John Campbell - Minister of Riccarton

Personal data
Born 1712
Died April 03, 1761

Son of George Campbell and Ann Boswell1. Younger brother of James Campbell. Minister of Riccarton from 1739 until his death in 1761.2

According to the pocketbook of his brother, "Revd. Mr. John Campbell Minr of Riccartown my Broyr Died very suddenly of a 'plethory upon yr morning early (as supposed being found dead in bed) of the third day of Aprile 1761 and buried upon the 6th yr after."3

  • 1. Sister of Boswell's grandfather, James.
  • 2. Catalogue of the Papers of James Boswell at Yale University, vol. 2. p. 117.
  • 3. Quoted in Daniels, George F. (1892). History of the Town of Oxford, Massachusetts. p. 781
Life with Boswell

One of Boswell's earliest known verses is "Epitaph upon Mr. John Campbell By Mr. James Boswell Yr. of Auchinleck", written soon after Campbell's death. It was published in the Scots Magazine (1761), and re-printed in Alexander Donaldson's Original Poems by Scotch Gentlemen, vol. 2 (1762).

Boswell wrote in his Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides, that on October 31, 1773, while staying in the house of James Campbell of Treesbank, "[w]e reposed here in tranquillity. Dr. Johnson was pleased to find a numerous and excellent collection of books, which had mostly belonged to the Reverend Mr. John Campbell, brother of our host."

On March 10, 1777, Boswell attended the funeral of his wife's sister, Mary, who had married John Campbell's older brother, James (who himself had died in October of the previous year). He wrote of the funeral that:

"It was striking that in digging her grave the skulls of the first Mrs. Campbell (Nelly Macredie) and of my good friend, the Reverend Mr. John Campbell, were thrown out. I saw them both. They were tumbled into the earth again, with other lumps of clay."1

  • 1. Journal entry for March 10, 1777.