Argyll, the Earls, Marquises, and Dukes op, have belonged to the Campbell family or clan, which first came into prominence in the twelfth century, and has since produced several distinguished public characters. The first patent of their nobility in Scotland dates from 1445, and the earldom was created in 1453.
1. Archibald Campbell, 8th Earl and 1st Marquis (1641), was born in 1598. He was a zealous Covenanter, took up arms against Charles I., commanded the force sent against Montrose in 1644, but was unsuccessful. Though unwilling to aid in restoring the royal cause, he seems to have taken no part in handing over the king's person to Parliament, and the execution of Charles disgusted him and his party. In 1651 he crowned Charles II. at Scone, but the defeats that ensued shook his somewhat wavering loyalty, and he submitted sullenly to Cromwell. He sat in Richard Cromwell's Parliament, and intrigued for the return of the Stuarts. However, no sooner was Charles II. restored than he threw Argyll, whom he always hated, into the Tower. After a trial before the Scottish Parliament, in which all forms and principles of law and justice were set at naught, the aged peer was condemned. He met his death firmly and nobly on May 27, 1661.
2. Archibald Campbell, his son, 9th Earl. fought as Lord Lorne for Charles II. until long after all hope was extinguished. He surrendered to Monk in 1657, and was imprisoned until the Restoration. Charles then gave him back his estates and his earldom, and saved his life when treasonable charges were brought against him. For twenty years Argyll gave support to the Government, and even connived at the oppression of the Covenanters. In 1681, however, he refused to subscribe to the Duke of York's celebrated test of passive obedience, and was condemned to death. He escaped to Holland. In 1685 he attempted a descent on the coast of Scotland in combination with Monmouth's rising. He was captured, taken to Edinburgh, and executed (June 30, 1685) on the strength of his former sentence.
3. John Campbell, 2nd Duke, and also Duke of Greenwich, grandson of the above, born 1678, succeeded 1703. He was created an English peer in 1705 for having promoted the Union, and in 1710 was made K.G. He served with great distinction under Marlborough in all the battles in Flanders, and was appointed Commander-in-Chief in Spain 1710, but, disappointed at the treachery of the ministry, he returned, denounced their conduct in Parliament, and was deprived of office. In 1714 he upset Bolingbroke's scheme for bringing back the Stuarts on the death of Anne, and next year he defeated Mar at Sheriffmuir. His clemency to the Jacobites gave offence, and he was again driven out of place, to be restored in 1719 as Steward of the Household and Duke of Greenwich. During Walpole's ministry he virtually governed Scotland, and did so with wisdom and moderation, dying in 1743.
4. George John Douglas Campbell. 8th Duke of Argyll, was born in 1824. As Marquis of Lorne he took an active interest in the discussion that led to the severance of the Free Kirk from the Presbyterian Church of Scotland, but though he favoured the abolition of lay patronage, and sympathised in many ways with the movement, he declined to follow Dr. Chalmers and abandon the establishment, Succeeding to the dukedom in 1847, he published next year Presbytery Examined. In politics he was a Whig, and in 1851 took office as Lord Privy Seal under the Earl of Aberdeen, continuing in office under Lord Palmerston. but becoming in 1856 Postmaster-General. He again served in 1859 under Palmerston, and from 1868 to 1874 sat in Mr. Gladstone's Cabinet as Secretary of State for India. In 1875 he warmly supported the Conservative scheme for transferring patronage in the Scotch Church to congregations, and two years later he wrote a paper for the Cobden Club on the relations of landlord and tenant. In 1880 he was once more entrusted with the Privy Seal, but resigned owing to his objection to the Irish Land Bill. He afterwards published one or two papers. on the land question especially directed against Mr. George's theories. Having always felt a strong interest in the progress of Darwin's views and the growth of Agnosticism, he had, in 1866, written The Reign of Law, an able vindication of Theism. This he followed up in 1884 with The Unity of Nature, conceived in the same spirit; and a smaller work, Primeval Man, was devoted to an examination of recent hypotheses as to the origin of the human race. He has also pronounced himself strongly against Irish Home Rule, and has shown an increasing sympathy with Conservatism. He married in 1844 a daughter of the Duke of Sutherland. She died in 1878, and he contracted a second marriage in 1881 with a daughter of Dr. Claughton, Bishop of St. Albans.