He was the eldest son of Archibald Campbell, 4th Earl of Argyll and his second wife Margaret Graham. He was a younger half-brother of Archibald Campbell, 5th Earl of Argyll. His maternal grandparents were William Graham, 3rd Earl of Menteith and Margaret Moubray.
Argyll made a progress in Lorne, Argyll, and Cowal in July 1574 holding courts and executing those convicted of "slaughter, murder, theft, or common sorcery." Around 160 people were executed by hanging. Some "women and men suspected of witchcraft and sorcery were apprehended" and kept in prison or released on caution, until further trial. Argyll also ensured churches had ministers or readers teaching the Bible in Scottish Gaelic as translated by the late John Carswell, Bishop of the Isles. He sought the resolution of feuds between Aonghus MacDonald of Kintyre and Lachlan Mor Maclean, and MacConnell Gorm, Lord of the Isles, and the Laird of Glengarry.
Marriages and family
Argyll was first married to Joan Stewart, daughter of Henry Stewart, 1st Lord Methven and his second wife Janet Stewart. (Her maternal grandparents were John Stewart, 2nd Earl of Atholl and Lady Janet Campbell. Janet was a daughter of Archibald Campbell, 2nd Earl of Argyll and Elizabeth Stewart. Elizabeth was a daughter of John Stewart, 1st Earl of Lennox and Margaret Montgomerie. Margaret was a daughter of Alexander Montgomerie, 1st Lord Montgomerie and Margaret Boyd.)
- Archibald Campbell, 7th Earl of Argyll (c. 1575–1638).
- Sir Colin Campbell of Lundie (died c. 1650).
- Jane Campbell
He died in 1584 and was buried at Kilmun Parish Church.
- Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900. .
- William Boyd, Calendar of State Papers Scotland: 1574-1581, vol. 5 (Edinburgh, 1907) p. 34.
- Register of the Great Seal of Scotland, vol. 5 no. 574.
- William Boyd, Calendar of State Papers Scotland: 1574-1581, vol. 5 (Edinburgh, 1907) p. 13.
- Alexander Macdonald, Letters to the Argyll Family (Edinburgh, 1839), pp. 61–70.