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Updated 03/18/2020

 


Marquess of Lorne's Strathspey

John George Edward Henry Douglas Sutherland Campbell, 9th Duke of Argyll KG, KT, GCMG, GCVO, VD, PC (August 6, 1845 May 2, 1914), usually better known by the courtesy title Marquess (Marquis) of Lorne, by which he was known between 1847 and 1900, was a British nobleman and was the fourth Governor General of Canada from 1878 to 1883.

Campbell was born in London, the eldest son of George, Marquess of Lorne and the former Lady Elizabeth Sutherland-Leveson-Gower, daughter of the 2nd Duke of Sutherland, and was styled Earl of Campbell from birth. In 1847, when he was 21 months old, his father succeeded as 8th Duke of Argyll and he assumed the courtesy title Marquess of Lorne, which he bore until he was 54. He was educated at Edinburgh Academy, Eton College, St Andrews and at Trinity College, Cambridge, as well as at the National Art Training School.

For ten years before coming to Canada, Lorne travelled throughout North and Central America, writing travel literature and poetry. In the UK, he represented, from 1868, the constituency of Argyllshire as a Liberal Member of Parliament in the House of Commons. He made little impression there, however; the London World referred to Lorne as "a non-entity in the House of Commons, and a non-entity without."

He was appointed Lieutenant-Colonel Commandant of the part-time 1st Argyll and Bute Artillery Volunteers on July 13, 1866. He gave up the position in the 1880s, but was appointed the unit's Honorary Colonel on July 18, 1900.

Lord Lorne married Queen Victoria's fourth daughter, Princess Louise, on March 21, 1871. The pair shared a common love of the arts, but the marriage was childless and unhappy, and they spent much time apart. Lorne formed close friendships with men, including Lord Ronald Gower, Morton Fullerton and the Count de Mauny, who were known to be homosexual or bisexual, which fueled rumors in London society that he shared their predisposition. No conclusive evidence has been found.

At age 33, Lord Lorne was Canada's youngest governor general and he became the first representative of Queen Victoria to have been born during the latter's reign but he was not too young to handle the marginal demands of his post. He and Princess Louise made many lasting contributions to Canadian society, especially in the arts and sciences. They encouraged the establishment of the Royal Society of Canada, the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, and the National Gallery of Canada, even selecting some of its first paintings. Campbell was involved in the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway and other projects, such as a hospital for British Columbia. In addition to acting as a patron of arts and letters in Canada, Lorne was the author of many books of prose and poetry.

Princess Louise returned to England in 1881 and Lord Lorne followed two years later in 1883. He and Princess Louise lived at Kensington Palace until his death from pneumonia in 1914. He is buried at Kilmun Parish Church.