Archived Lot

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Date of Auction: 24th June 2009

Sold for £2,700

Estimate: £1,200 - £1,500

A fine group of six medals awarded to Gavin Campbell, 1st Marquis of Breadalbane, K.G., P.C., J.P., D.L., Brigadier-General of the Royal Company of Archers

Jubilee 1887, clasp, 1897, silver, unnamed; Coronation 1902, silver; Visit to Scotland Medal 1903 (Marquess of Breadalbane President St. A.A.A.); Coronation 1911, silver, unnamed; Volunteer Force Long Service Medal, E.VII.R. (Col. The Hon. G. Marq. of Breadalbane, K.G., A.D.C., 5/V.B. R. Hdrs.) impressed naming; Royal Humane Society, small silver medal (successful) (The Marquis of Breadalbane, 6th December 1888), with silver buckle on ribbon, mounted court style for wear, some with contact marks, nearly very fine and better (6) £1200-1500


Gavin Campbell was born on 9 April 1851 and was educated at St. Andrews. He succeeded his father in 1871 as 7th Earl of Breadalbane, Earl of Holland; Viscount of Tay and Paintland; Lord Glenorchy, Benederaloch, Ormelie and Weik; and Baronet of Nova Scotia. He was created Baron Breadalbane in 1873; and Earl of Ormelie and 1st Marquis of Breadalbane in 1885. In 1893 he was created a Knight of the Garter and was also a Knight of Justice of the Order of St. John and a Knight of the Swedish Order of the Seraphim. For his bravery he was also awarded the Silver Medal of the Royal Humane Society:

‘On the 6th December, 1888, a party of gentlemen were shooting in the grounds of Taymouth Castle, the Marquis of Breadalbane being one of the number. Two men named Jamieson and McLean were acting as beaters, and for that purpose went across in a small boat to an island in the River Tay below the bridge at Newhall. The river was in a flooded state, and the current running rapidly. A rope was attached to the boat, but somehow it became entangled, and was the means of swamping the boat, precipitating both men into the water. Jamieson, although an expert swimmer, had considerable difficulty, owing to the strength of the current, in gaining the shore. McLean, who was unable to swim, was carried down stream about 100 yards, and finally rescued by the Marquis of Breadalbane. It appears that immediately after the boat capsized, the Marquis stripped off his cartridge-belt and rushed into the river to McLean’s assistance, as did Mr Robson, the Head Keeper; they were however unsuccessful, and both had a narrow escape. The Marquis on gaining the bank ran quickly down the river side, when he again plunged in, and after a severe struggle succeeded in catching hold of McLean, with whom he swam ashore. The river at the time was in spate (as it is called in Scotland), that is, high flood, and immediately below the scene of the rescue was a deep whirlpool, surrounded by rocks. The rescue was rendered more difficult by the eddies and boulders. It may be said that the Marquis risked his life on each occasion on entering the river under the circumstances’ (Ref. R.H.S. Case 24231, from Acts of Gallantry, Vol. 2, compiled by W. H. Fevyer).

Of his many appointments, he was Lord-in-Waiting to the Queen; Privy Councillor, 1880; Treasurer of the Queen’s Household, 1880-85; Lord Steward, 1892-95; Lord High Commissioner of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, 1893-95; A.D.C. to the King; Keeper of the Privy Seal of Scotland, 1907; Brigadier-General of the Royal Company of Archers - the Royal Body Guard for Scotland; Colonel of the Highland Cyclists Battalion; Colonel of the 5th Volunteer Battalion Royal Highlanders - for which he was awarded the Volunteer Long Service Medal by A.O. 224 of September 1910; Chairman of the St. Andrew’s Ambulance Association; Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Argyllshire, 1914; and Member of the Fisheries Board.

He married in 1872, Lady Alma Imogen Carlotta Leonore Graham, the youngest daughter of the 4th Duke of Montrose. His country seat was at Taymouth Castle, Aberfeldy, Perthshire. The Marquis died on 19 October 1922 and his nephew, Iain Edward Herbert Campbell, succeeded to the Earldom and Scottish titles. With a quantity of copied research, a plate from Vanity Fair depicting the Marquis, two copied photographs of the recipient and a photograph of the recipient’s full range of insignia - showing the Orders of the Garter, St. John and Seraphim etc. Also with a commission document appointing John Campbell as a Lieutenant in the Argyll Regiment of Militia, signed by the 5th Earl of Breadalbane, in 1846.