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Papers relating to James Campbell, of Carsphairn

Identifier: Coll-1234

Scope and Contents

The collection of papers includes:
  1. an account of the population of the parish of Kells, Kirkcudbright - June 1811
  2. letter to James Campbell at York Place, Edinburgh, from his father, William Campbell, prior to his departing for France with the Hart family, and with news that the family had 'flitted into the new house' and that there were problems 'of thatching and damp floor' which would 'cost about £40' - 30 October 1814
  3. letter from James Campbell addressed to his father at Carsphairn, in which he praises Barcelona but is unwilling to write by post as 'it is not easy for a free born Englishman to live in this country and say nothing of the Government'. - Barcelona, 2 February 1815
  4. letter from James Campbell addressed to his father at Carsphairn, in which he writes of the rain and the fact that the Arno had flooded - Florence, 25 November 1815
  5. letter from James Campbell addressed to his father at Carsphairn, and opening with 'My ever dear parents', in which he notes that, though he doesn't know why, the Hart family 'and all their titled friends, who I have never seen, not only intend to give me a church but a wife also' - Florence, 24 December 1815
  6. letter from James Campbell addressed to his father at Carsphairn, noting that Mrs Hart spends guineas on dross and marks it in her book for education - Florence, 6 May 1816


  • 1811-1816


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Open to bona fide researchers, but please contact repository for details in advance of visit.

Biographical / Historical

James Campbell was born at Carsphairn (Dumfries and Galloway), on 16 July 1789, to William Campbell (1755-1829) and his wife Agnes (nee Riggs) (1760-1838). He studied for the ministry at Glasgow University (matriculated 1806) and was licensed by the Presbytery of Kirkcudbright on 7 May 1817. He spent time as tutor to the Hart family of Castlemilk, and travelled to France, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands with them (around 1814). He was with them during their flight from France when Napoleon returned to power. On his return to Scotland he searched for a suitable parish, and became tutor to the family of Robert Nutter Campbell of Kailzie in Traquair parish. He was ordained as Minister of Traquair (Church of St. Bride) in September 1820, having been presented by George, Prince Regent, in January 1820. Campbell spent his whole ministerial career in Traquair.

On 26 October 1820 James Campbell married Mary Combe (d. 1860), daughter of Matthew Combe, a Leith brewer. One of their daughters, Agnes Mary Campbell, married Jardine Wallace (1834-1910) who succeeded James Campbell as Minister at Traquair.

James Campbell died on 29 April 1861, aged 71.


1 folder

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession no: E67.42

Related Materials

Within Special Collections, Edinburgh University Library (check Catalogue), there two letters from James Campbell to David Laing, one dated 7 February 1845, from Traquair Manse, Peebles, at shelfmark La.IV.17 fols. 1493-1494, and one dated 27 September 1850, Traquair Manse, Peebles, at shelfmark La.IV.17 fol. 1495. Also, at Dumfries Archive Centre (and with Reference: GB226/GGD469) there are letters to William Campbell in Carsphairn from his student sons: John in Medicine, and James in Divinity, with James's Account of his European Tour, as a Tutor.

Processing Information

Compiled by Graeme D. Eddie, Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections
Papers relating to James Campbell, of Carsphairn (1789-1861)
Language of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Edinburgh University Library Special Collections Repository

Centre for Research Collections
University of Edinburgh Main Library
George Square
Edinburgh EH8 9LJ Scotland
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