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5th Earl of Argyll
Born 1530 Died 1573

Archibald Campbell was the elder son of Archibald, 4th Earl of Argyll (d. 1558), and a grandson of Colin, the 3rd Earl (d. 1530). His great-grandfather was the 2nd earl, Archibald, who was killed at Flodden in 1513, and this nobleman's father was Colin, Lord Campbell (d. 1493), the founder of the greatness of the Campbell family, who was created Earl of Argyll in 1457.

With Lord James Stuart, afterwards the regent Murray, the 5th Earl of Argyll became an adherent of John Knox about 1556, and like his father was one of the most influential members of the party of religious reform, signing what was probably the first "godly band" in December 1557. As one of the 'lords of the congregation' he was one of James Stuart's principal lieutenants during the warfare between the reformers and the regent, Mary of Lorraine; and later with Murray he advised and supported Mary, Queen of Scots, who regarded him with great favour. It was about this time that William Cecil, afterwards Lord Burghley, referred to Argyll as "a goodly gentleman universally honoured of all Scotland."

Owing to his friendship with Mary, Argyll was separated from the party of Knox, but he forsook the queen when she determined to marry Lord Darnley; he was, however, again on Mary's side after Queen Elizabeth's refusal to aid Murray in 1565. Argyll was probably an accomplice in the murder of Rizzio; he was certainly a consenting party to that of Darnley, and then separating himself from Murray he commanded Mary's soldiers after her escape from Lochleven, and by his want of courage and resolution was partly responsible for her defeat at Langside in May 1568. Soon afterwards he made his peace with Murray, but it is possible that he was accessory to the regent's murder in 1570. After this event Argyll became Lord High Chancellor of Scotland, and he died on the 12th of September 1573.

His first wife was an illegitimate daughter of James V, and he was thus half-brother-in-law to Mary and to Murray. His relations with her were not harmonious; he was accused of adultery, and in 1568 he performed a public penance at Stirling. He left no children, and on his death his half-brother Colin (d. 1584) became 6th Earl of Argyll.

Extracted from the entry for EARLS AND DUKES OF ARGYLL in the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica, the text of which lies within the public domain.

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