International trader and philanthropist. Campbell was born on a farm near Port of Menteith (Stirling) and came to Glasgow where he gained employment with a merchant. After establishing the mercantile firm of J. & W. Campbell with his brother James, he was able to grow wealthy by established trading links with North America, the West Indies and the Antipodes.
Campbell briefly entered local politics, but was best known for his philanthropy. He was co-founder of various Glasgow charities including the Glasgow Night Asylum for the Houseless, he was actively involved in the Royal Infirmary and the City Improvement Scheme, and contributed £500 to the Glasgow Botanic Gardens to enable it to open to the public.
Campbell purchased the Tullichewan Estate (Dunbartonshire) in 1841.