Thomas “The Poet” Campbell


Thomas “The Poet” Campbell

Glasgow, Glasgow City, Scotland
Death 15 Jun 1844 (aged 66)
Boulogne-sur-Mer, Departement du Pas-de-Calais, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France
Burial Westminster, City of Westminster, Greater London, England
Plot Poet's Corner, burial 166.
Memorial ID 63888036 View Source
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Thomas Campbell was a Scottish poet about 20 years , the youngest son of an elderly father, Alexander Campbell, descended from Campbell of Kirnan, Argyll. His mother was Margaret Campbell, sister of Daniel Campbell.

Thomas Campbell's life as a poet followed a similar path to that of Robert Burns (born about 20 years earlier and famous about 13 years earlier than Thomas Campbell.) Thomas Campbell was born to an elderly and once wealthy father. The poet was the youngest child of Alexander Campbell and Margaret Campbell. Educated at the University of Glasgow, he was early known for his precocious poetic skills. However, the burden of finding a career to make his way in the world had him consider & reject the legal, religious, or medical professions. He supplemented his income as a tutor, and around 1795 came very close to moving to Red Hill, Virginia, to become tutor to Patrick Henry's second family of children. He had siblings & uncles in both the West Indies, Demerara (South America), as well as in America. One of his relatives had married Elizabeth Henry, sister of Patrick Henry. Another had married a daughter of Patrick Henry. Patrick Henry's died and the Campbell family in Scotland advised Thomas to remain in Scotland. Within four years, in 1799, he wrote his first piece which started him on a road to fame, if not fortune. The publication of his "The Pleasures of Hope", a lengthy poem in heroic couplets, brought him very little money, but brought him into the better circles and made it possible for him to remain in Scotland and Europe to pursue the challenging life of a poet. From this footing, he remained in Scotland, married, had at least two sons.

His personal life was not easy. His father died in 1801. He married his cousin, Matilda Sinclair in 1803 or 1804. Their son, Alison CAMPBELL died young (1805-1810). Their other son, Thomas Telford CAMPBELL was considered insane until after his father's death. His mother died in 1812, and his wife died in 1828.

In his later years, he became benefactor for his niece, Mary.

He also entertained Sarah Siddons and wrote "The Life of Mrs. Siddons" around 1842 (?).

>>>> Work in progress - to be revised later...

One son died young, and the other was treated as insane. His wife died in 1828 (?) and his mother died in _____. The poet travelled extensively in England, France, Germany, Poland, and other countries.

For many years, he lived in London, England. He was one of the proponents of the plane to found the University of London. It was there that he entertained the famous actress of his day,

Towards the end of his life, his wife had died, and one son was treated as insane. The poet moved to Boulogne-sur-Mer, France. It was there that he died on 15 June 1844. His body was returned to England and buried on 3 July 1844 in the "Poet's Corner" of Westminster Abbey, London, England.

Record URL:

Source Citation: London Metropolitan Archives, Collegiate Church of Saint Peter, Westminster, Transcript of Baptisms and Burials, 1844 Jan-1844 Dec, DL/t Item, 099/032, DL/T/099/032.

=== Work in Progress >>> to be cleaned up later.

The poet's father had been a trader in Jamaica and the West Indies, and later moved to Westmoreland and/or Falmouth in Virginia where he was in business with a Daniel Campbell. Prior to the American Revolutionary War, they returned to Scotland and set up their trading business in Glasgow. In Glasgow, Alexander Campbell met & married Daniel Campbell's sister, Margaret Campbell. Beginning a large family at the age of 50 or 52, Alexander & Margaret had about 10 children, with Thomas being the youngest, born when his father faced financial difficulties arising from the loss of trade as a result of the American Revolutionary War.

The family went from wealth to difficult times, and Thomas Campbell was the youngest son, born 27 July 1777.

There are numerous books at concerning Thomas Campbell. There is a fairly good Wiki entry as well at:

The poet's life followed a similar pattern to Robert Burns (25 Jan 1759 - 21 July 1796), another famous Scottish poet. Burns was ready to sail to Jamaica to become a bookkeeper the success of his poetry in 1786 convinced him to remain in Scotland.

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  • Created by: Greg Campbell
  • Added: 7 Jan 2011
  • Find a Grave Memorial 63888036
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Thomas “The Poet” Campbell (27 Jul 1777–15 Jun 1844), Find a Grave Memorial ID 63888036, citing Westminster Abbey, Westminster, City of Westminster, Greater London, England ; Maintained by Greg Campbell (contributor 47364311) .