Friday, 12 October 2012

Trying to understand the James Archibald Campbell connection

I have wanted to learn more about James Archibald Campbell, so I have collected some information together.

I am not clear exactly who James Archibald Campbell was, but I do know that he played an important role in Godfrey Blount's life.  Blount dedicated his book Arbor Vitae to James Archibald Campbell, his dedication is quite touching "To all lovers of handicraft, and especially to my friend James Archibald Campbell of Barbreck, who first taught me to feel the wider life of art, I dedicate this book".

extract from Arbor Vitae (Blount, Fifield, 1910)

In The Heraldry of the Campbells (G. Harvey Johnston, 1921) there is no reference to the Campbells of Barbreck.  However online I can see some Campbells of Barbreck, including what is referred to as the crest and motto of the Campbells of Barbreck, "I bear in mind".

Motto and crest of the Campbells of Barbreck,
from Leopard Antiques

I have found in an ebook "JAMES ARCHIBALD CAMPBELL of Barbreck, Esquire, J. P. for CO. Argyll; B.A. [Cantab.). Born 1854, being the second son of Admiral Colin Yorke Campbell of
Barbreck, by his wife Elizabeth, daughter of James Hyde of Aplcy, near Ryde."

Using these details I then found James Archibald Campbell's father, in the Edinburgh Gazette (23 March 1869) where Colin Yorke Campbell is noted with a few other names as a Retired Captain "to be Retired Rear-Admirals, under the provisions of Her Majesty's Orders in Council 1st August, 1860, 9th July 1864, and 24th March 1866."  The Family Search website has details of the family on it that have enabled me to find their entries on some censuses.  This has Colin Yorke Campbell and his younger son, James Archibald Campbell, both described as Laird of Achanduin.  James is said to have "died unmarried" on 5 February 1926.  The History of the Campbells (Lee, R. L. Polk and Company, New York, 1920) reports that "the Campbells of Achanduin are a branch of the family of Lochnell.  Archibald Campbell, first of Achanduin, was third son of Colin Campbell, fifth of Lochnell...James Archibald Campbell is now the representative of the branches of Achanduin and Barbreck.  He was born in 1854.  Family seat, Barbreck House, Lochgilphead, Argyll."

Barbreck House, Argyll

Elsewhere I have found a write up on the house which suggests that the house is still in the Archibald Campbell family "Barbreck House, the most prominent mansion house in this part of Argyll, was built by Major General John Campbell of Barbreck and completed in 1789. Some 20 years before building his new house General Campbell, or Colonel Campbell as he then was, raised a regiment known as the Barbreck Highlanders to fight in North America. The Campbells of Barbreck were the custodians of Barbreck’s Bone, a plate of ivory reputed to be a cure for madness. The house is a private residence. "

In the 1861 census Colin Yorke Campbell is living in 117 George Street, Midlothian, Edinburgh with his wife Elizabeth Campbell (nee Hyde) born in Belize, Honduras, about 1821, and children:

  • Donald C. D. Campbell born about 1849 in Edinburgh
  • James A. Campbell born about 1855 on Ryde, Isle of Wight
  • Susan H. Campbell born 1856 on Ryde, Isle of Wight
with also:
  • a visitor, Donald Campbell, nephew born 1851in India
  • a tutor Edward Luckman 
  • mother-in-law, Susan Hyde
  • sister-in-law, Helen G Hyde
  • two nurses, Jane McKenzie and Louise Marstiller
  • a house maid, Sarah Mc Karty
  • a lable? maid, Sarah Brook
  • a cook, Anne J Martin
In 1871 Colin Yorke Campbell, Rear Admiral is living in Barbreck House, Craignish, Argyll.  There is only Colin Yorke Campbell living at that address on the transcribed census, but I wonder whether there were other people, living there such as his wife, children and servants but that they have not been transcribed (yet), Barbreck House appears to be too large to live in by yourself.   I then found James Archibald Campbell, then 16, at school in Brenchley, Kent.  The school appears to be St Andrews Parsonage, run by the vicar of Paddock Wood.  Around that time, up to 8,000 people would arrive every season to work on the hop farms around Paddock Wood (Wikipedia).

In 1881 James Archibald Campbell is living with his parents, sister and a visitor Robert J. Handcock at 12 Norfolk Square, Paddington, London.  James' profession is stated as "B.A. Cambridge" and the visitor as an undergraduate at Cambridge.  I cannot find James Archibald Campbell on any subsequent censuses.  However the 1881 census reveals that Blount was at Cambridge at the same time as Campbell.  Blount was recorded in Pembroke College, Cambridge in the 1881 census.  

I wonder what James Archibald Campbell did after 1881?

I think that he may be the James A Campbell which has a book in the British Library titled 'Easter Day Church-Going' (verses) published 1895?, details online here.

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