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Campbells Of Appin

The name Campbell is derived from the Gaelic meaning 'crooked mouth', but the ancient Gaelic clan name is Clann na Duibhne, deriving from an ancestor, Diarmid O'Duine of Lochawe. In 1292, during the reign of John Balliol, Sir Colin Campbell of Lochawe was recognised as one of the principal barons of Argyll. He acquired the Gaelic title of MacCailean Mor, a designation still carried by the head of the Campbell clan and one that the present chief considers to be of more significance to the Highlander than his dukedom, even to this day.
It was Sir Colin's son, Neil, however, who established the fortunes of the family by zealously supporting Robert Bruce and marrying Bruce's sister, Mary. As a result various members of Clan Campbell received extensive grants of land, most of which had been confiscated from opponents of the hero king.

Until the early part of the 15th century the clan stronghold was Innischonnel Castle, situated on an island at the southern end of Loch Awe and now a romantic ruin. In the centuries that followed, Campbell castles sprang up throughout the land, moving ever towards the east. As the power of the great Macdonald lords of the Isles declined, the Campbells benefited, acquiring forfeited territories and strong holds from grateful Stewart monarchs. Inevitably there was a great deal of ill-feeling created with neighbouring clans as Campbell power grew. Resentment was fuelled by the massacre of the Laments in 1646, the massacre of the Maclean Macdonalds of Glencoe by Campbell backed government forces in 1692 and the Appin Murder of 1752.
Sir Colin's great-grandson was created the first Lord Campbell by James II in 1445. From his sons descended the houses of Breadalbane, Ormidale, Auchenbreck and Otter. His grandson was created the first earl of Argyll in 1457 and appointed master of the royal household in 1464, an hereditary office.

It was the first earl who built the castle at Inveraray on the shores of Loch Fyne, although the fairy-tale building we see today was built in 1773 and then was extensively remodelled after a fire in 1877. Following severe damage by another fire in 1975 the castle was impressively restored and remains the home of the present Duke and Duchess of Argyll.

The eighth earl of Argyll was created first marquis of Argyll. During the Civil War of 1648 he played a dangerous game, supporting the Covenanters, intriguing with Cromwell, yet personally crowning Charles II at Scone. He was executed for treason in 1661 after the Restoration. The ninth earl did not fare much better. Having had the family lands restored, he backed the Duke of Monmouth in his rebellion and was also beheaded.

The tenth earl was involved in the Revolution of 1688 and was one of those responsible for the installation of William of Orange. For this, he was created duke of Argyll in 1701, and the titles in this grant undoubtedly reflect the clan influence and territory at its greatest extent - duke of Argyll, marquess of Kintyre and Lorn, Earl Campbell and Cowal, Viscount Lochow and Glenlya, Lord Inveraray, Mull, Morvern and Tiree. In addition he was heritable sheriff of Argyll, admiral of the Western Coasts and Isles of Scotland and keeper of the castles of Dunstaffnage, Tarbert and Dunoon.

John, second duke, was a leading architect of the Act of Union in 1707 and commanded government forces against the Jacobites in 1715. He dominated Scottish politics until his death in 1743. The ninth duke, born in 1845, eventually became governor general of Canada and married Queen Victoria's daughter, Princess Louise, in 1871.

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