Henry Dundas

(c) Angus Council; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

(c) Angus Council;
Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)

The Right Honourable Viscount Melville
Privy Council, Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh

Born April 28, 1742, Edinburg, Scotland. Died May 28, 1811

Member of Parliament in Midlothian, served in British Cabinet as Secretary of State for the Home Department, then as War Secretary, and finally First Lord of the Admiralty until his impeachment in 1806. He was known for his encouragement of the Scottish Enlightenment movement and was a key supporter in expansion of British influence in India.

Dundas was an anti-abolitionist, pro-slavery politician in the British government. He was elevated the House of Lords in 1802 as Viscount Melville and Baron Dunira, for Dunira in Perthshire, Scotland.

Dundas’ impeachment was due to misappropriation of public money during his time at the Home Department. He was acquitted of the charges, with the findings of negligence against him. He did not hold office again. This was also the last ever impeachment trial in the House of Lords.

Dundas was a friend of John Graves Simcoe, first Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada, Dundas County was named in his honour.