Born 1598 Died 1663
John Campbell, eldest son of Sir James Campbell of Lawers, became Baron Loudoun (*) in right of his wife Margaret, grand daughter of Hugh Campbell, 1st Baron Loudoun (d. 1622). He was created earl on the 12th of May 1633, but in consequence of his opposition to Charles I's church policy in Scotland the patent was stopped in Chancery. In 1637 he was one of the supplicants against the introduction of the English liturgy; and with John Leslie, 6th Earl of Rothes, he took a leading part in the promulgation of the Covenant and in the General Assembly which met at Glasgow in the autumn of 1638. He served under General Leslie, and was one of the Scottish commissioners at the Pacification of Berwick in June 1639. In November of that year and again in 1640 the Scottish estates sent Loudoun with Charles Seton, 2nd Earl of Dunfermline, to London on an embassy to Charles I. Loudoun intrigued with the French ambassador and with Thomas Savile, afterwards Earl of Sussex, but without much success. He was in London when John Stewart, Earl of Traquair, placed in Charles's hands a letter signed by Loudoun and six others and addressed to Louis XIII. In spite of his protest that the letter was never sent, and that it would in any case be covered by the amnesty granted at Berwick, he was sent to the Tower. He was released in June, and two months later he re-entered England with the Scottish invading army, and was one of the commissioners at Ripon in October. In the following August (1641) Charles opened parliament at Edinburgh in person, and in pursuance of a policy of conciliation towards the leaders of the Covenant Loudoun was made Lord Chancellor of Scotland, and his title of Earl of Loudoun was allowed. He also became first commissioner of the treasury.
In 1642 he was sent by the Scottish council to York to offer to mediate in the dispute between Charles and the parliament, and later on to Oxford, but in the second of these instances Charles refused to accept his authority. He was constantly employed in subsequent negotiations, and in 1647 was sent to Charles at Carisbrooke Castle, but the 'Engagement' to assist the king there made displeased the extreme Covenanters, and Loudoun was obliged to retract his support of it. He was now entirely on the side of the Duke of Argyll and the preachers. He assisted in the capacity of Lord Chancellor at Charles II's coronation at Scone, and was present at Dunbar. He joined in the royalist rising of 1653, but eventually surrendered to General Monk. His estates were forfeited by Cromwell, and a sum of money settled on the countess and her heirs. At the Restoration he was removed from the chancellorship, but a pension of £1,000 granted him by Charles I in 1643 was still allowed him. In 1662 he was heavily fined. He died in Edinburgh on the 15th of March 1663.
The earl's elder son, James (d. 1684), 2nd Earl of Loudoun, passed his life out of Great Britain, and when he died at Leiden was succeeded by his son Hugh (d. 1731). The 3rd earl held various high positions in England and Scotland, being chosen one of the representative peers for Scotland at the union of the parliaments in 1707. He rendered good service to the government during the rising of 1715, especially at the battle of Sheriffmuir, and was succeeded as 4th earl by his son John (1705-1782), who fought against the Jacobites in 1745, was commander-in-chief of the British force in America in 1756 and died unmarried. The title then passed to James Mure Campbell (d. 1786), a grandson of the 2nd earl, and was afterwards borne by the Marquesses of Hastings, descendants of the 5th earl's daughter and heiress, Flora (1780-1840). Again reverting to a female on the death of Henry, 4th Marquess of Hastings, in 1868, it came afterwards to Charles (b. 1855), a nephew of this marquess, who became 11th Earl of Loudoun.
(* Editor's note: More properly Lord Loudon or Lord Campbell of Loudon, since this was a title in the peerage of Scotland.)
Being the entry for LOUDOUN, JOHN CAMPBELL, 1ST EARL OF in the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica, the text of which lies within the public domain.