COLONEL JOHN CAMPBELL OF BOQUHAN.
Though the name of COLONEL CAMPBELL is not inserted in its chronological place on the Burgess Roll, the date of his admission and the occasion of it are shown by the Minute of the Town Council for 4th September, 1780. At that time it was thought that Mr GEORGE DEMPSTER, who had long represented the Perth, Fife, and Forfar District of Burghs in Parliament, was inclined to retire, and COLONEL CAMPBELL wrote to the PROVOST OF DUNDEE offering his services. The letter was read at the meeting of Council, but the members were so satisfied with Mr DEMPSTER that they were not inclined to offer any hope to an opponent. To testify their appreciation of the honour he had contemplated for them, "the PROVOST was requested to transmit to Mr DUNCAN, their Agent in Edinburgh, the freedom of the Town to COL. CAMPBELL how soon he knew of his being in Edinburgh, and present him with it, in name of the Council."
COLONEL JOHN CAMPBELL was the third and youngest son of ANDREW FLETCHER of Salton, who was a Lord of Session, with the title of LORD MILTON, and also Lord Justice Clerk. The barony of Boquhan is situated in the Parish of Kippen and County of Stirling. It had long formed part of the extensive possessions of the ARGYLL family. Though far distant from their principal territories, Boquhan was sometimes bestowed on the eldest sons of the EARLS OF ARGYLL as a provision during their apparency. In later times the barony of Boquhan was bestowed on a younger son of the ARGYLL family. ARCHIBALD, ninth EARL OF ARGYLL, who was the father of the first DUKE, bestowed Boquhan upon his youngest son, JAMES CAMPBELL, who took the territorial designation of Boquhan. It was to him that his father wrote one of his farewell letters from the Castle of Edinburgh a few hours before his execution. JAMES CAMPBELL of Boquhan became a Colonel in the army.
He left three sons, the second of whom, CHARLES CAMPBELL, purchased the barony of Boquhan, and left it to his sister, MARY CAMPBELL. She was the intimate friend and relative of ANDREW FLETCHER, LORD MILTON. Having no children, she made an entail of Boquhan in favour of the second son of LORD MILTON, then COLONEL HENRY FLETCHER, who was bound on succeeding to Boquhan to drop the name of FLETCHER and assume that of CAMPBELL. Having succeeded his eldest brother, ANDREW FLETCHER, in the estate of Salton in 1779, he re assumed his original surname of FLETCHER, and dropped that of CAMPBELL. The barony of Boquhan, in terms of the entail, passed from him to his next younger brother, COLONEL JOHN FLETCHER, who thereupon became COLONEL CAMPBELL of Boquhan. Both COLONEL HENRY and COLONEL JOHN became Generals in the army. They were the intimate friends of JOHN HOME, the author of Douglas, and of many of the other distinguished literary men of their time.
Soon after his succession to the estate of Boquhan in the year 1779, COLONEL JOHN CAMPBELL aspired to the representation in Parliament of the Forfar Burghs, as appears from his application to the PROVOST OF DUNDEE. His eldest brother, ANDREW, long represented his native County of Haddington in Parliament; but COLONEL JOHN does not appear to have ever entered Parliament. He held the barony of Boquhan till the year 1803, when, on the death of his elder brother, COLONEL HENRY FLETCHER, he succeeded to the estate of Salton, and reassumed his original surname of FLETCHER. He possessed Salton till his death in the year 1806. He left two sons, ANDREW and HENRY. The former succeeded to the barony of Boquhan in 1803, and became ANDREW CAMPBELL of Boquhan, which he possessed till the year 1806, when on the death of his father, he succeeded to the estate of Salton, and became ANDREW FLETCHER of Salton.
His only brother, HENRY, succeeded him in Boquhan under the designation of HENRY FLETCHER CAMPBELL of Boquhan. He was the father of the present HENRY FLETCHER CAMPBELL of Boquhan. The entails of these two estates of Salton and Boquhan caused a circling series of FLETCHERS and CAMPBELLS, which gave rise in recent times to a litigation to determine the exact meaning of the respective heirs to Boquhan. The intricacy as to the designations of these two families was increased by the second son of the late Mr HENRY CAMPBELL of Boquhan having been provided to the estate of Castle Wig, in the County of Wigton, who, in terms of the entail, has had to drop the name of CAMPBELL, and is now COLONEL JOHN HATHORN. When these three near relatives, each bearing a separate surname were assembled with strangers, mistakes not unfrequently occurred.