Person details

Campbell, John


Title: Earl

Notes: John Campbell (1634-1717), first earl of Breadalbane and Holland. He was born to the powerful Campbell of Glenorchy family, and a descendant of the feared Donnachadh Dubh. Despite taking arms against the royalists, John retained his title at the Restoration, and continued to ambitiously expand his estates, taking on large debts in doing so; a combination of scheming and bribery saw him take the title of earl of Caithness and Lord St Clair of Berriedale and Glenorchie. After the invasion of William of Orange in 1688, Campbell was involved in a number of Jacobite intrigues but his commitment to the cause was distrusted by his contemporaries: in point of fact, Campbell also had secret plans for a militia to support William in the Highlands, and built a barracks at Kilchurn Castle to house them. Following the death of Queen Anne in 1714, Campbell convened a meeting of Jacobite nobles at Kilchurn, and raised a small force of rebels. Kilchurn was subsequently captured by the government and Campbell died under house arrest at Taymouth in 1717. ODNB.

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