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British Industrial History

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Archibald Campbell (Lord Blythswood)

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Archibald Campbell, first Baron Blythswood (1835–1908), politician and physicist,

1835 Born in Florence, Archibald Campbell Douglas, son of Archibald Douglas, 17th feudal Scots baron of Mains and 12th feudal baron of Blythswood, a patrilineal descendant of James Douglas (who had assumed by Royal licence the surname of Douglas in lieu of Campbell), son of John Campbell and Mary, daughter and heiress of John Douglas of Mains. However John himself was also landed as the son of Colin Campbell, 1st feudal Scots Baron of Blythswood and that estate passed to another branch of the family.

1838 Assumed his new patronymic on inheriting the Blythswood estate on the death of his cousin, Archibald Campbell.

Educated privately for an army career.

c.1851 joined the 79th Highlanders, transferring to the Scots Guards in the following year.

He fought in the Crimea, where he was badly wounded, and reached the rank of lieutenant-colonel.

1864 Married Augusta Clementina (1841–1922), the daughter of the wealthy Liberal peer Lord Carrington.

1868 retired from the army on the death of his father. Campbell assumed his patrimony as laird of Blythswood

1868 Stood for Parliament as the unsuccessful Conservative candidate for Paisley.

1873 Won Renfrewshire in a by-election

1874 Lost his seat in the general election

1880 Made a baronet in 1880

1885 elected for West Renfrewshire and remained in the Commons until 1892

1892 Raised to the peerage

Established an extensive private laboratory at his home, Blythswood House, Renfrew, which specialised in large machines/

Between 1892 and 1905, the Blythswood Laboratory, was the location for experiments into many areas at the frontier of physics including cathode rays, X-rays, spectroscopy, and radioactivity.

1900 Blythswood recruited a young physicist, Herbert Stanley Allen (1873–1954), to take control of his laboratory.

1905 After Allen left to take up a teaching position in London, the laboratory was frequently used for engineering experiments by a Whitworth Scholar, Walter Scoble.

1907 Elected FRS

1908 Died at Blythswood House. He was succeeded to the peerage by his brother, the Revd Sholto Douglas Campbell Douglas.

Lord Blythswood was childless.

See Also


Sources of Information

  • Biography of Archibald Campbell, first Baron Blythswood, ODNB