Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Dundas, William

DUNDAS, WILLIAM (1762–1845), politician, third son of Robert Dundas (1713–1787) [q. v.], lord president of the court of session in 1760, by Jean, daughter of William Grant, lord Prestongrange, born in 1762, was called to the bar at Lincoln's Inn on 31 Jan. 1788. He entered parliament as M.P. for the Crail boroughs in 1794, being elected for the united boroughs of Kirkwall, Wick, Dornoch, Dingwall, and Tain in 1796, for which he was re-elected in the following year on taking office as one of the commissioners on the affairs of India (board of control), of which his uncle, Henry Dundas, afterwards Viscount Melville [q. v.], was then president. He sat on the board until 1803. He was sworn of the privy council in 1800. In 1802 and 1806 he was returned to parliament for Sutherland, and in 1810 for Inverary, Elgin, Banff, Cullen, Kirton district of burghs. Between 1804 and 1806 he was secretary-at-war. He was a lord of the admiralty from 1812 to 1814. On 26 March 1812 he succeeded Sir Patrick Murray, who had accepted the stewardship of the Chiltern Hundreds, as M.P. for the city of Edinburgh, which he continued to represent until 1831, when he retired from parliamentary life. On 10 Aug. 1814 he was appointed keeper of the signet, and in 1821 lord clerk register. He was also made clerk of the sasines in 1819. He died at St. Leonards-on-Sea on 14 Nov. 1845, in receipt of an official income of nearly 4,000l. Dundas married Mary, daughter of the Hon. James Stuart Wortley Mackenzie.

[Omond's Arniston Memoirs; Ann. Reg. 1845 (App. to Chron.), p. 313.]

J. M. R.