but his settlement was partly set aside by the marquis of Chandos in right of his wife, who obtained an affirmance by the House of Peers of the decision of the Court of Session, declaring that the marchioness and her husband, in her right, were entitled to demand legitim.

      The marquis’ only son, John Campbell, earl of Ormelie, born at Dundee, 26th October 1796, succeeded, on the death of his father, to the titles and estates. He married, 23d November 1821, Eliza, eldest daughter of George Baillie, Esq. of Jerviswood, without issue. He represented Perthshire in the parliament of 1832. In 1838 he was made a knight of the Thistle, and in 1841 was elected Lord Rector of the university of Glasgow. In 1848 he was appointed Lord-chamberlain, and sworn a member of the privy council. He is president of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. The father of his marchioness made a fortune in the Netherlands, and returning to Scotland, purchased, in 1758, the beautiful estate of Langton, the ancient seat of the Cockburns, in Berwickshire. The heir presumptive to the Scotch titles of Breadalbane is William John Lamb Campbell of Glenfalloch, Perthshire, born in 1790, the descendant and representative of the first earl’s uncle.


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