CAMPBELL, John II (c.1750-1826), of Lincoln's Inn, Mdx. and Liston Hall, Essex.

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



12 June 1794 - 1807

Family and Education

b. c.1750, 2nd s. of William Campbell of Liston Hall, yr. bro. of John, 4th Duke of Argyll [S], by 1st w. Susanna, da. of Thomas Barnard of Jamaica. educ. L. Inn 1768, called 1773. m. (1) 31 Dec. 1791,1 Sarah, da. of George Peters, merchant, of Old Bethlehem, London, sis. of Henry Peters*, wid. of Alexander Irvine of Berners Street, Mdx., 1da. (2) 26 Sept. 1803, Elizabeth Blackwell, da. of the late Lt.-Col. David Hay, RA, s.p.m.s., 3da. suc. bro. William Henry 1802.

Offices Held

Master in Chancery June 1801-1819, accountant gen. Nov. 1819-d.


Campbell’s father, a cadet of the Argyll family, purchased and rebuilt Liston Hall, to which Campbell succeeded on his elder brother’s death in 1802. Meanwhile he had been bred to the law and practised at Lincoln’s Inn, where he resided at Old Buildings in the 1780s and Stone Buildings in the 1790s, being an equity draftsman, and on the northern circuit. In 1794, on a vacancy for Ayr Burghs, his kinsman the 5th Duke of Argyll brought him into Parliament, where he seems to have given a silent support to administration throughout; indeed, nobody took much notice of him, except that in June 1801 he was made a master in chancery. He was listed a friend of Pitt’s government, 1804-5, and therefore voted with the minority against the censure on Melville, 8 Apr. 1805, but beyond his membership of the committee to examine the 11th naval report there is no other certain evidence of activity. In October 1806 when the Earl of Lauderdale wanted Campbell’s seat from the Whig 6th Duke for a party man, he was informed by the duke that, finding that Campbell was prepared to come in again, he had engaged the seat to him. Lauderdale’s comment was, ‘I am afraid we shall lose a vote’. William Adam had written of Campbell on 1 Oct.:

Uncertain whether John Campbell supported ministry. The Duke of Argyll having declared himself friendly he must be consulted. If Campbell does not support them there must be consideration as to a new candidate unless the D. of Argyll should express a decided wish that his relation should remain and be free to attach himself to his great friend Lord Eldon. In that case the duke’s support could lead to such a concession as would be on the whole beneficial.2

After the election, Adam listed him among the ‘friends of government unconnected with Lord Melville’.

In 1807 Campbell retired. He reappeared in the law lists by 1809 as of 5 Inner Temple Lane as a special pleader, practising on the home circuit and at the Surrey sessions; and from 1812 until his death as of 14 Paper Buildings, practising on the Oxford circuit and the Gloucester sessions. He died 31 Jan. 1826.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: R. G. Thorne


  • 1. At St. Marylebone. She seems to have died before her father, whose will was dated 8 Dec. 1797, PCC 763 Exeter.
  • 2. See AYR BURGHS; Blair Adam mss, Adam to Gibson, 1 Oct., Lauderdale to Adam, 27 Oct. 1806.