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The name Campbell is undoubtedly one of considerable antiquity and the clan has long been one of the most numerous and powerful in the Highlands, although many families have adopted the name who have no connection with the Campbells proper by blood or descent. The Argyll family became latterly so powerful, that many smaller clans were absorbed in it voluntarily or compulsorily and assumed in course of time its peculiar designation. The origin of the name, as well as of the founder of the family, remains still a matter of the greatest doubt. The attempt to deduce the family from the half-mythical King Arthur of course is mere trifling.

The name is by some stated to have been derived from a Norman knight, names de Campo Bello, who came to England with William the Conqueror. As respects the latter part of the statement, it is to be observed that in the list of all the knights who composed the army of the Conqueror on the occasion of his invasion of England and which is known by the name of the Roll of Battle-Abbey, the name of Campo Bello is not to be found. But it does not follow as recent writers have assumed, that a knight of that name may not have come over to England at a later period, either of his reign or that of his successors.

It has been alleged in the opposition to this account that in the oldest form of writing the name, it is spelled Cambel or Kambel, and it is so found in many ancient documents; but these were written by parties not acquainted with the individuals whose name they record, as in the manuscript account of the battle of Halidon Hill, by an unknown English writer, preserved in the British Museum; in the Ragman's Roll, which was compiled by an English clerk, and in Wyntoun's Chronicle. There is no evidence however that at any period it was written by any of the family otherwise than as Campbell, notwithstanding the extraordinary diversity that occurs in the spelling of other names by their holders, as shown by Lord Lindsay in the account of his clan; and the invariable employment of the letter p by the Campbells themselves would be of itself a strong argument for the southern origin of the name, did there not exist, in the record of the parliament of Robert Bruce held in 1320, the name of the then head of the family, entered as Sir Nigel de Campo Bello.

The writers, however, who attempt to sustain the fabulous tales of the sennachies, assign a very different origin to the name. It is personal, say they, "like that of some others of the Highland clans, being composed of the words cam, bent or arched, and beul, mouth; this having been the most prominent feature of the great ancestor of the clan, Diarmid O'Dubin or O'Duin, a brave warrior celebrated in traditional story, who was contemporary with the heroes of Ossian. In the Gaelic language his descendants are called Siol Diarmid, the offspring or race of Diarmid".

Besides the manifest improbability of this origin on other grounds, two considerations may be adverted to, each of them conclusive:-

First, it is known to all who have examined ancient genealogies that among the Celtic races personal distinctives never have become hereditary. Malcolm Canmore, Donald Bane, Rob Roy, or Evan Dhu, were with many other names, distinctive of personal qualities, but none of them descended, or could do so, to the children of those who acquired them.

Secondly, it is no less clear that until after what is called the Saxon Conquest had been completely effected, no hereditary surnames were in use among the Celts of Scotland, nor by the chiefs of Norwegian descent who governed in Argyll and the Isles. This circumstance is pointed out by Tytler in his remarks upon the early population of Scotland, in the second volume of the History of Scotland. The domestic slaves attached to the possessions of the church and of the barons have their genealogies engrossed in ancient charters of conveyances and confirmation copied by him. The names are all Celtic, but in no one instance does the son, even when bearing a second or distinctive name, follow that of his father.

Skene, who maintains the purely native origin of the Campbell, does so in the following remarks:-

"We have shown it to be invariably the case, that when a clan claims a foreign origin, and accounts for their possession of the chiefship and property of the clan by a marriage with the heiress of the old proprietors, they can be proved to be in reality a cadet of that older house who had usurped the cheifship while their claim to the cheifship is disputed by an acknowledged descendant of that older house. To this rule the Campbells are no exceptions, for while the tale upon which they found a Normal descent is exactly parallel to those of the other clans in the same situation, the most ancient manuscript genealogies deduce them in the male line from that very family of O'Duin, whose heiress they are said to have married, and the Macarthur Campbells, of Strachur, the acknowledged descendants of the older house, they have at all times disputed the cheifship with the Argyll family. Judging from analogy, we are compelled to admit that the Campbells of Strachur must formerly have been chiefs of the clan, and that the usual causes in such cases have operated to reduce the Strachur family, and to place that of Argyll in that situation, and this is confirmed by the early history of the clan".

We shall take the liberty of quoting here some ingenious speculations on the origin of the name and the founder of the clan, from the pen of a gentleman, a member of the clan who for several years has devoted his leisure to the investigation of the subject, and has placed the results of his researches at our disposal. He declares that the name itself is the most inflexible name in Scotland. In all old documents, he says, in which it occurs, either written by a Campbell, or under his direction,it is spelled always Campbell, or Campo-Bello; and its southern origin he believes is past question. It has always seemed to him to have been the name of some Roman, who after his countrymen retired from Britain, had settled among the Britons of Strath-Clyde. "I am not one", he continues, "of those who suppose that the fortunes of Campbell depended entirely on the patrimony of his wife. As a family who had been long in the country, the chief of the name (it is improbable that he was then the sole owner of that name, although his family is alone know to history), as a soldier, high in his sovereign's favour, was likely to have possessed lands in Argyle before his marriage took place. Men of mark were then necessary to keep these rather wild and outlandish districts in subjection and only men in royal favour were likely to have that trust - a trust likely to be so well rewarded that its holder would be an eligible match for the heiress of Paul In-Sporran.

"It is also quite likely that Eva O'Duin was a king's ward and on that account her hand would be in the king's gift; and who so likely to receive it as a trusted knight, connected with the district, and one whose loyalty was unquestioned.

"Again, we put little stress on the Celtic origin of the name - from the crooked mouth of the first chief, as if from cam, bent or crooked, and beul, mouth. No doubt this etymology is purely fanciful, and may have been invented by some one anxious to prove the purely Celtic origin of the family; but this seems really unnecessary, as a Celtic residence, Celtic alliances, and Celtic associations for nearly 800 years, is a Celtic antiquity in an almost unbroken line such as few families are able to boast of; indeed, no clan can boast of purer Celtic blood than the Campbells, and their present chief.

Glen Etive (151091 bytes)
Glen Etive, looking over Loch Etive towards Glen Coe.
The lands of the MacIntyres & the Campbells.

The conclusions which, we think, any unprejudiced reader must come to is that the question of the origin of the Campbells cannot, until further light be thrown upon it, be determined with certainty at the present day. It is possible that the story of the genealogists may be true; they declare that the predecessors of the Argyll family, on the female side, were possessors of Lochow or Lochawe in Argylshire, as early as 404 AD. Of this, however,there is no proof worthy of the name. The first of the race who comes prominently into notice is one Archibald (also called Gillespie) Campbell, as likely as not we think, to be a gentleman of Anglo-Norman lineage, who lived in the 11th century. He acquired the lordship of Lochow, or Lochawe, by marriage with Eva, daughter and heiress of Paul O'Duin, Lord of Lochow, denominated Paul Insporran, from his being the king's treasurer. Another Gillespe is the first of the house mentioned in authentic history, his name occurring as a witness of the charter of the lands of the burgh of Newburgh by Alexander III in 1246.

Sir Colin Campbell of Lochow, the real founder of the family, sixth in descent from the first Gillespie, distinguished himself by his warlike actions, and was knighted by King Alexander the Third in 1280. He added largely to his estates, and on account of his great prowess he obtained the surname of Mohr or More ("great"); from him the chief of the Argyll family is in Gaelic styled Mac Chaillan More.

Sir Colin Campbell had a quarrel with a powerful neighbour of his, the Lord of Lorn, and after he had defeated him, pursuing the victory too eagerly, was slain (in 1294) at a place called the string of Cowal, where a great obelisk was erected over his grave. This is said to have occasioned bitter feuds betwixt the houses of Lochow and Lorn for a long period of years, which were put to an end to by the marriage of the daughter of the Celtic proprietor of Lorn, with John Stewart of Innermeath about 1386. Sir Colin married a lady of the name of Sinclair, by whom he had five sons.

Sir Beil Campbell of Lochow, his eldest son, swore fealty to Edward the First, but afterwards joined Robert the Bruce, and fought by his side in almost every encounter, from the defeat at Methven to the victory at Bannockburn. King Robert rewarded his services by giving him his sister, the Lady Mary Bruce, in marriage, and conferring on him the lands forfeited by the Earl of Athole. His next brother Donald was the progenitor of the Campbells of Loudon. By his wife Sir Niel had three sons - Sir Colin; John, created Earl of Athole, upon the forfeiture of David de Strathbogie, the eleventh earl; and Dugal.

Sir Colin, the eldest son, obtained a charter from his uncle, King Robert Bruce, of the lands of Lochow and Artornish, dated at Arbroath, 10th February 1316, in which he is designated Colinus filius Cambel, militis. As a reward for assisting the Steward of Scotland in 1334 in the recovery of the castle of Dunoon, in Cowal, Sir Colin was made hereditary governor of the castle, and has the grant of certain lands for the support of his dignity. Sir Colin died about 1340. By his wife, a daughter of the house of Lennox, he had three sons and a daughter.

The eldest son, Sir Gillespie or Archibald, who added largely to the family possessions, was twice married, and had three sons, Duncan, Colin and David, and a daughter, married to Duncan Macfarlane of Arrochar. Colin, the second son, was designed of Ardkinglass and of his family, the Campbells of Ardentinny, Dunoon, Carrick, Skipnish, Blythswood, Shawfield, Rachan, Auchwillan and Dergachie are branches.

Sir Duncan Campbell of Lochow, the eldest son, was one of the hostages in 1424 under the name of Duncan, Lord of Argyll, for the payment of the sum of forty thousand pounds for the expense of King James the First's maintenance during his long imprisonment in England, when Sir Duncan was found to be worth fifteen hundred merks-a-year. He was the first of the family to assume the designation of Argyll. By King James he was appointed one of his privy council, and constituted his justiciary and lieutenant within the shire of Argyll. He became a lord of parliament in 1445, under the title of Lord Campbell. He died in 1453 and was buried at Kilmun. He married first Marjory or Mariota Stewart, daughter of Robert Duke of Albany, governor of Scotland, by whom he had three sons - Celestine, who died before him; Archibald, who also predeceased him, but left a son; and Colin, who was the first of Glenorchy, and ancestor of the Breadalbane family. Sir Duncan married secondly Margaret, daughter of Sir John Stewart of Blackhall and Auchingown, natural son of Robert the Third, by whom also he had three sons, namely, Duncan, who according to Crawford, was the ancestor of the house of Auchinbreck, of whom are the Campbells of Glencardel, Glensaddel, Kildurkland, Kilmorie, Wester Keams, Kilberry and Dana; Neil, progenitor, according to Crawford, of the Campbells of Ellengreig and Ormadale; and Arthur or Archibald, ancestor of the Campbells of Ottar, now extinct. According to some authorities, the Campbells of Auchinbreck and their cadets, also Ellengreig and Ormadal, descend from this the youngest son, and not from his brothers.

The first Lord Campbell was succeeded by his grandson Colin, the son of his second son Archibald. He acquired part of the lordship of Campbell in the parish of Dollar, by marrying the eldest of the three daughters of John Stewart, third Lord of Lorn and Innermeath. He did not, as is generally stated, acquire by this marriage any part of the lordship of Lorn (which passed to Walter, brother of John, the fourth Lord Innermeath, and heir of entail), but obtained that lordship by exchanging the lands of Baldunning and Innerdunning, etc. in Perthshire, with the said Walter. In 1457 he was created Earl of Argyll. In 1470 he was created baron of Lorn, and in 1481 he received a grant of many lands in Knapdale, along with the keeping of Castle Sweyn, which had previously been held by the Lord of the Isles. He died in 1493.

By Isabel Stewart, his wife, eldest daughter of John, Lord of Lorn, the first Earl of Argyl has two sons and seven daughters. Archibald, his elder son, became second earl, and Thomas, the younger, was the ancestor of the Campbells of Lundie, in Forfarshire. Another daughter was married to Torqui Macleod of the Lewis.

Archibald, second Earl of Argyll, succeeded his father in 1493. In 1499 he and others received a commission from the king to let on lease, for the term of three years, the entire lordship of the Isles and on the mainland, excepting only the island of Isla, and lands of North and South Kintyre. He also received a commission of lieutenancy, with the fullest powers, over the lordship of the Isles; and some months later, was appointed keeper of the castle of Tarbert, and Bailie and governor of the king's lands in Knapdale. From this period the great power formerly enjoyed by the Earls of Ross, Lords of the Isles, was transferred to the Earls of Argyll and Huntly; the former having the chief rule in the south isles and adjacent coasts. At the fatal battle of Flodden, 9th September 1513, his lordship and his brother-in-law, the Earl of Lennox, commanded the right wing of the royal army, and with King James the Fourth, were both killed. By his wife, Lady Elizabeth Stewart, eldest daughter of John, first Earl of Lennox, he had four sons and five daughters. His eldest son, Colin, was he third Earl of Argyll. Archibald, his second son, had a charter of the lands of Skipnish, and the keeping of the castle thereof, 13th August 1511. His family ended in an heir-female in the reign of Mary. Sir John Campbell, the third son, at first styled of Lorn, and afterwards of Calder, married Muriella, daughter and heiress of Sir John Calder of Calder, now Cawdor, near Nairn.

According to tradition, she was captured in childhood by Sir John Campbell and a party of the Campbells, while out with her nurse near Calder castle. Her uncles pursued and overtook the division of the Campbells to whose care she had been intrusted, and would have rescued her but for the presence of mind of Campbell of Inverliver, who, seeing their approach, inverted a large camp kettle as if to conceal her, and commanding his seven sons to defend it to the death, hurried on with his prize. The young men were all slain, and when the Calders lifted up the kettle, no Muriel was there. Meanwhile so much time had been gained that further pursuit was useless. The nurse, just before the child was seized, bit off a joint of her little finger, in order to mark her identity - a precaution which seems to have been necessary, from Campbell of Auchinbreck's reply to one who, in the midst of their congratulations on arriving safely in Argyll with their charge, asked what was to be done should the child die before she was marriageable. "She can never die", said he, "as long as a red-haired lassie can be found on either side of Lochawe!". It would appear that the heiress of the Calders had red hair.

Kilchurn Castle. Major Campbell Castle situated on Beautiful Loch Awe.
Kilchurn Castle. Major Campbell Castle situated on Beautiful Loch Awe. Visit soon for 360 Degree panoramic of this photograph. ©ScottishPanoramic

Colin Campbell, the third Earl of Argyll, was, immediately after his accession to the earldom, appointed by the council to assemble an army and proceed against Lauchlan Maclean of Dowart, and other Highland chieftains, who had broken out into insurrection, and proclaimed Sir Donald of Lochalsh Lord of the Isles. Owing to the powerful influence of Argyll, the insurgents submitted to the regent, after strong measures had been adopted against them. In 1517 Sir Donald of Lochalsh again appeared in arms, but being deserted by his principle leaders, he effected his escape. Soon after, on his petition, he received a commission of lieutenancy over all the Isles and adjacent mainland.

For some years the Isles had continued at peace and Argyll employed this interval in extending his influence among the chiefs and in promoting the aggrandisement of his family and clan, being assisted thereto by his brothers, Sir John Campbell of Calder, so designed after his marriage with the heiress, and Archibald Campbell of Skipnish. The former was particularly active. In 1527 an event occurred, which forms the groundwork of Joanna Bailie's celebrated tragedy of "The Family Legend". It is thus related by Gregory: "Lauchlan Cattanach Maclean of Dowart had married Lady Elizabeth Campbell, daughter of Archibald, second Earl of Argyll, and, either from the circumstances of their union being unfruitful or more probably owing to some domestic quarrels, he determined to get rid of his wife. Some accounts say that she had twice attempted her husband's life; but, whatever the cause may have been, Maclean, following the advice of two of his vassals, who exercised a considerable influence over him from the tie of fosterage, caused his lady to be exposed on a rock, which was only visible at low water, intending that she should be swept away by the return of the tide. This rock lies between the island of Lismore and the coast of Mull, and is still known by the name of the 'Lady's Rock'. From this perilous situation the intended victim was rescued by a boat accidentally passing, and conveyed to her brother's house. Her relations, although much exasperated for a time, but only to break out afterwards with greater violence; for the laird of Dowart being in Edinburgh, was surprised when in bed, and assassinated by Sir John Calder of Calder, the lady's brother. The Macleans instantly took arms to revenge the death of heir chief, and the Campbells were not slow in preparing to follow up the feud; but the government interfered, and, for the present, n appeal to arms was avoided.

On the escape of the king, then in his seventeenth year, from the power of the Douglass, in May 1528, Argyll was one of the first to join his majesty at Stirling. Argyll afterwards received an ample confirmation of the hereditary sheriffship of Argleshire and of the offices of justiciary of Scotland and master of the household, by which these offices became hereditary in his family. He had the commission of justice-general of Scotland renewed 25th October 1529. He died in 1530.

By his countess, Lady Jane Gordon, eldest daughter of Alexander, third Earl of Huntly, the third Earl of Argyll had three sons and a daughter. His sons were, Archibald, fourth Earl of Argyll; John, ancestor of the Campbells of Lochnell, of which house the Campbells of Balerno, and Stonefield are cadets; and Alexander, dean of Moray.

Archibald, the fourth Earl of Argyll, was on his accession to the title in 1530, appointed to all the offices held by the two preceding earls. A suspicion being entertained by some of the members of the privy council, which is said to have been shared in by the king himself, that many of the disturbances in the Isles were secretly formented by the Argyll family, that they might obtain possession of the estates forfeited by the chiefs thus driven into rebellion, and an opportunity soon presenting itself, the king eagerly availed himself of it, to curb the increasing power of the Earl of Argyll in that remote portion of the kingdom. Alexander of Isla, being summoned to answer certain charges of Argyll, made his appearance at once, and gave in to the council a written statement, in which, among other things, he stated that the disturbed state of the Isles was mainly caused by the late Earl of Argyll and his brothers, Sir John Campbell of Calder, and Archibald Campbell of Skipnish. The king made such an examination into the complaints of the islanders as satisfied him that the family of Argyll had been acting more for their own benefit than for the welfare of the country, and the earl was summoned before his sovereign, to give an account of the duties and rental of the Isles received by him, the result of which was that James committed him to prison soon after his arrival at court. He was soon liberated, but James was so much displeased with his conduct that he deprived him of the offices he still held in the Isles, some of which were bestowed on Alexander of Isla, whom he had accused. After the death of James the Fifth he appears to have regained his authority over the Isles. He was the first of the Scotch nobles who embraced the principles of the Reformation, and employed as his domestic chaplain Mr John Douglas, a converted Carmelite friar, who preached publicly in his house. The Archbishop of St Andrews, in a letter to the earl, endeavoured to induce him to dismiss Douglas, and return to the Romish church, but in vain, and on his death-bed he recommended the support of the new doctrines and the suppression of Popish superstitions to his son. He died in August 1558. He was twice married. By his first wife, Lady Helen Hamilton, eldest daughter of James, Earl of Arran, he had a son, Archibald, fifth Earl of Argyll. His second wife was Lady Mary Graham, only daughter of William, third Earl of Menteith, by whom he had Colin, sixth earl, and two daughters.

Archibald, fifth Earl of Argyll, was educated under the direction of Mr John Douglas, his father's domestic chaplain, and the first Protestant Archbishop of St Andrews, and distinguished himself as one of the most able among the Lords of the Congregation. In the transactions of their times the earl and his successors took prominent parts.

The earl had married Jean, natural daughter of King James the Fifth by Elizabeth daughter of John, Lord Carmichael, but does not seem to have lived on very happy terms with her, as we find that John Knox, at the request of Queen Mary, endeavoured, on more occasions than one, to reconcile them after some domestic quarrels. Her majesty passed the summer of 1563 at the earl's house in Argyleshire, in the amusement of deer-hunting.

Argyll died on the 12th of September 1575, aged about 43. His countess, Queen Mary's half-sister, having died without issue, was buried in the royal vault in the abbey of Holyrood-house; and he married, a second time, Lady Johanna or Joneta Cunningham, second daughter of Alexander, fifth Earl of Glencairn, but as she had no children, he was succeeded in his estates and title by his brother.

On the 28th of January 1581, with the king and many of the nobility, the sixth earl subscribed a second Confession of Faith. He died in October 1584, after a long illness. He married, first, Janet, eldest daughter of Henry, first Lord Methven, without issue; secondly, Lady Agnes Keith, eldest daughter of William, fourth Earl Marischal, widow of the Regent Moray, by whom he had two sons, Archibald, seventh Earl of Argyll, and the Hon Sir Colin Campbell of Lundie, created a baronet in 1627.

In 1594, although then only eighteen, the seventh Earl of Argyll was appointed king's lieutenant against the popish Earls of Huntly and Errol, who had raised a rebellion. In 1599, when measures were in progress for bringing the chiefs of the Isles under subjection to the king, the Earl of Argyll and his kinsman, John Campbell of Calder, were accused of having secretly used their influences to prevent Sir James Macdonald of Dunyveg and his clan from being reconciled to the government. The frequent insurrections which occurred in the South Isles in the first fifteen years of the seventeenth century have also been imputed by Mr Gregory to Argyll and the Campbells, for their own purposes. The proceedings of these clans were so violent and illegal, that the king became highly incensed against Clandoland, and finding, or supposing he had a right to dispose of their possessions both in Kintyre and Isla, he made a grant of them to the Earl of Argyll and the Campbells. This gave rise to a number of bloody conflicts between the Campbells and the Clandonald, in the years 1614, 1615, and 1616, which ended in the ruin of the latter, and for the details of which, and the intrigues and proceedings of the Earl of Argyll to possess himself of the lands of that clan.

In 1603, the Macgregors, who were already under the ban of law, made an irruption into the Lennox, and after defeating the Colquhouns and their adherents at Glenfruin, with great slaughter, plundered and ravaged the whole district, and threatened to burn the town of Dumbarton. For some years previously, the charge of keeping this powerful and warlike tribe in order had been committed to the Earl of Argyll, as the king's lieutenant in the "bounds of the clan Gregor", and he was answerable for all their excesses. Instead of keeping them under due restraint, Argyll has been accused by various writers of having from the very first made use of his influence to stir them up to acts of violence and aggression against his own personal enemies, of whom the chief of the Colquhouns was one; and it is further said that he had all along meditated the destruction of both the Macgregors and the Colquhouns, by his crafty and perfifious policy. The only evidence on which these heavy charges rest is the dying declaration of Alister Macgregor of Glenstrae, the chief of the clan, to the effect that he was deceived by the Earl of Argyll's "falsete and inventions", and that he had been often incited by that nobleman to "weir and truble the laird of Luss", and others; but these charges ought to be received with some hesitation by the impartial historian. However, this may be, the execution of the severe statutes which were passed against the Macgregors after the conflict at Glenfruin, was intrusted to the Earls of Argyll and Athole, and their chief, with some of his principle followers, was enticed by Argyll to surrender to him, on condition that they would be allowed to leave the country. Argyll received them kindly, and assured them that though he was commanded by the king to apprehend them, he had little doubt he would be able to procure a pardon, and, in the meantime, he would send them to England under an escort, which would convey them off Scottish ground. It was Macgregor's intention, if taken to London, to procure if possible and interview with the king; but Argyll prevented this; yet, that he might fulfil his promise, he sent them under a strong guard beyond the Tweed at Berwich, and instantly compelled them to retrace their steps to Edinburgh, where they were executed 18th January 1604. How far there may have been deceit used in this matter, - whether, according to Birrel, Argyll "keipit ane Hielandman's promise; in respect he sent the gaird to convey him out of Scottis grund, but thai were not directit to pairt with him, but to fetch him bak agane"; or whether their return was by orders from the king, cannot at the present time be ascertained.

In 1617, after the suppression by him of the Clandonald, Argyll obtained from the king a grant of the whole of Kintyre. For some years Argyll had been secretly a Catholic. His first countess, to whom Sir William Alexander, afterwards Earl of Stirling, inscribed his "Aurora" in 1604, having died, he had, in November 1620, married a second time, Anne, daughter of Sir William Cornwall of Brome, ancestor of the Marquis Cornwallis. This lady was a Catholic, and although the earl was a warm and zealous Protestant when he married her, she gradually drew him over to profess the same faith as herself. After the year 1615, as Gregory remarks, his personal history presents a striking instance of the mutability of human affairs. In that year, being deep in debt, he went to England; but as he was the only chief that could keep the Macdonalds in order, the Privy Council wrote to the king urging him to send him home; and in his expedition against the clan Donald he was accompanied by his son, Lord Lorn. In 1618, on pretence of going to the Spa for the benefit of his health, he received from the king permission to go abroad; and the news soon arrived that the earl, instead of going to the Spa, had gone to Spain; that he had there made open defection from the Protestant religion, and that he had entered into very suspicious dealings with the banished rebels, Sir John Macdonald and Alister MacRanald of Keppoch, who had taken refuge in that country. On the 16th of February he was openly declared rebel and traitor, at the market cross of Edinburgh, and remained under this ban until the 22nd November 1621, when he was declared the king's free liege. Nevertheless, he did not venture to return to Britain till 1638, and died in London soon after, aged 62. From the time of his leaving Scotland, he never exercised any influence over his great estates; the fee of which had, indeed, been previously conveyed by him to his eldest son, Archibald, Lord Lorn, afterwards, eight Earl of Argyll. By his first wife he had, besides this son, four daughters. By his second wife, the earl had a son and a daughter, viz, James, Earl of Irvine, and Lady Mary, married to James, second Lord Rollo.

Inverarey Castle, home of the Duke of Argyll, and headquarters of Clan Campbell.
Inverarey Castle, home of the Duke of Argyll, and headquarters of Clan Campbell.
Kindly provided by Scottish Panoramic

Archibald, eight Earl and first Marquis of Argyll, after his father, went to Spain, as has been above said, managed the affairs of his family and clan. In 1641 he was created Marquis and was beheaded with the "Maiden", at the cross of Edinburgh, May 27, 1661; and whatever may be thought of his life, his death was heroic and Christian. By his wife, Lady Margaret Douglas, second daughter of William, second Earl of Argyll, the second was Lord Neil Campbell, of Ardmaddie.

On the death of the eighth earl, his estates and title were of course forfeited, but Charles II, in 1663, sensible of the great services of Lord Lorn, and of the injustice with which he had been treated, restored to him the estates and the title of Earl of Argyll. Argyll was twice married; first to Lady Mary Stuart, eldest daughter of James, fifth Earl of Moray; and secondly, to Lady Anna Mackenzie, second daughter of Colin, first Earl of Seaforth, widow of Alexander, first Earl of Balcarres. By the latter, he had no issue; but by the former he had four sons and three daughters. He was succeeded by his son Arcibald, tenth Earl and first Duke of Argyll, who was an active promoter of the Revolution, and accompanied the Prince of Orange to England. He was one of the commissioners deputed from the Scots Parliament, to offer the crown of Scotland to the Prince, and to tender him the coronation oath. For this and other services, the family estates, which had been forfeited, were restored to him. He was appointed to several important public offices, and in 1696, was made colonel of the Scots horse-guards, afterwards raising a regiment of his own clan, which greatly distinguished itself in Flanders.

On the 21st June 1701, he was created, by letters patent, Duke of Argyll,Marquis of Lorn and Kintyre, Earl of Campbell and Cowal, Viscount of Lochow and Glenila, Baron Inverary, Mull, Morvern, and Tiree. He died 28th September 1703. Though undoubtedly a man of ability, he was too dissipated to be a great statesman. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Lionel Tollmash, by whom he had two sons, the elder being the celebrated Duke of Argyll and Greenwich.

John, second Duke of Argyll, and also Duke of Greenwich, a steady patriot and celebrated general, the eldest son of the preceding, was born October 10, 1678. On the death of his father in 1703, he became Duke of Argyll, and was soon after sworn of the privy council, made captain of the Scots horse-guards, and appointed one of the extraordinary lords of session. He was soon after sent down as high commissioner to the Scots parliament, where, being of great service in promoting the projected Union, for which he became very unpopular in Scotland, he was, on his return to London, created a peer of England by the titles of Baron of Chatham, and Earl of Greenwich.

In 1706 his Grace made a campaign in Flanders, under the Duke of Marlborough, and rendered important services at various sieges and battles on the continent, and on December 20, 1710, he was installed a knight of the Garter. On the accession of George I, he was made groom of the stole, and one of the nineteen members of the regency, nominated by his majesty. On the king's arrival in England, he was appointed general and commander-in-chief of the king's forces in Scotland.

At the breaking out of the Rebellion in 1715, his Grace, as commander-in-chief in Scotland, defeated the Earl of Mar's army at Sheriffmuir, and forced the Pretender to retire from the kingdom. In March 1716, after putting the army into winter quarters, he returned to London but was in a few months to the surprise of all, divested of all his employment's. In the beginning of 1718 he was again restored to favour, created Duke of Greenwich, and made lord steward of the household. In 1737, when the affair of Captain Porteous came before parliament, his Grace exerted himself vigorously and eloquently in behalf of the city of Edinburgh. A bill having been brought in for punishing the Lord Provost of that city, for abolishing the city guard, and for depriving the corporation of several ancient privileges; and the Queen Regent having threatened, on that occasion, to convert Scotland into a hunting park, Argyll replied, that it was then time to go down and gather his beagles.

In April 1740, he delivered a speech with such warmth against the administration, that he was again deprived of all his offices. To these, however, on the resignation of Sir Robert Walpole, he was soon restored, but not approving of the measures of the new ministry, he have up all his posts, and never afterwards engaged in affairs of state. This amiable and most accomplished nobleman has been immortalised by Pope in the lines...

"Argyle, the state's whole thunder born to wield,
And shake alike the senate and the field".

He was twice married. By his first wife, Mary, daughter of John Brown, Esq. (and niece of Sir Charles Duncombe, Lord Mayor of London in 1708), he had no issue. By his second wife, Jane, daughter of Thomas Warburton of Winnington, in Cheshire, one of the maids of honour to Queen Anne, he had five daughters. As the duke died without male issue, his English titles of Duke and Earl of Greenwich, and Baron of Chatham, became extinct, while his Scotch titles and patrimonial estate devolved on his brother. He died October 4, 1743; and a beautiful marble monument was erected to his memory in Westminster Abbey.

Archibald, third Duke of Argyll, the brother of the preceding, was born at Ham, Surrey, in June 1682, and educated at the university of Glasgow. In 1705 he was constituted lord high treasurer of Scotland; in 1706 one of the commissioners for treating of the Union between Scotland and England; and 19th October of the same year, for his services in that matter, was created Viscount and Earl of Isla. In 1708 he was made an extraordinary lord of session, and after the Union, was chosen one of the sixteen representative peers of Scotland. In 1710 he was appointed justice-general of Scotland, and the following year was called to the privy council. When the rebellion broke out in 1715, he took up arms for the defence of the house of Hanover. By his prudent conduct in the West Highlands, he prevented General Gordon, at the head of three thousand men, from penetrating into the country and raising levies. He afterwards joined his brother, the duke, at Stirling, and was wounded at the battle of Sheriffmuir. In 1725 he was appointed keeper of the privy seal, and in 1734 of the great seal, which office he enjoyed till his death. He excelled in conversation, and besides building a very magnificent seat at Inverary, he collected one of the most valuable private libraries in Great Britain. He died suddenly, while sitting in his chair at dinner, April 15, 1761. He married the daughter of Mr Whitfield, paymaster of marines, but had no issue by her grace.

The third Duke of Argyll was succeeded by his cousin, John, fourth duke, son of the Hon John Campbell of Mamore, second son of Archibald, the ninth Earl of Argyll (who was beheaded in 1685), by Elizabeth, daughter of John, eighth Lord Elphinstone. The fourth duke was born about 1693. Before he succeeded to the honours of the family, he was an officer in the army, and saw some service in France and Holland. When the rebellion of 1745 broke out, he was appointed to the command of all the troops and garrisons in the west of Scotland, and arrived at Inverary, 21st December of that year, and, with his eldest son joined the Duke of Cumberland at Perth, on the 9th of the following February. He died 9th November 1770, in the 77th year of his age. He married in1720 the Hon Mary Bellenden, third daughter of the second Lord Bellenden, and had four sons and a daughter.

John, fifth Duke of Argyll, born in 1723, eldest son of the fourth duke, was also in the army, and attained the rank of general in March 1778, and field-marshall in 1796. He was created a British peer, in the lifetime of his father, as Baron Sundridge of Coomb-bank in Kent, 19th December 1766, with remainder to his heirs male, and failing them to his brothers, Frederick and William, and their heirs male successively. He was chosen the first president of the Highland Society of Scotland, to which society, in 1806m he made a munificent gift of one thousand pounds, as the beginning of a fund for educating young men of the West Highlands for the navy. He died 24th May 1806, in the 83rd year of his age. He married in 1759, Elizabeth, widow of James, sixth Duke of Hamilton, the second of three beautiful Miss Gunnings, daughters of John Gunning, Esq of Castle Coote, county Roscommon, Ireland. By this lady the duke had three sons and two daughters.

George William, sixth Duke of Argyll, was born 22nd September 1768. He married, 29th November 18190, Caroline Elizabeth, daughter of the fourth Earl of Jersey, but had no issue. His Grace died 22nd October 1839.

His brother, John Douglas Edward Henry (Lord John Campbell of Ardincaple, M.P.) succeeded as seventh duke. He was born 21st December 1777, and was thrice married; first, in August 1802, to Elizabeth, eldest daughter of William Campbell, Esq of Fairfield, who died in 1818; secondly, 17th April 1820, to Joan, daughter and heiress of John Glassel, Esq. of Long Niddry; and thirdly, in January 1831, to Anne Colquhoun, eldest daughter of John Cunningham, Esq. of Craigends. By his second wife he had two sons and a daughter, namely, John Henry, born in January 1821, died in May 1837; George Douglas, who succeeded as eighth duke; and Lady Emma Augusta, born in 1825. His Grace died 26th April 1847.

George John Douglas, the eighth duke, born in 1823, married in 1844, Lady Elizabeth Georgina (born in 1824), eldest daughter of the second Duke of Sutherland; issue, John Douglas Sutherland, Marquis of Lorn (M.P. for Argyleshire), born in 1845, and other children. His Grace has distinguished himself not only in politics, but in science; to geology, in particular, he has devoted much attention, and his writings prove him to be possessed of considerable literary ability. He is author of "An Essay on the Ecclesiastical History of Scotland since the Reformation", "The Reign of Law", etc. he was made Chancellor of the University of St Andrews, 1851; Lord Privy Seal, 1853; Postmaster-general, 1855-8; Knight of the Thistle, 1856; again Lord Privy Seal, 1853; Secretary of State for India, 1868. The Duke of Argyll is hereditary master of the queen's household in Scotland, keeper of the castles of Dunoon, Dunstaffnage, and Carrick, and heritable sheriff of Argyleshire.

It has been foretold, says tradition, that all the glories of the Campbell line are to be renewed in the first chief who, in the hue of his locks, approaches to Ian Roy Cean (John Red Head, viz., the second duke). This prophecy some may be inclined to think, has been royally fulfilled in the recent marriage of the present duke's heir, the Marquis of Lorn, with the Princess Louise, daughter of Her Majesty Queen Victoria. This event took place on the 21st March 1871, amid the enthusiastic rejoicings of all Scotsmen, and especially Highlandmen, and with the approval of knighthood on the Marquis of Lorn, after the ceremony of the marriage, and invested him with the insignia of the Order of the Thistle.

There are a considerable number of important offshoots from the clan Campbell, the origin of some of which has been noticed above; it is necessary, however, to give a more particular account of the most powerful branch of this extensive clan, viz., the Breadalbane Campbells.

Chief of Clan Campbell laid to rest in his beloved Argyll

duke_argyll.jpg (613459 bytes)THE boat cut a solitary swathe across the loch as it took the body of the Twelfth Duke of Argyll to its final resting place on an island surrounded by the mountains he loved.

Ian Campbell was laid to rest on Inishail in Loch Awe near his family seat, where family and friends said their private farewells. Earlier, life in the town of Inveraray came to a standstill as locals drew their blinds as a mark of respect for the man they knew as a friend.

Mourners lined the streets leading to Inveraray Church to pay tribute to the chief of Clan Campbell, who died In London last week following heart surgery He was 63.

The townsfolk stood with the great and good, including Lord MacFarlane of Bearsden and Lord and Lady Elgin, during the service, which was relayed to mourners in Inveraray community centre.

The Reverend Brian Wilkinson said the Duke took pride, and an active interest, in his community. ‘We remember him for his friendship and kindness,’ said Mr Wilkinson, ‘and his great sense of loyalty and public duty. But we also remember him for his care of his family and of the people in this community.’

Members of the public listening on loudspeakers outside the church were moved as the Duke’s son Torquil, the Marquis of Lorne, read a touching tribute to his father. The 33-year-old, who succeeds as the Thirteenth Duke of Argyll and inherits the family seat of Inveraray Castle, had flown in from Hong Kong for the service and delivered a poignant reading entitled High Flight, written by Gillespie Magee, a pilot officer killed in World War II. 

Benedict Hoskyns Abrahail, a lifelong friend of the peer, explained how much the Duke loved his adopted hometown.

He said: ‘He had an unsettled childhood which saw him forced from France by the Germans. He then moved to Portugal, Switzerland and Canada. This cosmopolitan lifestyle gave the Duke a great knowledge of the world. But no matter where he was, he always looked forward to returning to his beloved Argyll’

Throughout the service, the Duchess of Argyll was comforted by her son and by her daughter, Lady Louise Campbell.

Two representatives from Buckingham Palace were in attendance to convey the Queen’s condolences.

Six members of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders carried the coffin through the streets in the first ducal funeral the town has seen since 1947, when the Tenth Duke died.

As the cortege wound its way from the parish church to Inveraray Castle, the streets of the town on the banks of Loch Fyne were silent. Locals bowed their heath and policemen saluted. As many wept, the sound of a lone Argyll piper pierced the hush as he played an extract from the earl’s favourite pibroch, The Desperate Battle.

13th Duke of Argyll

Ancient Warriors - The Highlanders