Campbell, James (1763-1819) (DNB00)

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CAMPBELL, Sir JAMES (1763–1819), lieutenant-general, eldest son of Sir James Campbell of Inverneil (1737–1805), knighted 1788, hereditary usher of the white rod for Scotland, and M.P. for Stirling burghs, 1780–9, was born in 1763. He received his commission as ensign in the 1st regiment or Royal Scots on 19 July 1780, was promoted lieutenant into the 94th regiment 5 Dec. 1781, and at once exchanged into the 60th or American regiment, with which he served the last two campaigns of the American war of independence. On the conclusion of peace he was promoted captain into the 71st regiment on 6 March 1783, and exchanged to the 73rd on 6 June 1787, which he joined in India, where he acted as aide-de-camp to his uncle, Sir Archibald Campbell (1739–91) [q. v.], and, after again exchanging into the 19th dragoons, served in the three campaigns of 1790, 1791, and 1792 of Lord Cornwallis against Tippoo Sahib. On 1 March 1794 he was promoted major, and then returned to England, where he was appointed lieutenant-colonel of the Cheshire Fencibles on 17 Nov. 1794. Campbell served in the Channel Islands and in Ireland until 1800, when he was appointed assistant adjutant-general at the Horse Guards; on 1 Jan. 1801 he was promoted colonel by brevet, and on 16 Jan. 1804 lieutenant-colonel of the 61st regiment. In 1805 he was appointed adjutant-general to the force destined for the Mediterranean under Sir James Craig. He acted in that capacity from 1805 to 1813, and was only absent on occasion of the battle of Maida, and won the confidence of all the generals who held the command in Sicily. On 17 Sept. 1810 General Cavaignac managed to get 3,500 men safely across the straits of Messina, and had got one battalion posted on the cliffs, while the others were fast disembarking, when Campbell, by a rapid attack with the 21st regiment, repelled the disembarking battalions, and compelled those already landed to surrender. Forty-three officers and over eight hundred men were taken prisoners, with a loss to the English regiment of only three men wounded. During his tenure of office he had been promoted major-general on 25 April 1808, and lieutenant-general on 4 June 1813, and in 1814 he was ordered to take possession of the Ionian islands. The French governor refused to hand over the government until Campbell threatened to open fire. He remained in the Ionian islands as governor and commander of the forces till 1816, when Sir Thomas Maitland was appointed lord high commissioner. A French authority states him to have acted in a most despotic way, and to have abolished the university, the academy, and the press established by the French. He returned to England in 1816, was made G.C.H. in 1817, and baronet on 3 Oct. 1818; he did not long live to wear this distinction, but died on 5 June 1819, and was buried in Westminster Abbey. At his death, as he left no children, the baronetcy of Campbell of Inverneil became extinct.

[See the Royal Military Calendar (ed. 1815) for his services; Foster's Members of Parliament, Scotland, for his pedigree; Sir H. E. Bunbury's Narrative of some Passages in the great War with France for his services in Sicily, and especially Campbell's own Letters in the Appendix, pp. 463–71; and Les Iles ioniennes pendant l'occupation française et le protectorat anglais—d'après des documents authentiques, la plupart inédits, tirés des papiers du général de division Comte Donzelot, gouverneur-général des Iles ioniennes sous le premier Empire; suivis de la correspondance échangée en 1814 entre le gouverneur français, le lieutenant-général James Campbell et le contre-amiral Sir John Gore pour la remise des forteresses et de l'île de Corfou.]

H. M. S.