MARGARET, Duchess of Argyll, was buried far from Scotland yesterday.

Family members and more than 100 loyal friends, who praised the kindness

of a woman once described as the most beautiful of her generation, were

at the funeral in London.

The occasion brought together estranged family members, but could not

avoid mention of the animosities which have riven the Argyll family

since her spectacular divorce from the Duke in 1963.

It took place at the Jesuit Church in Farm Street, Mayfair. The

Duchess had asked in her will for a funeral at the Brompton Oratory and

for her ashes to be scattered in the grounds of Inveraray Castle. The

family objected, however, and she was buried in Surrey next to her first

husband, American Charles Sweeny.

In her declining years she ran out of money and was forced to move

from her large Mayfair house to a hotel suite, then a nursing home in

Pimlico, where she died last week after a fall, aged 80, by all accounts

lonely and ignored.

The mourners were led by her two children, Frances, the Duchess of

Rutland, 56, and investment consultant Brian Sweeny, 53. Also attending

was the 74-year-old Duke of Rutland, who had not seen his mother-in-law

for 10 years.

The Duchess, a Roman Catholic convert, was estranged from her daughter

over the latter's decision to raise her children as Protestants. After

the Duchess spoke out against the decision the Duke of Rutland banned

her from his house.

On the steps of the Church of the Immaculate Conception Lady Colin

Campbell, 43, for a brief time the Duchess's step daughter-in-law and

now a royal pundit, blamed the late Duke for the Duchess's reduced

circumstances at the time of her death.

''She was set up by my stinking, rotten, drunken father-in-law who

thought that he would blackmail her. When she refused to succumb to

blackmail he dragged her through the mud. It was all so he could make

money out of her.''

Everything about yesterday's service was appropriate to the scandal

which had dogged the Duchess, and the morbid fascination it has exerted

on followers of the aristocracy.

The requiem mass opened with the hymn Dear Lord and Father of Mankind,

Forgive Our Foolish Ways.

In his sermon Father Michael Beattie, speaking to a text from St John,

reminded the congregation that charity covered a multitude of sins.

''Many things have been said about Margaret in recent days,

justifiably or otherwise I cannot pass judgment,'' he said. ''Much

should have been said about her qualities of generosity, of friendship,

of her care and concern for many people.''

Mr Larry Adler, who played for the Duchess at her wedding to Mr Sweeny

in 1931, played a concerto for harmonica composed by Vaughan Williams.