Biography of William Dunlop
William Dunlop (1654-1700) was Principal of the University from 1690 to 1700.
The son of an Ayrshire minister, Dunlop was a tutor to Lord Cochrane's family before going to Carolina as a Presbyterian minister and serving in the militia. He returned to Scotland after the Glorious Revolution and in December 1690 he was appointed Principal. His appointment was believed to be due in some part to the influence of his brother-in-law and cousin, the Royal adviser William Carstares, and to his role in exposing a plot to undermine William III's authority in Scotland.
Dunlop was able to persuade the King and the Scottish Parliament to increase the grants and other income available to the University. Later in the 1690s, as a director of the Company in Scotland Trading to Africa and the Indies, he invested about £1,000 of his own money and persuaded the University to invest a similar sum in the ill-fated Darien Scheme: fortunately for the University, the investment was recovered with interest after the Union of Parliaments in 1707. Dunlop also committed the University to contribute to the heavy cost of rebuilding the Blackfriars kirk.
In 1693 Dunlop was appointed Historiographer Royal for Scotland in 1693. His son Alexander became Professor of Greek at the University, 1704 to 1746.
The Dunlop family Memorial can be found in the Inverkip Street Burial ground, near Greenock, and more information can be found here.