CAMPBELL, Hon. John Frederick (1790-1860), of Stackpole Court, Pemb.

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



20 Dec. 1813 - 1 June 1821

Family and Education

b. 8 Nov. 1790, 1st s. of John Campbell I* of Stackpole Court. educ. Eton 1805; Christ Church, Oxf. 1808. m. 5 Aug. 1816, Lady Elizabeth Thynne, da. of Thomas Thynne II*, 2nd Mq. of Bath, 4s. 6da. suc. fa. as 2nd Baron Cawdor 1 June 1821; cr. Earl Cawdor 5 Oct. 1827.

Offices Held

Ld. lt. Carm. 1852-d.

Cornet, Castlemartin yeomanry 1807, capt. commdt. 1811.


Campbell was sure of a seat on his father’s interest as soon as he came of age, but Lord Cawdor was over-ambitious in putting him up for Pembrokeshire in 1812; he was defeated by John Owen. He fell back in the following year on Carmarthen borough, where his uncle George made way for him: he found the seat irksome and relied on his father to maintain the interest. In 1818 Cawdor had to constrain him to face his election, which was keenly contested. Neither then nor in 1820 could he undergo chairing, owing to the risk of mob violence, and on succeeding his father to the title in 1821 he abandoned the interest for a time.

Like his father, he supported opposition in Parliament. He voted with them on the blockade of Norway, 12 May 1814, for a committee on the Bank, 2 Mar. 1815, for Whitbread’s amendment to the address, 7 Apr., against the transfer of Genoa, 21 Feb. and 27 Apr., for Tierney’s civil list committee 8 May, on the Regent’s address 25 May, and against the grant to the Regent, 31 May. On 30 June and 3 July he opposed the Duke of Cumberland’s establishment bill. In February and March 1816 he voted steadily for retrenchment and against the renewal of the property tax, and so he continued. On 9 May 1817 he supported Catholic relief. In June 1817 and the spring of 1818 he regularly opposed the suspension of habeas corpus and its consequences. On 1 May 1818 and 2 Feb. 1819 he voted for the resumption of Bank payments. He supported Mackintosh’s committee for criminal law reform, 2 Mar. 1819, and the reform of the Scotch burghs, 1 Apr., 6 May. He supported Tierney’s censure motion, 18 May. In June he opposed the estimates and the foreign enlistment bill. He voted against the address, 24 Nov. 1819, for a committee on the state of the nation, 30 Nov., and for limitation of the suspension of habeas corpus, 6 Dec.

Campbell seldom figured in debate, but Lord Liverpool described him, 13 Sept. 1816, as ‘in decided opposition’.[footnote] He signed the requisition to Tierney to lead the opposition in 1818. On 21 May 1819 he brought in four resolutions against the Welsh judicature, which he proposed to assimilate to that of England: on the advice of his father’s friend James Scarlett* he withdrew them with a view to revising them, and on 1 June 1820 he obtained the appointment of a select committee on the subject. In this he was strongly opposed by his rival for the Carmarthen seat, John Jones*. As Lord Cawdor, he failed to obtain the lord lieutenancy of Pembrokeshire in 1823, because of his opposition politics:[footnote] it was through Lord Lansdowne that he obtained an earldom in 1827.[footnote] By 1832 he had joined the Tories, and although his influence in Pembrokeshire was thereby weakened, he propped it up by coming to terms with the needy Sir John Owen. He died 7 Nov. 1860.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: R. G. Thorne


R. D. Rees ‘Parl. Rep. S. Wales 1790-1830’ (Reading Univ. Ph.D. thesis, 1962), ii. 336.