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Colin Campbell and Isabel Stewart

Colin Campbell. 1st Earl of Aryll. 2nd Lord Lorne.
Born on 10 September 1433; son of Archibald Campbell and Elizabeth Somerville. (S1,S3,S4).
He is said (S2) to be the son of Duncan Campbell and Margaret Stewart, but they were his grandparents.

He married (Isabel Stewart-S1,S3)(Janet Stewart-S2)

Evidence that Isabel is the correct wife is given from the National Records of Scotland in two records (S3):
10 May 1466: Charter by which James III, King of Scots, confirms possession of various lands to Colin, Earl of Argyll, Lord Campbell, and his wife Isabelle Stewart, including the third part of various lands in Perthshire that had been resigned by Mariota Srewart, sister of Isabelle Stewart, daughters of the deceased John, Lord Lorn. Registrum Magni Sigilli Regum Scotorum. The Register of the Great Seal of Scotland, A.D. 1424-1513, charter number 877 on p. 185
31 January 1493: Charter by which James IV, King of Scots, confirms possession of Dollar Castle (alias Castle Gloum) and various lands to Archibald, Earl of Argyll, Lord Campbell and Lord. The lands were in the King's had because of the death of Earl Archibald's father Colin. Part of the land conveyed was held by Lady Isabelle Stewart, widow of Colin and mother of Archibald: "Domine Isabelle Stewart relicte dicti quondam Colini et matris dicti Arch." Registrum Magni Sigilli Regum Scotorum. The Register of the Great Seal of Scotland, A.D. 1424-1513, charter number 2354 on p. 501.

His uncle Colin arranged a marriage for him with Isabella Stewart, daughter and co-heiress of John Stewart, Lord Lorne (d.1463). Through this marriage, the Earl of Argyll received Castle Gloom (he would change the name of the castle to "Castle Campbell" in February 1490), and the neighboring estate in the parish of Dollar in Clackmannanshire. Castle Campbell then became the primary seat of the Earls and Dukes of Argyll for the next two centuries. (S4).

The exact date of the marriage is unknown, but in 1460, shortly after the boy-king, James III of Scotland, came to the throne, Campbell was called upon to intervene in a feud in his wife’s family. Allan MacDougall (called Allan of Lorne of the Wood), desiring to hold the estates belonging to his elder brother, John Ker of Lorne, seized his brother and imprisoned him in a dungeon on the island of Kerrera, with the intention of starving him to death. Campbell appeared with a fleet of war galleys and completely defeated MacDougall, burning his fleet, killing most of his men, and restoring the elder brother to his rightful inheritance. (S4).

As a result of his marriage with Isabel Stewart, Campbell acquired the title Lord Lorne in 1469, which had previously been held by his wife’s uncle, John Stewart. In exchange for this title, Campbell gave Stewart other lands, and Stewart received the title Lord Innermeath. Having received the title Lord Lorne, Campbell took the symbol of the galley from the Lorne heraldry as part of his Achievement. In the event that he might never have a male heir, he entailed the lordship of Lorne to his uncle Colin; if his uncle were to die, to his other uncle, Duncan Campbell; then to Colin Campbell of Arduquholm and to the heirs male of his body, which failing, then to his brothers, Archibald and Robert. (S4).

Colin, second Lord Campbell, already referred to as Colin McGillespic in a writ of 1450. (S1).

In 1453, when his father died, young Colin Campbell was placed in the custody of his uncle, Colin Campbell, 1st of Glenorchy, and succeeded his grandfather, Duncan Campbell, 1st Lord Campbell, to become 2nd Lord Campbell. (S4).

He succeeded his grandfather in 1453, and is said, but not on good authority, to have been a minor under the guardianship of his uncle, Sir Colin Campbell of Glenurcy. It is probable his uncle had only a gift of his marriage, and he arranged a union between his nephew and Isabel or Elizabeth Stewart, one of the three daughters and co-heirs of John, Lord Of Lorne, and sister of his own wife, a very advantageous match for the house. (S1).

He was created Earl Of Argyll in 1457, by King James II of Scotland, who was grateful for the loyalty of his father during the troubles early in his reign. (S1,S4).

In 1460, Campbell had a commission as Bailie of Cowal. (S4).

In 1462, he and Lord Boyd were acting as justiciars of Scotland south of the Forth, an office which, after the fall of his colleague, he continued to exercise by himself for many years. (S1).

Colin Campbell was often sent on diplomatic missions, the first being in 1463, when King James III sent him to negotiate a truce with King Edward IV of England. One of the main terms of that truce was that neither king would support the enemies of the other. (S4).

In 1464, Campbell was made master of the King’s household, and in 1465, he was appointed Lord Justiciary of Scotland, south of the Firth of Forth, a position he held in conjunction with Robert Boyd, 1st Lord Boyd, until Boyd fell out with the King and fled to England later in 1469, at which time, Campbell held the position alone. In 1466, he founded a chapel dedicated to St. Ninian at Dunure in Ayrshire. (S4).

He was one of the commissioners for negotiating a truce with King Edward IV of England 1463, and had the appointment of Master of the King's Household 1464. (S1).

He obtained a confirmation of a charter of Walter, Lord Lorne, to him of the lands of Kippane Le Muretoun et Le Myretoun in Perthshire, 7 May 1466; and three days later he had a grant to himself and his wife, daughter of the late John, Lord Of Lorne, of a third part of the lands of Kuldrane (Coldraine) and other lands in Fife and Perth, on the resignation of Mariota, his wife's sister, and on 8 February 1466-67 a grant of the lands of Pannel, co Perth. On 30 November 1469 he entered into a transaction with Walter, Lord Lorne, uncle of his wife, by which Walter resigned the lordship of Lorne in favour of the Earl, in exchange for the barony of Innermeath, and the Earl Of Argyll obtained a charter of the whole lordship of Lorne, 17 April 1470, to himself and the heirs-male of his body, whom failing to a series of other subsitutes with a similar remainder in each case. The Earl thereupon added the designation of Lord Lorne to his other titles, and took the galley of Lorne into his own achievement, and from this time the Earls of Argyll are usually designated in addition Lords Campbell and Lorne. (S1).

In 1471, he received the heritable offices of Justiciary and Sheriff of Lorne. (S4).

On 15 January 1472, King James III granted Dunoon Castle to Campbell and his heirs, with the power to appoint constables, porters, jailers, watermen, and other necessary offices. At the same time, he granted the Earl, the lands of Borland. (S4).

On 20 February 1473, Campbell received a charter of the office of Justiciar, Chamberlain, Sheriff, and Bailie within the King’s lordship of Cowal. (S4).

Then on 8 May 1474, he received one to erect his town of Inverary into a burgh of barony. (S4).

In 1474, Campbell was again sent as a commissioner to treat with King Edward IV, regarding breaches of the truce. In the resulting pact, which was to endure until July 1483, a marriage was arranged between Prince James Stewart of Scotland (King James III's son) and Princess Cecily of England (King Edward IV's daughter), a match which did not come to pass due to continued hostilities between the two nations. (S4).

In 1475, when King James III was trying to subjugate John of Islay, Earl of Ross, Campbell was given a commission of lieutenancy to execute the forfeiture of the Earl of Ross' lands. In 1479, he was confirmed in the offices of Lieutenant and Commissary of Argyll, which had been held by his ancestors, Gillespic and Colin Campbell, since 1382. (S4).

Further favors came to the Earl of Argyll in 1480, when the King granted him 160 marklands of the lordship of Knapdale, including the keeping of Castle Sween, for one silver penny in blench farm, i.e., nominal rent. This property had formerly belonged to the Earl of Ross. (S4).

Early in 1483, King James III appointed Campbell as Lord High Chancellor of Scotland and awarded him the lands of Pinkerton in the barony of Dunbar, probably for Campbell's loyalty to the King during the rebellion of Archibald Douglas, Earl of Angus, which had led to the murder of some of King’s favorites, after the confrontation at Lauder in 1482. These lands had previously been held by the King’s brother, Prince Alexander Stewart, Duke of Albany, who was in league with the Earl of Angus. (S4).

In 1484, Campbell was active in diplomatic campaigns. In July, he was sent as a commissioner to Paris to renew the “ancient league” between France and Scotland, a mission completed on 9 July. Then on 21 September, once King James III had gotten the upper hand against the rebels, he was part of the delegation who met with King Richard III of England at Nottingham to conclude peace, a treaty which was to run until September 1487. He was also appointed as one of the Scots who would periodically meet with the English at Berwick to determine whether or not the stipulations in the treaty were being followed. To strengthen the resolve of the parties and to keep the truce, a second marriage was arranged, between Prince James Stewart and Lady Ann de la Pole (1476–1495), daughter of John de la Pole, 2nd Duke of Suffolk, and a niece of King Richard III. This second marriage negotiation also collapsed as a result of King Richard’s defeat at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485. (S4).

Campbell threw in with the rebels, after Parliament had strengthened King James’s hand against the rebellious nobles in October 1487. At about this time, the King forced Campbell out of the chancellorship, in favor of William Elphinstone, Bishop of Aberdeen. In 1488, Campbell was not present at the Battle of Sauchieburn on 11 June, or in the days following, because he was in England on an embassy to King Henry VII of England, having been sent there on behalf of Prince James Stewart and the rebels to seek English help against King James III. (S4).

Once Prince James Stewart ascended to the Scottish throne as "King James IV", he restored Campbell to the position of High Chancellor. Furthermore, the new king gave him the lands of Rosneath in Dunbartonshire on 9 January 1490, which remained in the Campbell family until 1939. Campbell continued in favor with King James IV, and on 21 December 1491, he was one of the conservators of the truce between England and Scotland, which was extended to 1496. One author has claimed that, one reason James III of Scotland has long had a sinister reputation is that “such accounts as we have of him are written by the partisans of his unruly nobles, such as the Earls of Argyll, Lennox, and Angus.” (S4).

The story goes that while Sir Colin was off fighting in the Holy Land his wife [Isabel] built for him the castle of Kilchurn on its peninsula at the end of Loch Awe. He was so long absent that it was said he was dead, and the lady, like Penelope in the classic tale, was besieged by suitors. After long delays a neighbouring baron, MacCorquodale, it is said, forced her to a marriage. While the marriage feast was going on, a beggar came to the door. He refused to drink the health of the bride unless she herself handed him the cup. This she did, and as the beggar drank and returned it she gave a cry, for in the bottom lay Sir Colin’s signet ring. The beggar was Sir Colin himself, returned just in time to rescue his wife. (S1).

Kilchurn was occupied by the Campbells until the 1740's and was greatly enlarged in 1693. (S1).

He died on 10 May 1493 at Lochow, Argyllshire, Scotland (S1,S4); and was buried at Kilmun Parish Church on Cowal Peninsula. He was succeeded by his eldest son, Archibald Campbell. (S4).

Isabel Stewart.
Daughter of John Stewart, 2nd Lord of Lorn and Agnes MacDonald. (S1).

Isabel Stewart died at Dumbarton 26 October 1510, and was buried at Kilmun. (S1).

CHILDREN of Colin Campbell and Isabel Stewart:
  1. Archibald Campbell. 2nd Earl of Argyll.
  2. Catherine Campbell, of Argyll. She married Lachlan Og Maclean. It is also said (S4) that she married to Torquil MacLeod of Clan MacLeod of Lewis.
  3. Mary Campbell, of Argyll. She married Aonghas Og (MacDonald), Lord of the Isles, natural son and heir of John of Islay, Earl of Ross.
  4. Thomas Campbell, 1st of Lundie in Forfarshire.
  5. Elizabeth Campbell, of Argyll. She married John Oliphant, 2nd Lord Oliphant.
  6. Helen Campbell. of Argyll. She married Hugh Montgomerie, 1st Earl of Eglinton.
  7. Margaret Campbell, of Argyll. She married George Seaton, 4th Lord Seton. (S1,S2,S4).
  8. Isabell Campbell of Argyll. She married William Drummond, son of John Drummond, 1st Lord of Drummond.
  9. Agnes Campbell, of Argyll. Said to have been married to Alexander Mackenzie of Kintail, though some state this is disproved.


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