Douglas Genealogy

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Douglas Genealogy- Some descendants of Sir William de Douglas of Douglas, Lanarkshire.

Text of Douglas Genealogy


1. WILLIAMA family fable gives the origin of the Douglas family in the 8th century during the reign of Solvathius, King of Scots. Donald Bane of the Western Isles invaded Scottish territory and routed the King's forces. An unknown warrior with his followers came to the King's aid and in the ensuing battle Donald was killed. When the King asked who the warrior was the stranger was pointed out to him with the Gaelic words "Sholto Dhu-glas" or "Behold the dark man". The King supposedly rewarded him with a large tract of land in Lanarkshire which was called Douglas after him. Another theory states that the founder of the family was a Fleming named Theobald who came to Scotland about 1150 and as a servant of Arnald, Abbot of Kelso received from him a grant of land on "Dhu-glas" or Douglas water. William of Dufglas witnessed a charter from Joceline, Bishop of Glasgow to the monks of Kelso between 1175 and 1199. He also attended the court of William the Lion and his name often occurs as a witness to William's charters. William was either the brother or brother-in-law of Sir Freskin de Kerdale in Moray. In his "Cronykil" Wyntoun states: "Of Murrawe and the Douglas How that thare begynnyng was, Syn syndry men spekes syndryly I can put that in na story. But in thare armeyis both thai bere The Sternys (stars) set in Iyk manere; Til mony men it is phit sene Apperand Iyk (seeming as if) that thai had bene Of kyn be descens Igneale Or be branchys collaterele." Issue 2I. ERKENBALD or ARCHIBALD- m.? MARGARET De CRAWFORD, d.c.1240 II. Brice- prior of Lesmahago and in 1203 Bishop of Moray III. Fretheskin- parson of Douglas and later Dean of Moray IV. Hugh- Canon of Spynie and Archdeacon of Moray


DOUGLAS V. Alexander- Canon of Spynie, Vicar of Elgin VI. Henry- Canon of Spynie Ref: "The Scottish Nation"- William Anderson, A. Fullarton & Co., Edinburgh, 1880 "History of the House of Douglas"- Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert Maxwell, Freemantle & Co., London, 1902, Vol.I, pp.9-16 "Cronykil"- Wyntoun, B.VIII, c.7 "History of the Douglasses"- David Hume of Godscroft, 1643-4 "Caledonia"- George Chalmers, Vol.I, p.579 "Origines Parochiales Scotiae"- Vol.I, p.155 2I. ARCHIBALD (WILLIAM 1) m.? MARGARET De CRAWFORD d. 1240 He was a witness to a confirmation by Jocelyn, Bishop of Glasgow of a toft of land in Glasgow to the monks of Melrose (1179-1199). He acquired the lands of Livingstone & Herdmanston in Lothian and must have been knighted before 1226 as he is called dominus Archibald de Dufglas in a charter.

Douglas Castle Issue-


DOUGLAS 3I. WILLIAM- m.1. ?, 2. ? Constance Battail of Fawdon, Northumberland, d. 1276 23II. ANDREW- of Dufglas Ref: "The Scottish Nation"- William Anderson, A. Fullarton & Co., Edinburgh, 1880 "History of the House of Douglas"- Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert Maxwell, Freemantle & Co., London, 1902, Vol.I, pp.16-7 "Liber Collegii Nostre Domine de Glascii"- Maitland Club, 1846, X, 235 "Liber de Melros"- I, 214 3I. WILLIAM (WILLIAM 1, ARCHIBALD 2) m.1. ? 2. ? Constance Battail of Fawdon, Northumberland d. 1276 In the absence of documentary proof it must be assumed that William "Long-leg" was the son of Archibald as he was the third recorded owner of the lands. William was a witness to charters in 1240 and 1248 and is mentioned in the Pipe Rolls in 1241 as a surety for a payment by Michael Fitz Michael of Ryhulle. In 1256 he granted the lands of Warentham of Warndon, Northumberland to his second son William. (1) About 1264 William purchased the house and lands of Fawdon, Northumberland. These he held as a vassal of the Earl of Angus who was the English knight Gilbert de Umfraville, Lord of Redesdale who asked Prince Edward to return the manor of Fawdon. The case was tried before a jury and Douglas was acquitted and Fawdon was restored to him. Umfraville then attacked the house of Fawdon with 100 men on 19 July 1267 captured it and took 31 1/2 marks in cash, silver spoons, cups, clothes, arms jewels, gold rings, etc. to the value of 100, carried William off and imprisoned him in Harbottle Tower. In the battle young William was wounded in the neck and almost died. A second trial followed in 1269 where Douglas was judged owner of Fawdon and Umfraville was fined.(3) Issue I. Hugh- m. Margery de Abernethy, d.s.p. before 1288. The indenture between Sir Hugh de Abernethy and Sir William de Douglas for this marriage is the earliest charter of the Douglases which survives. "Pattane Purdie brack a chaise/ Upon the Lord Douglas;/ Hugh Lord Douglas turned againe,/And there was Patton Purdie slaine."(2) 4II. WILLIAM- m.1. ELIZABETH STEWARD (d. before 1288), 2. 1288 ELEANOR LOVAINE (m.1. William de Ferrers, Lord of Groby), d. 1302 Ref: (1) "Calendar of Documents Relating to Scotland 1108-1509"-Joseph Bain, H.M. Gen. Reg. House, Edinburgh, 1881-8, Vol.I, p.394 (2) Maitland's MS, Hamilton Palace, quoted by William Fraser in "The Douglas Book", 1885 (3) "Placitorum Abbreviatio"- p.166; Bain- Vol.I, p.485 "The Scottish Nation"- William Anderson, A. Fullarton & Co., Edinburgh, 1880 "History of the House of Douglas"- Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert Maxwell, Freemantle & Co., London, 1902, Vol.I, pp.18-9


DOUGLAS4II. WILLIAM (WILLIAM 1, ARCHIBALD 2, WILLIAM 3) m.1. ELIZABETH, daughter of Alexander the Steward (d. before 1288) 2. 1288 ELEANOR, daughter of Matthew, Lord of Lovaine (m.1. William de Ferrers, Lord of Groby) d. 1302

At the assize held at Newcastle upon Tyne in 1256 his father reported that he had granted William a carucate of land at Warendon in Northumberland for his homage and service.(1) William then succeeded his brother in 1288. Also in 1288 Duncan, Earl of Fife was murdered by Sir Hugh de Abernethy who was subsequently captured and handed over to William by Sir Andrew de Moray to be imprisoned in the vaults of Douglas castle. In 1291 Edward I as overlord of Scotland ordered the transfer of Abernethy to a royal prison but his command was not obeyed and Hugh died at the castle in 1293 not being able to survive the rigors and filth of this mediaeval dungeon.(2)

Ruins of Douglas Castle In 1289 William sent a messenger from Glasgow to the Abbot of Kelso to receive his family charters which had been stored in the cell of Lesmahagow for safety.(3)


DOUGLASA certain wealthy widow, Eleanor, widow of William de Ferrers had obtained from King Edward a handsome dowry from her husband's English lands and also from his possessions in five Scottish counties. While coming north to collect her rents in 1288 she stayed at Tranent castle with Eleanor de Zouch, widow of Alan de Zouch. One morning William along with John Wishart arrived with a large force and carried off Dame Eleanor to be his wife. King Edward was not pleased and on 28 Jan. 1289 he ordered the sheriff of Northumberland to seize all of William's Northumberland possessions and to imprison him if he could find him. The sheriff reported in April that he had seized all of William's lands within his jurisdiction as well as those of John Wishart and wanted a special mandate to seize Wishart's land within the jurisdiction of Thomas de Normanville. On 27 March Edward demanded the immediate arrest of William and Eleanor from the Guardians of Scotland, but they did not reply perhaps because William had powerful friends at court, two of the Regents being his brothers in law James Stewart and Comyn, Earl of Buchan. William however was captured and imprisoned in Leeds castle but he was released in May 1290 and his and John Wishart's lands were returned on condition that they appear before the King within 15 days from 27 Jan. 1291. Eleanor was fined 100 for marrying without the King's leave, but she was not able to pay and Edward confiscated her estates in Essex and Hereford in 1296.(4) William signed the treaty of Salisbury in Nov. 1289 which approved of the marriage between the Prince of Wales and Queen Margaret. He was a M.P. 18 July 1290 at Birgham. On 5 July 1291 William "the Hardy" swore allegience to Edward I in the chapel of Thurston in East Lothian. At the end of 1291 William's land in Douglasdale was forfeited to King Edward for some unknown transgressions.(5) William failed to attend the Parliament at Scone on 10 Feb. 1293 and was proclaimed a defaulter. He however attended the second Parliament of King John Balliol at Stirling 3 Aug. 1293 when he was imprisoned by John. While in prison under King John's warrant he should have been on his lands in Essex on the service of King Edward who fined him 20 for his absence, but the fine was remitted "whereas our beloved and faithful William of Douglas was in our prison by our instruction."(6)

William later attacked the English and in 1296 was governor of the castle of Berwick when the town was besieged be Edward on 29 March 1296 with 35,000 men. The town was taken by storm 30 March 1296 and 7,500 were killed, the massacre leaving a dark stain on Edward's memory: "Thus thai slayand ware sa fast All the day, qwhill (until) at the last


DOUGLASThis Kyng Edward saw in the tyde A woman slayne, and off hyr syde A barne (child) he was fall out, sprewland Besyd that woman slayne Iyand. 'Lasses, lasses!' (laissez) than cryid he; 'Leve off,- Leve off!' that word suld be."(7) After the garrison had surrendered and was allowed to March out with military honors William was detained as a prisoner in one of the towners of the castle called Hog's Tower. His lands in Essex were seized and the sheriff of Essex reported that he had arrested at Stebbing William's son Hugh who was nearly two years old.(8) In the same year he renewed his oath to Edward in Edinburgh when he signed the Ragman Roll and on 30 Aug. 1296 his land in Scotland was restored to him by order of the King but his English possessions were forfeited thus destroying all reason for William to remain faithful to England.

Berwick Cast