Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Cambell, James

CAMBELL or CAMPBELL, Sir JAMES (1570–1642), lord mayor of London, was the grandson of Robert Cambell of Foulsham, Norfolk. His father, Sir Thomas Cambell (d. 1613), was alderman successively of Bridge Without (15 Nov. 1599), of Broad Street (23 April 1610), and of Coleman Street (11 Oct. 1611); sheriff of London (24 June 1600); lord mayor (29 Sept. 1609); governor of East India Company (1602–3); and twice master of the Ironmongers' Company (1604 and 1613). Sir Thomas, who was knighted at Whitehall (26 July 1603), married Alice, daughter of Edward Bright of London (Harl. MS. 1096, f. 13). The son James followed his father's trade of ironmonger. He was elected sheriff of London in 1619, alderman of Billingsgate ward, 24 May 1620, whence he removed to Lion Street, 14 May 1625, and lord mayor in 1629. Thomas Dekker, the dramatist, arranged and wrote the pageant ‘London's Tempe’ for Cambell's installation (Fairholt, Lord Mayor's Pageants (Percy Soc.), part ii. 35–60). During his mayoralty Cambell was knighted (23 May 1630), and he presented an elaborate cup to the king at the christening of Prince Charles (15 June 1630). Cambell was thrice master of the Ironmongers' Company (1615, 1623, and 1641). He died at his house in Throgmorton Street, 5 Jan. 1641–2, and was buried (8 Feb.) at St. Olave's Jewry. His wife Rachel survived him, but he had no children. By his will he left a large number of legacies to relatives and friends, and made several charitable bequests to the London hospitals and the Ironmongers' Company, for ‘redemption of poor captives from Turkish slavery,’ ‘for erecting of a free school at Barking in Essex,’ and for pious uses. The total sum distributed amounted to 48,967l. 6s. 8d. Edward Browne, Cambell's clerk, to whom he left 20l., published (May 1612) an elaborate panegyric, entitled ‘a rare laterne of justice and mercy, exemplified in the many notable and charitable legacies of Sir James Cambel.’ The tract includes an engraved portrait of Cambell and a drawing of his tomb. The original of the former is now at St. Thomas's Hospital. Lady Cambell died in January 1656–7. Robert Cambell, Sir James's brother, was also an alderman of London, and was master of the Ironmongers' Company in 1631.

[Nicholl's Ironmongers' Company (1866), pp. 272, 536; Overall's Remembrancer, pp. 72, 498; Stow's Survey, ed. Strype, i. 274–5 (where the will is printed); Metcalfe's Knights, 151, 195; Cal. State Papers, 1629–41 (where several of Cambell's official letters are printed); Browne's tract.]

S. L. L.

Dictionary of National Biography, Errata (1904), p.49
N.B.— f.e. stands for from end and l.l. for last line

Page Col. Line  
275 ii 27 Cambell, Sir James : for 1613 read 1614
28,29 for Broad Street read Bread Street
31 before and twice insert governor of the East India Company 1602-3
40 for Lion Street read Lime Street