Major-General Thomas Dundas of Fingask

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About Major-General Thomas Dundas of Fingask


Member of Parliament for Orkney and Shetland, 1771-89, and 1784-90

is the son of Thomas Dundas of Fingask and Lady Janet Maitland. He was born on 30 June 1750 and died at Guadeloupe on 3 June 1794 [The Peerage]

Major-General Thomas Dundas of Fingask held the office of Member of Parliament for Orkney and Shetland between 1771 and 1784. He fought in the American War of Independence between 1779 and 1781, where he surrendered Yorktown. He gained the rank of Major-General in the service of the 80th Regiment. He lived at Carron Hall, Larbert, Stirlingshire, Scotland. In 1794 he took part in the Capture of Guadeloupe, Martinque and St. Lucia from the French [The Peerage]


Major-General Thomas Dundas of Fingask married Eleanora Elizabeth Home, daughter of Reverend Alexander Home, Earl of Home, and Primrose Elphinstone, on 9 January 1784 [The Peerage]


(1) Elizabeth Dundas (died 23 Jan 1823)

(2) Janet Maitland Dundas ( b. 23 Jul 1787 and d. 7 Jun 1814)

(3) Lt.-Col. Thomas Dundas of Fingask ( b. c 1792 and d. 24 May 1860)


Biographical Accounts


The Peerage


The History of Parliament



Major-General Thomas Dundas (30 June 1750 – 3 June 1794) was a British military officer and Governor of Guadeloupe.

Military Service

Born the son of Thomas Dundas of Fingask, Dundas was educated at Edinburgh High School and entered the army in 1766, rising to Major of the 65th Foot. He was elected Member of Parliament for the Stewartry of Orkney & Shetland in 1771 retaining the seat until 1780. As Lieutenant-Colonel of the 80th Foot he saw action in the American War of Independence, serving under Benedict Arnold in the raid against Richmond 5–7 January 1781. Under Arnold & Phillips, he was present at the capture of Williamsburg 18 April, Blandford 25 April, the attack on Osborne’s wharf 27th, & Manchester 30th. Then he passed under the command of Cornwallis. He commanded the Left Wing at Green Spring 6 July. With Tarleton he was bottled up by the Marquis de Choisy at Gloucester during the Siege of Yorktown 6–20 October. Assigned as joint commissioner for carrying out the capitulation, he was made Prisoner of War after the fall of Yorktown. Promoted Colonel 20 November 1782, after repatriation he was appointed to the board of commission in 1782 to examine claims for compensation to those "who having remained loyal to the mother country, had suffered in their rights, properties and profession".

Dundas married Lady Elizabeth Eleanora Home (d 1837), daughter of Alexander, ninth Earl Home, on 9 January 1784.

He was briefly Lieutenant Governor of Guernsey in 1793. Promoted Major-General on 12 Oct 1793, after the outbreak of the Wars of the French Revolution he served in the West Indies, commanding the 2nd Brigade under Charles Grey in Barbados 1794. He served in the 2nd Invasion of Martinique, February and commanded the military forces under John Jervis in the invasion of Guadeloupe, landing on 12 April and capturing Grand-Terre. After accepting the French surrender 20th he was made Governor of Guadeloupe, but died on 3 June of Yellow Fever and was buried in the primary bastion of Fort Maltilde.

When the French later regained possession of the island Victor Hugues issued a declaration on 10 December " That the body of Thomas Dundas, interred in Guadeloupe, shall be taken up and given as prey to the birds of the air." This aroused great outrage in England and prompted a memorial in St.Paul's Cathedral.

Other References