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Henry Dundas Melville, 1st Viscount

Melville, Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount, 1742–1811, British lawyer and politician. He was solicitor general for Scotland (1766–75), entered Parliament in 1774, and became lord advocate in 1775. During the American Revolution he favored harsh punishment of the colonists and considered Lord North much too conciliatory. A close friend and lieutenant of William Pitt the younger, he displayed remarkable administrative talents as treasurer of the navy (1783–1800), member of the board of control for India (1784–1801), home secretary (1791–94), secretary for war during the early Napoleonic Wars (1794–1801), and first lord of the admiralty (1804–5). He was impeached (1806), charged with mismanagement of navy funds, and despite acquittal he never returned to office.

See his correspondence with Lord Wellesley, ed. by E. Ingram (1970).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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