Col. John Campbell of Black River

1673 - 1740


  1. Apparently the first Campbell to arrive in Jamaica (in 1700). Son of Patrick Campbell of Torbhlaren. Served at Glencoe, in the Low Countries and then on the Darien expedition. Owner of Black River estate which he bequeathed to his son Colin. Owner of Hodges Pen which according to Alastair Campbell he bequeathed to his son William, and which then passed to a grandson John Campbell. Other sources suggest Hodges Pen passed from John Campbell of Black River to his son Colin and then to Colin's son John Campbell. The will of John Campbell, 1740 [RGD, Jamaica, LOS 22/100] shows the instruction to his executors to settle a Pen 'on the land where Mr Hodges house and pen were' with the land and house to William, but elsewhere in the will he made the separate bequest of other property [including enslaved people] to William in Hanover subject to William recovering 'from the afflicted state he has been in for some years.'

  2. Memorial inscription in St Elizabeth: "Here lies the Honorable John Campbell, born at Inverary in Argyleshire, North Britain, and descended of the Ancient family of Auchenbrock, when a youth he served several campaigns in Flanders. He went as Captain of the Troops sent to Darien, and on his return by this Island, in 1700, he married the daughter of Colonel Claiborne by whom he had several children. In 1718, he married Elizabeth (now alive) relict of Col. Garnes. He was many years member of the Assembly, Colonel and Custos of St. Elizabeth. In I722, he was made one of the Privy Council. He was the first Campbell who settled in this Island, and thro his extream generosity and assistance, many are now possessed of opulent fortunes. His temperance and great humanity have always been very remarkable. He died January 29, 1740. Aged 66 years. Universally lamented."

  3. John Campbell of St Elizabeth, Esquire. Estate probated in Jamaica in 1740. Slave-ownership at probate: 460 of whom 240 were listed as male and 220 as female. 0 were listed as boys, girls or children. Total value of estate at probate: £36003.8 Jamaican currency of which £14008 currency was the value of enslaved people. Estate valuation included £280 currency cash, £11049.66 currency debts and £0 currency plate.


  1. Alastair Campbell, A History of Clan Campbell: From the Restoration to the Present Day (Edinburgh, 2004) pp. 214-216.

  2. W. A. Feurtado, Official and Other Personages of Jamaica from 1655 to 1790 Compiled from Various Sources (1896), transcribed at

  3. Trevor Burnard, Database of Jamaican inventories, 1674-1784.

Further Information

Married but no further details
Colin of Black River
Soldier then planter

Associated Estates (1)

The dates listed below have different categories as denoted by the letters in the brackets following each date. Here is a key to explain those letter codes:

  • SD - Association Start Date
  • SY - Association Start Year
  • EA - Earliest Known Association
  • ED - Association End Date
  • EY - Association End Year
  • LA - Latest Known Association
- 1740 [LA] → Owner

Relationships (10)

Uncle → Nephew
Great-uncle → Great-nephew
Uncle → Nephew
Uncle → Nephew
Great-uncle → Great-nephew
Father → Son
Grandfather → Grandson
Grandfather → Grandson
Father-in-law → Son-in-law
Other relatives
Notes →
Great grandson and great grandfather. David Shakespeare's mother Elizabeth Currie was the grand-daughter of Col. John Campbell, the daughter of his daughter Anne...

Inventories (1)