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Campbell, John, 1680-1743 (2nd Duke of Argyll, army officer and politician)

 Person

Dates

  • Existence: 1680-1743

John Campbell, second duke of Argyll and duke of Greenwich (1680-1743), army officer and politician, was born in Ham House, Petersham, Surrey. He was the eldest son of Archibald Campbell, 10th earl and 1st duke of Argyll, and Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Sir Lionel Talmash (Tollemache) of Helmingham, Suffolk, and Elizabeth, countess of Dysart in her own right, and, by her second marriage, countess and later duchess of Lauderdale. Always destined for the army, in 1694 Argyll's father persuaded William III to commission his 14 year old son as colonel of the regiment raised by the Argyll family for the king's services after his acceptance of the crown of Scotland in 1689. The regiment was disbanded in 1699 after the Treaty of Ryswick and he toured Europe for the next two years. In 1702 Argyll joined Marlborough's campaigns in the Low Countries as head of the 10th regiment of foot and, on his father's death in 1703, was given command of his regiment of Scots horse guards. Argyll then played a key part in the negotiations between the Scots and the English which would result in the Act of Union in 1707, the English court having turned to him in desperation to help deal with the recalcitrant Scottish parliament. Argyll's reward was to be made major general and earl of Greenwich. Between 1708 and 1710 he fought with Marlborough in the Low Countries, becoming lieutenant general and being awarded the order of the garter, but his increasing self-importance caused a rift with Marlborough and he returned to court in London. In the spring of 1711 Argyll was sent to Catalonia as ambassador and commander-in-chief of the British forces in Spain but had to evacuate his army to Minorca a year later. He was appointed governor of Minorca but promptly returned to Anne's court where he supported Scottish opposition to the Act of Union. This action led to his fall from favour at court and he was dismissed from his command of the Scots horse guards, the governments of Edinburgh Castle and Minorca, and the command of the army in Scotland. However, the change in monarch after Anne's death led to a change in Argyll's fortunes. He was restored to his offices by George I and led the government forces which defeated the Jacobite rebellion in Scotland in 1715. Britain now entered a long period of peace and in his later life Argyll concentrated on political matters, being a frequent and influential speaker in the House of Lords. He died in 1743.

Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:

 File

Copy, 'Mr Tuffnell's speech for prolonging the Triennial Act for Septennial', 1716

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.9450/A/14
Scope and Contents With an abridgement of Sir Richard Steele's speech in the same debate, and the Duke of Argyll's reply against Lord Nottingham.
Dates: 1716
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 Fonds

John Campbell, Duke of Argyll: Letter-book

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.6570
Scope and Contents Copies of letters from the Duke.
Dates: 1711-1712
Conditions Governing Access: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).

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