From the Book of Eminent Burgesses of Dundee 1513 to 1885.

Alexander Duncan of Lundie - 13th February 1717.



ALEXANDER DUNCAN of Lundie was the son of the first ALEXANDER DUNCAN of Lundie whose name was enrolled on 7th May, 1689 (vide page 207). He was born in 1677, and, like his father, was early introduced to public life. The definite and valuable support which had been given by his father to KING WILLIAM during the Revolution brought him into notice, and when the Hanoverian dynasty came to the throne he was one of the most trusted of their adherents in the Burgh.

The Rebellion of 1715 left Dundee without civic rulers, as the majority had been on the Jacobite side and fled at the approach of the DUKE OF ARGYLL. A temporary Magistracy was appointed by the DUKE on 3rd February, 1716, and in the following month a special warrant was issued by the KING, addressed to the DUKE OF DOUGLAS as Constable, ALEXANDER DUNCAN of Lundie as Constable Depute, DAVID HALIBURTON Of Pitcur, JOHN SCRYMGEOUR of Tealing, and JOHN SCRYMGEOUR, Junr of Tealing, empowering them to convocate the Burgesses and proceed to the election of Magistrates and Town Council. This important duty was performed by them on 18th April, 1716, with the result that JOHN SCRYMGEOUR, Senr was elected Provost, and his son, whose name is here entered on the Roll, and ALEXANDER DUNCAN of Lundie, were appointed Councillors. From this time until his death MR DUNCAN was actively engaged in the public service of the Burgh, both as Councillor and Provost.

The date of the decease of ALEXANDER DUNCAN of Lundie is not recorded in the genealogy of the family, but is here supplied from an authentic source. Shortly after the Rev. JOHN WILLISON came to the South Church of Dundee, he wrote his earliest published work now very rare entitled "An Apology for the Church of Scotland;" and the "Advertisement" which he appended to it affords some interesting particulars of the career and character of the LAIRD OF LUNDIE. It may be necessary to quote a portion of this contemporary notice of him, as it serves to clear up some confusion which has long existed regarding this ALEXANDER DUNCAN, and his son of the same name, who was Provost at a later period :

"It is with deep regret," writes Mr WILLISON, "that I must acquaint the reader of the death of that worthy gentleman the LAIRD OF LUNDIE, to whom this treatise is dedicated; which is an unspeakable loss to the City of Dundee and the whole County of Angus. His health hath been long in a declining state, and particularly ever since the late unnatural Rebellion. For LUNDIE being thereby obliged to retire from his own house and native air, and live several months together in a town, he contracted a bad habit of body, under which he hath been languishing ever since that time. This book was put to the press and the first sheet thereof printed off before his last illness. But it pleased God that his distemper afterward took a more sudden turn, and he was called home before it could be altogether perfected.

He was a gentleman of eminent piety, sound principles, and of great sense and reading. He was a close resolute adherer to the Church of Scotland and the Protestant succession established by law, and that in the most critical juncture; and upon this account he was looked on as a speckled bird by the rest of the Gentry of the Shire, who yet paid deference to LUNDIE, and feared him because of his parts and interest in the country. . . . As he was a most easy and kind master to his tenants all his life, so at his death he testified great charity to such of them as were insolvent or poor, by causing burn their Bonds and Bills for what they owed him, tho' it amounted to a very considerable sum. . . . He was not only a wise and knowing man, but also an active and public spirited man; one that upon all occasions stood up for the truth with courage and resolution; one that laid out himself for the interest of religion with zeal and affection, and heartily espoused the cause of those that adhered thereto. . . . In a word, LUNDIE was a rare and extraordinary instance of one in whom appeared a very sweet mixture of knowledge and zeal, capacity and readiness to serve the public good!"

Mr WILLISON concludes his book with a poetical eulogy upon his patron, the title of which is as follows: "An Elegy on the much lamented Death of the Right Honourable Mr ALEXANDER DUNCAN of Lundie, Lord Provost of Dundee, who departed this life at his House of Lundie, in the Shire of Angus, the 2nd of January, 1719 years, in the 42nd year of his age." This title gives precisely the date of PROVOST DUNCAN's death, and upon incontestable evidence.

Mr DUNCAN was married in 1702 to ISABELLA, eldest daughter of SIR PATRICK MURRAY, Bart., of Ochtertyre, and had a numerous family. His eldest son, ALEXANDER (nat. 1703 ob. circa 1765), was long a valued public official in Dundee. He was elected a Town Councillor in 1742 and was chosen Provost in 1744, and filled the latter post at the critical time of the Rebellion of 1745. One of the sons of this second PROVOST DUNCAN was the famous Admiral, VISCOUNT DUNCAN of Camperdown, whose name is enrolled at a later date. WILLIAM DUNCAN, the second son of ALEXANDER DUNCAN and ISABELLA MURRAY, rose to eminence in London as a physician, and was appointed Physician Extraordinary to GEORGE II. He was created a Baronet in 1754, but died without issue, and the title expired with him.