Daniel Campbell was the son of John Campbell and Lady Henneret Cunninghame, daughter of William, Earl of Glencairn. The Campbells were descended from the Earls of Argyle. Daniel’s grandfather, Daniel, was of the Campbells of Shawfield and the first Campbell to buy large tracts of land on the islands of Islay and Jura from the Campbells of Cawdor and Islay. In 1754, the younger Daniel inherited the estate of Islay from his grandfather. He managed the estates until his death in 1777. His younger brother, Walter then became the Lord of the estates.