Thomas Campbell (1777–1844)
Wikimedia Commons

Born: Ju­ly 27, 1777, Glas­gow, Scot­land.

Died: June 15, 1844, Bou­logne, France.

Buried: West­min­ster Ab­bey, Lon­don, Eng­land.



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).