John Douglas Sutherland Campbell, 9th Duke of Argyll

The Marquess of Lorne, later 9th Duke of Argyll
The Marquess of Lorne, later 9th Duke of Argyll

John George Edward Henry Douglas Sutherland Campbell, 9th Duke of Argyll (Stafford House, London August 6, 1845 - May 2, 1914 Kent House, Cowes), usually better known by his courtesy title of Marquess of Lorne by which he was known before 1900, was Governor General of Canada. He is now remembered primarily for the place names bestowed on Canadian geography in honour of his wife, for his paraphrase of Psalm 121, "Unto the hills around do I lift up" and for the frequency with which the name "Lorne" is given to male children in Canada, a custom unknown elsewhere.

Background and career prior to Canadian Viceregal appointment

As the eldest son of George Douglas Campbell, 8th Duke of Argyll and Elizabeth Georgiana Sutherland-Leveson-Gower, daughter of George Granville Sutherland-Leveson-Gower, 2nd Duke of Sutherland, Lord Lorne held the courtesy title of Marquess of Lorne and was heir to the title of Duke of Argyll from 21 months until he was 54. He received an excellent education at Edinburgh Academy, Eton, St. Andrews and Cambridge. For ten years before coming to Canada, the Duke represented Argyllshire as a Liberal member of Parliament in the British House of Commons.

Governor General of Canada

When the Marquess of Lorne's appointment was announced, there was great excitement throughout Canada. For the first time, Rideau Hall would have a royal resident – Queen Victoria's fourth daughter, Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, had married the marquess on March 21, 1871. The Canadian Prime Minister relaxed his busy campaign schedule to prepare for her arrival and to organize a special carriage and corps of guards to protect the princess.

During the Marquess of Lorne's term of office, the recession plaguing the Canadian economy ended and Sir John A. Macdonald returned as Prime Minister. Canada was experiencing a renewal of optimism and an upswing of nationalism.

At age 33, the Marquess of Lorne was Canada's youngest Governor General, 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. In addition to acting as a patron of arts and letters in Canada, the Marquess was the author of many books of prose and poetry. His writings show a deep appreciation of Canada's physical beauty.

Throughout his term of office, the Marquess of Lorne was intensely interested in Canada and Canadians. He travelled throughout the country encouraging the establishment of numerous institutions, and met with members of Canada's First Nations and with other Canadians from all walks of life. At Rideau Hall, he and Princess Louise hosted many social functions, including numerous skating and tobogganing parties as well as balls, dinners and State occasions.

Princess Louise was an accomplished writer, sculptor and artist – she painted well in both oils and water colours. A door she painted with sprigs of apple blossoms can still be seen in the Monck wing corridor at Rideau Hall. She gave the name Regina (which is Latin for Queen) to the capital of Saskatchewan, and both the district of Alberta in the Northwest Territories (later the province of Alberta) and Lake Louise in that district were named after her. Although she was often unwell, she was a compassionate woman who, during an epidemic of scarlet fever, personally nursed the sick.

After Canada

Princess Louise returned to England in 1881 and the Marquess of Lorne followed two years later in 1883. The Marquess of Lorne was Governor and constable of Windsor Castle from 1892 to 1914, and he sat as MP for Manchester South from 1895 until the death of his father on April 24, 1900, when he became the 9th Duke of Argyll. He and Princess Louise lived at Kensington Palace until his death in 1914.

Ambiguous private reputation

The marriage was not a happy one. Lorne is rumored to have been bisexual, if not largely homosexual in predisposition, and certainly he had close friendships with several known homosexuals such as the author Horatio Brown and artist Lord Ronald Gower. Legend has it that Princess Louise bricked up a window in Kensington Palace to stop Lorne's nighttime 'cruising' for soldiers in the park. More importantly, Lorne was an associate and confidant of the handsome but dissolute homosexual Frank Shackleton, (brother of the explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton), who was a key suspect in the theft of the Irish Crown Jewels. Shackleton was to defraud Lord Ronald Gower of money, and there is clear evidence that official investigation of the theft of the Crown Jewels was suppressed. It has been suggested that this is because authorities became aware of the Lorne connection to Shackleton.

Princess Louise died on December 3, 1939, at the age of 91.


Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by:
Alexander Finlay
Member for Argyllshire
Succeeded by:
Lord Colin Campbell
Preceded by:
Sir Henry Roscoe
Member for Manchester South
Succeeded by:
Hon. William Peel
Political Offices
Preceded by:
The Earl of Dufferin
Governor General of Canada
Succeeded by:
The Marquess of Lansdowne
Honorary Titles
Preceded by:
Prince Victor of Hohenlohe
Governor of Windsor Castle
Succeeded by:
The Marquess of Cambridge
Peerage of Scotland
Preceded by:
George Campbell
Duke of Argyll
Succeeded by:
Niall Campbell

Governors General of Canada
Monck | Lisgar | Dufferin | Lorne | Lansdowne | Stanley | Aberdeen | Minto | Grey | Connaught | Devonshire | Byng | Willingdon | Bessborough | Tweedsmuir | Athlone | Alexander | Massey | Vanier | Michener | Léger | Schreyer | Sauvé | Hnatyshyn | LeBlanc | Clarkson | Jean

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