Richard Saunders Dundas

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Sir Richard Dundas
Rdundas.jpg
Vice-Admiral Sir Richard Dundas
Born (1802-04-11)11 April 1802
Died 3 June 1861(1861-06-03) (aged 59)
London, United Kingdom
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Navy
Years of service 1817 - 1861
Rank Vice-Admiral
Commands held HMS Sparrowhawk
HMS Volage
HMS Warspite
HMS Belvidera
HMS Melville
HMS Powerful
Baltic Fleet
Battles/wars First Opium War
Crimean War
Awards Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath

Vice-Admiral The Hon. Sir Richard Saunders Dundas, KCB (11 April 1802 – 3 June 1861) was a Royal Navy officer. As a captain, he took part in the capture of the Bogue Forts in January 1841, during the First Opium War. He was appointed to the command of the Fleet in the Baltic Sea, in succession to Sir Charles Napier, in February 1855 and led the naval support during the latter stages of the Crimean War, enforcing a strict blockade and carrying out the bombardment of Sveaborg in August 1855. He was appointed First Naval Lord in the First Palmerston ministry in November 1857 and then, after stepping down to be Second Naval Lord during the Second Derby ministry, he stepped up again to become First Naval Lord in the Second Palmerston Ministry in June 1859 remaining in office until his death. The Prime-Minister (Viscount Palmerston) described Dundas as "a most distinguished officer".

Early life[edit]

Born the son of Robert Dundas, 2nd Viscount Melville and Anne Dundas (née Huck-Saunders) and educated at Harrow School, Dundas joined the Royal Navy in 1817.[1] After initial training at the Royal Navy College at Portsmouth he joined the frigate HMS Ganymede in the Mediterranean Fleet.[1] Promoted to lieutenant on 16 June 1821 and to commander on 23 June 1823, he was given command of the sloop HMS Sparrowhawk on the North America and West Indies Station in June 1823.[2]

Promoted to captain on 17 July 1824, Dundas took command of the sixth-rate HMS Volage on the North America and West Indies Station in September 1825 and then of the third-rate HMS Warspite on the East Indies Station in March 1827.[2] He became secretary to his father, who was serving a second term as First Lord of the Admiralty, in 1828.[2] He went on to take command of the fifth-rate HMS Belvidera in the Mediterranean Fleet in November 1830 and the third-rate HMS Melville, Flagship of the East Indies Station, in September 1837.[2] In HMS Melville he took part in the capture of the Bogue Forts in January 1841 during the First Opium War.[1] He was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath on 29 June 1841.[2]

Dundas returned to the Admiralty as Secretary to Lord Haddington, First Lord of the Admiralty, in January 1845 and became Captain of the second-rate HMS Powerful in the Mediterranean Fleet in January 1848.[2]

Naval Lord[edit]

Promoted to rear-admiral on 4 July 1853,[3] Dundas was appointed Third Naval Lord in the Aberdeen ministry in January 1853 and then Second Naval Lord in the same ministry in June 1854.[4] He was appointed to the command of the Fleet in the Baltic Sea, hoisting his flag in the first-rate HMS Duke of Wellington, in succession to Sir Charles Napier in February 1855.[2] Dundas led the naval support during the latter stages of the Crimean War enforcing a strict blockade and carrying out the bombardment of Sveaborg in August 1855.[1]

Dundas was advanced to Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath on 5 February 1856[5] and became Second-in-command of the Mediterranean Fleet, hoisting his flag in HMS Duke of Wellington, in April 1856.[2] He was also appointed a Grand Officer of the French Legion of Honour on 2 August 1856.[6]

Dundas was appointed Second Naval Lord in the First Palmerston ministry in April 1857 and then First Naval Lord in the same ministry in November 1857.[4] Promoted to vice-admiral on 24 February 1858,[7] Dundas stepped down to be Second Naval Lord in the Second Derby ministry in March 1858.[4] He stepped up again to become First Naval Lord in the Second Palmerston Ministry in June 1859 remaining in office until his death.[4] He died, unmarried, of a heart attack at Spring Gardens in London on 3 June 1861.[1] Later that day, the Prime-Minister (Viscount Palmerston) described Vice Admiral Dundas as:

"a most distinguished officer, who was for forty-five years in the service of his country, and who equally distinguished himself in every sphere in which he was called upon to act. He was eminent for the good discipline and order of the ships which he commanded, he was distinguished by the gallantry and good judgment with which he conducted every naval operation in which he was engaged, he was most valuable as a public servant in the direction of naval affairs at the Admiralty. Whether at the Council Board or on the quarter deck his merits were equally eminent, and his services were equally valuable to the country."[8]
HMS Duke of Wellington, Flagship of the Baltic Fleet, which Dundas commanded during the Crimean War

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Laughton, J. K. "Dundas, Sir Richard Saunders". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 31 December 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "William Loney RN". Retrieved 31 December 2012. 
  3. ^ The London Gazette: no. 21456. p. 1913. 8 July 1853. Retrieved 31 December 2012.
  4. ^ a b c d Sainty, J C (1975). "'Lord High Admiral and Commissioners of the Admiralty 1660-1870', Office-Holders in Modern Britain: Volume 4: Admiralty Officials 1660-1870". pp. 18–31. Retrieved 31 December 2012. 
  5. ^ The London Gazette: no. 21846. p. 426. 5 February 1856. Retrieved 31 December 2012.
  6. ^ The London Gazette: no. 21909. p. 2699. 4 August 1856. Retrieved 31 December 2012.
  7. ^ The London Gazette: no. 22106. p. 1208. 2 March 1858. Retrieved 31 December 2012.
  8. ^ "Death of Admiral Dundas, vol 163 cc521-2". Hansard. 3 June 1861. Retrieved 31 December 2012. 

Sources[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Sir Thomas Herbert
Third Naval Lord
January 1853–June 1854
Succeeded by
Sir Peter Richards
Preceded by
Sir Maurice Berkeley
Second Naval Lord
June 1854—February 1855
Succeeded by
Henry Eden
Preceded by
Henry Eden
Second Naval Lord
April 1857—November 1857
Succeeded by
Henry Eden
Preceded by
Sir Maurice Berkeley
First Naval Lord
November 1857—March 1858
Succeeded by
Sir William Martin
Preceded by
Henry Eden
Second Naval Lord
March 1858—June 1859
Succeeded by
Frederick Pelham
Preceded by
Sir William Martin
First Naval Lord
June 1859—June 1861
Succeeded by
Sir Frederick Grey