Sir Lawrence Dundas, 1st Baronet

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For other people named Lawrence Dundas, see Lawrence Dundas (disambiguation).
Sir Lawrence Dundas and his grandson Lawrence, painted by Johann Zoffany (around 1775)

Sir Lawrence Dundas, 1st Baronet (c. 1710 – 21 September 1781) was a Scottish businessman, landowner and politician.

Biography[edit]

He made his first fortune by supplying goods to the British Army during their campaigns against the Jacobites and in Flanders during the Seven Years' War, 1756-1763. He subsequently branched out into banking, property (he developed Grangemouth in 1777) and was a major backer of the Forth and Clyde Canal which happened to run through his estate at Kerse near Falkirk. James Boswell accounted him "a cunning shrewd man of the world"; he left his son an inheritance worth £900,000. Sir Lawrence was also a man of taste, elected a member of the Society of Dilettanti in 1750.

Dundas House, St. Andrew Square, Edinburgh

He bought the Aske Estate, near Richmond in North Yorkshire in 1763 from Lord Holderness for £45,000 and proceeded to enlarge and remodel it in Palladian taste by the premier Yorkshire architect, John Carr, who also designed new stables. His house in St. Andrew Square, Edinburgh, designed by Sir William Chambers, became the headquarters of the Royal Bank of Scotland in 1825.[1] The facade and later 1857 ceiling feature on the current designs of the banknotes issued by the Royal Bank.[2][3]

He purchased Leoni's grand house near London, Moor Park, for which he ordered a set of Gobelins tapestry hangings with medallions by François Boucher and a long suite of seat furniture to match, for which Robert Adam provided designs: they are among the earliest English neoclassical furniture.[4] Other new furnishings, for Aske and for Sir Lawrence's magnificently appointed London house at 19 Arlington Street, were supplied by Thomas Chippendale (1763–66), and Chippendale's rivals, the royal cabinet-makers William Vile and John Cobb, and Samuel Norman (Gilbert). A pair of marquetry commodes in the French taste by a French cabinet-maker working in London, Pierre Langlois, is at Aske.[5] Capability Brown worked on the park at Aske and provided a design for a bridge.[6] In the 1770s, Sir Lawrence turned to Robert Adam for further remodelling and designs for furnishings.

The Aske estate included the pocket borough of Richmond, so Sir Lawrence was therefore able to appoint the Member of Parliament. Sir Lawrence married Margaret Bruce, and they had one son, Thomas Dundas. Sir Lawrence died in 1781 and is buried in the Dundas Mausoleum at Falkirk Old Parish Church where his wife and son eventually joined him.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Gilbert, p. 154
  2. ^ "Our Banknotes - The Ilay Series". The Royal Bank of Scotland Group. 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-14. [dead link]
  3. ^ "Dundas Mansion, Edinburgh". Edinburgh Architecture. Retrieved 2008-10-14. 
  4. ^ Some of the seat furniture is at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
  5. ^ One is illustrated in Anthony Coleridge, Chippendale Furniture 1964, pl. 51.
  6. ^ Colvin

References[edit]

Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
John Mackye
Member of Parliament for Lanark Burghs
1747–1748
Succeeded by
James Carmichael
Preceded by
John Waldegrave
Henry Vernon
Member of Parliament for Newcastle-under-Lyme
1762–1768
With: John Waldegrave 1762–1763
Thomas Gilbert 1763–1768
Succeeded by
John Wrottesley
Alexander Forrester
Preceded by
James Coutts
Member of Parliament for Edinburgh
1768–1780
Succeeded by
William Miller
Preceded by
William Norton
Charles Dundas, 1st Baron Amesbury
Member of Parliament for Richmond
1780–1781
With: Marquess of Graham
Succeeded by
Marquess of Graham
George Fitzwilliam
Preceded by
William Miller
Member of Parliament for Edinburgh
1781
Succeeded by
James Hunter-Blair
Baronetage of Great Britain
New creation Baronet
(of Kerse)
1762–1781
Succeeded by
Thomas Laurence Dundas