Name: GEN. R0BERT MELVILLE
Birth: 12 OCT 1723 in Monymail,Fife,Scotland
Death: 20 AUG 1809
General Melville was a man of a distinguished career and of high character. In 1746 he was an ensign in the 25th Foot, and had already served with them in two campaigns. In the autumn of 1746 Ensign Melville went abroad with his regiment and served through the two following campaigns with the Allied Armies. In November 1748 they embarked for home at Williamstadt on the Meuse River, Melville having then reached the rank of lieutenant.
Change Date: 7 JAN 2014 at 06:21:04
Melville served in the West Indies in the Seven Years' War (1756-1763). In 1756 he obtained the rank of major in the 38th Regiment, then in Antigua. There he was employed in active service, particularly in the invasion of Guadaloupe. For his conduct therein he was made lieutenant-colonel. In 1762 he contributed much to the taking of Martinique, which was followed by the cession of all other French islands. Thereafter Melville, now brigadier-general, was made Governor-in-Chief of all the captured possessions in the West Indies in 1763.
General Melville was a keen antiquary, and F.S.A. of London and Edinburgh. He also held the degree of LL.D. in Edinburgh University and was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of London. Besides his services in the Seven Years' War, he is remembered as being the inventor of carronades.
General Melville was born October 12, 1723 and died August 20, 1809. He never married.
Robert Melville was an owner of Strathkinness. "Strathkinness, some three miles from St. Andrews, came as a small estate left by Janet, relict of Dr. Andrew Melville, to Robert Melville, son of Andrew, minister of Monimail and one of the Carnbee branch of the family. Robert's mother was Helen, sister of Dr. Robert Whytt (who married Louisa Balfour).....General Melville entailed Strathkinness to his cousin, John, only surviving son of Dr. Robert Whytt, who had already added the name of Melville, and on his male heirs, failing whom on John's three sisters and their male heirs in turn."
(1) THE BALFOURS OF PILRIG, A History For The Family, by Barbara Balfour-Melville; T. and A. Constable, Edinburgh, 1907. See pages 135-137.
(3) THE BALFOURS OF PILRIG AND MELVILLES OF STRATHKINNESS, by E. W. M. Balfour-Melville, Litt.D. (The Scottish Genealogist, Vol. VIII, No. 1; February, 1961).
(4) THE WHYTES OF BENNOCHY, KIRCALDY (The Scottish Genealogist, Vol. XII, No. 2; August, 1965).
(5) "Military Governors and Imperial Frontiers C. 1600-1800: A Study of Scotland and Empires", by Andrew Mackillop and Steve Murdoch (ISBN-13: 978 90 04 12970 2), published in 2003.. See Chapter Nine, "Robert Melville and the Frontiers of Empire in the British West Indies, 1763-1771"
(8) "Memoirs and Remains of Eminent Persons, Account of the Late General Melville", published in The Monthly magazine, available on the internet using Google book Search.
(9) THE SCOTTISH NATION, by William Anderson (1863), at pages 637-8.
(10) http://www.saint-andrews.co.uk/strathkinness/glimpse/Glimpse_dir/glimpse_s15.htm , where the following is reported: "Robert Melville had a distinguished career in the army, rising to the rank of General, and he became Governor of Grenada, the Grenadines, Dominica, St. Vincent and Tobago in the West Indies. With his large fortume made from his sugar plantations in the West Indies he added more property to that which his father had left him.....Robert Melville had no legitimate children and as the property was entailed his illegitimate, but acknowledged, mulatto daughter Charlotte Melville would not have been able to inherit the property. It went by way of his mother's family to John Whyte of Bennochy who had been acting as Robert Melville's agent both in the West Indies and in Scotland since at least 1776. In 1798 he was given royal permission to add Melville to his name although he did not inherit the property until 1803."
(11) "Melvill of Strathkinnes and Craigtoun", which appears at pages 527-529 in The Baronage of Scotland, by Sir Robert Douglas (1798).
Father: ANDREW MELVILLE, REV. b: 1704 in St. Andrews,Fife,Scotland
Mother: HELEN WHYTE (OR WHYTT)