Person NameMelville; General Robert (1723-1809); inventor and antiquary
ForenamesGeneral Robert
Epithetinventor and antiquary
ActivityA son of the manse in Monimaill, Fife, Robert Melville was born in 1723 and educated at the universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh. In 1744 he was commissioned ensign in the 25th Regiment of Foot (now the King’s Own Scottish Borderers) and served in Flanders. He was made Major of the 38th Foot in 1756, fought in Antigua, and was made Lieutenant Governor of Guadalope in 1759, in the same year in which he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. The following year he became Governor. After his postings he travelled extensively in Europe and took a great interest in antiquities, military history and botany: he had founded the Botanical Gardens on St. Vincent. He was awarded an honorary LLD by Edinburgh University and was a fellow of the Royal Societies of both Edinburgh and London, and of the Society of Antiquaries. He invented the carronade, a thoroughly successful piece of artillery, in 1759. He was blind later in life, and died in Edinburgh in 1809.
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