Archibald Campbell was a soldier who chose to become a clergyman, knowing that he could not marry because of his responsibility to care for his deranged sister Margaret Campbell.
Archibald fought for the English army in a Campbell regiment during the Jacobite Rising of 1745. After the Battle of Culloden, Archibald was returning to Edinburgh with his regiment when he happened to find his sister Margret, who was traveling with a family of tinkers. When Archibald learned what had happened to Margaret, he became deeply embittered against both the Highland Scots and the English army. Archibald took Margaret home, where they learned that their father had died from influenza. Their mother died not long afterwards, and so Archibald became responsible for his sister's care.
Archibald realized he would likely never marry, as his sister's condition and dependence would not make him a suitable marriage prospect, and instead turned to God and became a minister. For many years, he employed a woman, Tilly Lawson, to look after Margaret while attending to his ministry.
In 1766, the Reverend is offered a position in the West Indies, Barbados and Jamaica, by the Society of Presbyterian Missionaries. He decides to take up the position and to take his sister Margaret with him. He employs Nellie Cowden to travel with them and look after Margaret, and they move to Edinburgh to prepare for the journey. While there, the Reverend goes to Haugh's apothecary to seek a cure for Margaret's mental state. He meets Claire Fraser and on noticing that she knows a lot about the medical uses of herbs, asks Claire if she will come and see his sister.
About a month later, Claire goes shopping for medical supplies with Mr. Willoughby in Paris. They run into the Reverend Campbell, who eyes Mr. Willoughby with distaste. The Reverend Campbell explains that he is still traveling to the West Indies with his sister, but had some some urgent business to attend to in France first.
In 1767, the Reverend comes across Claire at Rose Hall manor on Jamaica, and confronts her about Jamie's role in his sister's ordeal during the Rising. He also tells Claire about a prophecy made by the Brahan Seer regarding the Frasers of Lovat. Mr. Willoughby makes a sudden appearance, and accuses Campbell of murdering Mina Alcott at the governor's reception, as well as the other women of Edinburgh killed by "The Fiend". Mr. Willoughby kills the reverend, and admits he was the one that betrayed Jamie to Sir Percival Turner.
He was dour and stiff in manner among polite society, though the revelation of his identity as the Edinburgh Fiend indicates deeply suppressed violent impulses.
- Archibald is derived from the Germanic elements ercan "genuine" and bald "bold".
- Campbell is a Scottish surname meaning "crooked mouth" from Gaelic cam "crooked" and béul "mouth".
- Main article: Outlander (TV series)
English actor Mark Hadfield portrays Archibald Campbell in the Outlander television series.
Archibald's character was changed from clergyman in the book to fortune-teller in the TV series.