Campbell was an energetic supporter of the royalist cause during the 1650s. His father was executed for treason in 1661, and although he was imprisoned, the new earl was released and restored to his titles and estates. A member of the Scottish Privy Council and an Extraordinary Lord of Session, he found himself in prison once again when he opposed the Test Act of 1681. Sentenced to death, he escaped to Holland. In 1685, he returned to Scotland to support the rising against King James VII and II. Yet he was caught and executed without trial in Edinburgh in 1686, under the judgement passed against him five years earlier. This portrait shows him holding the staff of the Hereditary Master of the King?s Household in Scotland, an office which was traditionally held by the Earls of Argyll.