Clan Campbell

The support for Robert the Bruce from both Clan Donald (who like the MacDougalls descended from Somerled) and from the more obscure Campbells of Lochawe led to the enhancement of both families at the expense of the MacDougalls. The climax in Argyll of the recurring clan power struggles (waged through marriage and warfare) came in the 17th century when violence and atrocity seemed more monstrous when acted out against a background of comparative order. The spilling of the "English" Civil War into Scotland in the 1640s led to a taking of sides. Clan Campbell was mauled, but took out age old rivals, the Lamonts and, in large extent, the MacDonalds. Although the Campbell Chief was later executed for his role, Clan Campbell remained the dominant local force. In 1692, the "massacre under trust" of the MacDonalds of Glencoe under government orders by a Campbell regiment in the regular British Army, was an indication of the extent to which Campbell and central government destinies had been linked. The rising of clans loyal to the Jacobites in 1715 and 1745 was not so much the culmination as the footnote to Clan history. Deprived of influence, the rebellions were the last desperate throw not simply of Clan chiefs whose loyalty, politics or religion had been compromised, but also of the clan system itself, undermined by national forces of enlightenment, centralised control and law, and of socio- economic power. By yolking themselves to the central power, Clan Campbell under the first Dukes of Argyll had cornered the local market in influence and patronage. While the first Duke in particular influenced British politics and favoured the Campbell gentry, all thanks to command of Clan Campbell, consolidation of central power effectively ended the political role of Argyll in future power politics. By the late 18th century, Argyll was of interest to early tourists rather more than to generals and politicians.