George Heneage Laurence Dundas.
Collection of the Marquess of Zetland, Aske, Richmond.
By kind permission of the Marquess of Zetland.
|| Thomas Dundas
|| Charlotte Fitzwillia
|| o Tuesday 8 September 1778
|| † Tuesday 7 October 1834. Buried at Marske, Cleveland
Rear Admiral Royal Navy
Lord of the Admiralty
M.P. Richmond 1802, 1806 and 1812, Orkney and Shetland 1818-20
In February 1800 George Heneage Dundas was aboard
HMS Queen Charlotte which was the flagship of Lord Keith . Dundas
was junior to Cochrane. Upon Cochrane's promotion to Commander of the
Speedy, George Heneage Dundas moved up to 5th Lieutenant of the Queen
Charlotte. A month later, the Queen Charlotte was accidentally
destroyed by fire. Dundas distinguished himself during
this disaster, earning a mention in the Naval Chronicle:
"Mr. John Braid, Carpenter of the Queen Charlotte,
reports, that about twenty minutes after six o'clock in the morning,
as he was dressing himself, he heard throughout the Ship a general cry
of "Fire" - On which he immediately run up the fore ladder to get upon deck,
and found the whole half deck, the front bulk-head of the Admiral's cabin,
the main-mast's coat, and boat's covering on the booms, all in flames;
which from every report and probability, he apprehends was occasioned
by some hay, which was lying under the half deck, having been set on fire
by a match in a tub, which was usually kept there for signal guns. - The
main sail at this time was set, and almost entirely caught fire; the people
not being able to come to the clue garnets on account of the flames.
He immediately went to the forecastle, and found
Lieutenant Dundas and the Boatswain encouraging the people to get water to
extinguish the fire. He applied to Mr. Dundas, seeing no other Officer in
the fore-part of the Ship (and being unable to see any on the quarter deck,
from the flames and smoke between them) to give him assistance to drown the
lower decks, and secure the hatches, to prevent the fire falling down.
Lieutenant Dundas accordingly went down himself, with as many people
as he could prevail upon
to follow him; and the lower deck ports were opened,
the scuppers plugged, the main and fore hatches secured, the cocks turned,
and water drawn in at the ports, and the pumps kept going by the people
who came down, as long as they could stand at them.
He thinks that by these exertions the lower deck
was kept free from fire, and the two magazines preserved for a long time from
danger; nor did Lieutenant Dundas, or he, quit this station, but
remained there with all
the people who could be prevailed upon to stay, till
several of the middle-deck guns came through that deck.
About nine o'clock, Lieutenant Dundas and he, finding
it impossible to remain any longer below, went out at the foremost
lower-deck port, and got upon the forecastle; on which he apprehends there
were then about one hundred and fifty of the people drawing water, and
throwing it as far aft as possible upon the fire."
The Queen Charlotte eventually blew up with the loss
of more than 600 people, including the Captain and her first Lieutenant.
Dundas survived, and was promoted to Commander the following December
In July 1801, Admiral Linois's squadron sailed into Algeciras,
with the recently captured Cochrane aboard as prisoner.
Commander Dundas of the Calpe immediately sailed from Gibraltar to warn Admiral
Saumarez off Cadiz. Rear-Admiral Sir James Saumarez reported as follows;
"The Hon. Captain Dundas, of his Majesty's polacre
the Calpe, made his vessel as useful as possible, and kept up a spirited
fire on one of the enemy's batteries." Dundas also sent one his sloop's boats in the unsuccessful
attempt to rescue the grounded Hannibal. The little Calpe
participated in the chase
of the French-Spanish squadron several days later
and assisted in the capture of the French St. Antoine.
"My thanks are also due to Captain Holles, of the
Thames, and to the Hon. Captain Dundas, of the Calpe, whose assistance was
particularly useful to Captain Keats in securing the enemy's ship..."
News of this battle reached the Admiralty at just about
the same time as Cochrane's report, delayed by Manley Dixon at Port
Mahon, of the capture of the El Gamo by the Speedy. Both Dundas and
Cochrane were promoted to Post Captain in August, 1801.