THE QLK. DAY THE RT. HON. THE ERLE OF LOWDENE, LORD MARCH, LORD HIGH CHANCELLOR, WAS ADMITTED BURGESS AND GUILD BROTHOR OF THIS BURGH, WITH ALL REQUISITE SOLEMNITIES.
SIR JOHN CAMPBELL of Lawers, a descendant of the BREADALBANE family, was married, in 1620, to MARGARET CAMPBELL, daughter of the MASTER OF LOUDOUN. She succeeded as BARONESS OF LOUDOUN on the death of her grandfather, LORD CAMPBELL of Loudoun, in 1622. SIR JOHN was an ardent adherent of the Presbyterian party, and is described as having been "a most strenuous supporter of this cause." In conjunction with the EARL OF ROTHES, he was continually opposing the schemes of KING CHARLES with reference to Church government and ritual. For the purpose, probably, of securing him as an adherent, the KING created him EARL OF LOUDOUN, TARINYEAN, and MAUCHLINE, in 1633, but the bribe, if so intended, was ineffectual. The action taken by the General Assembly of 1638 against the Bishops was principally brought about by his agency, and he was bold enough to assert before the Privy Council that he was prepared to prove the Bishops guilty of the most shocking crimes. When CHARLES found that he could no longer withstand the Presbyterians, the EARL OF LOUDOUN was the first to insist that the KING should sign the Covenant, and he did so in these unmistakable terms:
"If your Majesty shall refuse your consent to the resolution, you will lose all your friends in the House and in the City, and all England shall join against you as one mail; they will despise you, and set up another Government; they will charge us to deliver your Majesty to them, and remove our arms out of England; and upon your refusal, we will be obliged to settle Religion and peace without you; which will ruin your Majesty and your posterity."
The counsel of the EARL OF LOUDOUN was for the time effectual, and CHARLES was persuaded thereby to temporise with the Scottish leaders. He raised the EARL to the position of Lord Chancellor of Scotland, in 1642; and had he kept faith with his Scottish subjects, his fate might have been different. The favours which the CHANCELLOR had received, whilst ineffectual to make him a traitor to the cause which he had espoused, were sufficiently great to provoke the envy of many opposed to the KING. When CROMWELL had conquered all opposition in Scotland, he caused the name of the CHANCELLOR to be specially excepted from the Act of Grace and Pardon, and the extensive estates and offices which the EARL OF LOUDOUN held were declared forfeited. It might have been imagined that one who had suffered so much for the purpose of preserving Scotland to the KING would have been treated with especial gratitude at the time of the Restoration but the contrary was the case. Shortly after CHARLES had returned to the throne, the EARL OF LOUDOUN was heavily fined and threatened with imprisonment, on the pretence that he had been implicated in the surrender of the KING'S father. The grief and vexation which he endured at the time preyed so much upon his mind that he expired suddenly, on the 15th of March, 1662. His death is thus recorded by LAMONT:
"1662. Mar The Earle of Lawdin, surnamed Campbell, the leate Chancelour of Scotland, depairted out of this life att Edb. and was carried off the towne, to be interred."
He was buried in the Vault at Loudoun Kirk, his body having been embalmed and left visible through an opening in the coffin lid, and it is asserted that a few years ago his face could be seen in perfect preservation.