Campbell, John Douglas Sutherland, ninth Duke of Argyll 1845-1914, governor-general of Canada, was the eldest son of George Douglas, the eighth Duke, by his wife, Lady Elizabeth Georgiana Sutherland Leveson-Gower, eldest daughter of the second Duke of Sutherland. He was born at Stafford House, London, 6 August 1845, and educated at the Edinburgh Academy, Eton, St. Andrews, and Trinity College, Cambridge. As Marquess of Lorne he entered parliament in 1868, the liberal member for Argyllshire, and for three years was private secretary to his father, then secretary of state for India. In 1871 he married Princess Louise, fourth daughter of Queen Victoria. In 1878 he was appointed governor-general of Canada. His period of office was uneventful, his chief constitutional problem arising soon after his arrival in Canada. Mr. Luc Letellier, lieutenant-governor of Quebec, had dismissed a provincial conservative government on grounds thought inadequate by the Dominion conservative ministry, and Sir John Macdonald, the prime minister, recommended Letellier's removal. Lord Lorne showed reluctance, and on Macdonald's advice consulted the Colonial Office; he was instructed to act on the opinion of his constitutional advisers. Relations between the governor and prime minister were cordial, Macdonald writing, Lord Lorne is a right good fellow, and a good Canadian. He was conscientious, interested in the country and a fair speaker, but did not show a strong personality.
In 1883 Lord Lorne returned to England, contested Hampstead unsuccessfully at the next general election, and followed his father out of the liberal party on the question of Home Rule. His intimacy with the court and his friendship with Macdonald in Canada had prepared the way for such a change. In 1892 he contested an election at Bradford; in 1895 he became unionist member for South Manchester. He succeeded to the dukedom of Argyll in April 1900. In April 1914 he developed double pneumonia while in the Isle of Wight, and died on 2 May, leaving no issue. He was succeeded in the title by his nephew, Niall Diarmid Campbell, grandson of the eighth Duke.
The Duke of Argyll's interests were less of a political than of a dilettante literary character. He seldom spoke in parliament, and never held ministerial office. Possibly his relation with the Crown made a party career difficult. After 1883 he continued to take an interest in Canadian affairs, especially in immigration, and wrote several books about Canada and a pamphlet advocating imperial federation. He also published fiction, volumes of verse, a life of Palmerston, and two volumes of reminiscences.
Writings, especially Passages from the Past, 1907
S. Lee, Queen Victoria, 1902
J. S. Willison, Sir Wilfrid Laurier and the Liberal Party, 1903
O. D. Skelton, Life and Times of Sir A. T. Galt, 1920
J. Pope, Memoirs of Sir John Macdonald, 1894, and Correspondence of Sir John Macdonald, 1921. Portrait, Royal Academy Pictures, 1906.
Contributor: E. M. W-g. [Edward Murray Wrong]