m. 16 Aug 1765
Facts and Events
Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melville, Baron Dunira PC FRSE (28 April 1742, Arniston, Midlothian – 28 May 1811, Edinburgh) was a Scottish advocate and Tory politician. He was the first Secretary of State for War and became, in 1806, the last person to be impeached in the United Kingdom, for misappropriation of public money. Although acquitted, he never held public office again.
Dundas was a key actor in the encouragement of the Scottish Enlightenment, in the prosecution of the war against France, in opposing the abolition of slavery, and in the expansion of British influence in India, dominating the affairs of the East India Company. An accomplished machine politician and scourge of the Radicals, his deft and almost total control of Scottish politics during a long period when no monarch visited the country, led to him being pejoratively nicknamed King Harry the Ninth, the "Grand Manager of Scotland" (a play on the masonic office of Grand Master of Scotland), the "Great Tyrant" and "The Uncrowned King of Scotland".
He is commemorated by one of the most prominent memorials in Edinburgh, the 150-foot high, Category A listed Melville Monument at St Andrew Square, in the heart of the New Town he helped to establish.