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The Great Historic Families of Scotland
The Campbells of Loudoun

Campbells of Loudoun are the oldest branch of the house of Argyll, and are descended from Donald, second son of Sir Colin Campbell of Lochaw, and brother of Sir Neil Campbell, the friend of King Robert Bruce. The barony in Ayrshire, from which they derive their title, was originally the possession of the Loudouns of Loudoun, one of the oldest families in Scotland. Margaret of Loudoun, the heiress of the estate, married Sir Reginald Crawford, High Sheriff of Ayr, and was the grandmother of Sir William Wallace, the illustrious Scottish patriot. The barony passed to the Campbells in the reign of Robert Bruce by the marriage of Sir Duncan, son of Donald Campbell, to Susanne Crawford, heiress of Loudoun, and fifth in descent from Sir Reginald Crawford. Sir Hugh Campbell, Sheriff of Ayr, was created a Lord of Parliament by the title of Lord Campbell of Loudoun, by James VI., in 1601. His granddaughter, Margaret Campbell, who inherited his title and estates, married Sir John Campbell of Lawers, a scion of the Glenorchy or Breadalbane family. He was created— 

EARL OF LOUDOUN, and Baron Tarrynean and Mauchline by Charles I., 12th May, 1633; but in consequence of his opposition to the measures of the Court, the patent was stopped at the Chancery, and the title was suspended until 1641. Following the lead of the chief of his house, the Earl took an active part in the opposition to the attempt of Charles I. to force the new Liturgy upon Scotland, and was a member of the celebrated General Assembly which met in Glasgow in 1638. In the following year he took and garrisoned the castles of Strathavon, Douglas, and Tantallon for the Covenanters. He was one of the seven Scottish noblemen who signed the letter addressed to the King of France, entreating his assistance, and was in consequence arrested on a charge of treason and committed to the Tower. He regained his liberty through the influence of the Marquis of Hamilton, and was permitted to return to Scotland. He became one of the most active leaders of the Covenanting party, commanded the van of their army at the battle of Newburn, and was one of the commissioners who negotiated the treaty of Ripon. He presided at the opening of the Scottish Parliament, 15th July, 1641, and when the King visited Scotland in the following month Loudoun’s title of Earl was allowed with precedence from 1633, and he was appointed High Chancellor of Scotland and First Commissioner of the Treasury. But these favours failed to win him over to the royal side, and he continued to support with great vehemence all the measures adopted by the Presbyterian party. He took a prominent part in promoting the ‘Act of Classes,’ excluding all who had taken part in the ‘Engagement’ from offices of trust and from Parliament. Much to his discredit, when the Marquis of Montrose was brought to the bar of the Parliament House to receive sentence of death, the Chancellor bitterly upbraided him for his violation of the Covenant, his league with Irish rebels, and his invasion of the country. The behaviour of Loudoun on this occasion—so unbecoming his high office—and the virulent abuse which he poured upon the great Royalist, may be accounted for, but not justified, by the sanguinary defeat of the clan Campbell at the battle of Inverlochy, where his elder brother, the Laird of Lawers, fell. The Earl, however, after the execution of Charles I., embraced the cause of his son, and was in consequence, along with his son, Lord Mauchline, excepted out of Cromwell’s Act of Grace and Pardon in 1654; but £400 a year was settled out of his estates on his wife. At the Restoration he was deprived of his office of Chancellor, and fined £12,000 Scots. He died in 1663. His son— 

JAMES, second Earl, lived and died abroad.

HUGH, third Earl, grandson of the Chancellor, was declared by the Earl of Argyll, when recommending him to Carstares, to be ‘a mettled young fellow. He has,’ added the Earl, ‘a deal of natural parts and sharpness, a good stock of clergy [learning], and by being in business he will daily improve.’ In consequence of this recommendation, the young Earl obtained from King William the appointment of Extraordinary Lord of Session. After the accession of Anne, he held successively the offices of a Commissioner of the Treasury, joint Secretary of State for Scotland, and Keeper of the Great Seal. He served as a volunteer at the battle of Sheriffmuir, under the chief of the Campbells, where he behaved with great gallantry. He was six times appointed High Commissioner to the Scottish General Assembly, and was for twenty-four years one of the sixteen Representative Peers of Scotland. His only son— 

JOHN, fourth Earl, was one of the Representative Peers for the long period of forty-eight years. He was distinguished for his military talents, and held numerous important offices both at home and abroad. In 1745, when the Jacobite rebellion took place, he raised a regiment of Highlanders for the service of the Government, of which he was appointed colonel. He fought at the battle of Preston, and was active and energetic in suppressing the rising in the northern counties. in 1756 the Earl was appointed Captain-General and Governor-in-Chief of the province of Virginia, and shortly after was nominated Commander-in-Chief of all the British forces in America. He was second in command of the British troops sent to Portugal in February, 1762, when Spain declared war against that country. He died in 1782, in his seventy-seventh year. ‘Loudoun’s bonnie woods and braes’ were greatly indebted to this Earl, who was the first to introduce extensive planting into this district. During his long military services in foreign countries he sent home specimens of every valuable kind of tree he met with, and he especially formed a most extensive collection of willows, which he interspersed in his plantations. As he died unmarried, his title and estates were inherited by his cousin— 

JAMES MURE CAMPBELL, grandson of the second Earl of Loudoun. His father, Sir James Campbell of Lawers, was a distinguished military officer, who served under the Duke of Marlborough, and contributed greatly to the victory of the allied forces at Malplaquet, 11th September, 1709. He distinguished himself also at the battle of Dettingen, 10th June, 1743, and was mortally wounded at Fontenoy, where he commanded the British cavalry. His son James, the fifth Earl, assumed the name of Mure on succeeding to the estate of his grandmother, the Countess of Glasgow, heiress of the ancient family of Mure of Rowallan. He attained the rank of major-general in the army, and died in 1786, leaving an only child— 

FLORA MURE CAMPBELL, Countess of Loudoun, who married in 1804 the Earl of Moira, created Marquis of Hastings in 1816, who was an eminent statesman, and held for some years the office of Governor-General of India. The Marquis died in 1826 at Malta, of which he was governor and commander-in-chief. He had promised his wife that they should lie in the same grave. As this could not in the circumstances be carried into effect, he desired his right hand to be amputated at his death and sent home, that it might be buried with the Marchioness. It was deposited in the family vault in Loudoun Kirk, and when she died in 1840 it was laid in the grave beside her body. The eldest of her three daughters was Lady Flora Hastings, and her only son became second Marquis of Hastings and sixth Earl of Loudoun. His eldest son, an officer in the army, was drowned at Liverpool in 1851 in his nineteenth year, and was succeeded by his brother, a poor unhappy and misguided youth, who made shipwreck of title, character, and estates. On his death in 1868, his sister, Edith Maude, wife of Charles Frederick Clifton, a member of an old Lancashire family, became Countess of Loudoun. She died in 1874 in her forty-first year, and directed by her will that her right hand be cut off and buried in Donington Park, the ancient possession of the Hastings family, which had been alienated by her brother, and the spot to be marked by a stone with the inscription, ‘I byde my time.’ Before her death she had succeeded in proving her right to no less than four ancient peerages—Botreaux, Hungerford, De Malynes, and Hastings, which had fallen into abeyance. They have descended to her son, the ninth Earl of Loudoun. Her eldest daughter married, in 1877, the fifteenth Duke of Norfolk.

According to the ‘Doomsday Book,’ the Loudoun estate consists of 18,638 acres, with a rental of £15,286 a year, and in addition the minerals yield £2,259 a year.

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