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John Campbell, 7th Duke of Argyll

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Duke of Argyll
Coat of arms of the Duke of Argyll.svg
Arms of the Dukes of Argyll
PredecessorGeorge Campbell, 6th Duke of Argyll
SuccessorGeorge Campbell, 8th Duke of Argyll
Other namesThe Duke of Argyll
Born21 December 1777
Died25 April 1847(1847-04-25) (aged 69)
Wars and battlesFrench Revolutionary Wars
Spouse(s)Elizabeth Campbell
Joan Glassel
Anne Cuninghame
3, including George
ParentsJohn Campbell, 5th Duke of Argyll
Elizabeth Gunning

John Douglas Edward Henry Campbell, 7th Duke of Argyll, FRS, FRSE (21 December 1777 – 25 April 1847[1]), known as Lord John Campbell until 1839, was a Scottish peer and Whig politician.


Campbell was born in London,[2] the third son of John Campbell, 5th Duke of Argyll.[3] His mother was Elizabeth Campbell, 1st Baroness Hamilton of Hameldon, who had been ennobled in her own right in 1776.[3] Campbell was baptised on 18 January 1778 at St James's in Westminster.[3] He was educated privately and later attended Christ Church, Oxford.[4] In 1803, he travelled to Paris, where he met Talleyrand as well as Napoleon; Campbell returned to England the following year.[4] He succeeded his older brother George Campbell, 6th Duke of Argyll in his titles in 1839.[5]


Campbell was commissioned into the British Army in 1797 as an ensign of the 3rd Foot Guards, commanded by his father.[4] He purchased a lieutenancy in 1799 and shortly afterwards became a captain.[4] During the French Revolutionary Wars, Campbell served in the Netherlands under orders of Sir Ralph Abercromby.[6] He retired in 1801 forced by ill health and after two years was appointed lieutenant-colonel and commandant of the Argyll Volunteers.[4] Following the rearrangement of the country's militias in 1809, he became colonel of the Argyll and Bute Militia.[6]

He entered the British House of Commons in 1799, having been elected for Argyllshire as replacement for his uncle Lord Frederick Campbell.[4] After the Act of Union 1801, he continued to represent the constituency also in the new Parliament of the United Kingdom until 1822.[4] He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1819.[7] Campbell was nominated Keeper of the Great Seal of Scotland in 1841, an office he held for the next five years.[3]

The British American Colonization Association

In 1841, the 7th Duke of Argyll, along with other British and Irish noblemen, established the British American Colonization Association, also known as the British American Association.[8][9] This entity was involved in monetising the migration of foreign populations to British North America, which was not without Controversy:

We adhere to the opinion we expressed when the affairs of this company were last year before the public. We consider that the Duke of Argyll, and every other individual whose name was affixed-with his own knowledge of its being so – to the delusive prospectus, are bound by humanity and justice to indemnify the sufferers by the failure of the scheme to which they gave the sanction of their names. We had hoped that a due sense of what the Duke of Argyll owes to society would have induced his Grace, and every other individual who was induced to give his sanction to the scheme, to have voluntarily paid the penalty of his folly. By not doing so, the public may be induced to suspect that it was something worse than error of judgment. which brought their names into such a connection. We also went further; and have seen no reason to retract the opinion we then expressed.[10]

Upon bankruptcy of the Association, it was established that the Duke of Argyll was aware of the economic bubble created by the Association,[11] which resulted in lost wages for workers,[12] and non-existent provisions for the migrants who participated in his Colonization scheme.[13]

Marriages and children

Argyll married firstly Elizabeth, eldest daughter of William Campbell against the wishes of his father in 1802.[14] They were divorced six years later having had no children.

Argyll married Joan, only daughter of John Glassel in 1820. They had three children:[15]

  • John Henry Campbell, Earl of Campbell (11 January 1821 – 27 May 1837)
  • George Douglas Campbell, 8th Duke of Argyll (30 April 1823 – 24 April 1900) he married Lady Elizabeth Leveson-Gower (30 May 1824 – 25 May 1878) on 31 July 1844. They have twelve children. He remarried Amelia Claughton (12 April 1843 – 4 January 1894) on 13 August 1881. He remarried, again, Ina McNeill on 30 July 1895
  • Lady Emma Augusta Campbell (1825 – 30 May 1893) she married Rt. Hon. Sir John McNeill on 26 August 1870.

After his second wife's death in 1828, Argyll married thirdly Anne, eldest daughter of John Cuninghame in 1831. She was the widow of George Cunningham Monteath.[14]

Argyll died, aged 69, in Inveraray Castle in Argyllshire[1] and was buried at Kilmun Parish Church. Having been predeceased by his older son John in 1837, he was succeeded in the dukedom and his other titles by his second son George.[16] He was survived by his third wife until 1874.[16]


  1. ^ a b Rivington (1848), p. 225
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c d Cokayne (1910), p. 211
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Thorne (1986), p. 375
  5. ^ Dodd (1846), p. 16
  6. ^ a b Douglas (1904), p. 388
  7. ^ "Library and Archive catalogue". Royal Society. Retrieved 5 January 2010. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ Anon. 1846, p. 20:"Who can wonder if the scheme succeeded to an extent that surpassed the utmost hopes of its projectors? The Duke of Argyll was at its head; and its tail consisted of numerous joints worthy of a head so eminent. Yet of the long list of Lords and Baronets, with a Duke at their head, not one, as it now appears, ever paid a bawbee-the Duke of Argyll and Sir James Cockburn alone, of the entire batch, having even con- sented to take shares in the concern."
  9. ^ Anon. 1846, p. 14:"It was here stated that the Duke of Argyll took the lead at all the public meetings, and made no secret of attaching his high name to the acts of the Association, and that his Grace's correspondence with the late Lord Mayor clearly proved that fact."
  10. ^ Anon. 1846, p. 22
  11. ^ Anon. 1846, p. 19:"That Mr Campbell knew the whole concern was a bubble, is evident from his own account to the Lord Mayor. From that account it was evident that the Association was based in dishonesty and fraud"
  12. ^ Anon. 1846, p. 21:"Of this letter we will only say, that it is not quite consistent with his Grace's own letter to the late Lord Mayor, in which admissions were made, and explanations given as to the objects contemplated by the noble Duke in embarking in this emigration scheme; which, coming immediately from himself, the public will be disposed to credit. A letter also appears this morning in the columns of a contemporary journal, from a poor tradesman, who was induced to supply goods to the order of the Association, to the amount of several hundred pounds, on the faith of the high names which appeared in the prospectus."
  13. ^ Anon. 1846, p. 20:"Confiding in the integrity and stability of the high names attached to their prospectus, several poor persons were induced to become emigrants; and the" commissioners" of the Association undertook to sell them large tracts of land in Prince Edward's Island. And this contract they entered into, well knowing that the Association had not a single perch of land in the whole Island!"
  14. ^ a b Burke (2001), p. 141
  15. ^ The Peerage, entry for 7th Duke of Argyll
  16. ^ a b Douglas (1904), p. 389


  • Cokayne, George Edward (1910). Vicary Gibbs (ed.). The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom. vol. I. London: The St Catherine Press Ltd. |volume= has extra text (help)
  • Douglas, Sir Robert (1904). Sir James Balfour Paul (ed.). The Scots Peerage. vol. I. Edinburgh: David Douglas. |volume= has extra text (help)
  • Thorne, R. G. (1986). The House of Commons, 1790–1820. vol. I. London: Secker & Warburg. ISBN 0-436-52101-6. |volume= has extra text (help)
  • Burke, John (2001). Peter de Vere Beauclerk-Dewar (ed.). Burke's Landed Gentry of Great Britain. Wilmington, Delaware: Burke's Peerage and Gentry Llc. ISBN 0-9711966-0-5.
  • Dodd, Charles Roger (1846). The Peerage, Baronetage and Knightage of Great Britain and Ireland. London: Whitaker and Co.
  • F. and J. Rivington, ed. (1848). The Annual Register 1847. London: George Woodfall and Son.

External links

Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Lord Frederick Campbell
Member of Parliament for Argyllshire
1799 – 1801
Succeeded by
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Parliament of Great Britain
Member of Parliament for Argyllshire
1801 – 1822
Succeeded by
Walter Frederick Campbell
Political offices
Preceded by
The Earl of Stair
Keeper of the Great Seal of Scotland
Succeeded by
The Earl of Stair
Peerage of Scotland
Preceded by
George Campbell
Duke of Argyll
Succeeded by
George Campbell
This page was last edited on 17 March 2021, at 04:36
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