Lawrence Dundas, 1st Earl of Zetland

10th Apr 1766 - 19th Feb 1839

Claimant or beneficiary


Eldest son of Sir Thomas Dundas, 2nd Bt., 1st Baron Dundas and Lady Charlotte Fitzwilliam (1746–1833), daughter of the third Earl Fitzwilliam and a niece of the marquess of Rockingham. They had fourteen children, eleven of whom reached adulthood. Left £113,781 (Scottish probate) at death.

Lawrence's brothers included the Hons. Charles Lawrence Dundas, George Heneage Lawrence Dundas, and Robert Lawrence Dundas.

Lawrence succeeded his father as the 2nd Baron Dundas, 14 June 1820 and was created Earl of Zetland, 2 July 1838.

His descendents included Lawrence John Lumley Dundas, second marquess of Zetland (1876–1961), administrator in India (including Governor of Bengal, 1917–1922), politician, and author.

The Dundas family dynasty owed its rise to, above all, Sir Lawrence Dundas of Kerse, first baronet (1712–1781), who started as a wine merchant, became an army contractor and then one of the most powerful and richest of landowners in Britain, owning extensive tracts of land in Scotland, Orkney and Shetland, Yorkshire, Hertfordshire and London, as well as having extensive commercial and financial interests and political influence. He also acquired two slave estates in the West Indies - in Dominica and in Grenada.


T71/880 Grenada claim no. 604 (Dougalston Estate); T71/881 Dominica claim no. 576A & B (Castle Bruce); W.D. Rubinstein, Who were the rich? A biographical directory of British wealth-holders Vol. 1 1809-1839 (2009), p. 504 reference 1839/27. 

R. P. Fereday, ‘Dundas family of Fingask and Kerse (per. 1728/9–1820)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2004); online edn, Jan 2008 [, accessed 09/08/2012]. R. G. Thorne (ed.), The House of Commons, 1790-1820 (5 vols., London, Secker & Warburg for the History of Parliament Trust, 1986), vol. 3.

Further Information

Name in compensation records
Laurence Lord Dundas
m. 21 Apr. 1794, Harriot, daughter of General John Hale
4 sons, 3 daughters
Wealth at death
Harrow 1775-80 [1775-1780 ]
Trinity College, Cambridge [1784 ]

Associated Claims (2)

£3,317 4s 0d
Awardee (Owner-in-fee)
£4,818 0s 6d
Awardee (Owner-in-fee)

Associated Estates (1)

The dates listed below have different categories as denoted by the letters in the brackets following each date. Here is a key to explain those letter codes:

  • SD - Association Start Date
  • SY - Association Start Year
  • EA - Earliest Known Association
  • ED - Association End Date
  • EY - Association End Year
  • LA - Latest Known Association
1817 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Joint owner

Legacies Summary

Cultural (2)

Prints, Drawings & Paintings
Print, group portrait of Lawrence Dundas, 1st Earl of Zetland, his wife Harriot (née Hale) and their youngest son the Hon. John Charles Dundas. Mezzotint by Charles Turner after Charles William... 
notes →
Prints, Drawings & Paintings
Print, full-length portrait of Lawrence Dundas, 1st Earl of Zetland, when 2nd Baron Dundas, and wearing robes of office as mayor of York. Mezzotint by William Ward after John Jackson, 1820s.... 
notes →

Political (1)

election →
Richmond Yorkshire
1790 - 1802
election →
York Yorkshire
1802 - 1807
election →
Richmond Yorkshire
1808 - 1811
election →
York Yorkshire
1811 - 1820
parliamentary notes →

Relationships (3)

Son → Father
Grandson → Grandfather