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Thursday, 17 January 2008

Scottish Admiral Adam Duncan

Scottish Admiral Adam Duncan. Adam Duncan, 1st Viscount Duncan of Camperdown, 1st Baron Duncan of Lundie (1 July 1731 – 4 August 1804) was a British admiral who defeated the Dutch fleet off Camperdown (north of Haarlem) on 11 October 1797. This victory was considered one of the most significant actions in naval history.

Adam was the second son of Alexander Duncan of Lundie, Forfarshire, (d. May 1777) Provost of Dundee, and his wife (and first cousin once removed) Helen, daughter of John Haldane of Gleneagles, was born at Lundie. In 1746, after receiving his education in Dundee, he entered the navy on board the sloop Trial, under the care of his maternal uncle, Captain Robert Haldane, with whom, in HMS Trial and afterwards in HMS Shoreham, he continued till the peace in 1748.

Duncan was awarded the Large Naval Gold Medal and an annual pension of £3,000, to himself and the next two heirs to his title - this was the biggest pension ever awarded by the British government. Additionally, he was given the freedom of several cities, including Dundee and London.

Till 1801 Duncan continued in command of the North Sea fleet, but without any further opportunity of distinction. Three years later, 4 August 1804, he died quite suddenly, aged seventy-three, at the inn at Cornhill, a village on the border, where he had stopped for the night on his journey to Edinburgh and was buried in Lundie. He left a family of four daughters, and, besides the eldest son who succeeded to the peerage, a second son, Henry, who died a captain in the navy and K.C.H. in 1835.

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