2nd Duke of Argyll and Duke of Greenwich
Born 1678 Died 1743
John Campbell was born on the 10th of October 1678. He entered the army in 1694, and in 1701 was promoted to the command of a regiment. On the death of his father in 1703, he was appointed a member of the privy council, and at the same time colonel of the Scotch horse guards, and one of the extraordinary lords of session. In return for his services in promoting the Union, he was created (1705) a peer of England, by the titles of Baron of Chatham and Earl of Greenwich, and in 1710 was made a knight of the Garter.
He first distinguished himself in a military capacity at the battle of Oudenarde (1708), where he served as a brigadier-general; and was afterwards present under the Duke of Marlborough at the sieges of Lille, Ghent, Bruges and Tournay, and did remarkable service at the battle of Malplaquet in 1709. He was very popular with the troops, and his rivalry with Marlborough on this account is thought to have been the cause of the enmity shown by Argyll afterwards to his old commander. In 1711 he was sent to take command in Spain; but being seized with a violent fever at Barcelona, and disappointed of supplies from home, he returned to England.
Having a seat in the House of Lords, and being gifted with an extraordinary power of oratory, he censured the measures of the ministry with such freedom that all his places were disposed of to other noblemen; but at the accession of George I he recovered his influence. On the breaking out of the rebellion in 1715 he was appointed commander-in-chief of the forces in North Britain, and was principally instrumental in effecting the total extinction of the rebellion in Scotland without much bloodshed. He arrived in London early in March 1716, and at first stood high in the favour of the king, but in a few months was stripped of his offices. This disgrace, however, did not deter him from the discharge of his parliamentary duties; he supported the bill for the impeachment of Bishop Atterbury, and lent his aid to his countrymen by opposing the bill for punishing the city of Edinburgh for the Porteous riot.
In the beginning of the year 1719 he was again admitted into favour, appointed Lord Steward of the Household, and, in April following, created Duke of Greenwich; he held various offices in succession, and in 1735 was made a field marshal. He continued in the administration till after the accession of George II, when, in April 1740, a violent speech against the government led again to his dismissal from office. He was soon restored on a change of the ministry, but disapproving the measures of the new administration, and apparently disappointed at not being given the command of the army, he shortly resigned all his posts, and spent the rest of his life in privacy and retirement.
He died on the 4th of October 1743. A monument by Roubillac was erected to his memory in Westminster Abbey. He was twice married, and by his second wife, Jane Warburton, had five daughters; his Scottish titles passed to his brother, but his English titles became extinct, and though his eldest daughter was created Baroness of Greenwich in 1767 this title also became extinct on her death in 1794.
Extracted from the entry for EARLS AND DUKES OF ARGYLL OF in the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica, the text of which lies within the public domain.