Wednesday, 16 March 2016

1st Earl of Breadalbane and Holland

THE EARLS OF BREADALBANE AND HOLLAND WERE THE GREATEST LANDOWNERS IN PERTHSHIRE, WITH 234,166 ACRES

This ancient family claims a common ancestor with the ducal house of ARGYLL, namely,

SIR DUNCAN CAMPBELL, of Lochawe, who was created Lord Campbell, of Argyll, by JAMES II of Scotland, in 1445.

His lordship wedded Lady Marjorie Stewart, daughter of Robert, Duke of Albany, and granddaughter of ROBERT II of Scotland, by whom he left two sons,

ARCHIBALD, his successor, from whom the house of ARGYLL derives; and

SIR COLIN CAMBELL, upon whom his father settled the estate of Glenorchy, which had come into the Campbell family in the time of DAVID II of Scotland, by the marriage of Margaret Glenorchy with John Campbell.
"Sir Colin" says Douglas, "was a man of high renown for military prowess, and for the virtues of social and domestic life. He was a stream of many tides against the foes of his people, but like the gale that moves the heath to those who sought his aid."
He married firstly, Mary, daughter of the Earl of Lennox, but by her had no issue.
He married secondly, Margaret, 2nd daughter and co-heir of John, Lord Lorne, with whom he got a third of that lordship, which still remains in the family, and Sir Colin quartered henceforward the GALLEY OF LORNE, with his paternal achievement.
By this marriage, his only son,

SIR DUNCAN CAMPBELL, who, in his father's lifetime, was designated of Glenorchy, by charter, dated 1480. The great-grandson of this gentleman,

SIR DUNCAN CAMPBELL, of Glenorchy,
being in high favour with JAMES VI, was made, by that monarch, in 1617, heritable keeper of the forests of Mamlorn, Bendaskerlie etc, with many valuable privileges; and created, in 1625, a baronet, and High Sheriff of Perthshire, for life.
Sir Duncan married twice, and was succeeded at his decease, in 1631, by the eldest son of his first wife, Jean, daughter of John, Earl of Atholl, Lord Chancellor of Scotland,

SIR COLIN CAMPBELL, 2nd Baronet, who died without issue in 1640, and was succeeded by his brother,

SIR ROBERT CAMPBELL, 3rd Baronet, whose eldest son,

SIR JOHN CAMPBELL (1635-1717), 4th Baronet,
being the chief creditor of George, 6th Earl of Caithness, obtained a disposition from that nobleman of his whole estate and earldom, with the hereditary jurisdictions and titles; and upon the demise of his lordship, in 1676, was created, by patent dated 1677, Earl of Caithness; but in a few years afterwards, that dignity being allowed by parliament to be vested in George Sinclair (who became, in consequence, 7th Earl of Caithness), Sir John Campbell obtained a new patent of nobility, dated 1681.
Sir John was created EARL OF BREADALBANE AND HOLLAND.

His lordship wedded firstly, Mary, daughter of Henry Rich, 1st Earl of Holland (which earl was beheaded in 1649), by whom he had two sons.

He married secondly, Mary, Dowager Countess of Caithness, 3rd daughter of Archibald, Marquess of Argyll; but by her had no surviving issue.

This nobleman married a third time, and had a daughter, Mary, who wedded Sir Archibald Cockburn of Langton Bt.
The 1st Earl is described, by John Macky, as having the gravity of a Spaniard, the cunning of a fox, the wisdom of a serpent, and the slipperiness of an eel.
His lordship died in 1716, and passing over his eldest son, Duncan Lord Ormelie, was succeeded by his 2nd son,

JOHN, 2nd Earl.
  • John Campbell, 3rd Earl (1692–1782)
    • Hon Henry Campbell (c. 1721-27)
    • Hon George Campbell (d 1744)
    • John Campbell, Lord Glenorchy (1738–71)

Marquesses of Breadalbane; First creation (1831)

Earls of Breadalbane and Holland (1681; Reverted)

  • John Alexander Gavin Campbell, 6th Earl (1824–71)
  • Gavin Campbell, 7th Earl (1851–1922) (created Marquess of Breadalbane in 1885).

Marquesses of Breadalbane; Second creation (1885)

Earls of Breadalbane and Holland (1681; Reverted)

  • Iain Edward Herbert Campbell, 8th Earl (1885–1923)
  • John Romer Boreland Campbell, 10th and last Earl (1919–95).

TAYMOUTH CASTLE, Perthshire, was the main seat of the Earls of Breadalbane and Holland until 1922.

Built in the neo-Gothic style on a lavish scale, no expense was spared on the castle's interior, which was decorated with extravagant sumptuousness incorporating carvings, plasterwork and murals.

Panels of medieval stained glass and Renaissance woodwork were incorporated into the scheme.

Much of this decor survives, though the castle has lost most of its original rich furnishings.

It has been empty since 1979, although plans have been put forward for its redevelopment as a luxury hotel.


In 1720, the 2nd Earl commissioned William Adam to remodel the house and lay out extensive formal gardens.

The 2nd Earl's son oversaw further changes in the 1750s, and by the 1780s the formal gardens had been replaced with a picturesque landscape.

The 4th Earl called upon Robert Mylne to prepare plans for a new "chateau" in 1789, though they were not carried out.

Ten years later the main block of the old house was demolished, to be replaced from 1806 by a Gothic building to the designs of the brothers James and Archibald Elliot.

The English-Italian Francis Bernasconi carried out the ornate plasterwork of the staircase and drawing rooms between 1809-12.

In 1818, the old east wing was pulled down and replaced by a two-storey wing designed by William Atkinson.

The 2nd Marquess of Breadalbane completed the improvements from 1838, by the remodelling of William Adam's west wing, which was enlarged and refaced to match the main block.

This time the architect was James Gillespie Graham, with interiors designed by A. W. N. Pugin.

The works were complete by 1842, in time for the first visit to Scotland of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, when they stayed at Taymouth for three days.

On the death of the 2nd Marquess, Taymouth passed to a distant cousin, along with the earldom of Breadalbane. The marquessate was re-created for his son Gavin Campbell in 1885.

The family estates were much reduced during his tenure, and on his death in 1922 Taymouth Castle was sold.

It was converted into a hotel, opening in 1929, with an 18-hole golf course designed by James Braid in the grounds.

It was used as a hospital for Polish troops during the 2nd World War; and between 1950-68 it housed the Civil Defence Corps training school for Scotland.

Taymouth was subsequently used by a boarding school for American children.

This closed in 1979 and the building has since lain empty, though the golf course has continued to be operated separately.

In 2004, it was reported that plans to redevelop the castle as a "six-star" hotel had been approved by Perth and Kinross Council.

By 2006, the buildings was weathertight, but work stopped in late 2006, and in 2009 the company restoring Taymouth Castle was declared insolvent.

Following the purchase of the estate by Meteor Asset Management, work re-commenced late in 2010 and, despite financial problems, the restoration was continuing in 2012.

First published in January, 2014.   Breadalbane arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

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