9th Earl of Argyll
Born 1629 Died 1685
Archibald Campbell, eldest son of the 8th earl, studied abroad, and at the age of thirteen was appointed captain in the Scottish regiment serving in France under his uncle the Earl of Irvine. He returned home at the close of 1649, and was made captain of Charles II's life guards on the king's arrival in Scotland in 1650. He declared himself a royalist in opposition to his father, with the view, as some said, of securing the family estates in any event. He fought at Dunbar on the 3rd of September 1650, and after the battle of Worcester joined Glencairn in the Highlands. Bitter disputes arose, and on the 2nd of January 1654 Lorne, quitting his troops, fled to avoid arrest. In 1655 he submitted to Monk. He appears, however, to have maintained communications with Charles, and on his refusal to take the oath renouncing allegiance to the Stuarts in 1657 he was imprisoned, remaining in confinement probably till a short time before the Restoration. He was then well received at court by Charles II.
After the execution of his father, he endeavoured to obtain the restitution of his forfeited estates and title, but having incautiously attacked certain members of the government in letters which were made public, he was indicted at Edinburgh on the capital charge of "leasing-making" and was sentenced to death on the 26th of August. He remained a prisoner in Edinburgh Castle till the 4th of June 1663, when the sentence was cancelled and he was re-created earl and restored to his estates.
He disapproved of the severities practised upon the Covenanters in the west, and in 1671 pleaded for milder methods. His staunch Protestantism rendered him exceedingly obnoxious to James, Duke of York, who in 1680 arrived as high commissioner in Scotland and at once expressed his jealousy of Argyll's immense territorial influence. Argyll moved the re-enactment of "all the acts against popery" omitted on James's account, and opposed the exemption of the royal family from the test, though allowing it in the case of James. In signing the test himself, in its final form both ambiguous and self-contradictory, he made the reservation "so far as consistent with itself and the Protestant faith," and declined to engage himself not to promote any alteration of advantage in church or state.
On his refusal to record his oath in writing and to sign it, he was dismissed from the Scottish privy council, and on the 9th of November 1681 was accused of treason, a charge which Halifax declared openly in England "they would not hang a dog upon." A trial followed, a scandalous exhibition of illegality and injustice, at the close of which Argyll was sentenced to death and to the forfeiture of his estates. Shortly afterwards, through the instrumentality of his step-daughter, Sophia Lindsay, he succeeded in making his escape, and after some adventures retired to Holland. His subsequent movements are uncertain, but he appears to have again visited London, and was in correspondence with the Rye House plotters and proposing to head a rebellion in Scotland in 1683.
In 1685 he joined the conspiracy in Holland to set Monmouth on the throne instead of James II, arriving in Orkney on the 6th of May and making his way to his own country. But his clansmen refused to join him, and whatever small chances of success remained were destroyed by constant and paralysing disputes. His ships and ammunition were captured, and after some aimless wanderings he found himself deserted, with but one companion, Major Fullerton. On the 18th of June he was taken prisoner at Inchinnan and arrived at Edinburgh on the 20th, where he was paraded through the streets and put in irons in the castle. James ordered his summary execution on the 29th, and it was carried out by beheading on the following day, on the old charge of 1681. His head was exposed on the west side of the Tolbooth, where his father's and Montrose's had also been exhibited, his body finding its final place of burial at Inveraray.
By his first wife, Lady Mary Stewart, daughter of the 4th Murray, he had four sons and three daughters.
See Argyll Papers (1834); Letters from Archibald, 9th Earl of Argyle, to the Duke of Lauderdale (1829); Historical Manuscripts Commission vi. Rep. 606; Life of Mr Donald Cargile, by P. Walker, pp. 45 et seq.; The 3rd Part of the Protestant Plot and a Brief Account of the Case of the Earl of Argyle (1682); Sir George Mackenzie's History of Scotland, p. 70; and J. Willcock, A Scots Earl in Covenanting Times (1908).
Extracted from the entry for EARLS AND DUKES OF ARGYLL in the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica, the text of which lies within the public domain.