Francis Dundas

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General Francis Dundas and Eliza Cumming, Mrs Francis Dundas

General Francis Dundas (c.1759, Sanson, Berwickshire – 15 January 1824, Dumbarton, Scotland was a British general and acting governor of the Cape Colony between 1798 and 1803.

Francis Dundas was the second son of Robert Dundas of Arniston and Jean Grant, and the nephew of Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melville and War Secretary.

Military service[edit]

He was commissioned into the 1st Foot Guards in 1775. He transferred to the 45th Foot in 1783 and the 1st Foot in 1787. He served in the American War of Independence under Cornwallis, at the Battle of Clapp's Mills,[1] the Battle of Green Spring, and the Siege of Yorktown.

In 1796, he commanded the Scots brigade (later 94th Foot) encamped at West Barns.[2] He was succeeded by General Hill.

He was ordered to the Cape in August 1796 after the first British occupation to become major-general and commander of the forces in May 1797. He first acted as governor from 21 November 1798 to 9 December 1799 and again from 20 April 1801 to 20 February 1803, when the Colony was returned to the Batavian Republic in accordance with the Treaty of Amiens signed on 27 March 1802. During his governorship the Graaff Reinet Revolt of 1798 and the Third Frontier War took place. His administration was seen to be autocratic but fair.

After the Cape he held several important military appointments in Britain. He commanded the Kent division of the army collected on the south coast of England under Sir David Dundas during part of the invasion alarms of 1804-5. (Foster's Peerage under Melville)


Francis Dundas was married to Eliza Cumming, daughter of Sir John Cumming, Bt. on 22 January 1800 in the Chaplaincy to the British Forces in Cape Town and had the following children

  1. Francis Dundas born 16 January 1801 in Cape Town
  2. Robert Dundas born 3 November 1805 in Berwick on Tweed
  3. Caroline Dundas born 21 January 1807 at St. John, Newcastle
  4. Wedderburn Dundas
  5. Henrietta Dundas
  6. Alexander Dundas


  1. ^ "The Battle of Clapp's Mills". Retrieved 2008-11-01. 
  2. ^ Miller, James (1859). The History of Dunbar. J. Downie. p. 174. Retrieved 2008-11-01. 

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Colonel of the 94th Regiment of Foot
Succeeded by
Rowland Hill, 1st Viscount Hill
Government offices
Preceded by
Lord Macartney
Governor of the Cape Colony, acting
Succeeded by
Sir George Yonge
Preceded by
Sir George Yonge
Governor of the Cape Colony, acting
Succeeded by
Jacob Abraham Uitenhage de Mist
as Governor of the Dutch Cape Colony