DUNDAS, Henry, 1st Viscount Melville, letters, autographs, documents, manuscripts

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DUNDAS, Henry, 1st Viscount Melville (1742-1811). Statesman.
Letter Signed ('Melville') to Sir Thomas B. Thompson, 1 page 4to (tear near the top not affecting the text), Cleveland Row, 25 March 1807. Declining his assistance on the grounds that there was little chance of his 'returning to the head of the Admiralty'.

In April 1805 the House of Commons had resolved to impeach Melville for the supposed embezzlement of navy funds. He resigned as First Lord of the Admiralty, the office eventually going to Thomas Grenville, whose brother became Prime Minister. After a long trial Melville was acquitted by the House of Lords on 12 June 1806. The interest in this letter is that it was writrten within days of the fall of the Grenville administration, and the position of First Lord of the Admiralty had become vacant. Evidently the Navy Board expected and probably hoped that Melville would return, but although he was restored to the Privy Council and remained active in the Lords he never again held public office. The Admiralty went to Lord Mulgrave.
[No: 21012]

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