The Douglas Archives

A collection of historical and genalogical records

John O’ The Bank Campbell - an unexpected ancestor

Researching the maternal side of my family, I came across the interesting story of 'John O’ The Bank Campbell'.

John O’ The Bank Campbell was a prominent figure in the history of the Royal Bank of Scotland. He served as the Cashier for the bank for over 30 years and also held the office of Deputy Keeper of the Great Seal [Scotland]. He lived at The Citadel in Edinburgh, which was a prestigious address at the time.

John was born in 1703 to Colin Campbell of Ardmaddy and Grizelda Douglas. There is some speculation about his parentage as it is believed that Colin and Grizelda may not have been married. However, there are also records that suggest they were indeed married but that the Earl of Breadalbane disapproved of the match and had all evidence of it destroyed.

Grizelda Douglas was born in around 1684. It is assumed she was from Kent, England based on her suffix "of Kent" as there are no Kents in Scotland.

Despite this uncertainty about his parentage, John remained closely connected with the Breadalbane Campbells throughout his life. He married Anne Carolina Campbell, the eldest daughter of his friend James Campbell of Tofts. Anne's sister, Sarah Campbell, married Archibald Campbell, 4th Laird of Jura and was mother to Barbara Campbell, wife of Alexander of Hallyards.

John's career with the Royal Bank of Scotland spanned 50 years, from 1727 to 1777. He played a crucial role in the bank's operations as Cashier, overseeing its finances and transactions. His contributions to the bank were recognized with his appointment as Deputy Keeper of the Great Seal [Scotland].

John passed away in 1777, having made a significant impact on the Royal Bank of Scotland and its history. His legacy lives on as a testament to his dedication and service to one of Scotland's most important financial institutions.

I have now strayed far from my Maclean ancestors and must claw my way back through the files I have been accessing.  I went down this particular rabbit hole looking into the background of a family friend whose father has died recently.  Maybe I will find my way back there too?

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