The son of a Glasgow tobacco merchant, Thomas Campbell was a highly regarded poet. His early work was full of promise and he was spoken of alongside Wordsworth and Byron. Despite achieving considerable standing within the establishment, it was felt that he never achieved his full potential as a writer. His friend, Sir Walter Scott said of him: 'the brightness of his early talent is a detriment to all his further efforts. He is afraid of the shadow that his own fame casts before him'. Lawrence drew this delicate pencil portrait when he was working on the oil of Campbell, now in the National Portrait Gallery, London.