Sir Lawrence Dundas 1st Bart.

1712 - 1781


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.

  1. In Dominica, St David Lots nos. 45-48, originally purchased by James Bruce, were shown under Sir Law. Dundas, James Bruce and Simon Frazer as 'present proprietors' c. 1773.


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.

  1. John Byres, References to a plan of the island of Dominica as surveyed from the year 1765 and 1773 (London, 1777).

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
1773 [EA] - → Joint owner

Legacies Summary

Physical (1)

Town house
Dundas House [Built] 
description →
Palladian villa built for Lawrence Dundas 1772-1774 to the design of Sir William Chambers. 1787-1825: sold by Dundas's son, Thomas, to the government and used as an Excise office. 1825: acquired by...
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Designated a listed building in 1965:; and see also...

Political (1)

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Linlithgow Burghs Lanark / Linlithgow / Peebles / Selkirk
1747 - 1748
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Newcastle-under-Lyme Staffordshire
1762 - 1768
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Edinburgh Midlothian
1768 - 1780
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Richmond Yorkshire
1780 - 1781
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Edinburgh Midlothian

Relationships (3)

Father → Son
Grandfather → Grandson
Grandfather → Grandson

Addresses (1)

Dundas House, St Andrew Square, Edinburgh, Midlothian (Edinburgh), Central Scotland, Scotland