1777–1844
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© National Portrait Gallery

July 27, 1777, Glasgow, Scotland.

June 15, 1844, Boulogne, France.

Westminster Abbey, London, England.

portrait

Descended from the Camp­bells of Kir­nan in Ar­gyll­shire, Tho­mas was the son of a tobacco trader.

He won prizes at the university for classical verse translations, and for his essay On the Origin of Evil. He worked for a while as a tutor in Mull and Loch­gil­phead, then went to Ed­in­burgh to study law, but literature seems to have been his first love.

In 1799, he published the long poem The Pleasures of Hope. The next year, he visited battle sites in Ger­ma­ny and Den­mark, which are thought to have inspired his poems Ye Mar­in­ers of Eng­land and The Bat­tle of the Bal­tic. Another of his noted poems was Ger­trude of Wy­omi­ng, the first long poem by a Bri­tish author set in Am­er­i­ca.

Campbell was also interested in education, and had a hand in the founding of Un­i­ver­si­ty Col­lege. In addition, he edited The New Monthl­y Re­view (1820–31) and served as Rec­tor of Glas­gow Un­i­ver­si­ty (1827–29). His works include:

  1. Star in the East, The
  2. When Jordan Hushed His Waters Still
  1. Sagina