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Melville, General Robert

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0096 MS 882
Held at: Senate House Library, University of London
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Full title: Melville, General Robert
Date(s): 1770-1771
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 1 bundle
Name of creator(s): Melville | Robert | 1723-1809 | General | antiquary
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

Melville was born in Scotland, 1723 and educated at Glasgow and Edinburgh universities. In 1744 he became an ensign in the Edinburgh Regiment where he steadily rose through the ranks and in 1751 obtained his own company in the regiment. In 1760, on the death of his current commander he was appointed Governor of Guadeloupe and from there in 1760 appointed Governor to the Ceded Islands (Grenada, the Grenadines, Dominica. St Vincent and Tobago). His interests as an antiquary motivated him to study numerous locations for historical military purposes and he was also as member of the Society of Arts. When he died, in 1809, he was the oldest General in the British Army.


Scope and content/abstract:

Letters written by Robert George Bruce, engineer in charge of fortifying Dominica, to General Robert Melville, responsible as Governor of the Ceded Islands for the defence of the island. The letters are endorsed in Melville's hand. The letters refer to battlements, the purchasing of estates, and potential granting of official appointments.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access:

Access to the items in the collection is unrestricted for the purpose of private study and personal research within the controlled environment and restrictions of the Library's Palaeography Room. Uncatalogued material may not be seen. Please contact the University Archivist for details.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copies may be made, subject to the condition of the original. Copying must be undertaken by the Palaeography Room staff, who will need a minimum of 24 hours to process requests.

Finding aids:

Collection level description.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Bought at Sotheby's in 1978.

Allied Materials

Related material:

The National Library of Scotland holds correspondence, 1786-1800 (Ref: MS 9846); the National Archives of Scotland contain journals, correspondence and papers, 1760-1823 (Ref: GD126); Edinburgh University Library holds letters to M de Valmont, [1760] (Ref: Gen 863/2); the Royal Society of Arts has letters to the Society relating to the botanical gardens in St Vincent, 1797-1802; the British Library, London, contains correspondence with the 1st Earl of Liverpool, 1763-1782 (Ref: Add MSS 38201-210, 38304-309).

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:

Date(s) of descriptions:
2000-02-29 Joseph Gelfer, 2000-05-22 Sarah Aitchison

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