Portrait of Lieut Matthew Charles Dunbar 1789-1819
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Lieut Matthew Charles Dunbar
(1789-1819)

Born: at Nicholas Lane 18 February 1789 and died in India 21 June 1819.
Son of: William Dunbar and Jane Dunbar (nee Morthland).
Brother of:
1. Robert Dunbar (1785-1804) also a soldier.
2. Anne Raymond Heath (nee Dunbar, 1787-1842)
3. Jane Robina Sneyd (1791-?, nee Dunbar) who married Captain Ralph Henry Sneyd, HEICS, 1st Bengal Cavalry, later Commander of the Governors Generals Boy Guard, in 1817 at St. Georges, Hanover Square, London.
Matthew did not marry.

Lieut Matthew Charles Dunbar: An Overview

We know about Matthew from the following sources:
1. An entry in the book "Records of the Heath Family" by George Heath, 1913, which records his will.
2. An entry in the book "Officers of the Bengal Army 1758-1834" by Major V.C.P. Hodson.
3. His portrait.

The book "Records of the Heath Family" mainly notes his parents and immediate family, in particular his sister Anne Raymond Heath.  It also gives a copy of his will in which he left his estate to the children of his sister Anne Raymond Heath.  These notes are as follows:

LIEUT. DUNBAR'S WILL.
I, Matthew Charles Dunbar, Lieut. and Capt. in the Bengal Army, at present in a sound state of mind, do hereby make my last Will and Testament.
First. - I do will and bequeath whatever sums of money may be found of mine invested in the hands of my agents, Messers. Macintosh & Co., of Calcutta, in the East Indies, to the children of my beloved brother and sister, George and Anne Raymond Heath, of London, and I do direct that the money so bequeathed, be equally divided amongst the aforesaid children (five in number), and by name as follows:- Julia Heath, John Moore Heath. Douglas Heath, Dunbar Heath and Leopold Heath.
Second. - I do will and bequeath whatever profit or advantage may be forthcoming on my death, from the share which I now possess, in the Laudable Society, to the children above named, and which is to be equally divided among them.
Third. - I do will and bequeath the amount of my property of every description to the children aforesaid, to be equally divided without favour or affection.
Fourth. - I do will and direct that all my private letters be placed under seal, and made over to one of my exors.
Fifth. - I do will and direct that Jas. Moore, Esquire, of London, conjointly with Edward Cairncross Sneyd, Lieut. in the Bengal Army, be exors. to this my last Will, and I do hereby revoke any former Will.
Given under my hand and seal on this 12th day of June. 1819.
Witness my hand and seal in presence of the undermentioned,
M.C. DUNBAR, Lieut. Brev. Capt., Bengal Army.
Witness.
Signed - 
CHAS. RENNY, Asst. Surgeon, R.A.
CHAS RAY, Asst. Surgeon, R.A.
A true and faithful copy E SNEYD, Exor.

The entry in "Records of the Heath Family" continues as follows:
Our cousin, Mrs. H.E. Malden, to whom the family owe so much for her researches in our past history, is the possessor of some interesting relics of our grandparents.
1. A small gold locket, 1-in. in diameter, with an outer and inner circle of black enamel and gold for mourning.  M.C.D. in the centre on one face, and a small glass centre showing hair, on the other.  Inside, an open gold cover of fine workmanship, protecting a glass, under which some black hair is arranged.  Inscription inside.  The hair of my adored brother M.C. Dunbar.  Obt. 19 June, 1819, Obt. 30 years.
2. Serjt. Heath's scarlet robe, and his very beautiful court ruffles of lace.
3. A few ornaments, ring, watch chain, prayer book and work box, formally belonging to our grandmother.
4. The silver teapot and cream jug presented to Serjt. Heath by his clients on his retirement.
5. Urn, two decanters and remains of the white and gold tea set purchased with Sir John Moore's wedding present.
6. A whole tea set, a wedding present from Miss Jane Moore to our grandmother, and always kept for best.

I understand that there is an entry in the book "Officers of the Bengal Army 1758-1834" by Major V.C.P. Hodson. In the volume covering surnames A-D page 96 there is an entry as follows:
Matthew Charles Dunbar b.1787/8; Cadet 17 May1803; arrived India 2 Dec 1804; Ensign & Lieutenant 10 Nov 1804; Brevet Captain 1 Jan 1818; Died Ajmer (? Nasirabad) 21 June 1819 of Fever.
He was posted to the 7th Native Infantry 1805; Adjutant 1/7 N.I. 1808-10; Adjutant and Quarter Master 2/7 N.I. 23 Jan 10-July 1814; Instructor & Q.M. 2/7 N.I. 1 July 1814 until his death. Served in Third Mahratta War; Brevet Captain 2/7 N.I. (? in Commissariat Department); Brigade Quartermaster 8th Infantry Brigade, Reserve Division. (the questionmarks above are the authors).

 

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