CAMPBELL, Sir James, 2nd Bt. (c.1665-1752), of Ardkinglas, Argyll, and Gargunnock, Stirling.
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Family and Education
b. c.1665, 1st s. of Sir Colin Campbell, 1st Bt., of Ardkinglas, M.P. [S], by Helen, da. of Patrick Maxwell of Newark, Notts. m. (1) Margaret, da. and coh. of Adam Campbell of Gargunnock, Stirling, 1s. d.v.p. 8da.; (2) 23 Aug. 1731, Anne, da. of John Callendar of Craigforth, Stirling, wid. of Lt.-Col. John Blackader of Stirling, s.p. suc. fa. Apr. 1709.
M.P. [S] Argyllshire 1703-7.
Lt. 4 Life Gds. 1704, capt. 1708, maj. 1710, lt.-col. 1711-15; gov. Stirling castle 1715-Mar. 1717; muster master [S] 1734-?42.
Campbell belonged to a junior branch of the family of the Duke of Argyll, to whom he was attached. Appointed governor of Stirling castle in 1715, he was returned as a Whig for Argyllshire, which he, his father and his grandfather had represented before the Union. He spoke, 22 June 1715, in favour of impeaching the Earl of Strafford, subsequently voting for the septennial bill. After Argyll’s dismissal, Townshend replied through James Stanhope in Hanover (25 Sept./6 Oct. 1716) to an inquiry from Robethon, the King’s private secretary
how Sir James Campbell came not to be turned out of his command in Stirling castle ... His Majesty may remember, that upon his shewing me the list of the Duke of Argyll’s creatures and dependents given him by the Duke of Roxburgh, he was pleased to declare, that such of them against whom the want of zeal or skill in their business could not be objected, should keep their places, and upon my assuring his Majesty there was no objection of that kind against Sir James Campbell, he was pleased to declare he should be continued in his post at Stirling castle.1
Dismissed in the spring of 1717,2 he voted against Lord Cadogan on 4 June, with most of Argyll’s followers, dining with the Duke a few days later.3 After Argyll’s re-instatement, Campbell voted with the Government on the repeal of the Occasional Conformity and Schism Acts and the peerage bill in 1719. In April 1721 he supported Walpole in opposing the confiscation of John Aislabie’s estates.4 Re-elected for Argyllshire in 1722 and 1727, he voted with the Government in every recorded division. On 5 Feb. 1733 he ‘had the house cleared’ on the report of the committee on army estimates, which led the gallery to say that the Government ‘were ashamed of their part in the debate and don’t care to have the argument fairly canvassed to the people’.5 In 1734 he was elected for Stirlingshire, with the help of Henry Cunningham, Ilay’s most experienced borough-monger, whom he succeeded as muster master for Scotland at a salary of £800 p.a.6 He spoke for the Government on the army on 14 Feb. 1735, saying how useful it had been in Scotland in 1715, when the Earl of Mar raised the rebellion, clashing with James Erskine, Mar’s brother, and being called to order. The same year, in a debate on the bill against the provost of Edinburgh, he asked that the evidence of one of the witnesses should be discounted because of the infamy of his character. He was absent from the division on the Spanish convention in 1739 and on the place bill in 1740, and did not stand in 1741. He died 5 July 1752, aged 86, leaving his estates to his grandson, James Campbell.