Melville succeeded to his father's barony when he was 7. An ardent presbyterian from Fife, he was implicated in the Rye House plot and gave support to the Monmouth rising. In exile he joined William of Orange. He was raised to the earldom in 1690 and his family had great influence in Scotland during William's reign. Melville himself was secretary of state [S] 1689–90, lord privy seal [S] 1690–6, and lord president of the council [S] 1696–1702.
Subjects: British History.