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George Campbell, 8th Duke of Argyll: Wikis


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His Grace
 The Duke of Argyll 

The Duke of Argyll (c. 1860)
by George Frederic Watts.

In office
4 January 1853 – 7 December 1855
Monarch Victoria
Prime Minister The Earl of Aberdeen
The Viscount Palmerston
Preceded by The Marquess of Salisbury
Succeeded by The Earl of Harrowby
In office
18 June 1859 – 26 June 1866
Monarch Victoria
Prime Minister The Viscount Palmerston
The Earl Russell
Preceded by The Earl of Hardwicke
Succeeded by The Earl of Malmesbury
In office
28 April 1880 – 2 May 1881
Monarch Victoria
Prime Minister [[]]
Preceded by The Duke of Northumberland
Succeeded by The Lord Carlingford

In office
30 November 1855 – 21 February 1858
Monarch Victoria
Prime Minister The Viscount Palmerston
Preceded by The Viscount Canning
Succeeded by The Lord Colchester

In office
9 December 1868 – 17 February 1874
Monarch Victoria
Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone
Preceded by Sir Stafford Northcote, Bt
Succeeded by The Marquess of Salisbury

Born 30 April 1823 (1823-04-30)
Ardencaple Castle, Dunbartonshire
Died 24 April 1900 (1900-04-25)
Inverary Castle, Argyll
Citizenship United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
Nationality Scottish
Political party Liberal
Spouse(s) (1) Lady Elizabeth Sutherland-Leveson-Gower (1824-1878)
(2) Amelia Claughton
(3) Ina McNeill
(d. 1925)

George John Douglas Campbell, 1st & 8th Duke of Argyll KG, KT, PC, FRS, FRSE (30 April 1823 – 24 April 1900), styled Marquess of Lorne until 1847, was a Scottish peer, Liberal politician as well as a writer on science, religion, and the politics of the 19th century.



Argyll was born at Ardencaple Castle, Dunbartonshire, the second but only surviving son of John Campbell, 7th Duke of Argyll and his second wife Joan Glassel, the only daughter of John Glassel.[1] Argyll succeeded his father as duke in 1847.[1] With his death he became also hereditary Master of the Household of Scotland and Sheriff of Argyllshire.[1]

Political career

A close associate of Prince Albert, he served as Lord Privy Seal between 1852 and 1855 in the cabinet of Lord Aberdeen, and then as Postmaster General between 1855 and 1858 in Lord Palmerston's first cabinet. He was again Lord Privy Seal between 1859 and 1866 in the second Palmerston administration, and then under Lord Russell's second administration, in which position he was notable as a strong advocate of the Northern cause in the American Civil War.

In William Ewart Gladstone's first government of 1868 to 1874, Argyll became Secretary of State for India, in which role his refusal to promise support against the Russians to the Emir of Afghanistan helped lead to the Second Afghan War. Argyll's wife, née Lady Elizabeth Georgiana Leveson-Gower, also served as Mistress of the Robes in this government. In 1871, while actually serving in the Cabinet, his son and heir, Lord Lorne, married one of Queen Victoria's daughters, Princess Louise, enhancing his status as a leading Grandee.

In 1880 he again served under Gladstone, as Lord Privy Seal, but resigned on 31 March 1881 in protest at Gladstone's Land Bill, claiming it would interfere with the rights of landlords and had been brought in in response to terrorism.[2] In 1886, he fully broke with Gladstone over the question of the Prime Minister's support for Irish Home Rule, although he did not join the Liberal Unionist Party, but pursued an independent course. Having been already Vice Lord Lieutenant from 1847,[1] Argyll held the honorary post of Lord Lieutenant of Argyllshire from 1862 until his death in 1900. He was sworn of the Privy Council in 1853,[3] appointed a Knight of the Thistle in 1856[4] and a Knight of the Garter in 1883. In 1892 he was created Duke of Argyll in the Peerage of the United Kingdom.[5]


Argyll was also a scientist, or at least a publicist on scientific matters, especially evolution and economics. He was a leader in the scholarly opposition against Darwinism (1869, 1884b) and an important reality-based (i.e., heterodox, non-classical) economist (1893) and institutionalist (1884a), in which latter capacity he was quite similar to his political opponent, Benjamin Disraeli. While some of his works seemed quite strangely reactionary and obsolete at the times and for many decades, recent trends in scholarship - in evolutionary and institutional economics, as well as in ("post-genomic") biology - have led to some very positive reevaluation of his work. Though regarded by some professional scientists as to a certain extent an amateur, his ability, knowledge, and dialectic power made him a formidable antagonist, and enabled him to exercise a useful, generally conservative, influence on scientific thought and progress. In 1851, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society and was appointed Chancellor of the University of St Andrews. Three years later, he became additionally Rector of the University of Glasgow.[1]


Argyll was married three times. He married firstly Lady Elizabeth Georgiana, eldest daughter of George Sutherland-Leveson-Gower, 2nd Duke of Sutherland, in 1844.[1] They had six sons and seven daughters. Their fifth son Lord Colin Campbell was a politician. After Elizabeth's death in May 1878, aged 53, he married secondly Amelia Maria, daughter of the Right Reverend Thomas Claughton (Bishop of St Albans) and widow of Augustus Anson, in 1881. After her death in January 1894, aged 50, he married thirdly Ina, daughter of Archibald McNeill, in 1895. There were no children from his last two marriages. Argyll died at Inverary Castle in April 1900, six days before his 77th birthday, and was succeeded in his titles by his eldest son, John. The Duchess of Argyll died in December 1925.[6]

Key works

  • (1867) The Reign of Law. London: Strahan. (5th Ed. in 1868).
  • (1869) Primeval Man: An Examination of some Recent Speculations. New York: Routledge.
  • (1879) The Eastern Question. London: Strahan.
  • (1884) The Unity of Nature. New York: Putnam.
  • (1887) Scotland As It Was and As It Is
  • (1893) The Unseen Foundations of Society. An Examination of the Fallacies and Failures of Economic Science Due to Neglected Elements. London: John Murray.
  • (1906) Autobiography and Memoirs


  1. ^ a b c d e f Dod, Robert P. (1860). The Peerage, Baronetage and Knightage of Great Britain and Ireland. London: Whitaker and Co.. pp. 92. 
  2. ^ Partridge, Michael (2003), Gladstone, Routledge, p. 192, ISBN 9780415216265, 
  3. ^ London Gazette: no. 21399, p. 29, 4 January 1853.
  4. ^ London Gazette: no. 21881, p. 1680, 6 May 1856.
  5. ^ London Gazette: no. 26276, p. 2082, 8 April 1892.
  6. ^ George Douglas Campbell, 8th Duke of Argyll

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
The Marquess of Salisbury
Lord Privy Seal
1852 – 1855
Succeeded by
The Earl of Harrowby
Preceded by
The Viscount Canning
Postmaster General
1855 – 1858
Succeeded by
The Lord Colchester
Preceded by
The Earl of Hardwicke
Lord Privy Seal
1859 – 1866
Succeeded by
The Earl of Malmesbury
Preceded by
Sir Stafford Northcote, Bt
Secretary of State for India
1868 – 1874
Succeeded by
The Marquess of Salisbury
Preceded by
The Duke of Northumberland
Lord Privy Seal
1880 – 1881
Succeeded by
The Lord Carlingford
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Marquess of Breadalbane
Lord Lieutenant of Argyllshire
1862 – 1900
Succeeded by
The Duke of Argyll
Academic offices
Preceded by
The Viscount Melville
Chancellor of the University of St Andrews
1851 – 1900
Succeeded by
The Lord Balfour of Burleigh
Preceded by
The Earl of Eglinton
Rector of the University of Glasgow
1854 – 1856
Succeeded by
Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Bt
Peerage of Scotland
Preceded by
John Campbell
Duke of Argyll
1847 – 1900
Succeeded by
John Campbell
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Duke of Argyll
1892 – 1900
Succeeded by
John Campbell


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