Sir Neil Campbell of Lochow

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Sir Neil Nigel Campbell, Lord of Lochow

Also Known As: "Maccailen More", "Sir Neil /Campbell/", "10th Knight of Lochow", "Sir Neil"
Birthdate: (57)
Birthplace: Argyll, Scotland, United Kingdom
Death: February 1315 (57)
Lochow, Argyllshire, Scotland
Place of Burial: Scotland, United Kingdom
Immediate Family:

Son of Sir Colin Mor Campbell, Chief of Clan Campbell and Janet Sinclair of Dunglass
Husband of Susanna Crawford; Mary Bruce and Alyse Crawford
Father of Dougal Campbell; John Campbell, Earl of Atholl; Duncan Campbell; Sir Colin Campbell of Lochow; Neil Campbell and 2 others
Brother of N.N. Nic Colin Campbell of Lochawe; Dugald Campbell of Menstrie; Arthur Campbell and Christian (Christina) MacGregor

Occupation: Knight
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Sir Neil Campbell of Lochow

Niall mac Cailein (died 1316) also known as Sir Neil Campbell was a nobleman and warrior who spent his life in the service of King Robert I of Scotland, His Gaelic name means "Niall, Colin's son" since he was the son of Cailean Mór. His services to the king elevated the Campbells into the higher ranks of the Scottish nobility. Master Niall

By later Campbell tradition, Niall was the elder son of Cailean Mór; however, contemporary evidence seems to suggest that his brother Domhnall enjoyed this distinction. Niall's earliest appearance in the sources occurs in 1282 on a witness list to a royal charter in favour of Cambuskenneth Abbey. Niall disappears for 20 years, unless the "Master Niall" active in the service of the then Earl of Carrick, Robert, in the 1290s can be identified with Niall mac Cailein. This seems likely, because one official source styles him Mestre Neel Cambell. Another of the sources for "Master Niall" tells us that he came from the "county of Ayr"; this would tie in with the known background of the Campbells of the era, and with Niall's later affiliation with King Robert. In 1293, Niall was sent to Norway to deliver personal items to Robert's sister, Isabella Bruce, Queen of Norway. In 1296, this Master Niall swore fealty to King Edward I of England.

Wars of Independence

The Niall mac Cailein who appears again in the source in 1302 was still in the service of the English crown. Until 1306, he remained on the side of the officially Bruce-backed English regime. Niall served in the warband of Richard Og de Burgh, 2nd Earl of Ulster and in the "English" army which besieged Stirling Castle in 1305. Niall and his brother Domhnall were rewarded for their services.

In 1302, Niall was given lands in Cumberland. In the same year, Niall and his brother Domhnall received the guardianship of the heiresses of Andrew de Crawford, lord of the Baronies of Loudoun, Lochmartnaham and Draffan. However, Niall and Domhnall, like their lord the Earl of Carrick, were drifting towards rebellion. Niall was at Westminster in 1305, because his rights were being challenged by a knight called Robert Keith. In Spring 1305, Edward decided that in favour of Keith, judging "to allow [Keith] to have these children and to distrain Sir Dovenald Chambel and Sir Nel Chambel by their lands and bodies". In the same year, Edward granted some Campbell lands to an English knight, Sir John Dovedale. Such judgments were both a cause and effect of deteriorating relations with the English crown.

So when Robert decided to rebel in 1306, it is not surprising that Niall and Domhnall were among the would-be king's first adherents. Niall was present at Scone in March 1306 when Robert was crowned King of Scots. After the defeats Robert suffered at the Battle of Methven and Battle of Dalrigh, Niall was one of the few men who stuck by Robert, as John Barbour testified later in the century. All the evidence suggests that Niall remained in Robert's warband for the years to come, fighting both the English-side generally and the MacDougalls in the west of Scotland. Niall even acted as a representative of Robert in negotiations with the English crown, on two occasions, in 1309 and 1314.

Marriage and family

As a reward for his loyal services to King Robert, Niall received his sister, Mary Bruce, in marriage. By this marriage, Niall and Mary parented a son, Iain. Robert granted the couple the lands confiscated from David Strathbogie, almost certainly so that Iain would eventually become the Earl, which is indeed what happened. This was part of a general policy by Robert of redistributing lands and titles to his close king. Niall, however, had been married previously, to an unknown woman, by whom he had at least two sons, Cailean and Dubhghall. In 1315, King Robert granted the barnonies of Loch Awe and Artscotnish to Cailean for the service of a 40-oared galley for 40 days per annum. This grant, in the view of the most recent historian of the subject, is the real beginning of the Campbell lordship of Lochawe.

Niall probably died in 1316, leaving a strong legacy of heroism and royal favour, from which his offspring would benefit enormously.

Sir Neil Campbell of Lochow was the son of Sir Colin Campbell of Lochow. He married, firstly, unknown daughter Crawford, daughter of Andrew Crawford, before 1303.2 He married, secondly, Margaret Cameron between 1303 and 1312. He married, thirdly, Lady Mary Bruce, daughter of Sir Robert le Brus, 1st Lord Brus and Margaret, Countess of Carrick, circa 1312. He died circa 1316

Sir Neil Campbell of Lochow was also known as Nigel Campbell. He was invested as a Knight circa 1285. In 1296 he joined Robert the Bruce in the struggle against the English. Robert the Bruce granted him, his (third) wife and their son John, all of the lands of David de Strathbogie, 11th Earl of Atholl.2 He lived at Lochow, Argyllshire, Scotland. On 26 April 1315 he was one of the great Barons of Parliament which met to fix the succession to the Crown.

Neil (or Nigel) Campbell of Lochow, Knight, joined Robert Bruce in 1296 and fought for him in almost every action between Methven and Bannockburn. He married 1st ca.1303 the daughter of Andrew Crawford, whose wardship had been granted to him by King Edward I, and had with other issue: Colin, his heir He married 2nd (it has been said) Margaret Cameron, possibly the widow of Hubert de Multon, and had by her issue: Duncan Campbell Macdhonnachie of Inverawe, progenitor of the Campbells of Inverawe He married 3rd, ca 1312, Mary, sister of King Robert I, daughter of Robert Bruce, Lord of Annandale, and Earl of Carrick (in right of his wife),

He joined Robert Bruce in 1296 and fought for him in almost every action between Methven and Bannockburn.

Neil appears in a charter to the abbey of Cambuskenneth on 17 Oct. 1282. Niall was active in the service of the then Robert, Earl of Carrick in the 1290's. In 1293 Niall was sent to Norway to deliver personal items to Robert's sister, Isabella Bruce, Queen of Norway. He swore allegiance to King Edward at Berwick 28 Aug. 1296 and on 10 Sept. he is mentioned as one of the Barons of Argyll and the King's bailee for Lochow and Ardskeodnish. He was a witness to a charter confirmed by Edward I on 10 Oct. 1296.

He was one of the Earl of Ulster's knights when he brought over a contingent from Ireland in 1303 to help King Edward who granted him the ward and marriage of the two daughters of Andrew Crawford. He obtained from Edward a grant 13 Feb. 1301/2 of the custody of land in Cumberland belonging to the heir of Sir Hubert de Multon until the heir becomes of age an also letters patent empowering Hubert's widow Margaret to marry him if she will, however by 8 Jan. 1304 the King had taken back his gift and he gives John de Dovedale a charter of Neil's lands and the ward and marriage of his son which was confirmed at Westminster 24 Oct. 1305. This unusual procedure was probably due to the fact that Neil had joined Robert the Bruce as on 20 June 1306 it is stated that the ward and marriage of Hubert de Multon's heir is in the King's gift "by reason of Nigel Cambel to whom the said custody was formerly granted having betaken himself to Scotland against the King".

Neil was a staunch adherant of Robert the Bruce and fought with him in almost every battle from the battle of Methven to Bannockburn. He was present at Scone in March 1306 when Robert was crowned King of Scots. After the defeats at the Battle of Methven and the Battle of Dalrigh, Niall was one of the few knights who stuck by King Robert fighting against the English as well as the MacDougalls in the west of Scotland. He was part of the envoy to Richard de Burgo, Earl of Ulster who had been appointed Edward's commissioner to treat with Robert for terms of peace for which he obtained a safe conduct from Edward 21 Aug. 1309. After Bannockburn, Neil was one of the Commissioners sent to York in Sept. 1314 to negotiate a peace with the English. He was one of the great Barons in the Parliament at Ayr 26 Apr. 1315.


Ref The Life of His GRACE John Duke of ARGYLE etc – 1765 by Robt Campbell

Sir Neil .....was knighted in the latter end of the reign of K. Alexander III and was in the same commission with his Father in the fore-mention'd Arbitration, and so far acquiesced in the Decision of Edward, in favour of John de Baliol, that he remained faithful to that weak and unhappy Prince, until by an inglorious Surrender of the Independency of Scotland and acknowledging to hold the Sovereignty in Vassalage of Edward of England, he had forfeited that title his blood gave him, and declared himself unworthy of that Crown he was born to. Upon this emergency, and so soon as Robert de Bruce had formed a rational scheme to make good his pretensions to the Throne, this Sir Neil, whom Buchanan calls Sir Neil Campbell, joined heartily with those few patriots who had courage and honesty to assert the liberty and independency of that ancient kingdom, against the usurpation of the English Edward, owned King Robert's title and raised a considerable number of his vassals to make head against McDougald of Lorn who had a personal pique at and was declared enemy of Robert. He soon reduced McDougald and all his adherents and brought his country and al the shire of Argyle to submit to the new King.

From this action he went to Scoon and assisted at the solemnity of King Robert's Coronation, in Anno 1306; after which he continued steadfast in his loyalty and gave many signal marks of his attachment to that monarch even in the lowest ebb of his fortune and when he was but yet tottering on his throne he entered into that famous association with Sir Gilbert Hay and Sir Alexander Seton; where in a most solemn manner, they bound themselves to defend with their lives and fortunes the liberty of their country and the right of Robert Bruce their king against all mortals, French, English or Scotch. To this association they appended their seals at the Abby of Cambuskeneth, Sept 8, 1308.

So early we find this family appearing in the interest of their country against the usurpation of foreigners and the weak concessions of an hereditary Prince. A spirit which seems hitherto intailed upon the successors of this great man which we hope will continue without a breach till latest ages. This Sir Neil was one of the commissioners sent from Scotland to England to treat of peace, Anno 1314, which did not take effect. The ensuing year he was one of the barons of the parliament held at Air which intailed the crown upon King Robert and his heirs and in the close of that year he died.

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Sir Neil Campbell of Lochow's Timeline

January 1258
Argyll, Scotland, United Kingdom
Age 22
Lochow, Argyllshire, Scotland
Age 54
Lochow, Argyllshire, Scotland
Age 55
Lochow, Argyllshire, Scotland
February 1315
Age 57
Lochow, Argyllshire, Scotland
Age 57
Scotland, United Kingdom
Age 57
Lochow, Argyllshire, Scotland