21 December 1870
Sir Patrick Duncan was born on 21 December 1870 in Fortrie, Banffshire, Scotland as the second son of a crofter. He received a Master of Arts in Classics from Balliol College in Oxford in 1981. After writing his law examinations in 1893 he joined the Department of Inland Revenue in 1893. Duncan came to South Africa to join his superior Sir Alfred Milner. Milner had just been appointed as High Commissioner for South Africa and Administrator of the Orange River Colony and of the Transvaal. In South Africa, Duncan was appointed as colonial secretary for the Transvaal. He held several other positions before he returned to Scotland to further his law studies. Upon returning to South Africa, he practiced as a lawyer. He then first joined the Unionist Party before resigning to join the South African Party (SAP). He was minister of internal affairs, public health, education and of mines and industry. From 1937 to 1943, he served as the Governor-General of the Union of South Africa. He married Alice Dold in 1916 and they had four children. Duncan died in Pretoria on 17 July 1943. Duncan contributed in the founding of the Union of South Africa. He has left a legacy of places and streets that are named after him, like Duncan Street in Pretoria, Duncanville in Vereeniging, Duncan Dock in the Cape and Duncan village in Port Elizabeth.

Archontology.org (2011). ‘Patrick Duncan’ from Archontology [online]. Available at www.archontology.org [Accessed 5 December 2011]|Archiveshub (2011). ‘Sir Patrick Duncan Papers’ from Archives hub [online]. Available at https://archiveshub.ac.uk [Accessed 6 December 2011]