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The Scottish Nation

CAWDOR, earl of, a title in the peerage of the united kingdom, possessed by a branch of the ducal house of Argyle. The founder of this family was Sir John Campbell, third son of the second earl of Argyle, who in 1510 married Muriel, daughter and heiress of Sir John Calder of Calder, in the county of Nairn. (See CALDER, surname of, and CAMPBELL, surname of).

      The name was anciently Calder, but it was known in the latter form to Hector Boece, and Shakspeare makes the witches in Macbeth hail him as thane of Cawdor. This way of spelling the name was adopted as the family title when the peerage was conferred in 1796. In Bleau’s Atlas it is given as “Cathel,’ hence Caddel (See CADDEL and CALDER, surnames of).

      Sir John Campbell died 1st May 1546. Muriel survived till about 1575. Their eldest son, Archibald, died in 1551. His next brother, John, was bishop of the Isles. John, Archibald’s son, tutor to the young earl of Argyle, was assassinated by Campbell of Ardkinglass in February 1591. Sir John, his eldest son, acquired Isla. He resigned the estates in favour of his son, John, in 1622, and died circa 1642. John, commonly called “the Fair,” married Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Sir Thomas Urquhart of Cromarty. In 1639, he was cognosced as a lunatic, and died in June 1654. He was succeeded by his nephew, Sir Hugh, who was knighted in 1660. Being especially anxious for the introduction of the Lord’s prayer as part of the regular service in the Presbyterian church, he repeatedly addressed letters to the presbytery of Inverness, to Principal Carstairs of Edinburgh, and to the General Assembly. He also published the following two works on the subject: ‘An Essay on the Lord’s Prayer,’ 1704, 8vo; and ‘Letters relative to an Essay on the Lord’s Prayer,’ Edinburgh, 1709, 8vo. Sir Hugh resigned in favour of his eldest son, Sir Alexander, in 1693, and died in 1716.

      Sir Alexander served in several parliaments as commissioner for the county of Nairn, and like the other commissioners, he received an allowance from his shire for his expenses. He married Elizabeth, sister and heiress of Sir John Gilbert Lort, baronet, of Stackpole court, Pembrokeshire, on whose death in 1698 that estate passed to the Campbells of Calder, and is now possessed by the earls of Cawdor. Sir Archibald’s son, John Campbell, Esq. of Cawdor castle, M.P. for the county of Pembroke, was appointed a lord of the admiralty in 1736, and of the treasury in 1746. He sold Isla and the Argyleshire lands. He married Mary, eldest daughter and co-heiress of Lewis Pryse, Esq. of Gogirthen, Wales, and died in 1775. He had three sons and three daughters. His sons were, Pryse, his heir; John Hooke Campbell, Lord Lyon of Scotland; and Alexander, a lieutenant-colonel in the army, father of General Sir Henry Frederick Campbell, K.C.B. and G.C.H.

      Pryse Campbell of Cawdor castle, the eldest son, was elected member of parliament for the counties of Cromarty and Nairn in 1762, and appointed a lord of the treasury in 1766. He married Sarah, daughter and co-heiress of Sir Edmund Bacon, Baronet, and had two sons, John, his heir, first Lord Cawdor; Sir George, admiral of the white, who died in 1821, and a daughter, Sarah.

      John Campbell of Cawdor castle, the elder son, was born and in part educated in Scotland, but resided chiefly on his estate in Wales. In 1774 he was returned member of parliament for the town of Cardigan, and rechosen in 1780, 1784, and 1790. He was created a baron in the peerage of Great Britain, 21st June, 1796, by the title of Lord Cawdor of Castlemartin, county of Pembroke. In 1797, when the French landed at Fishguard, a sea-port town in the county of Pembroke, his lordship encountered them at the head of a body of peasantry, assisted by a few troops, and compelled twelve hundred French soldiers to surrender themselves prisoners. In 1799, he spoke, in the House of Lords, on the Volunteer Exemption Bill, which he did not altogether approve of, as precluding the services of many who took refuge in these corps for no other purpose than exemption from the militia. In 1804 his lordship expressed his dissent to the Militia officers bill. He did not vote on the trial of Viscount Melville, but divided with those peers who wished to go into a committee on the Irish Roman Catholic petition; and on the meeting of the new parliament in 1807, he assisted at the great dinner of the party in opposition to the ministry of the duke of Portland. He married, 27th July 1789, Lady Caroline Howard, eldest daughter of the fifth earl of Carlisle, and had two sons, John Frederick, first earl of Cawdor, and George Pryse, a captain in the royal navy. He died in 1821.

      His elder son, John Frederick Campbell, second baron and first earl of Cawdor, born in November 1790, married, 5th September 1816, Elizabeth, eldest daughter of the second marquis of Bath, with issue. On 24th September, 1827, created earl of Cawdor and viscount Emlyn, in the peerage of the United Kingdom. Educated at Oxford; D.C.L. 1841; a fellow of the Royal Society. His eldest son, John Frederick Vaughan, Viscount Emlyn, born in 1817, married, in 1842, the 2d daughter of the Hon. Col. Henry F. Compton Cavendish, and granddaughter of 1st earl of Burlington, with issue.

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