Campbell's father, the 7th earl, became a catholic, and was declared a traitor in 1619. Campbell, as a protestant, took over the enormous estates at the age of 12, and succeeded to the earldom in 1638. His subsequent conduct was erratic. A violent covenanter in 1639–40, he made terms with Charles I in 1641 and was advanced to the marquisate. He then rejoined the covenanting party but was routed by Montrose at Inverlochy and Kilsyth in 1645. Next he joined in welcoming Cromwell but in 1651 took part in Charles II's coronation at Scone, having been promised a dukedom. He made his peace with the Cromwellian regime and served in the Parliament of 1659 as MP for Aberdeenshire. In 1660, at the Restoration, he was arrested, and executed at Edinburgh. A small, red‐headed, squinting man, Clarendon described him as of ‘extraordinary cunning’, though in the end his contorted tergiversations overwhelmed him.
Subjects: British History.