Soldier and politician. While still in his twenties, Argyll emerged pre‐eminent among the Scottish magnates, and as lord high commissioner (1705) played a key role in opening negotiations for the Anglo‐Scottish union. He afterwards commanded with distinction in the War of the Spanish Succession, though he conceived a lasting hatred of the duke of Marlborough. But his association with Harley's Tory administration turned sour during a spell as commander‐in‐chief in Spain (1711–12). In 1712 he became commander of the army in Scotland, and in 1715 suppressed the Jacobite uprising. He lost office during the Whig divisions of 1716–19 but was reinstated, and by 1725 was in control of Scottish affairs. His relations with Walpole deteriorated after the Porteous episode (1736–7), and in 1742 his contingent in the Commons contributed appreciably to the minister's downfall.
Subjects: British History.