CAMPBELL, Daniel (c.1672-1753), of Saltmarket, Glasgow; Shawfield, Lanark; and Ardentinny, Argyll.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1707 - 1708
24 Feb. 1716 - 1727
28 Mar. 1728 - 1734

Family and Education

b. c.1672, 3rd s. of Walter Campbell, ‘captain of Skipness’, Argyll, and bro. of John Campbell†.  m. (1) 1695, Margaret, da. of John Leckie, merchant, of Newlands, Renfrew and Glasgow, Lanark, 3s. (1 d.v.p.) 3da.; (2) 4 Apr. 1714, Catherine (d. aft. 1722), da. of Henry Erskine, 3rd Ld. Cardross [S], wid. of Sir William Denholm, 1st Bt., MP [S], of Westshields, Lanark, 1da.1

Offices Held

Burgess, Glasgow 1694, ?Dumbarton 1703, Edinburgh 1706.2

Collector of customs, Port Glasgow 1701–7; commr. union with England 1706, Equivalent [S] 1707–9.3

MP [S] Inveraray 1702–7.


Campbell, a grandson of Walter Campbell, the heroic ‘captain of Skipness’ who fought and died for the Covenant against Montrose, was apprenticed to Robert Campbell, a noted Glasgow merchant, and made a modest fortune in transatlantic commerce. Having sailed to Boston in 1692 as part-owner of a cargo, he spent two years in America, trading with the colonies and in the West Indies, before returning to Glasgow, where he married into another important merchant family and resumed his business career, often in partnership with his brother Matthew, trading to the Baltic and even to Spain. Seeking to diversify his investments, he began to advance money to needy lairds, including his clan chief the 1st Duke of Argyll, with whose family he was henceforth to be closely associated in the capacity of a private banker and man of business. He was responsible for organizing and paying for the funeral of the 1st Duke in 1703. Foreclosing on loans drew him into the acquisition of landed property on his own account, culminating in the purchase in 1706 of the estate of Shawfield, just outside Glasgow, where he began to construct an imposing house.4

Argyll’s influence must have played some part in Campbell’s entrance in 1701 into the farm of the Scottish customs, as collector at Port Glasgow, a post that offered interesting possibilities to an unscrupulous merchant. And it was certainly by virtue of Argyll’s nomination that in the 1702 election he was returned as commissioner for Inveraray. In the Scottish parliament he slavishly followed the 1st and 2nd dukes, with one possible exception, in September 1703, when he joined the larger burghs’ protest against the act continuing the prohibition on the export of English and Irish wool. He represented the Argathelian interest on the union commission, and in the 1706–7 parliamentary session voted completely in accordance with the Court line, earning not only selection as a Scottish representative to the first Parliament of Great Britain, but inclusion in the Equivalent commission. This appointment may have been in part a recompense for his having forfeited his place in the customs in anticipation of administrative reconstruction after the Union. The presence of two other Campbells in the Commons makes it impossible to be certain of his appearances in the Journals.5

At the end of the Parliament no less than at its beginning, Campbell placed his reliance on the 2nd Duke of Argyll, and Argyll’s brother Lord Ilay. It was to their influence that he resorted in March and April 1708 in an attempt to secure the appointment of two of his nominees to tidewaiters’ places at Port Glasgow, in the face of resistance from the commissioners of the Scottish customs. But after the misfiring of his attempt on the Glasgow Burghs district in the general election of 1708 he found that he needed other patronage as well. There had been two returns. Campbell, in his capacity as commissioner for Rutherglen, had returned himself, supported by the commissioner for Renfrew. On the other side the presiding commissioner, Provost Robert Rodger of Glasgow, had returned himself, supported by the commissioner for Dumbarton. Campbell appealed to Anne, Duchess of Hamilton, as possessor of the hereditary sheriffdom of Lanarkshire, to ensure that he was ‘first returned’, promising to support her son Lord Archibald Hamilton* in the county election. But, although he made an ‘appearance’ for Lord Archibald at the Lanarkshire electoral court, it was Rodger who was returned for the burghs and Campbell who was obliged to petition. Shortage of time, and perhaps also the influence wielded on Rodger’s behalf by the Duke of Montrose, prevented a hearing in either of the two sessions of this Parliament, and Campbell’s own high-handedness ruined any possibility of a compromise at local level. The disappointment was compounded in 1709 when Campbell found himself omitted from the renewed commission on the Equivalent, and a year later, when a recommendation from Hon. Sir David Dalrymple, 1st Bt.*, failed to secure for him a place on the new Scottish customs board, Treasury appreciation of his experience in collection having doubtless been offset by remembrance of the difficulties he had caused the commissioners in 1708 over the tidewaiters’ appointments.6

Campbell was deterred from standing at the 1710 election, but put up for Lanarkshire in 1713, with support from Glasgow corporation and especially from the Presbyterian ministers ‘who pretend to govern the gentlemen of the shire’. Unfortunately for him, the Hamilton interest and the ‘loyal gentlemen’ proved the stronger, and he was defeated by Sir James Hamilton, 2nd Bt.* His desire to return to Westminster had probably been sharpened by the Treasury’s renewed pursuit of the accounts of the customs farmers, still not delivered seven years after the Union, and by the more serious threat that the accounts commissioners would expose Campbell’s own corrupt dealings in the Glasgow collectorship. In the event, he and the other farmers reached a composition with the Treasury in 1714, and the accounts commissioners’ report, delivered to the Commons in April of that year, did no more than retail the evidence given of Campbell having abused his position to bring in brandy for himself duty-free, without stating an opinion of its reliability or making any recommendation.7

In 1715 Campbell stood again in the Glasgow Burghs district, this time against the express wishes of Argyll, who would have preferred Thomas Smith II* not to have been challenged. With only one of the four commissioners on his side, Campbell probably did not pursue the contest as far as the main election. He also made a desperate bid in Lanarkshire, where he combined with, of all people, the Jacobite George Lockhart* of Carnwath, in an effort to unseat a Whig, James Lockhart† of Lee. Here again he seems to have made a tactical retreat before the court met. Smith’s death in 1716, however, furnished him at last with a better opportunity. The open endorsement of Argyll, corresponding inaction on the part of Montrose, and his own skilful canvassing in Glasgow corporation, were enough to give him the burghs seat at the ensuing by-election, almost by default. He returned to the Commons as a member of the Argyll connexion but one whose wealth made him increasingly independent. Campbell died on 8 June 1753, being succeeded by his grandson and namesake, who represented Lanarkshire 1760–8.8

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: D. W. Hayton


  • 1. Mitchell Lib. Glasgow, Campbell of Shawfield mss (mic. in NLS, ms 15525); Scot. Rec. Soc. vii. 74; xxxv. 87; Wodrow, Analecta, iv. 171.
  • 2. Scot. Rec. Soc. lvi. 232; lxii. 31; NLS, ms 15525.
  • 3. CSP Dom. 1703–4, p. 409; Cal. Treas. Pprs. 1708–14, p. 22; Cal. Treas. Bks. xxii. 79; xxiii. 234.
  • 4. C. Rogers, Monuments and MIs in Scotland, ii. 8; NLS, ms 15525; Scot. Rec. Soc. lvi. 232; Extracts Glasgow Burgh Recs. iv. 330, 484–5; B. Lenman, Jacobite Risings in Britain, 207–8.
  • 5. Info. from Dr P. W. J. Riley on members of Scot. parl.; APS, xi. 101; P. W. J. Riley, Union, 331.
  • 6. SRO, Mar and Kellie mss GD124/831/9, Sir David Nairne to Mar, 1 June 1708; Cal. Treas. Pprs. 1708–14, pp. 26–27, 41; Edinburgh Courant, 26–28 May 1708; SRO, Hamilton mss GD406/1/5492, 7866, [–] to dowager Duchess of Hamilton, 27 May 1708, Duke of Hamilton to same, 23 June 1708; Add. 61628, ff. 144–5; 61632, f. 70; SRO, Montrose mss GD220/5/219, John Grahame to Duke of Montrose, 22 Dec. 1709; GD220/5/805/2, Mungo Graham* to [same], 4 Aug. 1709; SRO, Stair mss GD135/140, f. 3.
  • 7. Scots Courant, 2–5 Oct. 1713; NLS, Advocates’ mss, Wodrow pprs. letters Quarto 5, f. 189; Cal. Treas. Bks. xxviii. 92; HMC Portland, x. 168; HMC Lords, n.s. vii. 575; Boyer, Pol. State, vii. 374–6.
  • 8. R. M. Sunter, Patronage and Pol. in Scotland, 199–209; SRO, Kennedy of Dalquharran mss GD27/3/24/5, Mungo Graham* to Cornelius Kennedy, 1 Mar. 1715; Wodrow, Analecta, 68; J. S. Shaw, Management of Scot. Soc. 92–93; Lenman, 208–9.