Saturday, June 30, 2012

Archibald Campbell

On June 30, 1685, Archibald Campbell, the Ninth Earl of Argyll was beheaded on the maiden in Edinburgh, for his role in the Monmouth Rebellion after Charles II’s death.  Argyll, then in exile, returned to Scotland to take part in an invasion of his home country. 

Argyll lived in turbulent times, and had been under sentence of death earlier, in 1663.  At that time, the intercession of Lord Lauderdale helped to save him.  Campbell wrote a number of letters to John Maitland, then Earl of Lauderdale, during this time, and over many years subsequent.  Many of these letters are collected in “Letters from Archibald, Earl of Argyll to John, Duke of Lauderdale, which was edited by Sir George Sinclair, who possessed originals of the letters.  The compilation, published by the Bannatyne Club was inscribed by the editor to Sir Walter Scott.

TO SIR WALTER SCOTT,
Of
ABBOTSFORD, BARONET,
THE PATRON OP WHAT IS USEFUL,
AND THE MODEL OP WHAT IS EXCELLENT,
IN THE LITERATURE OF HIS COUNTRY,
THIS VOLUME,
IS
RESPECTFULLY INSCRIBED
BY
THE EDITOR.
Edinburgh, August, 1839.

Here is one letter from that work:

FOR THE RT HONBLE THE EARLE OF LAUDERDAILL, LORD SECRETARIE OF SCOTLAND.
Inveraray, Sept. 20. 64.
My Lord,
I shall have little to say from this till after the 11. of the nixt month, which is the diet of the Justices of Peace. I find our nebours keepe frequent meetings, and discourse much of stures they expect, and doe buy store of gunes, swords, powder, and lead: I desire to know how ther frequent meetings contrarie to law will be lookt on, and how I shall carie to those refuse to come in to acept to be Justices of Peace; whether I may in publike aduise forbearing of meetings, unlesse the occasion be knowen. I have hitherto forborne all legall citations against any nighbours I have to doe with, lest that might be any excuse for any untoward course they take. I find ther is paines taken to spread reports as if I ether neglected, or discountenanced his Maties service, but by gods grace the contrare shall apeare. I will doe what I can, tho I get litle helpe, for I am forced to write to the Archbishope of Glasgow, that ether the Bishope or some from him come heere to look after his Maties concernments in the church. If against the eleavnth of the nixt month ther could be somwhat from his Matie to me, laying his commands upon me in termes that I might communicate, with somwhat requiring obedience to me, in his Maties name, in such things as I desire to be done, by command from him, inviting all to a hearty concurrence in his service, and giving some certification against such as I shall complane of, it may very much contribut to the advancement of his Maties service, and make both friends and nighbours stand the more in aw. I beg a returne of this. Adieu. Remember the commission when you can.


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