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Colin Campbell (abt. 1545 - 1584)

Colin "6th Earl of Argyll" Campbell
Born about in Argyllshire, Scotlandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married about 1570 (to before 1572) in Scotlandmap
Husband of — married 26 Feb 1572 in Stirling, Scotlandmap
Descendants descendants
Died in Darnaway Castle, Forres, Moray, Scotlandmap
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Profile last modified | Created 28 Mar 2013
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Preceded by
Archibald Campbell
6th Earl of Argyll
Succeeded by
Archibald Campbell



Notables Project
Colin Campbell is Notable.

Colin Campbell, 6th Earl of Argyll (ca. 1545 – October 1584) was a Scottish nobleman and politician. He was also known as "Colin the Teach ". He served as Lord Chancellor of Scotland from August 1579 until his death in 1584. [1] [2]

He was the eldest son of Archibald Campbell, 4th Earl of Argyll and his third wife Margaret Graham. He was also a younger half-brother (shared father) of Archibald Campbell, 5th Earl of Argyll. His maternal grandparents were William Graham, 3rd Earl of Menteith and Margaret Moubray. [2]

Before his succession as the Sixth Earl of Argyll, he was known as Sir Colin Campbell of Boquhan (near Stirling, Scotland). In 1571, on his brother's resignation, he had the hereditary offices of the Earldom conferred upon him. Scotland was in the throes of a civil war at the time as pro-English forces had forced Mary, Queen of Scots, to abdicate when her son, King James VI, was but 13 months old in 1567. James Stewart, 1st Earl of Moray, was named Regent of Scotland. He was the illegitimate half-brother of Mary, Queen of Scots and James VI's uncle. His wife was Lady Agnes Keith, Countess of Moray, who was thus sister-in-law of the deposed Scottish queen. As the wife of the Regent, Agnes was the most powerful woman in Scotland from 1567 until her husband's assassination in 1570. As such she had keeping of most of the Crown jewels while her nephew was a child.

After her husband's untimely death, Lady Agnes Keith married Colin Campbell, heir apparent to Argyll. In 1573 she became the Countess of Argyll when Archibald Campbell, Colin's half-brother, died with no heir. She and Sir Colin soon quarreled with the new Regent, James Douglas, Earl of Morton, who wanted the return of the jewels and other royal possessions. In 1575 the Earl and Countess of Argyll were forced to give up what jewels remained (some had been sold by the Earl of Moray) to Regent Morton, causing a serious rift between them.[3]

Three years later, in 1578, Sir. Colin Campbell plotted with his kinsman, John, Earl of Athol. Together, they kidnapped the 12 year old King James VI, and had him "take the royal scepter in his own hands," thereby officially ending the Regency and Lord Morton's position. The next year, on August 10, 1579, the Sixth Earl of Argyll was named as Scotland's Chancellor, a position he held until his death in 1584. Lord Morton was later accused of treason and executed in Edinburgh in June 1581.[4]

On the 28th of January 1581, with the king and many of the nobility, Colin subscribed to a second Confession of Faith. Colin Campbell died on 10 September 1584. [5] Another source sites an October 1584 death, after a long illness. It is said he died at Darnaway Castle, home of the Earls of Moray, then held by Colin's wife, Lady Agnes, ex-Countess of Moray. She died in 1588 in Edinburgh.[6]

Marriages and Children

Argyll was first married to Joan (Jane) Stewart, daughter of Henry Stewart, 1st Lord Methven and his second wife Janet Stewart. Her maternal grandparents were John Stewart, 2nd Earl of Atholl and Lady Janet Campbell. Janet was a daughter of Archibald Campbell, 2nd Earl of Argyll and Elizabeth Stewart. Elizabeth was a daughter of John Stewart, 1st Earl of Lennox and Margaret Montgomerie. Margaret was a daughter of Alexander Montgomerie, 1st Lord Montgomerie and Margaret Boyd.[2]

He married secondly Lady Agnes Anna Keith in between January 1571 and February 26, 1572. She was the eldest daughter of William Keith, 4th Earl Marischal and his wife Margaret Keith. Her maternal grandfather was Sir William Keith. Lady Agnes was the widow of Lord James Stewart, former Regent of Scotland (murdered in 1570) and First Earl of Moray. He was the illegitimate half-brother of Mary, Queen of Scotts.

Colin & Agnes Campbell had three children together:

  1. Archibald Campbell, 7th Earl of Argyll, also known as "Graumach " (1575–1638). [1][2]
  2. Sir Colin Campbell of Lundie (Lundy), Baronet (ca. 1578-1618). [1][2]
  3. Jane Campbell, b. ca. 1580[2]


  1. From Domestic Annals of Scotland 1576:
"The whilk summer was right guid weather; but there was weir (war) betwixt my Lord of Argyle and my Lord Athole, and great spoliation made by the men of Lochaber on puir men. God see till that."


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 The house of Argyll and the collateral branches of the Clan Campbell, from the year 420 to the present time (1871), p.41-42,
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 "Colin Campbell, 6th Earl of Argyll", Wikipedia,,_6th_Earl_of_Argyll
  3. Lady Agnes Keith
  4. King James VI & I in Wikipedia and James Douglas
  5. Source: #S5 Page: Campbell02: The Scots Peerage (Argyll), Burkes Peerage, 193-4 (Argyll)
  6. Colin Campbell

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Campbell-4592 and Campbell-9758 do not represent the same person because: error

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Categories: Scotland, Notables | Earls of Argyll | Notables