Lord William Campbell

Royal Governor of South Carolina Province 1775




Lord William Campbell came from a well-connected Scottish family, loyal to the British crown. As the younger son, Campbell joined the Royal Navy, and, through the years of 1752 to 1760, he was to serve in the Indian theatre. By 1762, with the impetus of The Seven Years War (known to the colonists as the French and Indian War and in South Carolina as the Cherokee War), Campbell had risen to be a captain of a British naval ship and was then to serve several years in American waters. When in South Carolina, he met Sarah Izard, a daughter of "one of the principal planters" of South Carolina, Ralph Izard. They married in 1763. In 1764, Campbell came back to Britain and sat in Parliament in the seat of his family's constituency, Argyllshire. In 1766, due to his family's connections at court, Campbell was appointed as the Governor of Nova Scotia.

Lord William Campbell arrived in Halifax aboard HMS Glasgow on the 26th of November, 1766. He had, as part of his company, a Captain William Owen (1737-78), who had served with Campbell in India and arrangements had been made for Owen to serve Campbell in Nova Scotia. In the summer of 1767, Owen carried out a survey of Campbell's new domain, beginning his exploratory tour of Nova Scotia by journeying from Halifax to Minas Basin via the Dartmouth Lakes and the Shubenacadie River. Later that year Campbell granted an island in Passamaquoddy Bay to Owen, which Owen was to name Campobello.

Lord Campbell was absent for almost a year (October 1767 to September of 1768) as he had gone to England, via New York, to arrange for his family to come out to Nova Scotia with him. Campbell was often not at his post; he seemed to like to slip down to Boston. Indeed, of the seven years of his governorship, he spent two years out of Nova Scotia.

One of the problems that Campbell inherited and which he was determined to fight was the crime of smuggling in Nova Scotia; it was, in 1770, "rampant." In his fight, Campbell got on the bad side of the Halifax merchants, and, their connections in London, in particular, Joshua Maugher, brought pressure to bear to have Campbell removed.

Campbell had serious eye troubles; and, generally, he calculated that the climate at Halifax was injurious to his health. His wife was from South Carolina and he and Sarah wanted to return; this drove Campbell to make a number of applications for the governorship of South Carolina. As it happened an opening came up just as the English authorities were being plagued with complaints about Campbell; so, they were happy to offer him the South Carolina governorship and Campbell was happy to accept.

Francis Legge, Campbell's replacement, arrived at Halifax on the brigantine Adamant, on October 6th, 1773. Not too many weeks after that, Campbell boarded the Adamant for her return trip to London. He had company during this trip, as DesBarres was then sailing for England in order to see to the publication of his maps and charts (The Atlantic Neptune). After spending a number of months in England, Campbell arrived at Charles Town on June 18, 1775.

The American Revolution, by then was making itself felt, and, by September of that year he was obliged to seek the safety of a British warship (the HMS Temar) that was anchored in Charles Town Harbor. In 1776, during hostilities, Campbell was wounded and returned to England to recover. He died two years later, on September 5, 1778.

Lord William Campbell, youngest son of the fourth Duke of Argyle, was sworn in as Royal Governor of South Carolina in 1775. He had been appointed Captain-General and Governor-in-Chief of South Carolina in the room of Lord Charles Greville Montagu, in June of 1775. He married, in 1763, Sarah, daughter of Ralph Izard, of Charles Town, South Carolina. In 1764 he was a member of the English House of Commons. 
Lord William Campbell, Royal Governor of South Carolina, was born in 1730 and he died September 5, 1778. He was the youngest son of the fourth duke of Argyll, became a captain in the British navy on August 20, 1762, Member of Parliament in 1764, and was governor of Nova Scotia from 1766 to 1773. He married, in 1763, Sarah Izard, a wealthy lady of South Carolina, daughter of Ralph Izard, a well-known Patriot, and in 1774 was appointed Royal Governor of that province. He entered on his duties in June of 1775, and was cordially welcomed by the people, for whom he professed great attachment.

They soon found, however, that he was active in fomenting insurrectionary movements favorable to the Crown among the border population and the Indians, and the popular indignation against him increased daily. After he saw that preparations for resistance were going on steadily, and that the public military stores had been secured by the Patriots, he took refuge on board a British man-of-war, the HMS Temar, on September 15, 1775, where he was joined by his wife. In this vessel he threatened the city of Charles Town, but the guns of Fort Johnson forced him to retreat. After sailing to Jamaica, he returned in the following year, and was badly wounded on board the HMS Bristol during the attack on Fort Moultrie on June 28, 1776.

The opening years of the American Revolution were marked by constant conflicts between the governor, Lord William Campbell, and the legislature, so that the legislature was almost constantly prorogued. July 6, 1774, the first popular convention met, and chose delegates to the Continental Congress; and, on January 11, 1775, the First Provincial Congress met, which practically assumed the powers of government.
Click Here for information on the Executive Council under Governor Lord William Campbell.

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