A Purely Celtic Family

Portrait of George Campbell, 8th Duke of Argyll by George Frederic Watts;. National Portrait Gallery: NPG 1263

Yet from the moment that the standard of national independence was raised by Bruce, he had no more devoted adherents than among the purest Celts, whilst some of his bitterest and most dangerous opponents were the descendants and representatives of western and northern Clans who had collected under Norseman Chieftains. Among the earliest of his followers, and among the most constant, was the purely Celtic family from which I am descended—a family of Scoto-Irish origin—that is to say, belonging to that Celtic colony from Ireland which founded the Dalriadic Kingdom, and to whom the name of Scots originally and exclusively belonged. The name when it first appears in writing is always Cambel, and never Campbell, the letter p having been subsequently introduced in connection with the fashion which set in at one time to claim Norman lineage as more honourable than the Celtic. But the name as universally written for many generations is a purely Celtic word, conceived in the ancient Celtic spirit of connecting personal peculiarities with personal appellatives. “Cam” is “curved,” and is habitually applied to the curvature of a bay of the sea. The other syllable “bel” is merely a corruption of the Celtic word “beul,” meaning “mouth.” So, in like manner, the purely Celtic name of another Highland family, Cameron, is derived from the same word “Cam,” and “srón” the nose. But that portion of the Celtic race which first owned the name of Scots must have had in its character and development something which made it predominant, so that its name came to be that of the whole united Monarchy. Probably all its Chiefs had a memory and traditions which predisposed them to fight for that Monarchy as their own. Certain it is that Sir Nigel Cambel fought with, and for, the Bruce in all his battles from Methven Bridge to Bannockburn, and was finally rewarded by the hand of the Lady Mary, sister of the heroic King, who achieved the final independence of his Country.

— George Douglas Campbell, 8th Duke of Argyll, Scotland As It Was and Is, Volume 1, Edinburgh, 1887, pp. 33-34.

Take the Hatchet into Y’r Hands

Portrait of Robert Dinwiddie, Lieutenant-Governor of Virginia, by an unknown artist, c. 1760-1765, National Portrait Gallery, London.
Portrait of Robert Dinwiddie, Lieutenant-Governor of Virginia, by an unknown artist, c. 1760-1765, National Portrait Gallery, London.

January 1754.

Brethren of the Six Nat’s:

Since the Designs of Y’r Enemies can be no longer doubted of, and it is manifest that they intend to deprive You of Y’r hunting Grounds on the Ohio, and Liberties, and to break the Peace that they have pretended to maintain with us, I have therefore thought proper as Y’r good Friend and Brother to let You know that I have given Com’o and Orders to my Officers to join You with some Forces if You will take the Hatchet into Y’r Hands. And as there is no Quest’n but that Y’r Enemy may be now easily driven away if not suffer’d to become more numerous, I do therefore advise You not to loose any Time, but imediately to send out Y’r Warriors; to whose Assistance I propose in a short Time to send a considerable Number of our Soldiers. Wishing You Health and Success I bid You Farewell.

So Near Was the Union to Receiving a Fatal Blow

Portrait of John Campbell, 2nd Duke of Argyll and Duke of Greenwich (1678-1743) by William Aikman (died 1731), ca. 1720-1725, National Portrait Gallery, London.
Portrait of John Campbell, 2nd Duke of Argyll and Duke of Greenwich (1678-1743) by William Aikman (died 1731), ca. 1720-1725, National Portrait Gallery, London.

——— Imperial Jove,
He reigns unquestion’d in his Realms above;
No Title from Descent he need infer,
His red right Arm proclaims the Thunderer,
This, Campbell, be thy Pride, Illustrious Peer,
Alike to shine distinguish’d in your Sphere,
All Merit but your own you may disdain,
And Kings have been your Ancestors in vain.

Mr. Pope on reading the Preamble to the Patent creating his Grace Duke of Greenwich.

* * *

The Scotch, while the [Malt Tax] Bill was depending in the House of Commons, argued strenuously against it; but when it passed that House, all of them unanimously agreed to lay aside all invidious Distinctions of Whig or Tory, and to endeavour either to be redressed in their Grievances, or dissolve the Union; for which Purpose they had several Meetings, and on the sixth of May deputed four of their Members, viz. the Duke of Argyle, the Earl of Mar, Mr. Lockhart, and Mr. Cockburn, to attend the Queen, and make a Remonstrance in the Name of the whole Scotch Representation. The Substance of which was,  ‘That their Countrymen bore with great Impatience the Violation of some Articles the Act of Union, and the laying such an insupportable Burthen as the Malt-Tax upon them, was like to raise their Discontent to such a Height, as to promote them to declare the Union dissolv’d.’  To this unexpected verbal Remonstrance the Queen answer’d,  ‘This was a precipitate Resolution, and she wished they might not have Reason to repent it, but however she would endeavour to make all Things easy.’  Upon the Deputies Report to the Scotch Members, the next Day, of the Queen’s Answer, they resolved before they proceeded any farther, to apply to the House of Lords. Accordingly on Thursday the 28th of May, the Earl of Seafield made a Motion that some Day might be appointed to take into Consideration the State of the Nation, and Monday the first of June was appointed, and all the Peers summoned to be present on this important Debate, which was opened by the same Nobleman, who pathetically laid open the Grievances of the Scotch Nation; which he reduced to four Heads, ‘1.Their being deprived of a Privy Council: 2. The Laws of England in Cases of Treason extended to Scotland: 3. The Peers of Scotland being incapable of being made Peers of Great Britain, as was judged in the Case of the Duke of Hamilton: And, 4. The Scots being subjected to the Malt-Tax; which Would be more insupportable to them now, in that they never bore it during the War, and had Reason to expect to reap and enjoy the Benefits of a Peace.’  Concluding,  ‘That since the Union had not those good Effects as were expected and hoped from it when it was made, he therefore moved, that leave might be given to bring in a Bill for dissolving the said Union, and securing the Protestant Succession in the House of Hanover, securing the Queen’s Prerogative in both Kingdoms, and preserving an entire Amity and good Correspondence between the two Kingdoms.’  This Motion was seconded by the Earl of Mar, and a great many Scotch Peers. Those who spoke for the Dissolution was the Duke of Argyle; the Earls of Islay, Eglintoun, Nottingham, and Sunderland; the Lord Viscount Townshend; the Lords Hallifax, Powlet, Scarborough, and Scarsdale. Those who spoke against it were the Lord North and Grey, the Lord Earl Peterborough, the Lord Chief Justice Trevor, and the Lord Treasurer Oxford. The Arguments against the Dissolution were chiefly drawn from the Impossibility; the Lords on that side supposing it impossible to dissolve it: comparing it to a Marriage, which once made, could not be broke. That this Union was concluded with so much Solemnity, that nothing could be more Solemn, except it came down from Heaven like the Ten Commandments. They did not pretend so much to deny that the Scotch had not Grievances to complain of, but that some other Remedy might be found out to ease them than dissolving the Union. With some little Reflections on the Poverty and Temper of the Scots; who would have all the Advantages of the Union with England, and yet with their good Will would not pay one Farthing towards the common Expence.

The Lords on the opposite side argued, That however solemn the Treaty of Union might be, yet the Power which made it might dissolve it. They expatiated, upon their Grievances; which they said were the more intollerable, as the general Confidence they had placed in the Faith of the English Nation, for which they had desired no Guarantee, gave them all the Reason in the World to expect other Usage. They owned the Country poor, and that was the Reason they complained of the Imposition of the Malt-Tax. That they were willing to bear their stipulated Proportion of the necessary Expences of the Nation; but they had no Reason to expect that they should be taxed above their Power. The Duke of Argyle, in a handsome but warm Speech, among other Things said, ‘That he was by some reflected on as if he was disgusted, and had changed Sides; but that he despised those Persons as much as he undervalued their judgments. That it was true he had a great Hand in making the Union: That the chief Reason that moved him to it, was the securing the Protestant Succession ; but that he was satisfied that might be done now as well if the Union was dissolved: That he spoke as a Peer of England as well as of Scotland: That he believed in his Conscience it was as much for the Interest of England to have it dissolved, as that of Scotland: And if it was not, he did not expect long to have Property left in Scotland, or Liberty in England. He urged, That the Tax upon Malt in Scotland was as unequal, tho’ the same as in England, as taxing Land by the Acre; which would be very unjust, the Land being worth five or six Pound per Acre here about London, and not more Shillings in some Parts of the Country: That this was the Case between the Scotch and the English Malt; the latter being worth three or four Shillings per Bushel, the other not above one. So if that Tax was collected in Scotland, it must be done by a Regiment of Dragoons.’  Several English Lords were for putting off the Debate till a farther Day, that the Peers might have time to consider of a Matter of such Consequence. To this last Opinion of a Delay, the Earls of Mar and Loudon join’d, and so lost the Bill; for the Question being put on the Earl of Seafield‘s Motion, it was carried in the Negative by four Voices only; there being fifty four Lords on each Side present, seventeen Proxies on the Negative, and but thirteen on the Affirmative; so near was the Union to receiving a fatal Blow.

— Robert Campbell, Esq., The Life of the Most Illustrious Prince, John, Duke of Argyle and Greenwich, Belfast: F. Joy, 1745.

At Another Time and in Other Circumstances

Detail of portrait of Blessed John Henry Newman by Sir John Everett Millais; National Portrait Gallery, London.
Detail of portrait of Blessed John Henry Newman by Sir John Everett Millais; National Portrait Gallery, London.

[T]he Church of England has been the instrument of Providence in conferring great benefits on me; had I been born in Dissent, perhaps I should never have been baptized; had I been born an English Presbyterian, perhaps I should never have known our Lord’s divinity; had I not come to Oxford, perhaps I never should have heard of the visible Church, or of Tradition, or other Catholic doctrines. And as I have received so much good from the Anglican Establishment itself, can I have the heart, or rather the want of charity, considering that it does for so many others, what it has done for me, to wish to see it overthrown? I have no such wish while it is what it is, and while we are so small a body. Not for its own sake, but for the sake of the many congregations to which it ministers, I will do nothing against it. While Catholics are so weak in England, it is doing our work; and, though it does us harm in a measure, at present the balance is in our favour. What our duty would be at another time and in other circumstances, supposing, for instance, the Establishment lost its dogmatic faith, or at least did not preach it, is another matter altogether. In secular history we read of hostile nations having long truces, and renewing them from time to time, and that seems to be the position which the Catholic Church may fairly take up at present in relation to the Anglican Establishment.

John Henry Newman, Apologia Pro Vita Sua, Appendix “Answer in Detail to Mr. Kingsley’s Accusations,” no. 3.

Some Ass of a French G.P.

Ronald Arbuthnott Knox by Howard Coster, half-plate film negative, 1938, National Portrait Gallery, London.
Ronald Arbuthnott Knox by Howard Coster, half-plate film negative, 1938, National Portrait Gallery, London.

[T]he Catholic religion differs from most other religions, differs even from most other denominations of Christianity, in that it was not merely cradled in an atmosphere of the miraculous, but lives and breathes in an atmosphere of the miraculous. Miracles are not always equally abundant, but the faith is always there; when the deacon Peter asks St Gregory in his dialogues why it is that miracles don’t happen nowadays, St Gregory first of all gives reasons why they shouldn’t happen, and then points out that they do. All the discoveries of science about the nature of diseases and so on have not lessened our faith in the possibility of miracle; rather, they have increased it. For, in proportion as medicine grows more exact in its methods and more careful in its habits of observation, in that proportion we can feel more certain, when such and such a cure is effected, that the finger of God was really there. When you hear doctors doubting about the miracles at Lourdes, you will find that the complaint they are making is not one against religion; diagnosis, they say; some ass of a French G.P. didn’t know his own business. If that is so, we can only hope that doctors will get more and more scientific; then the miracles at Lourdes will be more manifest than ever. Ronald Knox, In Soft Garments, A Collection of Oxford Conferences (1953).

Never-Realised Colonial Episcopacy

Thomas Secker, by Sir Joshua Reynolds (died 1792); National Portrait Gallery, London.
Thomas Secker, by Sir Joshua Reynolds (died 1792); National Portrait Gallery, London.

All members of every Christian church are, according to the principles of liberty, entitled to every part of what they conceive to be the benefits of it, entire and complete, so far as consistent with the welfare of civil government. Yet the members of our Church in America do not there enjoy its benefits, having no Protestant bishop within 3,000 miles of them — a case which never had its parallel before in the Christian world. Therefore it is desired that two or three bishops be appointed for them, to reside where His Majesty may think most convenient; that they may have no concern in the least with any persons who do not profess themselves to be of the Church of England, but may ordain ministers for such as do, may confirm their children, and take such oversight of the episcopal clergy as the Bishop of London’s commissaries in those parts have been empowered to take, and have taken, without offence.

Thomas Secker, Archbishop of Canterbury, to Jonathan Mayhew, 1764.

Iain Ruaidh nan Cath

Portrait of John Campbell, 2nd Duke of Argyll and Duke of Greenwich (1678-1743) by William Aikman (died 1731), ca. 1720-1725, National Portrait Gallery, London.
Portrait of John Campbell, 2nd Duke of Argyll and Duke of Greenwich (1678-1743) by William Aikman (died 1731), ca. 1720-1725, National Portrait Gallery, London.

ARGYLE the State’s whole Thunder born to wield,
And shake alike the Senate and the Field Alexander Pope, Epilogue to the Satires (TE 4: 318).