Jamaican Family Search Genealogy Research Library
Jamaica Campbell letters, 1747-1757
letters are from the MacTavish of Dunardry Papers, which are held in the Argyll
and Bute archives in
The Campbells who
settled in this part of
Duncan Campbell began his career as a
merchant seaman, became a master mariner and then settled in
Dea[r Uncle] 9th[…..]1748
I most Earnestly Beg your
pardon for not writing to you Sooner Tho I Delayed some time expecting ships
No Doubt but you have heard of my Double Misfortune Before this time, of which Shall give you a short relation. I was Coming home Chief Mate of a ship named the Betty Galley, But in ye Latt of 47 and about 15 Deg west from England we meet with a Most Severe Gale of wind (on the 1st of Feb[ruary] last) in which we Unfortunately lost our rudder which had likes to have proved fatall to us all, for the Rudder By going away tore the Rudder Irons from the Ship’s Bottom, Drawing all the Large Nails out with it. The Ship then all of a Sudden Made an Imense Deal of Water, Insomuch that we could hardly keep her free with both pumps working Constantly. In this Condition we continued for six Days (I having only nine hands With me to work at that Rate a ship of 800 tons, the Master being Sick in his Cabin and severall of our people a dying, some we Burried) having hove good part of our Cargoes over Board to lighten the Ship.
ye 7th of Feb[ruary] we were Lucky taken up by a french Letter of
Marque Ship Bound to the
I continued […] months During which I acted as mate But General John Got Me My Discharge so then I left her.
My Being Detained so long aboard a Man of War was a Great Disappointment to me, for had I Got home at that time I might had the Command of a Ship to Jama I am now staying here with Cous: McLachlan  whose wife has not been very well for some time. He thought the Country air conduce with her health, which has had a very Great effect for she is now a great deal Better.
There are…………………we expect in a month if we have any accts from Uncle James I shall acquaint. I need not tell you how I was when I left Jam[aica] because I left in Novr last so that you have had Letters from him since that. I can’t say But I long much to see him for he has been like a father to me Ever since I saw him. I pray make My Comp[liments] to Dunardary & his spouse and also to all our friends about you.
Lachlan and Jamie who has been up very nigh a month Desires their joint Loves to you, & I am, dear Uncle, your most obed[ient] and affec[tionate] nephew
are about 20 Miles from
shall expect to hear as soon as you Receive this, which give me Great pleasure.
Direct for me to be left at Mr David Currie, Merch[ant] in
 The capture of these two ships was
 Although technically illegal, ehe Royal Navy often pressed experienced men from returning merchant ships
 General John Campbell, later 4th Duke of Argyll
 Lachlan McLachlan son of Lachlan McLachlan and Elizabeth Campbell, daughter of Dugald Campbell of Torbhlaren.
Lachlan McLachlan later went to
 Neil McNeil was at Carsaig,
Argyll, in June 1748 where he wrote a will. He described himself as ‘late of
the parish of Hanover Island of Jamaica’ (he was there in 1744 when James
For more of the Early Campbell Letters, please go to:
Early Campbell Letters # 1
Early Campbell Letters # 3
Early Campbell Letters # 4
Early Campbell Letters # 5
Early Campbell Letters # 6
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