Men of the Time, eleventh edition/Argyll (Duke of), George Douglas Campbell

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822317Men of the Time, eleventh edition — Argyll (Duke of), George Douglas CampbellThompson Cooper

ARGYLL (Duke of), His Grace George Douglas Campbell, K.T., only surviving son of the seventh duke, was born at Ardencaple Castle, Dumbartonshire, in 1823, and, before he had succeeded his father, in April, 1847, had become known as an author, politician, and public speaker. As Marquis of Lorne he took an active part in the controversy in the Presbyterian Church of Scotland relating to patronage, and was looked upon by Dr. Chalmers as an important and valuable adherent. As early as 1842 he published a pamphlet which exhibited considerable literary ability, under the title of "A Letter to the Peers from a Peer's Son." His brochure, "On the Duty and Necessity of Immediate Legislative Interposition in behalf of the Church of Scotland, as determined by Considerations of Constitutional Law," was an historical view of that Church, particularly in reference to its constitutional power in ecclesiastical matters. In the course of the same year be published "A Letter to the Rev. Thomas Chalmers, D.D., on the Present Position of Church Affairs in Scotland, and the Causes which have led to it." In this pamphlet he vindicated the right of the Church to legislate for itself; but condemned the Free Church movement then in agitation among certain members of the General Assembly; maintaining the position taken up in his "Letter to the Peers," and expressing his dissent from the extreme view embodied in the statement of Dr. Chalmers, that "lay patronage and the integrity of the spiritual independence of the Church has been proved to be, like oil and water, immiscible." In 1848 the Duke published an essay, critical and historical, on the ecclesiastical history of Scotland since the Reformation, entitled "Presbytery Examined." It was a careful expansion of his earlier writings, and was favourably received. His Grace was a frequent speaker in the House of Peers on such subjects as Jewish Emancipation, the Scottish Marriage Bill, the Corrupt Practices at Elections Bill, the Sugar Duties, Foreign Affairs, the Ecclesiastical Titles Bill, the Scottish Law of Entail, and the Repeal of the Paper Duties. During the administration of Lord John Russell he gave the government a general support, at the same time identifying his political views with those of the Liberal Conservatives. His Grace actively interested himself in all questions affecting Scottish interests brought before the Legislature, especially in the affairs of the Church of Scotland. In 1851 he was elected Chancellor of the University of St. Andrews. In 1852 he accepted office in the Cabinet of the Earl of Aberdeen, as Lord Privy Seal. On the breakingup of that ministry, in February, 1855, in consequence of the secession of Lord John Russell, and the appointment of Mr. Roebuck's Committee of Inquiry into the state of the British army before Sebastopol, his Grace retained the same office under the Premiership of Lord Palmerston. In the latter part of 1855 he resigned the Privy Seal, and became Postmaster-General. In Lord Palmerston's Cabinet of 1859 the Duke resumed the office of Lord Privy Seal, which he exchanged for that of Postmaster-General on Lord Elgin being sent, in 1860, on his second special mission to China. He was re-appointed Lord Privy Seal in 1860, was elected Rector of the University of Glasgow in Nov. 1854; presided over the twenty-fifth annual meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, held at Glasgow, in Sept. 1855; and was elected President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1861. On the formation of Mr. Gladstone's Cabinet, in Dec. 1868, he was appointed Secretary of State for India, and he held that position till the downfall of the Liberal Government in Feb. 1874. In the ensuing session he warmly supported the measure introduced and carried by the Conservative Government for the transfer from individuals to congregations of the patronage in the Church of Scotland. He was appointed Lord Privy Seal for the third time in May, 1880, on Mr. Gladstone returning to power. That post he held till April, 1881, when he resigned it, in consequence of a difference with his colleagues in the Cabinet concerning some of the provisions of the Irish Land Bill. In announcing the circumstance to the House of Lords (April 8) he stated that in consequence of certain provisions of the Bill which, in his view, put the ownership of Irish property in commission and abeyance, he had felt obliged to resign his office in the Government, and his resignation had been accepted by Her Majesty. His Grace is Hereditary Master of the Queen's Household in Scotland, Chancellor of the University of St. Andrews, a Trustee of the British Museum, and Hereditary Sheriff and Lord-Lieutenant of Argyllshire. In 1866 His Grace published "The Reign of Law," which has passed through numerous editions; in 1869 "Primeval Man; an Examination of some recent speculations;" in 1870 a small work on the History and Antiquities of Iona, of which island his Grace is proprietor; in 1874 "The Patronage Act of 1874, all that was asked in 1843, being a Reply to Mr. Taylor Innes;" in 1877 (for the Cobden Club) observations "On the important question involved in the relation of Landlord and Tenant;" and in 1879 "The Eastern Question, from the Treaty of Paris to the Treaty of Berlin, and to the second Afghan War," 2 vols. He married first, in 1844, the eldest daughter of the second Duke of Sutherland (she died May 25, 1878); and secondly, in 1881, Amelia Maria, eldest daughter of Dr. Claughton, Bishop of St. Alban's, and widow of Colonel Augustus Henry Archibald Anson. His Grace's eldest son, the Marquis of Lorne, married in 1871, the Princess Louise. (See Lorne.)