Campbell Riddell

Colonial Secretary New South Wales| Number 15

Campbell Riddell (1796-1858) lived at Number 15. His family had estates in Ardnamurchan. Like so many other Heriot Row men, he studied law.

He seems to have been a sociable character and 'Highland Lady' Elizabeth Grant described him as her preferred Edinburgh dancing partner. His contacts helped him into the colonial service, starting with a government post in Ceylon. Elizabeth ran into him there as she travelled back from India with her new husband. He entertained them both well in his bungalow on the coast. He went on to marry the his boss's daughter and sail with her to Sydney.

He rose through the ranks to the important post of Colonial Treasurer of New South Wales. Politics there were robust, competitive and divisive. He often felt undervalued. He sailed close to the wind financially. One episode where he lodged state savings bank deposits in his own account got him into particular trouble, though there was no evidence that he profited personally.

He was complimented for his 'promptitude and benevolence in finding employment for female immigrants'. He seems to have been better with women than with money!

In 1854 he achieved his ambition, becoming acting Colonial Secretary for New South Wales for a short period. By 1858 he was back in Britain where he died at the end of that year.

Elizabeth Grant described him as her preferred dancing partner