1777–1844
portrait
© 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 found­ing 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