This collection chiefly consists of official correspondence of Henry Dundas (First Viscount Melville) and his son Robert (Second Viscount Melville), in their capacity as Governor of the Bank of Scotland. Henry Dundas served as Governor from 1799 until his death in 1811. Robert Dundas then served from 1812 until 1851 - almost 40 years.
Much of the correspondence relates to the issue of the remittance of public revenues from Scotland to London. This was a profitable source of income for the banks involved, and for much of the period the Royal Bank of Scotland attempted to convince Dundas that it should have a monopoly, or that the work should be divided among a limited number of banks (with Bank of Scotland and the Royal Bank taking the lion's share).
Other topics which are mentioned in the correspondence include: the relationship between Bank of Scotland and the Royal Bank, and their relationship with other banks; the economic crises in Scotland of 1793 and 1797, and the role of Bank of Scotland in these; the position of Glasgow in the 1793 crisis; Dundas's relationship with the Duke of Buccleuch (Governor of the Royal Bank and part of Dundas's political interest); the background to Dundas's rivalry with William Ramsay of Barnton (of Mansfield, Ramsays and Company, private bankers, and also a director of the Royal Bank of Scotland), which was rooted in the Ayr Bank crisis; and Dundas's relationship with Sir William Forbes (of Sir William Forbes, James Hunter & Company, Edinburgh private banker).