Archibald Campbell Swinton

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Archibald Campbell Swinton
Born (1812-07-15)15 July 1812
Died 27 November 1890(1890-11-27) (aged 78)
Nationality Scottish
Education University of Glasgow, University of Edinburgh
Occupation Barrister, author, politician, professor of civil law
Notable work Men of the Merse, The Swintons of that Ilk and their Cadets
Relatives James Rannie Swinton

Archibald Campbell Swinton (15 July 1812 – 27 November 1890), was a Scottish author and politician: the elder brother of James Rannie Swinton; and professor of civil law at Edinburgh, 1862-72.

Early life and family[edit]

Archibald Campbell Swinton was born into Clan Swinton on 15 July 1812. He was the elder son of John Campbell Swinton of Kimmerghame, Berwickshire, and Catherine Rannie, his wife, and grandson of Archibald, fourth son of John Swinton of Swinton, Berwickshire. His younger brother, James Rannie, became a fashionable portrait artist, and sisters Catherine and Elizabeth, shared an interest in art.[2]


He was educated at the Edinburgh Academy with Archibald Campbell Tait, afterwards archbishop of Canterbury, and at Glasgow and Edinburgh universities.


Joining the Scottish bar, he acquired a large practice and initiated an important reform in the system of reporting criminal trials. In 1852 he was elected professor of civil law in Edinburgh University, his lectures being largely attended. He resigned the professorship on succeeding in 1872 to the Kimmerghame estate, and devoted himself to political work. He served on various royal commissions, and by his oratorical powers and legal knowledge won a foremost place as a layman in the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

He was an unsuccessful Conservative candidate for the parliamentary constituency of Haddington Burghs in 1852 and of the universities of Edinburgh and St. Andrews in 1869.

Later life[edit]

He died on 27 November 1890, having married, first, Katherine, daughter of Sir John Pringle of Stitchell, bart., and secondly, Georgina Caroline, daughter of Sir George Sitwell of Renishaw, bart. Besides a lecture on ‘Men of the Merse’ (privately printed, Edinburgh, 1858, 8vo), Swinton published a family history entitled ‘The Swintons of that Ilk and their Cadets’ (Edinburgh, 1883, 8vo), which had originally been contributed in 1878 to the ‘Proceedings of the Berwickshire Naturalists' Club’ (information supplied by the bishop of Winchester; Times, 6 December 1890).


  1. ^ a b  "Swinton, James Rannie". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900. 
  2. ^ Julie Sheldon, ed. (2009). The Letters of Elizabeth Rigby, Lady Eastlake. Liverpool University Press. p. 81. Retrieved 23 April 2012.