Campbell, Margaret, Duchess of Argyll

BORN 1 Dec 1912, Newton Mearns, Renfrewshire - DIED 25 Jul 1993, London: St. George's Nursing Home, Pimlico
BIRTH NAME Whigham, Ethel Margaret
GRAVE LOCATION Brookwood, Surrey: Brookwood Cemetery (Plot 119)

Margaret Ethel Whigham, a beautiful society person, was the daughter of a Scottish millionaire. When she was fifteen years old she was seduced by David Niven in 1928. She turned out to be pregnant afterwards and a secret abortion followed in London.

During her youth she also had an affair with George, Duke of Kent (1902-1942). On 21 Feb 1933 she married the golfer and stockholder Charles Sweeny, with whom she lived in London. She helped him form the Eagle squadrons of American pilots. They had three children, but in 1947 she divorced Sweeney.

In 1943 she had fallen forty foot to the bottom of an elevator shaft, but she survived because the lift cable broke her fall. She lost her sense of taste.

She was briefly engaged with the American banker Joseph Thomas, but he went after another woman. She also had an affair with Theodore Rousseau, a curator of the Metropolitan Museum in New York. Her second husband was Ian Douglas Campbell, 11th Duke of Argyll. She married him in 1951, but after eight years of marriage a sensational divorce case started in 1959 and lasted until 1963. There were pictures of the duchess wearing only a necklace.

In 1975 she published a volume of memoirs, titled "Forget Not". She didn't mention the encounter with Niven but she always adores him and was present at his memorial service in London after his death in 1983. Towards the end of her life she had financial difficulties and she was placed in a nursing home in Pimlico, London by her children. She died there in 1993.

Her request to be buried near the Argyll family home wasn't granted. She was buried at Brookwood Cemetery near Woking with her first husband who had died a short time before her.


The grave of Margaret, Duchess of Argyll at Brookwood Cemetery, Woking.
Picture by Androom (25 Jun 2009)


• Clarke, John M., London's Necropolis, A Guide to Brookwood Cemetery, Sutton Publishing, Stroud, Gloucestershire, 2004
Wikipedia (EN):

Campbell, Mary

Published: 31 Oct 2009
Last update: 26 May 2024