15th April 1761

Founder and first governor of the Royal Bank of Scotland dies

Archibald Campbell was the first governor of the Royal Bank of Scotland. Although born in Surrey, he was educated at the University of Glasgow and became Lord high treasurer of Scotland in 1705. In this role, he oversaw the financing of the monarch’s life in Scotland.

This naturally put him close to the monarch, who was then Queen Anne, and he strongly supported the Acts of Union. These were the legal instruments that united Scotland and England as a single country, along with Wales, after several years as separate nations under a single throne. In the wake of the successful signing of the Acts, he was granted the title Earl of Islay.

Scottish power

Campbell’s influence over Scottish affairs is difficult to overstate. Between 1733 and 1761, he was the Lord Keeper of the Great Seal of Scotland. This effectively put him one step away from the monarch, since wax discs cast from the seal are used in lieu of a signature on official documents. The Keeper of the Great Seal is today the First Minister.

He also enjoyed significant influence over Scottish representatives in London Parliament at a time when very few ‘ordinary’ citizens could vote.

In 1727, he co-founded the Royal Bank of Scotland and became its first governor. As a result, his image appears on all Royal Bank of Scotland banknotes.

When his brother died in 1743, Campbell inherited his title, becoming the Third Duke of Argyll. Campbell himself died in London 1761 and his remains were transported to Argyll for burial at Kilmun, alongside more than 30 members of his family.



Other events that occured in April

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