Raised amid the violence of the late seventeenth-century Highlands, he left home to make his fortune, initially trading illegally with the English colonies of North America and the Caribbean. Eventually his mercantile success laid the foundations of Glasgow’s role in global trade and he became one of the richest men in Scotland. An ardent anti-Jacobite, he sat in the last Scottish Parliament before the Union with England in 1707, and was appointed as one of the Commissioners to negotiate the terms of the Act, as well as of the ‘Equivalent’ – the compensation paid to Scotland by England.Daniel commissioned one of Scotland’s earliest Palladian buildings, the Shawfield Mansion in Glasgow; his house at Woodhall in Lanarkshire was considered amongst the finest estates in Scotland.
Following the destruction of his new house in the violent Shawfield Riots of 1725, Daniel purchased Islay where a legacy of agricultural improvements changed the face of the island forever. Daniel Campbell played a role in many of eighteenth-century Scotland’s key events. Emerging from the shadows for the first time, this is a portrait of an ambitious man who was a loyal friend and an inveterate enemy.