Arthur Campbell (doctor)

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Archibald Campbell or Arthur Campbell (1805–1874) of the Bengal Medical Service (the Indian Medical Service according to some sources) was the first superintendent of the sanitarium of Darjeeling town in India. Sources differ regarding his first name. While some say that the "A" in "Dr A. Campbell" stands for Arthur,[1] the name register of the Darwin Correspondence Online Database gives his name as Archibald,[2] supported by[3] However, in the same database, the footnote of a letter from Darwin to Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker cites his name as Andrew.[4] Family papers and census returns refer to his first name as Archibald. He is also referred to as the first superintendent of Darjeeling.[1] He was transferred from Kathmandu to Darjeeling in 1839.[1][5]

In 1841, Dr Campbell brought tea seeds from the Kumaun region in China and started to grow tea near his residence at Beechwood, Darjeeling, on an experimental basis.[5] His experiments were followed by similar efforts by several others, and soon, tea began to be cultivated in the area as Darjeeling tea.

In 1849, Dr Campbell and Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker (a famous naturalist and explorer) were imprisoned by the Dewan of Sikkim when they were touring the Sikkim region towards the Chola pass in Tibet.[4] A British team was sent to negotiate with the king of Sikkim. However, they were released without any bloodshed.[6]

Dr Campbell wrote many papers on Himalayan geography[2] and at least one paper on the Lepchas of Sikkim.[1] The magnolia species, Magnolia campbellii, is named after him.[7]


  1. ^ a b c d Kennedy Dane. The Magic Mountains: Hill Stations and the British Raj, Berkeley: University of California Press, c1996 1996.
  2. ^ a b Archibald Campbell, 1805–74
  3. ^ History of Darjeeling tea
  4. ^ a b Letter number 1558: To J. D. Hooker. 10 March 1854. The Darwin Correspondence Online Database.
  5. ^ a b Darjeeling Tea History.
  6. ^ History of Darjeeling
  7. ^ Hyam, R. & Pankhurst, R.J. (1995), Plants and their names : a concise dictionary, Oxford: Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-866189-4 , p. 303