Campbell, Archibald (d.1744) (DNB00)

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CAMPBELL, ARCHIBALD (d. 1744), bishop of Aberdeen, was second son of Lord Niel Campbell, second son of Archibald, marquis of Argyll (1598–1661) [q. v.], and Lady Vere Ker, third daughter of the third earl of Lothian. According to Dr. Johnson, as reported by Boswell, he engaged in the rebellion attempted by his uncle, the ninth earl of Argyll in 16S5, and on its failure made his escape to Surinam. Though a violent whig in his early years, he afterwards, Johnson states, 'kept better company and became a violent tory.' On his return nrom Surinam he showed great zeal for episcopacy and monarchy, and at the Revolution not only adhered to the ejected church, but refused to communicate in the church of England or to be present at any place of worship where King William's name was mentioned. He was more than once apprehended in the reign of King William, and once after the accession of George I. On 25 Aug. 1711 he was consecrated a bishop at Dundee by Bishops Rose, Douglas, and Falconer, but continued to reside in London. In 1717 he made the uaintance of Arsenius, the metropolitan of Thebais, and with some of the nonjuring clergy entered into negotiations for a union with the Eastern church. The proposal was communicated by Arsenius to the emperor, Peter the Great, who expressed his approval of the proposition, but it was ultimately found impossible to come to an agreement in regard to certain points, and the negotiation was broken off. In a letter to the chevalier, George Lockhart thus refers to the bishop: ‘ Archibald Campbell (who, though adorned with none of the qualifications necessary in a bishop, and remarkable for some things inconsistent with the character of a gentleman, was most imprudently consecrated some time ago) is coming here from London with the view of forming a party’ (Lockhart Papers, ii. 37). The result of his visit to Scotland was that on 10 May 1721 he was chosen by the clergy of Aberdeen their diocesan bishop, upon which the college wrote signifying their approval on condition that he would undertake to propagate no new doctrine or usage not sanctioned by the canons of the church. After his election Campbell still continued to reside in London, where he was of considerable service to the Scottish episcopal communion, especially in assisting to project a fund for the support of the clergy in the poorer districts. On account, however, of a divergence of views in regard to certain usages, he resigned his office in 1724. In his later years he formed a separate nonjuring communion distinct from that of the Sancroftian line, and ventured upon the exceptional step of a consecration by himself without any assistant. The community obtained a slight footing in the west of England, but is now wholly extinct. Campbell succeeded, by means regarding which no satisfactory explanation has been given, in obtaining possession of the registars of the church of Scotland from the reformation to 1590, which Johnston of Waniston had restored to the general assembly of 1638, and in 1737 he, presented them to Sion College, London, for preservation. Endeavours were made by the general assembly of the church of Scotland at different times to obtain their restoration, but Campbell had made it a condition that they should not be given up till episcopacy should be again established, and having been borrowed by the House of Commons, they perished in the fire which destroyed the Houses of Parliament in 1834. Campbell died in London in 1744. He is described by Johnson as ‘the familiar friend of Hickes and Nelson; a man of letters, but injudicious; and very curious and inquisitive, but credu1ous.’ His most important contribution to theology was ‘The Doctrine of the Middle State between Death and the Resurrection,’ 1731. He was also the author of ‘Queries to the Presbyterians of Scotland,’ 1702; and ‘A Query turned into an Argument in favour of Episcopacy,’ 1703. ‘Life of John Sage, Scotch Protestant Bishop,’ 1714, often ascribed to Campgell, is stated in the ‘Brit. Mus. Cat.’ to ‘by John Gillane. Many other books commonly attributed to the bishop are by his name, Archibald Campbell (1691–1756), professor at St. Andrews [q. v.]

[Skinner's Ecclesiastical History of Scotland; Dawson's History of the Scottish Episcopalian Church since 1688; Lockhart Papers; Boswell's Life of Johnson.]

T. F. H.