Matthew Campbell (civil servant)

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Sir Matthew Campbell KBE CB FRSE (23 May 1907 – 7 March 1998) was a senior British civil servant and Secretary of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries for Scotland. He was highly instrumental in the establishment of the Crofters Commission.

Early life[edit]

Matthew Campbell was born on 23 May 1907, son of nurseryman Matthew Campbell of High Blantyre, Lanarkshire, Scotland. Matthew, junior, attended the Hamilton Academy, “a famous scholarly school” [1] in nearby Hamilton. From the Academy, Campbell matriculated at the University of Glasgow, graduating MA.


Entering the civil service in 1928, Campbell was to hold posts in the Inland Revenue and the Admiralty (1935), before being appointed Principal, Department of Agriculture for Scotland (1938–43), Assistant Secretary (1943–53), Under-Secretary (1953-58), and latterly, the last Secretary of the Department of Agriculture for Scotland (1958-1962), becoming in 1962 the first Secretary of the new Department of Agriculture and Fisheries for Scotland, a position he held ‘till his retirement in 1968.

From 1951 to 1954 Campbell served as Secretary of the Taylor Committee, on which recommendation the Crofters' Commission for Scotland was established and Campbell was to be highly instrumental in taking forward the recommendations and work of the Crofters’ Commission.[1]

Marriage, awards and honours[edit]

Married in 1939 (Isabella Wilson), Campbell was invested Commander of the Bath in 1959 and elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh on 6 March 1961, one of his Proposers being Sir Thomas Murray Taylor KC, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Aberdeen and former Chair of the Taylor Committee, to which Campbell had been secretary.

Matthew Campbell was knighted (KBE) in 1963.

He died at Christleton, in Cheshire on 7 March 1998.[1][2][3]


  1. ^ a b c The Independent Sir Matthew Campbell – obituary 25 March 1968 by Sir Tam Dalyell. Retrieved 6 April 2011
  2. ^ Kelly’s Handbook 1976, page 342; Who Was Who 10. Retrieved 6 April 2011
  3. ^ [1] Royal Society of Edinburgh – list of Fellows. Sir Matthew Campbell, elected 6 March 1961. Retrieved 6 April 2011 Archived 28 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine.