CAMPBELL, Archibald (1682-1761)

CAMPBELL, Archibald (1682–1761)

styled 1682-1706 Ld. Archibald Campbell; cr. 19 Oct. 1706 earl of ILAY [ISLAY] [S]; suc. bro. 15 Oct. 1743 as 3rd duke of ARGYLL [S]

RP [S] 1707–13, 1715–d.

First sat 23 Oct. 1707; last sat 19 Mar. 1761

b. June 1682, 2nd s. of Archibald Campbell, duke of Argyll [S], and Elizabeth, da. of Sir Lionel Tollemache, 3rd bt., of Helmingham, Suff., sis. of Lionel Tollemache, 3rd earl of Dysart [S]; bro. of John Campbell, 2nd duke of Argyll [S] (and earl of Greenwich). educ. privately (Alexander Cunningham); Eton 1698; Glasgow Univ. 1699. m. lic. 19 Jan. 1713 (with £30,000), Anne (d.1723), o. surv. da. and h. of Walter Whitfield of Queen Street, St Margaret’s, Westminster, Mdx., s.p.; 1s. 1da. illegit. with Mrs. Anne Williams (otherwise Shireburn). d. 15 Apr. 1761; will 14 Aug. 1760, pr. May 1761.1

Ld. treas. [S] 1705–6; PC [S] 1705–8; commr. union with England 1706; extraordinary ld. of session [S] 1708–d.; ld. justice gen. [S] (for life) 1710; PC 1711–d.; ld. clerk reg.[S] 1714–16; ld. privy seal [S] 1721–33; kpr. gt. seal [S] 1733–d.

Gov. Dumbarton castle 1705–14; 2nd col. Maccartney’s ft. Mar. 1708–Mar. 1709, col. 36 Ft. Mar. 1709–Oct. 1710.

Burgess, Edinburgh 1704;2 ld. lt. Midlothian 1715, Haddington 1737–d.; hered. sheriff, Argyll 1743–7; hered. justiciar, Argyll and the Isles 1743–7.

Chan. Aberdeen Univ. 1718;3 trustee, British Museum 1753–d.

Associated with: Inverarary, Argyll; King Street, Westminster; and Gt. Marlborough Street, Westminster.4

Likenesses: oil on canvas by W. Aikman, c.1715, Royal Collection; oil on canvas by A. Ramsay, 1744, National Galleries of Scotland PG 1293; oil on canvas by A. Ramsay, 1748, sold at Bonhams 19 Apr. 2012.

Through his education Campbell acquired some legal expertise, which complemented his natural talents as a politician and made him an ideal right-hand man to his brother, the duke of Argyll, at the head of the powerful Campbell interest. Indeed, alongside their formidable mother, he was said to exercise a dominating influence over Argyll.5 He was every bit as ambitious as his brother, and as greedy for places and preferments (for himself, his family, and their dependants), all of which made him a prickly and unreliable subordinate, and although in later years he would acquire a reputation for deep cunning and inscrutability, as a young man he also shared Argyll’s impetuousness and bad temper, surpassing him in the virulence of his reaction to any slight, real or imagined. According to William Legge, earl of Dartmouth, he had all his brother’s ‘bad qualities, without one of his good’.6

Campbell came into government in April 1705 on Argyll’s appointment as commissioner to the Scottish parliament. Although barely out of his minority, he was given the titular office of lord treasurer (the duties of which were carried out by a commission), in order that he would be able to sit and vote in parliament, and was also named to the Scottish Privy Council. 7 Argyll then obtained for him the governorship of Dumbarton castle.8 He was included in the commission to negotiate the Union, but he had already set his sights on following his brother into the army, and in March 1706 there was an unfounded report that he had secured a colonelcy of dragoons.9 Feeling neglected, he then pressed hard for a peerage in his own right, as a reward for his work on the Union commission. As the next session of the Scottish parliament approached, he deliberately absented himself from Edinburgh ‘in very ill humour’, and tried to incense his brother against the ministry.10 The peerage was eventually granted in October, after the parliament opened, as a means of fixing Argyll’s support for the treaty.11 Even then, the choice of title proved controversial: Campbell wanted Dundee, a title formerly held by the Graham family, which thereby offended the Squadrone peer James Graham, 4th marquess (later duke) of Montrose [S]. Because the Squadrone’s support was vital to ratification, the head of the court party James Douglas, 2nd duke of Queensberry [S], appealed to Argyll to intercede, and Archibald was prevailed on to take the earldom of Ilay instead. 12

Both brothers voted in the Scottish parliament for ratification, and afterwards Ilay was selected, at Argyll’s express request, to serve as one of the representative peers in the first Parliament of Great Britain.13 He was still restless, however, and pressing his claim for military preferment: either a regiment or a lieutenancy in his own troop of the Royal Scots Guards.14 In the analysis of Patrick Hume, earl of Marchmont [S], in 1707 he was described as ‘sicut [i.e., just as] Argyll’. He took his seat in the Lords on 23 Oct. 1707, and was immediately in high demand as a man of business. During his first session in the chamber he was present on three-quarters of all sitting days. In November he was named to the select committee on ‘the customs and orders of the House, and the privileges of Parliament,’ and to three further committees: on petitions from the countess dowager of Radnor and from some London merchants, and to consider proposals to encourage privateers in the Caribbean. The following month he was included in the drafting committee for the bill to establish an exchequer court in Scotland; a committee to consider the coal trade and the manning of the fleet; another on ship-building and naval victualling; and committees on two private naturalization bills. 

Ilay was present in the House on 29 Jan. 1708 for the first reading of the bill ‘for rendering the Union ... more entire and complete’, and followed Argyll, sitting in the House as earl of Greenwich, in opposing the Squadrone’s scheme for the abolition of the Scottish Privy Council.15 In committee he backed an unsuccessful attempt to delay abolition until 1 Oct. 1708, and when the bill passed signed a protest denouncing it as a violation of the Act of Union.16 As well as serving on nine more private bill committees, he was appointed on 2 Mar. to the committee considering the examinations of William Greg and Alexander Clerk, relating to breaches of security in the secretary of state’s office, and on 13 Mar. to the committee to prepare an address to the queen on this subject. His last recorded attendance in the session was on 16 March. In May he was noted as a Whig (possibly a Court Whig) in a printed list of party classifications.

Before the representative peers’ election of 1708 Ilay was at last given an army commission, as second colonel in a foot regiment. He was also made an extraordinary lord of session. Thus bound to the court, he attended the election with his brother’s proxy, having been included in the court list. He voted a straight court line, and was safely elected, in spite of reports in July that suggested he might be one of those to have a number of his votes discounted.17 Typically, however, he wanted more from the ministry, and was reportedly ‘very forward’ in demands for a regiment of his own.18 Possibly for this reason, he delayed taking his seat until 10 Jan. 1709, the day on which the House considered petitions against the peers’ election, and was named to the ensuing committee of inquiry, (although he may still have been on military duty in Flanders and unable to come to Parliament).19 Even so, he managed to attend almost 70 per cent of all sitting days. On 21 Jan., in the division on whether Queensberry should have participated in the election after receiving a British peerage as duke of Dover, he voted with the minority in favour.20 When the committee examining the peers’ election reported, and votes were recalculated in accordance with resolutions passed by the Lords, Ilay’s total fell, but not far enough for him to lose his seat. On this occasion, loyal support for the ministry in Parliament secured him the colonelcy he wanted.21 He was then named on 16 private bill committees in February and March, and on 1 Mar. to the committee to prepare an address to the queen to ensure that, when the war with France came to an end, the French king ‘may be obliged to remove the Pretender ... out of his dominions, and to own her Majesty’s title, and the Protestant succession’. He also opposed the bill extending English treason laws to Scotland, acting as a teller on 18 Mar. in the majority against including a list of all the relevant statutes.22 Ten days later he signed two protests over the bill, the first objecting to the refusal of the House to add a rider which would have allowed prisoners to have a copy of their indictment and a list of witnesses at least five days before their trial, the second against the passage of the bill itself, as another violation of the Union.23 He continued to attend until the prorogation on 20 April.

Although the new session began in November 1709, Ilay did not return to the House until 1 December. He was then present on 78 per cent of all sitting days. Amenability was a thing of the past: he wanted to exchange his regiment for another and was outraged when John Churchill, duke of Marlborough, would not permit it, so much so that by April 1710 lord treasurer Sidney Godolphin, earl of Godolphin, was describing him as ‘one of the most inveterate’ of his enemies.24 He was named to a committee to review the method of keeping records and public papers in offices, and more importantly, on 14 Dec., to the committee to consider the impeachment of Dr Sacheverell. As usual, he also served on a number of committees on private bills and on the committee which decided on the allocation of tickets to peers for the Sacheverell trial. Once these proceedings began, he was included on 28 Feb. in the committee inquiring into the Sacheverell riots. On 17 Mar. he spoke in the House in answer to a speech in Sacheverell’s favour given by Robert Shirley, Baron (later Earl) Ferrers. The following day he spoke again, voicing his discontent with the ‘very improper and ungrammatical’ manner of expressing the peers’ votes on the question of Sacheverell’s guilt as ‘content or not content’ rather than ‘guilty or not guilty’.25 He voted Sacheverell guilty on 20 Mar., but (in common with his brother Argyll) opposed the proposal that he ‘be made incapable of receiving any further ecclesiastical benefice’ for three years. Godolphin concluded that the ministry’s failure to secure more from the trial was owing to the ‘conjunction’ of Ilay and Argyll with Charles Seymour, 6th duke of Somerset, and Richard Savage, 4th Earl Rivers.26 Ilay’s behaviour was potentially awkward, since he was simultaneously taking pains to position himself in Scotland as a staunch defender of the Kirk; however, for the time being the inconsistencies did not seem to trouble him.27 After the trial he continued to attend regularly and on 5 Apr. was appointed a manager at a conference with the Commons on the Lords’ amendments to the copyright bill. He was then one of the tellers on the division on whether to insist on the amendments, which was rejected by 12 votes. He continued to attend on four prorogation days. His last recorded appearance in this session was on 18 July.

By June 1710 Ilay was co-operating very closely with Queensberry’s lieutenant, John Erskine, 22nd earl of Mar [S], who was in turn aligning himself with the Tory opposition led by Robert Harley, later earl of Oxford.28 Ilay and Argyll had already held a meeting with Harley, probably during mid-March.29 In consequence, Ilay felt it necessary to defend himself to his principal contact in the Church of Scotland, William Carstares, against the charge that he was ‘taking measures against the interest of our church and Revolution-establishment’. His arguments were interesting in the light of his future political strategy. He had, he said, always been of the opinion that:

it was very obviously our interest not to mingle ourselves too much with the factions here, I mean as Scotchmen; for, it being very plain that no party here has our country much at heart; the exasperating any side here, might, at some conjuncture or other, draw both upon us and crush us at once.30

The following month (July) he wrote to a kinsman, John Campbell, earl of Breadalbane [S], to explain the position he and his brother had taken in the political crisis that resulted in the fall of Godolphin’s administration:

the most compendious description I can make of the present state of affairs is a dispute whether the queen or some of her subjects shall govern… having taken the queen’s side, we are resolved to protect her as far as we have any interest, and I believe her party will easily maintain their ground.

The real purpose of the letter, however, was to secure Breadalbane’s support in the forthcoming peers’ election. Ilay advised him not to ‘engage yourself at all till the very time comes, for it is very hard yet to tell precisely who will be on the right side (as we call it)’. After the dismissal of Godolphin, he wrote again on 25 Aug. explaining that he would have to go to London: the ‘great change lately made ... shows now plainly her Majesty will support herself and her own administration. As for ... the new Parliament, nobody whatsoever doubts of it, and therefore we are busy endeavouring to make the elections as much of a piece as possible’.31 This involved working closely with Mar and the Queensberryites. With things now going well, Ilay seemed ‘mighty uppish’, declaring that he could carry any election in Scotland as he pleased.32 By this time he had resigned his regiment and been appointed lord justice general for life; it was even rumoured that he might replace Queensberry as Scottish secretary.33 Briefly he was given cause for concern by a delay in settling the arrangements for the Scottish elections, and suspected an attempt to include the Squadrone in the proposed court coalition. Harley was, however, warned that this would not work, more particularly because Ilay was ‘the greatest enemy [the] Squadrone hath’.34 With Mar, he successfully organized both Commons and Lords elections, making a particular use of his high personal standing with Presbyterian ministers.35 He attended the peers’ election, where, in the absence of the Squadrone, the court list (agreed between Ilay, Queensberry, James Hamilton, 4th duke of Hamilton [S], and John Murray, duke of Atholl [S]) which included Ilay, was elected without opposition.36 From a different political perspective, Daniel Defoe sent Harley a highly critical account of Ilay’s conduct, alleging that he, Argyll and Mar had used ‘menaces and contempt on the one hand, and declared openly the qualification of those to be chosen, which is now called the test upon which the peers were closeted ... viz. their agreeing to impeach Godolphin and Marlborough.’ 37

An analysis of the new representative peers, prepared by the Episcopalian chaplain to the duchess of Buccleuch, described Ilay as a ‘court Tory’.38 Another analysis drawn up shortly after the election said that he ‘will go as his brother wants’. Privately, at this time, he was pressing Harley to get rid of Queensberry, and put his trust in Mar and Argyll.39 He took his seat as soon as the session opened on 25 Nov. 1710, after which he proceeded to attend on 90 per cent of all sitting days, and was named to the committee of privileges and its sub-committee for the Journal. On 9 Jan. 1711 he was one of the Scots peers whose votes helped defeat a Whig motion to adjourn the committee of the whole House inquiring into the conduct of the war in Spain, and especially the allied defeat at Almanza in 1707.40 Three days later, in the same committee, he intervened in a debate over a Tory resolution that the disastrous offensive had been approved by the then government. His contribution was on a technicality, objecting to the use of the terms ‘cabinet council’ and ‘ministry’, since neither was ‘commonly known in the law ... and therefore they ought to use a plain English word’. When the phrasing was changed to ‘the ministers’, he acted as a teller in favour of the motion.41 He again acted as one of the tellers for the subsequent division of 8 Feb. over the retaining of certain words within the representation to the queen on this matter. He was himself rumoured to be preparing a motion for an enquiry into the orders given in the spring of 1708 to bring to London those Scottish peers arrested on suspicion of involvement in the unsuccessful Jacobite rising, including leading cavaliers, his intention being to weaken the Queensberryites.42

In matters of religion Ilay showed no sympathy for the cavalier position, having declared himself against the introduction of any legislation to provide relief for Episcopalians, and had ‘a little engaged his brother that way’. When taxed with this, Argyll was said to have laughed, and said ‘he knows not what his brother means except it be to be head of the Kirk’.43 Both men were against hearing the petition of the Episcopalian minister James Greenshields against conviction by the Edinburgh magistrates for using the Church of England liturgy. Ilay was present on 19 Feb. when the petition was introduced, and spoke on behalf of the magistrates when the case was heard on 1 Mar., walking out of the House after an adjournment motion was defeated. Afterwards it was reported that he had told the Episcopalian representative peer Alexander Montgomerie, 9th earl of Eglinton [S], that when ‘he went to Scotland he would put the oaths to all the Episcopal ministers’. The story was that Eglinton replied ‘that he never expected better of his hand at which Ilay blushed’. 44 In a letter to Carstares Ilay tried to account for his failure in the Greenshields case. Before the session, when Presbyterian ministers in Scotland had requested his help over Greenshields’ petition, and in obstructing a toleration bill, ‘I without any hesitation assured them faithfully of it’. Yet he knew ‘very well that our English friends would never be our champions but when at the same time they were their own and promoted their own interest as well as ours’. Few Whigs had spoken during the debate on 1 Mar.: ‘their bishops left us and the rest declared it was none of their business, and when I moved a delay which might possibly have been of some use to us, they all left my brother and me to debate against the whole House’.45 He was also frustrated that some Presbyterian ministers in Scotland still refused the abjuration, which he felt put their spokesmen at a disadvantage, and in particular had deterred him from bringing forward proposals for toleration.46 He did, however, vote with Mar and a Campbell kinsman Hugh Campbell, 3rd earl of Loudoun [S], against a favourite bill of English high churchmen, to repeal the General Naturalization Act of 1709.47

Ilay attended regularly until Parliament was prorogued on 12 June, but was very careful to avoid controversy. When the bill to prohibit the export of flax and linen from Scotland arrived from the Commons, the House went into a committee of the whole on 1 June to consider it. In an account of the debate, John Elphinstone, 4th Lord Balmerino [S], observed with surprise that Ilay, ‘who can speak so well’ made little impact: ‘he never meddled till near the end’, when he ‘spoke a little’. On being asked ‘why he was so silent, he answered, because he was astonished.’48 An important factor was his own ambition. When Queensberry died in July, Ilay was said to be one of several ‘pretenders’ to the vacant Scottish secretaryship.49

Ilay took his seat again on 7 Dec. 1711, after which he was present on three-quarters of all sitting days. In advance of the session he was entrusted with the proxy of Archibald Primrose, earl of Rosebery [S], which was vacated by Rosebery’s appearance in the House later that month. On 10 Dec. Ilay was noted among those who had voted with the ministry on the ‘No peace without Spain’ motion. Ten days later the House refused Hamilton’s request to be allowed to sit and vote by virtue of his British peerage. Ilay acted as one of the tellers in the division over whether to refer the question to the judges. He then voted in Hamilton’s favour (as had been predicted the day before) and protested against the decision to bar the duke, having, in a ‘very moving speech’, defended the queen’s right to create British peers and argued that to deny Hamilton his seat ‘would be deemed a breach of the Union’.50 He also helped to draft, and then signed, the ‘representation of the peers of Scotland’, presented to the queen on 1 Jan. 1712.51 Later that month, he was reported to be ‘fond of the notion’, suggested by Balmerino, that the proper response would be to call a meeting of the Estates of Scotland, ‘only they apprehend it will neither do here [Westminster] nor in Scotland’.52 The queen sent a message to the Lords expressing unease about her Scottish subjects’ concern at the Hamilton vote and seeking the assistance of the House to find a settlement. This was referred to a committee of the whole, to which the pessimistic Scots made little contribution. In committee on 4 Feb. Ilay ‘declared for himself and his country that he wished rather than hoped that anything can come from it’. 53 Nothing did, so three days later he joined his fellow representative peers in boycotting Parliament. 

Most of the boycotters were brought back to the House by the arrival there of the toleration (episcopal communion) bill. Although Ilay had argued against ending the boycott (presumably because he was opposed to this bill, and hoped that the absence of the Scottish peers would ensure its rejection), he was present with other Scots for the second reading on 13 Feb. 1712 and attended the committee of the whole to which it was referred.54 Both he and Charles Montagu, Baron (later earl of) Halifax, were noted as having spoken ‘against the body of the bill’. He attempted to modify the oath prescribed in the bill, so as to make it more acceptable to Presbyterians who might ‘scruple’ against it, but was overruled by the Tory majority.55 After the passage of the bill he resumed his boycott and his attendance was not recorded again until 27 February. The following day he acted as one of the tellers for the division whether to give a second reading to the officers in the House of Commons bill. He again acted as a teller on 13 Mar. for the division over reversing the decree in the cause Conway v. Buckingham. Later, he also made sure that he attended proceedings on the Scottish patronages bill, speaking and acting as a teller on 12 Apr. against the motion to commit. He was noted as one of only four Scots peers to oppose the measure, three of them being Campbells. 56 Such attacks on the Presbyterian establishment alienated him from English and Scottish Tories. On 19 May he was present in the committee of the whole on the land grants resumption bill, acting as a teller on the question of whether to include a new clause, and the next day he and his brother, unlike most of the representative peers, spoke and voted against the measure.57 However, on the 27th he voted with the majority against a Whig-inspired motion for an address asking the queen to order her troops to act offensively against France.58 He continued to attend the House until the end of the session. He attended seven prorogation days between 13 Jan. and 26 Mar. 1713. 

Concern over the embarrassing position in which he felt he had been placed by the ministry’s unwillingness to support the Presbyterian establishment in Scotland, combined with resentment that the Scottish secretaryship had not been filled, provoked an extraordinarily histrionic letter from Ilay to lord treasurer Oxford (as Harley had become) in November 1712. He complained bitterly that he had lost Oxford’s favour, and had in effect been ‘disgraced’ by the very person under whose protection he and his brother had abandoned the Whig ministry in 1710. A bemused Oxford added the comment ‘I do not understand this, it having no foundation’. Another outburst followed in January 1713, when Ilay’s unrealistic ambition of being appointed ambassador to Constantinople was dashed. Now, however, he had to deny accusations that he had been scheming against Oxford, and protested his continuing support.59 Ilay’s increasing desperation may also have been exacerbated by a growing realization that his recent marriage to Anne Whitfield was not as lucrative as he had hoped, the new Lady Ilay’s father’s affairs being in a state of confusion.60 In a list drawn up in mid-March he was listed by Swift among those expected to oppose the ministry.

Ilay took his seat in the new session on 9 Apr. 1713. In all he was present for 55 per cent of all sitting days but, having attended for just six days, he absented himself for just over a month. In advance of the session he had warned Oxford that he needed to be in Scotland for some days during April and took the opportunity to request appointment as commissioner of the assembly of the Kirk in place of Atholl. His request was not heeded.61 He was in Scotland in early May, when the political crisis blew up over the extension of the malt tax to Scotland. Some outraged Scots peers considered that the only appropriate response was a bill to dissolve the Union; one, Balmerino, expressed the hope that Ilay ‘is and will be more alert on this head than many of our lords ... because he is discontented’. On the morning of the 26th, the day after Ilay returned to London, a meeting of Scottish lords and commoners was held at his lodgings, where he ‘insisted very violently upon the necessity of prosecuting the dissolution, be the consequences what they will’.62 At another meeting the next day he and Argyll were among those who ‘were for beginning instantly to let the court see they could and dared to oppose them, because the Court were the persons who kept the Scots under the Union and would do so until the end of the world whilst they gained by it’.63 George Lockhart reported that Ilay and Argyll:

roar and exclaim bloodily against the Union, and seem very positive that the Whig lords would join to dissolve if our peers would help in the meantime to stop the ministry. There are [those] here [say] that the two brothers, finding that their court decays, are making this noise and opposition to force the ministry into their ways.64

Ilay was also said to have drunk ‘a new kind of health’ at a public entertainment, toasting ‘the speedy and legal dissolution of the Union’.65 On 1 June James Ogilvy, 4th earl of Findlater [S], formally moved in the Lords for leave for a bill to dissolve the Union. During the debate, in which he ‘spoke well’, Ilay responded to a comment from William North, 6th Baron North and Grey, that imposing the malt tax on Scotland was perfectly consistent with the 14th article of the Union treaty which only prohibited such a step during wartime. Ilay recalled that, during the negotiations, since it could not be supposed ‘that the Parliament of Great Britain would ever lay on any sorts of burdens upon the united kingdom, but what they should find of necessity, at that time, for the preservation and good of the whole, and with due regard to circumstances, and abilities of every part of the united kingdom’, the commissioners had agreed ‘that there should be no further exemption insisted on for any part of the united kingdom, but that the consideration of any exemptions beyond what was already agreed on in this treaty, should be left to the determination of the Parliament of Great Britain’. Thus, ‘when this treaty was made, the Scots concluded, the Parliament of Great Britain would never go about to lay on any imposition that they had reason to believe was burdensome’. Finally, ‘having set forth their inability to pay the malt tax’, he concluded by declaring his support for the motion. Later in the debate, when an English peer ‘endeavoured to show the impossibility of dissolving the Union’, Ilay answered, ‘that if the Union had the same sanction as marriage, which was an ordinance of God, he should be for observing it as religiously as that, but that he thought there was a great difference’. 66 Eventually the motion was lost on a division. The malt bill then passed its first reading in the Lords, and in an attempt to co-ordinate opposition the Whig Junto suggested that either Ilay or Balmerino propose that its second reading be delayed. Ilay said ‘he would do it with all his heart but that would look Whiggish from him, that it would do far better from one that was a known Tory’, so Balmerino made the motion, only for it to be lost by one vote . Ilay acted as one of the tellers for the division. Although Ilay again ‘spoke very well’ in committee on 8 June the bill was approved and passed without amendment.67 He signed the protest which condemned it as an unjust imposition and a violation of the Treaty of Union.68 His disgruntlement was then further demonstrated later that month when he was listed among a clutch of court supporters expected to desert over the French commerce bill.

Ilay continued to attend the House until the end of the session. Despite his and his brother’s obvious alienation from the ministry, he attempted to preserve his own personal relationship with Oxford, sending letters in which he combined obsequious professions of friendship with fabricated protests against the supposed malicious insinuations of others, and larded his prose with a sanctimonious (and somewhat callow) self-righteousness:

Were it not that I have a private satisfaction in doing what I think right, of what use is it to be innocent? When first I was engaged in your service, and when you were pleased to think well of me, it was when you were unjustly oppressed by a prevailing party, and when I had more of the countenance of the Court than I have at present; if now, when you are at the head of the administration, I have the less art to please, I must rest contented. If when worldly interest might have led me to betray you, I durst be honest, and when it leads me to serve you, I prove otherwise, sure my enemies who think so must in charity add fool to the character they are pleased to give of me.69

At the same time, Oxford was being urged by one of his Scottish advisers to turn out both brothers ‘of all they can be turned out of’.70 Islay was aware of the talk against him and confided to William Cowper, Baron (later Earl) Cowper, that he knew he was ‘taken to be a very dangerous person’ and that Mar had announced he ‘won’t sit in that House [the Lords] if I do’.71 Even without being dismissed, the Campbells made an alliance with the Squadrone against the ministry before the 1713 peers’ election.72 This proved inadequate, however, and, ‘having found himself too weak to appear’ Ilay absented himself from the election, with the result that he lost his seat. Even when Argyll was finally cashiered in March 1714, Ilay retained the governorship of Dumbarton castle until after Oxford’s removal, but his mood was still sour. He observed ‘how heavily everything concerning Scotland goes on’, and complained of English misrule.73 Once he recovered his seat in 1715 he retained it until his death. The remainder of his long parliamentary career will be dealt with in the second part of this work.

Having succeeded his brother in 1743 to the dukedom of Argyll, Ilay died suddenly in London on 15 Apr. 1761 and was buried at Inverarary. While the dukedom was inherited by a cousin, his own earldom became extinct.


  • 1 Douglas, Scots Peerage, i. 378–81; HP Commons 1690–1715, v. 858; Munimenta Alme Universitatis Glasguensis, iii. 166.
  • 2 Scot. Rec. Soc. lxii. 30.
  • 3 Fasti Aberdonenses (Spalding Club), 558.
  • 4 London Jnl. xviii. 28, 30.
  • 5 HMC Mar and Kellie, i. 367.
  • 6 Burnet, vi. 59.
  • 7 Baillie Corresp. 79.
  • 8 P. W. J. Riley, Union, 142.
  • 9 Lockhart Letters, 26.
  • 10 HMC Mar and Kellie, i. 283, 288–9, 291.
  • 11 Ibid. 291, 295, 301; Seafield Letters, 96, 98, 171.
  • 12 HMC Mar and Kellie, i. 303–4, 311.
  • 13 Riley, Union, 330; HMC Mar and Kellie, i. 374.
  • 14 Marlborough-Godolphin Corresp. ii. 755, 796.
  • 15 A. Cunningham, Hist. GB, ii. 139.
  • 16 LJ xviii. 451.
  • 17 NLS, ms 1026, ff. 23, 31, 40; NAS, GD 158/1174/16, 18-21.
  • 18 Marlborough-Godolphin Corresp. iii. 1212, 1225.
  • 19 NAS, GD 112/39/220/1.
  • 20 SHR, lviii. 173.
  • 21 Marlborough-Godolphin Corresp. iii. 1227.
  • 22 HMC Lords, n.s. viii. 287.
  • 23 LJ xviii. 689.
  • 24 Marlborough-Godolphin Corresp. iii. 1446, 1464.
  • 25 State trial of Dr Henry Sacheverell ed. B. Cowan, 91, 94.
  • 26 Marlborough-Godolphin Corresp. iii. 1440; G. Holmes, Trial of Sacheverell, 284, 286.
  • 27 Carstares SP, 779–81.
  • 28 NAS, GD 124/15/975/2, 6–7; HMC Portland, iv. 553–54, 559.
  • 29 Add. 70026, ff. 15-16.
  • 30 Carstares SP, 786–7.
  • 31 NAS, GD 112/39/243/8, 12, 30.
  • 32 NAS, GD 124/15/975/11; GD 112/39/244/8.
  • 33 Luttrell, Brief Relation, vi. 647, 664.
  • 34 HMC Portland, iv. 600; NLS, ms 7021, f. 243.
  • 35 NAS, GD 124/15/1004/2; HMC Portland, iv. 556–57, 611, 622, 625–26, 630–31.
  • 36 NLS, ms 1026, ff. 62–63; HMC Portland, iv. 645.
  • 37 HMC Portland, iv. 630.
  • 38 SHR, lx. 62.
  • 39 HMC Portland, iv. 645–46.
  • 40 Haddington mss, Mellerstain letters, iii. George Baillie to his wife, 11 Jan. 1710/11.
  • 41 Cobbett, Parl. Hist., vii. 973, 981.
  • 42 Scot. Hist. Soc. Misc. xii. 123; NLS, Advocates’ mss, Wodrow pprs. letters Quarto, 5, ff. 114–15.
  • 43 Scot. Hist. Soc. Misc. xii. 124.
  • 44 NLS, Advocates’ mss, Wodrow pprs. letters Quarto, 5, ff. 118, 153; Carstares SP, 791; Scot. Hist. Soc. Misc. xii. 127.
  • 45 Carstares SP, 791–2.
  • 46 Carstares SP, 789, 791; NAS, GD 45/14/352/6.
  • 47 NLS, Advocates’ mss, Wodrow pprs. letters Quarto, 5, f. 126; D. Szechi, Jacobitism and Tory Pols. 79–80.
  • 48 Scot. Hist. Soc. Misc. xii. 136.
  • 49 Szechi, 88.
  • 50 NAS, GD 220/5/256/24; LJ xix. 347; Scot. Hist. Soc. Misc. xii. 145; Wentworth Pprs. 229.
  • 51 G. Holmes, Pols. Relig. and Soc. in Eng. 95; HMC Laing, ii. 167.
  • 52 Scot. Hist. Soc. Misc. xii. 140.
  • 53 HMC Lords, n.s. ix. 175; Holmes, Pols. Relig. and Soc. in Eng. 101.
  • 54 Holmes, Pols. Relig. and Soc. in Eng. 104.
  • 55 Add. 72495, ff. 124-5; Wodrow, Analecta, ii. 104.
  • 56 NLS, Advocates’ mss, Wodrow pprs. letters Quarto, 6, ff. 160, 162; HMC Lords, ix. 235.
  • 57 Haddington mss, Mellerstain letters, v. Baillie to Montrose, 20 May 1712; NLS, Advocates’ mss, Wodrow pprs. letters Quarto, 6, f. 183.
  • 58 Haddington mss, Mellerstain letters, v. Baillie to his wife, 29 May 1712.
  • 59 HMC Portland, v. 243-45, 265.
  • 60 Add. 70215, Ilay to Oxford, 16, 18, 22 Mar. 1713.
  • 61 Add. 70215, Ilay to Oxford, 4 Apr. 1713.
  • 62 Scot. Hist. Soc. Misc. xii, 152–3; Lockhart Letters, 76; HMC Laing, ii. 169.
  • 63 Lockhart Letters, 80.
  • 64 NLS, ms 25276, ff. 65–66.
  • 65 NLS, Advocates’ mss, Wodrow pprs. letters Quarto, 7, f. 156.
  • 66 NAS, GD 150/3461/9; Scot. Hist. Soc. Misc. xii. 155; Cobbett, Parl. Hist., vi. 1216–17.
  • 67 Scot. Hist. Soc. Misc. xii. 158, 159–60; BLJ xix. 168–69.
  • 68 LJ xix. 567.
  • 69 HMC Portland, v. 294–95, 312–13, 327–28.
  • 70 HMC Portland, v. 303.
  • 71 Herts. ALS, DE/P/F54, Ilay to Cowper, 31 Aug. 1713.
  • 72 HMC Portland, x. 298–99.
  • 73 Ibid. v. 345; x. 303; Add. 70223, duchess of Hamilton to Oxford, 8 Oct. 1713; P. W.J. Riley, Eng. Ministers and Scot. 240, 250, 252; NAS, GD 124/15/1117.