Donald Campbell of Sonachan, wearing blue Eton suit, white chemise with frilled collar, blonde hair. Gilt-metal frame. Rectangular, 72mm (2 13/16in) high
Donald was born in 1816. He was the son of Robert and Susan Campbell of Sonachan, located on the banks of Lochawe in Argyllshire. The Campbells were major land-owners in and around Oban. The entire county of Argyllshire was virtually owned by members of the Campbell families and clans, the head of them being the Duke of Argyll, whose ancestral home was just ten miles away at Inverary Castle.
Donald grew up to marry a daughter of Robert McPhee and is probably the widower Donald Campbell recorded in the Canadian census of 1881 as having been born in Scotland. He is recorded as a farmer with a daughter, Isabel, aged twenty-five and a son, Duncun, aged twenty-three. The same census records a Scottish-born Isabel Campbell (b. 1818) who was married to a Presbyterian minister and is very likely to have been Donald's sister, also named Isabel and born in 1818. At the time of the census, Isabel and her husband were living on Prince Edward Island with their son, also a farmer. During the early 19th century, Prince Edward Island became a fashionable retreat for the British nobility and was settled by many Scottish immigrants.
The Oban-born miniaturist, Kenneth Macleay married a Louisa Campbell of Aldenglass who is very likely to have been related to the sitter in the present lot. A portrait by the same miniaturist of the sitter's sister, Isabel exists.