THE name Campbell first appears in 1216, in connection with a proprietor of lands in Stirling; but the first of importance was Neil Campbell, who, in 1296, was made King Edward’s Baillie over lands in Argyll. His great-grandson was created Lord Campbell by James II, and was the first of the family to take the title of Argyll. His grandson, Colin, was made Earl of Argyll in 1457, and Baron of Lorn in 1470. The Marquis of Argyll was the great leader of the Covenanters during the Civil Wars in the reigns of Charles I and Charles II. The 8th Earl was created Duke of Argyll in 1701. The Peerages and estate descended to John, second Duke of Argyll and Earl of Greenwich (died 1743). He was succeeded by his brother, who died without issue, and so the title devolved upon his cousin, General John Campbell of Mamore. Inveraray Castle is the seat of the Campbell Chiefs, whose designation is MacCailein Mhor.
CAMPBELLS of Loudoun are the oldest branch of the house of Argyll, and are descended from Donald, second son of Sir Colin Campbell of Lochaw, and brother of Sir Neil Campbell, the friend of King Robert Bruce. The barony in Ayrshire, from which they derive their title, was originally the possession of the Loudouns of Loudoun, one of the oldest families in Scotland. Margaret of Loudoun, the heiress of the estate, married Sir Reginald Crawford, High Sheriff of Ayr, and was the grandmother of Sir William Wallace, the illustrious Scottish patriot. The barony passed to the Campbells in the reign of Robert Bruce by the marriage of Sir Duncan, son of Donald Campbell, to Susanne Crawford, heiress of Loudoun, and fifth in descent from Sir Reginald Crawford. Sir Hugh Campbell, Sheriff of Ayr, was created a Lord of Parliament by the title of Lord Campbell of Loudoun, by James VI., in 1601. His granddaughter, Margaret Campbell, who inherited his title and estates, married Sir John Campbell of Lawers, a scion of the Glenorchy or Breadalbane family.