Born in Petersham, Surrey, Campbell succeeded his father, the 1st Duke, as Duke of Argyll and Chief of Clan Campbell in 1703. In 1705 he was created a Peer of England as Baron Chatham and Earl of Greenwich. He was a supporter of the 1707 Act of Union. He fought during the War of the Spanish Succession under the British Army's overall commander, John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, and fought at the battles of Oudenarde and Malplaquet. In 1710 he was made a Knight of the Garter. With the coming to power of the Tory ministry of Oxford and Bolingbroke, Argyll fell out of favor, joining the Whig opposition in making speeches against the government in the House of Lords. In July 1714, in Queen Anne's last illness, the unexpected presence of Argyll and the Duke of Somerset at the Privy Council secured the fall of Oxford, and thus perhaps the Hanoverian succesion. In "the Fifteen", Argyll led the government army at Sheriffmuir and defeated the Jacobites led by the Earl of Mar. In 1719 he was rewarded by being created Duke of Greenwich in the Peerage of Great Britain. He was promoted to Field Marshal in 1736. A year before his death, he was given the position of Commander in Chief of the British Army.
He received the colonelcy of various regiments, including the Horse Guards (now amalgamated into The Household Cavalry Regiment) and The Queen's Dragoon Guards (now amalgamated into 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards).
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