CAMPBELL, Hon. James (c.1680-1745), of Rowallan, Ayr.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715-1754, ed. R. Sedgwick, 1970
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1727 - 1741

Family and Education

b. c.1680, 3rd s. of James, 2nd Earl of Loudoun [S] by Lady Margaret Montgomerie, da. of Hugh, 7th Earl of Eglintoun [S]. educ. Glasgow 1696. m. 29 Mar. 1720, Lady Jean Boyle, da. of David, M.P. [S], 1st Earl of Glasgow [S], 1s. 1da. K.B. 16 June 1743.

Offices Held

Capt. 21 Ft. 1702; lt.-col. 2 Drags. 1706; brevet-col. 1711; col. 9 Ft. 1715-17, 2 Drags. 1717-d.; groom of the bedchamber 1727-d.; brig.-gen. 1735; gov. Edinburgh castle 1738-d.; maj.-gen. 1739; lt.-gen. 1742.


Campbell, whose military service extended from Blenheim to Fontenoy, was returned on the interest of his brother, Lord Loudoun, voting regularly with the Government. In 1741 he was defeated by a combination of the anti-Walpole elements in Ayrshire, backed by the 2nd Duke of Argyll. His opponents, through professing ‘all possible regard’ for him ‘in his private character’, sought to ‘exclude any candidate who held a place or office, civil or military, or who were influenced by his Majesty’s present ministers’. During the election campaign they put it about that his attachment to the Duke of Argyll made him an unwilling candidate, ‘pushed to it’ by his brother, by Lord Ilay, and by the Court, and that ‘it would be a greater happiness to the General to lose than to carry his elections’.1 Campbell petitioned, alleging inter alia that there had been an ‘unusual and illegal combination against him, contrary to the freedom of elections’. Lord Loudoun’s agent reported that neither Campbell’s counsel, nor William Murray, who was also consulted, had

much opinion of our cause. As for the stress laid upon the irregular proceedings ... in prejudice to the General’s interest, they are positive here there is nothing illegal or irregular in it and is an objection the House would never hear. Mr. Murray in particular could not forbear laughing at it as a jest, and (on the question of legality of votes) whispered when he was going away that the opinion of Sir Robert Walpole and Sir William Yonge would be of more service than any counsel in London. But be this as it will I believe it is right that the General should petition.2

Presented on 16 Dec. 1741, the petition was renewed on 30 Nov. 1742 but did not receive a hearing.

On the outbreak of the war of the Austrian succession, Campbell accompanied the King to Germany, commanding the cavalry at Dettingen, after which he was knighted on the field by George II, and at Fontenoy, where he lost a leg, dying of his wounds 2 May 1745.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: Romney R. Sedgwick


  • 1. Gen. Campbell's memorial, Loudoun mss.
  • 2. 22 Oct. 1741, Loudoun mss.