Viscount Melville

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Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melville
The Dundas Vault in old Lasswade Kirkyard, containing the first five Viscounts Melville

Viscount Melville, of Melville in the County of Edinburgh, is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom.


The title was created in 1802 for the notable lawyer and politician Henry Dundas. He was made Baron Dunira, in the County of Perth, at the same time, also in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. Dundas, who was the fourth son of Robert Dundas, of Arniston, the elder, declined an earldom in 1809. He was succeeded by his son, the second Viscount, who was also a noted politician. He assumed for himself the additional surname of Saunders, which was that of his father-in-law. His son, the third Viscount, was a General in the British Army. The latter was succeeded by his younger brother, the fourth Viscount, who in his turn was succeeded by his nephew, the fifth Viscount, the eldest son of Reverend the Honourable Charles Dundas, Rector of Epworth, Lincolnshire, fourth son of the second Viscount. The fifth Viscount was succeeded by his younger brother, the sixth Viscount, a minor diplomat. The titles descended from father to son until the death of the sixth Viscount's grandson, the eighth Viscount, in 1971. The latter was succeeded by his nephew, the ninth Viscount, the eldest son of the Honourable Robert Maldred St John Melville Dundas, second son of the seventh Viscount. As of 2014 the titles are held by the ninth Viscount's eldest son, the tenth Viscount, who succeeded in 2011.

The family seat is Melville Castle between Dalkeith and Lasswade. The first five viscounts (including Henry Dundas) are buried in a simple vault (gated but unlocked) in Old Lasswade Kirkyard. The 6th Viscount Melville, Charles Saunders Dundas, lies opposite his wife, Mary Hamilton Dundas, in the small north cemetery in Lasswade, adjacent to the old kirkyard. Their son, the 7th Viscount merely appears as a footnote on the monument.

Viscounts Melville (1802)[edit]

Melville Monument in St. Andrew Square, Edinburgh, erected in memory of Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Meville in 1821

The heir presumptive is the present holder's brother Hon. James David Brouncker Dundas (b. 1986).[1]

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