Duke of Argyll

Duke of Argyll (Scottish Gaelic: Diùc Earra-Ghàidheil) is a title, created in the Peerage of Scotland in 1701 and in the Peerage of the United Kingdom in 1892. The Earls, Marquesses, and Dukes of Argyll were for several centuries among the most powerful noble families in Scotland. As such, they played a major role in Scottish history throughout the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries. The Duke of Argyll also holds the hereditary titles of chief of Clan Campbell and Master of the Household of Scotland.

Dukedom of Argyll
Quarterly, 1st & 4th: Gyronny of eight or and sable (Campbell); 2nd & 3rd: Argent, a lymphad or ancient galley sails furled flags and pennants flying gules and oars in action sable (Lorne).[1]
Creation date21 June 1701
MonarchWilliam II
PeeragePeerage of Scotland
First holderArchibald Campbell, 10th Earl of Argyll
Present holderTorquhil Campbell, 13th Duke
Heir apparentArchie Campbell, Marquess of Lorne
Remainder tothe 1st Duke's heirs male of the body lawfully begotten
Subsidiary titlesMarquess of Kintyre and Lorne
Earl of Argyll
Earl of Campbell and Cowal
Viscount of Lochaw and Glenlyla
Lord Campbell
Lord Lorne
Lord Kintyre
Lord Inveraray, Mull, Morvern, and Tiree
Baron Sundridge
Baron Hamilton
Seat(s)Inveraray Castle
Former seat(s)Argyll's Lodging
Castle Campbell

Since 2001, Torquhil Campbell has been Duke of Argyll and is the thirteenth man to hold the title.


Sir Colin Campbell of Lochow was knighted in 1280. In 1445 James II of Scotland raised Sir Colin's descendant Sir Duncan Campbell to the peerage to become Duncan Campbell of Lochow, Lord of Argyll, Knight, 1st Lord Campbell. Colin Campbell (c. 1433–1493) succeeded his grandfather as the 2nd Lord Campbell in 1453 and was created Earl of Argyll in 1457.

The 8th Earl of Argyll was created a marquess in 1641, when Charles I visited Scotland and attempted to quell the rising political crisis (and the fall-out from the event known as The Incident). With Oliver Cromwell's victory in England, the marquess became the effective ruler of Scotland. Upon the restoration, the marquess offered his services to King Charles II but was charged with treason and executed in 1661. His lands and titles were forfeited but in 1663, they were restored to his son, Archibald, who became the 9th Earl of Argyll. In 1685 the 9th Earl was executed for his part in the Monmouth rebellion.

On 21 June 1701 the 9th Earl's son was created Duke of Argyll, Marquess of Kintyre and Lorne, Earl of Campbell and Cowal, Viscount of Lochow and Glenyla, Lord Inveraray, Mull, Morvern, and Tiree for his services to William of Orange. His son, the 2nd Duke, was created Baron Chatham and Earl of Greenwich in 1705 as a reward for his support for the Act of Union and further elevated to the title Duke of Greenwich in 1719. Upon his death his Scottish titles passed to his brother and the English titles became extinct.

The 5th Duke sat as a member of parliament for Glasgow until his father's accession to the Dukedom in 1761 disqualified him from representing a Scottish seat. He then became the member for Dover until 1766, when he was created Baron Sundridge and obtained the right to sit in the House of Lords.

On 17 April 1892, the 8th Duke was created Duke of Argyll in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. Thus, the Duke is one of only five people to hold two different dukedoms, the others being the Duke of Cornwall and Rothesay, the Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry, the Duke of Hamilton and Brandon, and the Duke of Richmond, Lennox and Gordon.

During the 19th century, a distant Prussian descendant of the family, Jenny von Westphalen, became the wife of the philosopher Karl Marx. In a famous story, when exiled to Paris and reduced to poverty, Marx was nearly arrested for attempting to pawn a part of Jenny's dowry: a silver dinner service bearing the crest of the House of Argyll. Of the incident Marx wrote to Engels, possibly in an attempt to solicit another loan from his wealthy friend: "My wife cried all night". However, the silver was eventually sold to pay off long-standing debts incurred by the Neue Rheinische Zeitung.[2]

In the late 19th century the then current Duke of Argyll visited America. While there, he stayed at the American Hotel situated in the main square of the village of Babylon, New York. The townspeople took a liking to the duke, and festivals and parades took place while he visited there. Just before the turn of the century (1900) the township of Babylon renamed the Bythbourne Lake/Park to Argyle Lake/Park (Argyll evolved to the currently accepted Argyle) in memory of the duke's visit.

Family seats and abodes

Extract from Gentleman's Magazine: Map of London & Environs, 1764

The family seat is Inveraray Castle beside Loch Fyne, Inveraray, Argyll. The estate, 75,000 acres, mixes of commercial forestry, residential property, sources of renewable energy, and a caravan park.[3]

The principal burial place of the Dukes and Duchesses is St Munn's Parish Church, Kilmun. The 11th and the 12th Dukes chose to be buried on the island of Inishail in Loch Awe.

In 1706 John Campbell, second Duke of Argyll, became the inhabitant of a house on the east side of King Street, St James (Soho end), Westminster, London which stood on a site occupied by the western end of Little Argyll Street which in 1735 or 1736 he vacated for redevelopment.[4] A succession of Argyll Houses followed in the same block of streets

A water-colour drawing of Argyll House by T. H. Shepherd and two plans (at Inveraray Castle, engraved and undated) [depicted in this source] all suggest a house of little beauty and less convenience. Harriette Wilson, the sixth Duke's mistress, called it a 'dismal chateau' and described it, along with the Duke's meagre personal possessions, as 'old'.

Extract from 'Argyll Street Area', Survey of London, 1963, London County Council, Vol. 31 & 32 at pp. 284–307)[4]

In 1808 the 6th Duke sold the latter-day House to the 4th Earl of Aberdeen.[4]

In and before 1764 the family had a house near to London at Ham which was then in the county of Surrey, a parish historically associated with Richmond, and a nearby second holding, see map to left.

Subsidiary titles

The Duke holds several subsidiary titles, including: Marquess of Kintyre and Lorne (created 1701), Earl of Argyll (created 1457), Earl Campbell and Cowall and Viscount Lochow and Glenyla (created 1701), Lord Campbell (created 1445), Lord Lorne (created 1470), Lord Kintyre (created 1626), Lord Inveraray, Mull, Mover and Tiry' (created 1701), Baron Hamilton of Hameldon (created 1776) and Baron Sundridge (created 1766). They are in the Peerage of Scotland, except the last two, which are in the Peerage of Great Britain. The Duke is also a Baronet of Lundie (created 1627) in the Baronetage of Nova Scotia. The courtesy title for the Duke's eldest son and heir is Marquess of Kintyre and Lorne.

Hereditary offices

The Duke of Argyll is also the chief of the Scottish clan of Campbell and in this capacity is known as "MacCailein Mòr", which is Gaelic, for "The Great MacColin" referring to Cailean Mór (Colin the Great) of Lochawe (Colin of Lochow) who was killed in fighting with Alexander, Lord of Lorne in 1296.

Since James IV's reign, the Duke has also held the position of Master of the Household of Scotland.

Coat of arms

The heraldic blazon for the coat of arms of the dukedom is: Quarterly: 1st and 4th gyronny of eight or and sable (for Campbell); 2nd and 3rd argent, a lymphad, sails furled and oars in action sable, flags and pennants flying gules (for Lorne).

List of title holders

Lords Campbell (1445)

Earls of Argyll (1457)

Marquesses of Argyll (1641)

Earls of Argyll (1457; restored 1663)

Dukes of Argyll (1701)

The heir apparent is the present holder's eldest son, Archibald Frederick Campbell, Marquess of Lorne (b. 2004).

Lords Kintyre (1626)

For further succession see above

Campbell baronets, of Lundie (1627)

  • Colin Campbell, 1st Baronet (b. 1599) (only son of the younger son of the 6th Earl)
  • Colin Campbell, 2nd Baronet (d. 1696) (only son of the 1st Baronet, died without issue)
  • Archibald Campbell, 1st Duke of Argyll (1658–1703)

For further succession see above

Family tree

Campbell family tree: Earls and Dukes of Argyll
Sir Duncan Campbell,
1st Lord Campbell

(d. 1453)
Archibald Campbell,
Master of Campbell
Colin Campbell,
2nd Lord Campbell,
1st Earl of Argyll

Archibald Campbell
2nd Earl of Argyll

(d. 1513)
Colin Campbell,
3rd Earl of Argyll

Archibald Campbell,
4th Earl of Argyll

Archibald Campbell,
5th Earl of Argyll

Colin Campbell,
6th Earl of Argyll

(d. 1594)
Archibald Campbell,
7th Earl of Argyll

Archibald Campbell,
8th Earl of Argyll
1st Marquess of Argyll

Executed, attainted and honours forfeit
James Campbell,
1st Earl of Irvine
Archibald Campbell,
9th Earl of Argyll

Archibald Campbell,
10th Earl of Argyll,
1st Duke of Argyll

John Campbell
(d. 1729)
John Campbell,
2nd Duke of Argyll

Archibald Campbell,
1st Earl of Ilay,
3rd Duke of Argyll

John Campbell,
4th Duke of Argyll

Baron Hamilton of Hameldon
John Campbell,
1st Baron Sundridge,
5th Duke of Argyll

Elizabeth Gunning,
Duchess of Hamilton,
1st Baroness Hamilton of Hameldon

George William Campbell,
3rd Baron Hamilton,
6th Duke of Argyll
John Douglas Edward Henry Campbell,
7th Duke of Argyll

H.M. Queen Victoria
George Douglas Campbell,
8th Duke of Argyll
1st Duke of Argyll (UK)

The Princess Louise
John George Edward Henry
Douglas Sutherland Campbell,
9th Duke of Argyll
2nd Duke of Argyll (UK)

Lord Archibald Campbell
Lord Walter Campbell
Niall Diarmid Campbell,
10th Duke of Argyll
3rd Duke of Argyll (UK)

Douglas Walter Campbell
Ian Douglas Campbell,
11th Duke of Argyll
4th Duke of Argyll (UK)

Ian Campbell,
12th Duke of Argyll
5th Duke of Argyll (UK)

Torquhil Ian Campbell,
13th Duke of Argyll
6th Duke of Argyll (UK)

(b. 1968)
Archie Frederick Campbell,
Marquess of Lorne
(b. 2004)

Current line of succession

  • Archie Frederick Campbell, Marquess of Lorne (b. 2004) (elder son of the 13th and 6th Duke)
  • Lord Rory James Campbell (b. 2006) (younger son of the 13th and 6th Duke)
  • Lord Colin Ivar Campbell (b. 1946) (younger son of the 11th and 4th Duke)

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.[6][7] 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.[8]

Upon bankruptcy of the Association, it was established that the Duke of Argyll was aware of the economic bubble created by the Association,[9] which resulted in lost wages for workers,[10] and non-existent provisions for the migrants who participated in his Colonization scheme.[11]

See also


  1. Debrett's Peerage, 1968, p.75
  2. Ghosts on the roof: selected essays , Transaction Publishers, 1996 By Whittaker Chambers, page 180
  3. 'Argyll Street Area', in Survey of London: Volumes 31 and 32, St James Westminster, Part 2, ed. F H W Sheppard (London, 1963), pp. 284–307. British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/survey-london/vols31-2/pt2/pp284-307 [accessed 24 September 2017].
  4. Succeeded his half-brother from his mother's first marriage to the 6th Duke of Hamilton as Baron Hamilton.
  5. 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."
  6. 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."
  7. Anon. 1846, p. 22
  8. 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"
  9. 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."
  10. 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!"

Further reading

Anon. (1846). British-American association and Nova-Scotia baronets. Reports of the action of damages for alleged libel, Broun (soi-disant) Sir Richard against the "Globe" newspaper. With introductory remarks relative to the above scheme and the "illustrious" order connected with it. Edinburgh: T.G. Stevenson.

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