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Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melville

(1742-1811), Statesman

Regency Portraits Catalogue Entry

Sitter associated with 82 portraits
Henry Dundas was an important ally of Prime Minister William Pitt and a leading power-broker in Scotland. In 1784, he helped to pass Pitt's India Act, removing political power from the East India Company. As Home Secretary between 1791 and 1794, Melville delayed the abolition of slavery by amending Wilberforce's bill to make abolition 'gradual'. He was appointed Secretary of War in 1794 and organised the successful Egyptian campaign of 1801. His career came to an end in 1804, when he was impeached for financial mismanagement. He was narrowly acquitted but never held another ministerial position.

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