Lord Frederick Campbell (1729-1816) was the 4th son of John Campbell, 4th Duke of Argyll. In 1769 he married Mary (d1807), the widow of Lawrence, 4th Earl Ferrers, executed in 1760 for the murder of his steward. Campbell was a lawyer and politician: he was MP for Glasgow Burghs in 1761-80, and for Argyllshire in 1781-99; Keeper of the Privy Seal of Scotland during 1765; Lord Clerk Register of Scotland from 1766 until his death; Chief Secretary of Ireland in 1767-68; Rector of Glasgow University in 1772-73; a member of the Board of Trade in 1786-1801; Vice Treasurer of Ireland in 1787-93; a member of the Board of Control for India in 1790-93; and Treasurer of the Middle Temple in 1803. As a political supporter of Lord Bute during the early years of his career, it may have been through this connection that Campbell was initially acquainted with Adam. But Campbell became one of Adam's major patrons, employing him privately on three different houses: Ardencaple, Combe Bank, and Petersham Lodge, and in his role as Lord Clerk Register of Scotland, at the General Register House in Edinburgh. It would appear from Adam’s obituary in the Gentleman's Magazine of March 1792 that Adam and Campbell became friends during their long acquaintance, as Campbell was a pall bearer at Adam's funeral.
Petersham Lodge is a small but fine house of the late seventeenth or early eighteenth century in Richmond. At an unknown date Adam made designs for alterations to this house for Campbell, although these were not executed. These designs could have been made at any time from the early 1760s when Campbell and Adam became acquainted, and 1792 when Adam died. There is also a drawing for the greenhouse and domestic offices, but King suggests that this is a survey drawing, and that the design was not by Adam.
See also: Ardencaple, Helensburgh, Argyll; Combe Bank, Sevenoaks, Kent
Gentleman's Magazine, March 1792; A.T. Bolton, The architecture of Robert and James Adam, 1922, Volume II, Index pp. 26, 65; B. Cherry, and N. Pevsner, The buildings of England: London 2: south, 1983, p. 515; D. King, The complete works of Robert & James Adam and unbuilt Adam, 2001, Volume II, p. 224; 'Cambell, Lord Frederick (1729-1816), or Ardencaple, Dunbarton, and Combe Bank, Kent', and 'Campbell, Frederick (1729-1816), of Combe Bank, Sevenoaks, Kent', The history of Parliament online
Frances Sands, 2012
Digitisation of the Drawings Collection has been made possible through the generosity of the Leon Levy Foundation