John Campbell, 2nd Marquess of Breadalbane

John Campbell, 2nd Marquess of Breadalbane, KT, PC, FRS, FSA (26 October 1796 – 8 November 1862), styled Lord Glenorchy until 1831 and as Earl of Ormelie from 1831 to 1834, was a Scottish nobleman and Liberal politician.[1]

The Marquess of Breadalbane
John Campbell, 2nd Marquess of Breadalbane.jpg
The Marquess of Breadalbane
by Sir George Hayter, 1834.
Lord Chamberlain of the Household
In office
5 September 1848 – 21 February 1852
Prime MinisterLord John Russell
Preceded byThe Earl Spencer
Succeeded byThe Marquess of Exeter
In office
15 January 1853 – 21 February 1858
Prime MinisterThe Earl of Aberdeen
The Viscount Palmerston
Preceded byThe Marquess of Exeter
Succeeded byThe Earl De La Warr
Personal details
Born26 October 1796 (1796-10-26)
Dundee, Angus
Died8 November 1862 (1862-11-09) (aged 66)
Lausanne, Switzerland
Political partyLiberal
Lady Elizabeth "Eliza" Baillie
(m. 1821; died 1861)

Background and educationEdit

John Campbell, 5th Earl and 2nd Marquess of Breadalbane, by Firmin Massot

Born at Dundee, Angus, Breadalbane was the son of Lieutenant-General John Campbell, 1st Marquess of Breadalbane, and Mary, daughter of David Gavin. He was educated at Eton.[2]

A bust of John Campbell made by Bertel Thorvaldsen, though it is not confirmed that it is John Campbell

Political careerEdit

Portrait of John Campbell by George Hayter for the painting of The First Meeting of the Reformed House of Parliament in 1833

Breadalbane sat as Member of Parliament for Okehampton from 1820 to 1826[2][3] and for Perthshire from 1832 to 1834.[2][4] The latter year he succeeded his father as second Marquess of Breadalbane and entered the House of Lords. In 1848 he was sworn of the Privy Council[5] and appointed Lord Chamberlain of the Household[6] by Lord John Russell, a post he held until the government fell in 1852.[7] He held the same office under Lord Aberdeen between 1853[8] and 1855 and under Lord Palmerston between 1855 and 1858.[9]

Other public appointmentsEdit

A freemason, Breadalbane was Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Scotland between 1824 and 1826.[2] He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1834[10] and made a Knight of the Thistle in 1838.[2][11] The following year he was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Argyllshire,[12] a post he held until his death.[2][13] In 1842 he entertained Queen Victoria and the Prince Consort at Taymouth Castle.[2] He was a supporter of the Free Church of Scotland during the Disruption of 1843.[14]

According to the Legacies of British Slave-Ownership at the University College London, Breadalbane was awarded a payment as a slave trader in the aftermath of the Slavery Abolition Act 1833 with the Slave Compensation Act 1837. The British Government took out a £15 million loan (worth £1.46 billion in 2022[15]) with interest from Nathan Mayer Rothschild and Moses Montefiore which was subsequently paid off by the British taxpayers (ending in 2015). Breadalbane was associated with "T71/865 St Andrew claim no. 114", he owned 379 slaves in Jamaica and received a £6,630 payment at the time (worth £643,282 in 2022[15]).[16]

Breadalbane was also Rector of the University of Glasgow between 1840 and 1842[14] and of Marischal College, Aberdeen, between 1843 and 1845, President of the Society of Antiquaries between 1844 and 1862 and Governor of the Bank of Scotland between 1861 and 1862. In 1861 he was sent on a special diplomatic mission to Berlin for the investiture of King William I in the Order of the Garter.[2][17] He was appointed a Knight of the Order of the Black Eagle of Prussia at the same time.[2]

Personal lifeEdit

Lord Breadalbane married Lady Elizabeth ("Eliza"), daughter of George Baillie and sister of George Baillie-Hamilton, 10th Earl of Haddington, in 1821. They had no children. She was a Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Victoria. She died in Mayfair, London, on 28 August 1861, aged 58. Lord Breadalbane survived her by just over a year and died at Lausanne, Switzerland, on 8 November 1862, aged 66. On his death the barony of Breadalbane, earldom of Ormelie and marquessate of Breadalbane became extinct. He was succeeded in the lordship of Glenorchy, viscountcy of Tay and Paintland and earldom of Breadalbane and Holland by his distant relative and namesake, John Campbell. The marquessate was revived in favour of the latter's son in 1885.[2]

The University College London, Legacies of British Slave-ownership, two projects based at UCL tracing the impact of slave-ownership on the formation of modern Britain:[18] (the ESRC-funded Legacies of British Slave-ownership project, now complete, and the ESRC and AHRC-funded Structure and significance of British Caribbean slave-ownership 1763–1833, running from 2013–15), highlight that, John Campbell, 2nd Marquis of Breadalbane, benefited from the compensation paid out following the abolition of slavery in 1833. According to the record, he benefited from a payment of £6,630,5s,6d, an approximate £562,000 in 2015, made by the government of the United Kingdom as recorded by the Slave Compensation Commission and the records held at the National Archives in London. The record containing the facts discovered can be found at,[19] and the National Archive and the records of the Slave Compensation Commission.[20]


  1. ^ "Campbell, John (1796-1862)" . Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Sir John Campbell, 2nd Marquess of Breadalbane
  3. ^ " House of Commons: Ochil to Oxford University". Archived from the original on 16 August 2011. Retrieved 28 October 2009.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  4. ^ " House of Commons: Paddington to Platting". Archived from the original on 31 December 2010. Retrieved 28 October 2009.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  5. ^ "No. 20895". The London Gazette. 8 September 1848. p. 3312.
  6. ^ "No. 20894". The London Gazette. 5 September 1848. p. 3275.
  7. ^ "No. 21297". The London Gazette. 2 March 1852. p. 670.
  8. ^ "No. 21403". The London Gazette. 18 January 1853. p. 137.
  9. ^ "No. 22106". The London Gazette. 2 March 1858. p. 1207.
  10. ^ Campbell; John (1796–1862); 2nd Marquess of Breadalbane
  11. ^ Knights of the Thistle
  12. ^ "No. 19801". The London Gazette. 6 December 1839. p. 2564.
  13. ^ Peerage: Bradwell to Broxmouth
  14. ^ a b Biography of John Campbell 2nd Marquess of Breadalbane
  15. ^ a b UK Retail Price Index inflation figures are based on data from Clark, Gregory (2017). "The Annual RPI and Average Earnings for Britain, 1209 to Present (New Series)". MeasuringWorth. Retrieved 2 December 2021.
  16. ^ "John Campbell, 2nd Marquis of Breadalbane". University College London. Retrieved on 20 March 2019.
  17. ^ "No. 22489". The London Gazette. 14 March 1861. p. 1193.
  18. ^ "The Database | Legacies of British Slavery".
  19. ^ "Summary of Individual | Legacies of British Slavery".
  20. ^

External linksEdit

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Okehampton
With: The Lord Dunalley 1819–24
William Trant 1824–26
Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Perthshire
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Lord Chamberlain of the Household
Succeeded by
Preceded by Lord Chamberlain of the Household
Succeeded by
Masonic offices
Preceded by Grand Master of the
Grand Lodge of Scotland

Succeeded by
Honorary titles
Preceded by Lord Lieutenant of Argyllshire
Succeeded by
Academic offices
Preceded by Rector of the University of Glasgow
Succeeded by
Preceded by Rector of Marischal College, Aberdeen
Succeeded by
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by Marquess of Breadalbane
Peerage of Scotland
Preceded by Earl of Breadalbane
Succeeded by