Arthur Campbell was born about 1796 in Laxay, Parish of Lochs, Island of Lewis, Outer Hebrides, Scotland. In 1815, he signed on with the Hudson’s Bay Company for a period of 5 years. He and 18 other recruits sailed in a small vessel from Stornoway to Stromness in Orkney, where they boarded the Hadlow along with a party of settlers bound for Red River. He was first assigned to the Saskatchewan District, and the HBC servants account book refers to him as “a spirited able man”, whose contract was to expire in 1820. The York Factory accounts include him up to 1822.
In November 1821, Arthur married Catherine Sutherland at Fort Douglas, Red River Settlement. Catherine was a daughter of James Sutherland (“The Parson”) and had also been a passenger on the Hadlow in 1815. It is possible that the two young people first met during the ocean voyage.
Arthur and Catherine remained at Red River for only a few years. They had three daughters at the settlement: Peggy, Dolly, and Isabella. Records in Ontario show that the Campbell family arrived in Upper Canada in 1825. On Nov. 9, 1825, Arthur petitioned for a land grant of 100 acres. He gave his residence as West Gwillimbury, his last residence as Red River Settlement, and stated that he had a wife and three children. He took up his land in the Township of Innisfil, Simcoe County. The family remained in Innisfil for at least two years, and then moved to West Gwillimbury, Simcoe County. They had been preceded to this township by Catherine’s siblings, Heman and Barbara Sutherland, who had left Red River in 1815, and also by her parents and two younger siblings (Isabella and James Jr) who had left Selkirk’s settlement in 1820.
Arthur and Catherine had ten more children born in Ontario: James, Christina, John, James S., Malcolm, Colin, Daniel, Catherine, Alexander, and Ann. Arthur died in 1851 and was buried in the Auld Kirk cemetery in West Gwillimbury. It is believed Catherine died in the early 1870s.
(1) HBCA C.1/345, passenger list of Hadlow, outward bound 1815.