Midlothian Viscount’s letters saved for the nation

Henry Dundas, who was born in Dalkeith on April 28, 1742.
Henry Dundas, who was born in Dalkeith on April 28, 1742.

Antique letters between a Midlothian Viscount and some of history’s most iconic figures are to be kept in public ownership after the Scottish Government bought them for more than £1 million.

The collection includes correspondence between the 1st Viscount Melville, Henry Dundas, and his son Robert, once pre-eminent figures in Scottish public life, and characters such as Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson.

The Melvilles were one of Scotland’s foremost political families from the 18th and 19th centuries. The Melville papers were to be auctioned off to private collectors after the Melville family decided to sell them.

However, the documents containing around 11,000 records, including letters from Scottish economist Adam Smith, were acquired on behalf of the public by the National Records of Scotland (NRS) following a £1.35 million sale.

Read full story in the July 12 edition of the Midlothian Advertiser.