CAMPBELL, Duncan (c.1763-1837), of Lochnell and Barbreck, Argyll.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1790-1820, ed. R. Thorne, 1986
Available from Boydell and Brewer



11 May 1809 - 1818

Family and Education

b. c.1763, o.s. of Col. Dugald Campbell of Ballimore by Christian, sis. of Alexander Drummond, consul at Aleppo, wid. of David Campbell of Dunloskin. educ. Glasgow Unit. 1779. m. (1) 5 July 1792, Hon. Eleanora Fraser, da. of George, 14th Baron Saltoun [S], wid. of Sir George Ramsay, 6th Bt., of Banff, s.p. (div. 1808); (2) 14 May 1808, Augusta, da. of Sir William Murray, 5th Bt., of Ochtertyre, Perth, s.p. suc. fa. 1764, gt.-uncle Sir Duncan Campbell to Lochnell 1765; fa.’s bro. Maj.-Gen. John Campbell to Barbreck 1794.

Offices Held

Capt. 1 Ft. (2 batt.) 1780; col. commdt. 98 Ft. 1794, col. 1796; col. 91 Ft. 1799; maj.-gen. 1802, lt.-gen. 1808, gen. 1819.


Campbell’s father and great-uncle had sat for Argyll with the backing of the duke. Like his father he entered the army, in the duke’s regiment; he raised the 91st Highlanders. In 1809, when there was a sudden vacancy in Ayr Burghs and the 6th Duke had no immediate relative to bring in, he returned Campbell on his interest. The Earl of Lauderdale had tried to secure the return of Sir William Augustus Cunynghame of Milncraig, ‘a desirable candidate for the party’, but in that respect Campbell was also reliable: he was listed a ‘thick and thin’ supporter by the Whigs in 1810 and his votes bore it out, though he was not always ready to attend Parliament, where he does not appear to have uttered in debate.1

Campbell voted for parliamentary reform, on Burdett’s motion, 15 June 1809, and, after absence in Scotland, voted with opposition on motions critical of the Scheldt expedition on 5 and 30 Mar. 1810, as well as on Parnell’s motion on Irish tithes, 13 Apr., and on Romilly’s motion for the discharge of the radical Gale Jones, 16 Apr. No minority vote appears in 1811; in January of that year his patron Argyll applied to the Prince of Wales on Campbell’s behalf when he wished to be made colonel of the 67th regiment.2 Campbell voted for Morpeth’s motion on Ireland, 4 Feb. 1812, against McMahon’s sinecure, 22 Feb., against the orders in council, 3 Mar., and against McMahon’s appointment as private secretary to the Regent, 14 Apr. He was in the majority in favour of the sinecure offices reduction bill, 4 May.

After a long absence, Campbell, who was apparently neutral on Catholic relief, resumed his voting with opposition on 8 May 1815; opposed the Regent’s address on France, 25 May; four times opposed the proposed grant to the Duke of Cumberland, 28 June-3 July; voted against foreign entanglements by treaty, 20 Feb. 1816; three times opposed the army estimates, 28 Feb., 6, 8 Mar.; was in the majority against the renewal of the property tax, 18 Mar., and opposed the navy estimates, 27 Mar., the leather tax, 9 May, the aliens bill, 20 May, the civil list, 24 May, the Austrian loan, 28 May, the non-vacation of Sir Thomas Thompson’s seat, 12 June, and the public revenues bill, 17 June. He voted against the salt duties, 25 Apr. 1817, against the continuation of the third secretaryship of state, 3 Apr. 1816 and 29 Apr. 1817, as well as for a committee on public offices, 7 May 1816, and against Canning’s diplomatic mission, 6 May 1817. He voted for the further reduction of the army, 13 May 1817, against the lottery bill and the civil service pension bill, 19 May, and for Williams Wynn as Speaker, with opposition, 2 May. He was probably the ‘General Campbell’ who on 1 May 1818 voted for the resumption of cash payments by the Bank, and on 19 May for the repeal of the Septennial Act and against the aliens bill.

Nevertheless, Campbell was reported to consider Parliament as ‘no object’ to himself, but rather ‘an oppression’. William Adam alleged, 22 June 1817: ‘He never goes till late and he comes away as soon as he can’.3 Adam hoped that Campbell would make no difficulty about retiring in favour of his nephew Kennedy and in 1818 that was what happened, though Campbell may have been under pressure, as early in the year he announced his candidature at Berwick, where he and the other Whig candidate, Lord Ossulston, were heavily defeated at the poll. He died 9 April 1837.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: R. G. Thorne


  • 1. Foster, Scots MPs, 51; see AYR BURGHS; Grey mss, Lauderdale to Grey, Mon. [1 Jan. 1810].
  • 2. Prince of Wales Corresp. vii. 2829.
  • 3. Add. 51595, Adam to Holland, 22 June 1817.