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The Scottish Nation

QUEENSBERRY, earl, marquis, and duke of, titles in the peerage of Scotland, possessed by a branch of the ancient and once dominant family of Douglas, and the latter held, since 1810, by the duke of Buccleuch. The title of earl of Queensberry was conferred in 1633, by Charles I., on Sir William Douglas of Drumlanrig, descended from Sir William Douglas, the elder of the two natural sons of James, second earl of Douglas, who was killed at the battle of Otterburn in 1388. The barony of Drumlanrig, in the parish of Durrisdeer, Dumfries-shire, was bestowed upon him by his father by charter, and he was subsequently designated dominus de Drumlanrig. In 1411, Sir William Douglas of Drumlanrig and Sir Gavin de Dunbar attacked Roxburgh, then in possession of the English, broke down the bridge, and burnt the town. On 24th September that year, with the earls of Douglas and March, he was a commissioner to treat for a peace with the English. He obtained from King James I. a letter, dated at Croydon, 30th November 1412, confirming to him the lands of Drumlanrig, “Hawyke,” and Selkirk, which is still extant. He had a safe-conduct to come and go to England, to negotiate the release of that monarch, then a captive there, 16th April 1413. Upon various other occasions he had also a safe-conduct to go to England, particularly one on 16th December 1414, to him and six persons chosen by him, attended by eighty horsemen, to go to Carlisle, to perform certain feats of arms before judges, against Sir John de Clifford and six persons of his nomination. In 1420 he accompanied the Scottish auxiliaries to France under the earl of Buchan. He was knighted at the coronation of James I., 21st May 1424, and is said to have been killed in battle against the English in France in 1427. By his wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Robert Stewart of Durrisdeer and Rosyth, he had a son, William Douglas of Drumlanrig, who was one of the hostages for King James I., 9th November 1427, in the room of Sir Adam de Hebburn. In 1448 he was in the army commanded by the earls of Douglas and Ormond, when a sanguinary battle was fought with the English on the banks of the river Sark in Annandale, and the latter were defeated with great slaughter. He died in 1458.

His son, William Douglas of Drumlanrig, distinguished himself at the siege of Roxburgh, where James II. was killed in 1460, and also in December 1462 in the expedition of the earl of Angus to the relief of Alnwick, then held by a French garrison, under Breze, high-steward of Normandy, when he succeeded in bringing them off, in sight of a superior English force, commanded by King Edward IV. in person. He died in 1464. His son, Sir William Douglas of Drumlanrig, was killed while fighting on the king’s side against the duke of Albany and the ninth and last earl of Douglas, in the engagement near Lochmaben, when they invaded Scotland 22d July 1484. With three daughters, he had four sons, namely, 1. James, his successor. 2. Archibald, ancestor of the Douglases of Cashogle. 3. George, ancestor of the Douglases of Penziere; and 4. John, vicar of Kirkconnell.

The eldest son, James Douglas of Drumlanrig, married, in 1470, Janet, eldest daughter of Sir David Scott of Branxholm, ancestor of the duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry, and died in 1498. He had, with one daughter, a son, Sir William Douglas of Drumlanrig, who fell at the battle of Flodden, 9th September 1513. With two daughters the latter had two sons, Sir James, and Robert, appointed provost of Lincludden in 1547. He was the last provost of that ancient religious house, and was allowed to enjoy the benefice for about forty years after the Reformation. He was one of the persons who accompanied King James VI., when he embarked for Norway, 22d October 1589, and appears to have been collector of the revenue, as one the appointment of the Octavians in 1596, he demitted that office, on being required to do so. The Douglases of Burford were descended from him. He is said to have been a natural son, but legitimated in 1559.

The elder son, Sir James Douglas of Drumlanrig, was one of the barons who, with Sir Walter Scott of Buccleuch, attempted to rescue King James V. from the hands of the earl of Angus, near Melrose, in June 1526, for which he obtained a remission. The oldest extant charter of the town of Hawick is one of confirmation granted by this James Douglas of Drumlanrig, baron of Hawick, dated 11th October 1537. He was knighted by the regent Arran, duke of Chatelherault, and in 1553 appointed guardian of the west marches, with full powers of justiciary. He subscribed the Book of Discipline 27th January 1561, and was one of the confederated barons who marched against Queen Mary, in 1567, when she surrendered at Carberry hill. On this occasion, his son, Sir William Douglas of Hawick, with Hume of Manderston and Hume of Huttonhall, was sent forward to break the array of the queen’s gunners, when she stood with her army on the hill. When the queen escaped from Lochleven, the son, Sir William Douglas, joined the regent Moray at Glasgow, and on the latter being advised to retire to Stirling, he declared, “If ye depart, I will go to the queen, as my Lord Boyd hath done.” At the battle of Langside, he had the command of a party of horse on the regent’s side. Old Drumlanrig, as his father was called, was with the forces under the earl of Morton at Leith, in 1571, and engaged in some of the skirmishes with the castle of Edinburgh, then held by the queen’s party. On the 23d of June the same year, he was taken prisoner as he was riding home, on some business betwixt him and Lord Herries, and others who were at variance. Lord Herries treacherously appointed to meet him where the laird of Wormeston lay in wait for him, and he was conveyed to the castle of Edinburgh. On this occasion his son, Sir William, narrowly escaped. Not being certain whether his son had been killed or not, he sent him the following curious epistle: “Willie, Thou sall wit that I am haill and feare. Send me word thairfoir how thow art, whether deid or livand? Gif thow be deid, I doubt not but freindis will let me know the treuth; and gif thow be weill, I desire na muir,” &c. He showed this letter to his captors, that they might be sure it contained no treason; and to save his purse, he sent it with the letter, desiring the messenger to deliver it to his son. (Calderwood, vol. iii. p. 105, note.) He was one of those who visited Knox on his deathbed, and died in 1578. His son, Sir William Douglas, having predeceased him in 1572, he was succeeded by his grandson, Sir James Douglas of Drumlanrig, who distinguished himself in suppressing disturbances on the borders, and died 16th October 1615. With two daughters, Sir James had four sons. 1. Sir William. 2. Sir James Douglas of Mouswalk, Dumfries-shire, derived from Moswold, “the wood near the moss.” 3. David Douglas of Airdoch; and 4. George Douglas of Penziere.

The eldest son, Sir William Douglas of Drumlanrig, was the first earl of Queensberry. He had obtained a reversion of the provostry of Lincludden, and after the death of his granduncle, Robert Douglas, above mentioned, he enjoyed its revenues during his own life. He was a member of the General Assembly which met at Glasgow 8th June 1610, and entertained King James VI., at his house of Drumlanrig, when his majesty visited Scotland in 1617. By patent, dated at Whitehall, 1st April 1628, he was created a peer, by the titles of viscount of Drumlanrig, and Lord Douglas of Hawick and Tibberis, to him and his heirs male, bearing the name and arms of Douglas. He got vested in himself and his heirs the patronage and tithes of the churches of Terregles, Lochrutton, Colvend, Kirkbean, and Caerlaverock, belonging to the provostry of Lincludden, and also a small part of its lands. When Charles I. visited Scotland in 1633, he advanced the viscount of Drumlanrig to the title of earl of Queensberry, to him and his heirs male bearing the name and arms of Douglas, by patent, dated at Seton, 13th June of that year. The title was taken from a mountain called Queensberry, in the parish of Closeburn, Dumfries-shire, having its name from the Anglo-Saxon berg, a hill, softened into berry. Situated amid a collection of heights, it is literally the “queen hill” of the district. He died 8th March 1640. He had, with two daughters, four sons; 1. James, second earl of Queensberry. 2. Hon. Sir William Douglas of Kelhead. 3. Hon. Archibald Douglas of Dornock, ancestor of the Douglases of Dornock; and 4. Hon. George Douglas, who died unmarried.

James, second earl of Queensberry, the eldest son, adhered to the cause of Charles I. in the civil wars, and was on his way to join the marquis of Montrose after the battle of Kilsyth in August 1645, when the leading men of the district of Glencairn intercepted and took him prisoner. A fine of 120,000 marks Scots was imposed on him by the Estates, which he paid, and by Cromwell’s act of grace and pardon in 1654, another fine of £4,000 sterling was exacted from him. He died in 1671. He was twice married; first, to Lady Mary Hamilton, third daughter of the second marquis of Hamilton, without issue; and, secondly, to Lady Margaret Stewart, eldest daughter of John, first earl of Traquair, high-treasurer of Scotland, by whom he had, with five daughters, four sons, namely, 1. William, third earl. 2. Hon. James Douglas, who, after passing advocate, entered the army, and was made colonel of the guards in Scotland in July 1684. He rose to be lieutenant-general, and died at Namur, in 1691. 3. Hon. John Douglas, killed at the siege of Treves in 1673; and 4. Hon. Robert Douglas, killed at the siege of Maestricht in 1676.

William, third earl and first duke of Queensberry, the eldest son, celebrated as a statesman, was born in 1637, and had charters of the office of sheriff and coroner of the county of Dumfries in 1664 and 1667. In the latter year he was sworn a privy councilor, and succeeded his father in 1671. In June 1680, he was appointed justice-general of Scotland, and was admitted an extraordinary lord of session, 1st November 1681. He was created marquis of Queensberry, earl of Drumlanrig and Sanquhar, viscount of Nith, Torthorwald, and Ross, and Lord Douglas of Kinmouth, Middlebie, and Dornock, to him and his heirs male whatsoever in all future time, by patent, dated at Whitehall, 11th February 1682; and in April following he obtained a warrant authorizing the lion king at arms to give to him and his heirs for ever the double treasure, as it is carried in the royal achievement. On being constituted high-treasurer of Scotland by commission, dated 12th May 1682, he resigned the place of justice-general, and on 21st May 1682, he resigned the place of justice-general, and on 21st September following was appointed constable and governor of Edinburgh castle. By Charles II. he was created duke of Queensberry, marquis of Dumfries-shire, earl of Dromlanrig and Sanquhar, viscount of Nith, Torthorwald, and Ross, Lord Douglas of Kinmouth, Middlebie and Dornock, to him and the heirs male of his body, by patent, dated at Whitehall, 3d November 1684.

On the accession of James VII. In 1685, his grace was continued in all his offices, and appointed high-commissioner to represent his majesty in the first session of his only Scots parliament, which met at Edinburgh 23d April of that year. After the king’s letter had been read, his grace, referring to the Covenanters, said, among other things: “My lords, his majesty certainly expects from the prudence and loyalty of this parliament that effectual ways will be fallen upon for destroying that desperate, fanatical, and irreclaimable party, who have brought us to the brink of ruin and disgrace, and are no more rebels against the king than enemies of mankind, wretches of such monstrous principles and practices as past ages never hears nor those to come will hardly believe;” concluding with, “how inconsiderable soever they appear, assure yourselves they ought not absolutely to be condemned, for if they had not support and correspondence not yet discovered, it is not to be supposed they could have so long escaped the care and vigilance of the government.” The following year the treasury being put in commission, his grace was appointed president of the council, but disapproving of the king’s measures for repealing the penal laws against popery, he was, the same year, deprived of all his offices. He retired to his estates in Dumfries-shire, and occupied himself in superintending the building of Drumlanrig castle, which he had begun some years before. This magnificent edifice took ten years in building, and was not finished till 1689, the year after the Revolution. He expended upon it such enormous sums of money, and during the only night that he ever passed within its walls was so annoyed at not being able to obtain medical advice, to relieve him from a temporary fit of illness, that he abandoned it in disgust, and afterwards folding up the artificers’ bills for erecting it in a sealed parcel, wrote upon the latter, “The deil pike out his een that looks herein.” He concurred in the Revolution, and with others of the Scottish nobility waited on the prince of Orange at London, to request that he would take the administration of affairs into his hands, and call a convention. His grace was a second time appointed an extraordinary lord of session, 23d November 1693, and died at Edinburgh, 28th March 1695, aged 58. He was buried at Durrisdeer, where a magnificent monument was erected to his memory. By his duchess, Lady Isabel Douglas, sixth daughter of William, first marquis of Douglas, he had, with one daughter, three sons, viz. 1. James, second duke. 2. William, created earl of March, 20th April 1697; and 3. Lord George Douglas, who died, unmarried, at Sanquhar in July 1693. His father presented the books belonging to this young nobleman to the library of the faculty of advocates at Edinburgh. The daughter, Lady Anne Douglas, married in 1697, David Lord Elcho, afterwards third earl of Wemyss. Her clothes catching fire whilst at prayers, 13th February 1700, she was so severely scorched that she died on the 21st. Her great-grandson, Francis, earl of Wemyss, succeeded in December 1810, to the title of earl of March and the great estates of the Queensberry family in the county of Peebles (see WEMYSS, earl of).

James, second duke of Queensberry, the eldest son, was the eminent statesman who succeeded in effecting the treaty of union with England. Born at Sanquhar castle, 18th December 1662, he was educated at the university of Glasgow, after leaving which he proceeded to travel on the Continent. On his return in 1684, he was sworn a privy councilor, and made lieutenant-colonel of Lord Dundee’s regiment of horse, from which he was removed in 1688. He entered heartily into the revolution, and joined the prince of Orange at Sherbourne 30th November that year. By King William he was appointed colonel of the sixth or Scottish troop of horse guards, a privy councilor, and one of the gentlemen of his bedchamber. In 1692 he was made a commissioner of the treasury, and in 1693 was authorized to sit and vote in parliament as lord-high-treasurer. On the death of his father in 1695 he quitted the army, and was appointed an extraordinary lord of session in his room, also keeper of the privy seal. In 1700 he represented the king as high commissioner to the parliament of Scotland, and 18th June 1701 was nominated a knight of the Garter, and installed at Windsor 10th July following. In 1702 and 1703 Queen Anne appointed his grace secretary of state, and her commissioner to the parliament of Scotland; but his administration creating great dissatisfaction, he was shortly afterwards deprived of all his offices, except that of lord of session. In 1705 he was restored to office, and appointed keeper of the privy seal and a lord of the treasury, and in the following year was constituted high-commissioner on the part of Scotland to carry through the treaty of Union between the two kingdoms. That important national measure was concluded, in 1707, chiefly by his address, skill, and ability, in spite of the most powerful opposition. IN Scotland, where the Union was peculiarly obnoxious, the duke was very unpopular, but in England he was received with great distinction, and, as a reward of his services, a pension of £3,000 per annum was conferred on him, the whole patronage of Scotland was vested in his hands, and he was created a British peer, 26th May 1708, by the title of duke of Dover, marquis of Beverley, and earl of Ripon, with remainder to his third son, Charles, earl of Solway, third duke of Queensberry, of whom afterwards. On 12th June 1706, his grace surrendered to the crown the title of duke of Queensberry and other dignities conferred upon his father, and obtained a new patent of these honours, dated at Windsor castle, the 17th of the same month, grating them to him and his heirs of entail, male or female, succeeding to the estate of Queensberry, such heirs of entail being descended from the first earl of Queensberry. In this resignation the titles of marquis and earl of Queensberry, viscount of Drumlanrig, Lord Douglas of Hawick and Tibberis, were not included. ON 9th February 1709, his grace was appointed third secretary of state. He died, after a short illness, 6th July 1711, in his 49th year. His portrait is subjoined:

[portrait of 2nd duke of Queensberry]

By his duchess, Mary, fourth daughter of Charles Boyle, Lord Clifford, he had four sons and three daughters. The two elder sons died young, and the third, Charles, succeeded him. His second daughter, Lady Jean Douglas, married 5th April 1726, Francis, earl of Dalkeith, afterwards duke of Buccleuch, with issue.

Charles, third duke of Queensberry and second duke of Dover, the third but eldest surviving son, born at Edinburgh, 24th November 1698, was created earl of Solway, viscount of Tibberis, and Lord Douglas of Lockerbie, Dalveen, and Thornhill, by patent, dated at Windsor castle 17th June 1706 (the same date as that of the new patent of the dukedom of Queensberry granted to his father), to him and the heirs male of his body. He became duke of Queensberry, on his father’s death, in 1711. He was a privy councilor and lord of the bedchamber to George I., and by George II. was appointed vice-admiral of Scotland.

His grace married, 10th March 1720, Lady Catherine Hyde, second daughter of Henry, earl of Clarendon and Rochester, celebrated for her beauty, her wit, and her sprightliness, by Pope, Swift, Prior, and other poets of her time. Both the duke and duchess had a sincere regard for Gay the poet, who said of her,

“Yonder I see the cheerful duchess stand,
For friendship, zeal, and blithesome humours known.”

They received him into their house, treated him with all respect and attention, and undertook the regulation of his money matters, a task to which he had ever proved himself inadequate. He accompanied them to Scotland, and spent some time with them at Queensberry house, Edinburgh. In consequence of their patronage of Gay, they were forbid the court, the ‘Beggar’s Opera,’ written by him, having, on its production in 1727, greatly offended those in power. His grace, in consequence, attached himself to Frederick, prince of Wales, then in opposition to his father, George II., and was appointed by him one of the lords of his bedchamber. On the death of Gar, in December 1732, the duchess erected a monument to his memory at Westminster Abbey, with an inscription by Pope.

Under the heritable jurisdiction abolition act of 1747, his grace was allowed £6,621 8s. 5d. in all, for his regalities, in full of his claim of £14,500. On the accession of George III. in 1760, the duke of Queensberry was sworn a privy councilor. In the following year, he was appointed keeper of the great seal of Scotland, and, on 16th April 1763, lord-justice-general. In 1778 he was honoured by a visit from the king and queen, at his seat of Amesbury, Wiltshire. Soon after he proceeded to London, to return thanks for this mark of distinction, but on the way, while stepping out of his carriage, he hurt his leg, and a mortification ensuing, he died at London 22d August of that year, at the age of 80. By his duchess he had two sons.

The elder son, Henry, earl of Drumlanrig, born 30th October 1722, was educated at the college of Winchester, and the university of Oxford. Afterwards, entering the army, he served two campaigns under the earl of Stair, and one under Charles Emanuel, king of Sardinia. For his signally gallant conduct, particularly at the siege of Coni, the latter ordered his ambassador in London to wait on his father, to thank him for the services performed by him. IN May 1747, his lordship got a commission to raise a regiment of two battalions and twenty companies in the Highlands, for the service of the States of Holland. On the second battalion being disbanded in 1749, his lordship brought them back to Scotland at his own expense. On 10th July 1754, he married Lady Elizabeth Hope, eldest daughter of the second earl of Hopetoun. On their way to London a few weeks thereafter, with his father, mother, and brother, Lord Drumlanrig was killed, by the accidental discharge of his pistol, while riding in front of the carriages. (Douglas’ Peerage, Wood’s edition, vol. ii. p. 383.) This is said to have happened near Bawtry in Yorkshire, 19th October of the same year, his lordship being then 32. There is another account of his death, which has in it something of a romantic character. It is stated that he had become enamoured of a Miss Mackay, and was desirous of marrying her, but the duchess, his mother, opposed the match, and, by intercepting their letters, caused an estrangement to take place between them. Being at length assured that Miss Mackay was married, his lordship espoused Lady Betty Hope, the lady whom her grace had fixed upon for his wife. While proceeding to London with his lady, he met Miss Mackay on the road, at a town where they temporarily stopped, and learning from her that she was not married, as he had been led to believe, he, the following day, shot himself in his carriage, by the side of his wife. (See Chambers’ Journal, vol. x. p. 18.) His countess never recovered the shock. She survived him only about a year and a half, and died, childless, 7th April 1756, in her 21st year.

Charles, the younger son, became earl of Drumlanrig on his brother’s death. Born 17th July 1726, he was also educated at Winchester and Oxford. He was chosen M.P. for the county of Dumfries, at the general election of 1747, and re-elected in 1754. Having gone to Lisbon on account of his health, he was in that city when the celebrated earthquake took place, 1st November 1755. He returned home the following year, and died, 24th October 1756, unmarried.

On the death of the duke, their father, his grace’s British titles of duke of Dover, &c., as well as the Scottish earldom of Solway, became extinct. The dukedom of Queensberry, with extensive estates, both in England and Scotland, devolved on his cousin William, earl of March and Ruglen, descended from Lord William Douglas, first earl of March, second son of the first duke of Queensberry.

From his father, Lord William Douglas received the castle of Neidpath, with a considerable estate in the county of Peebles, purchased in 1686 from the Tweeddale family. In his description of Tweeddale, Dr. Pennecuick thus celebrates Neidpath castle:

“The noble Nid Path Peebles overlooks,
With its fair bridge, and Tweed’s meandering brooks,
Upon a rock it proud and stately stands,
And to the fields about gives forth commands.”

In the reign of James VII., Lord William Douglas was lieutenant-colonel of a regiment of horse. After the Revolution he abstained for some years from taking the oaths to the new government; and when he did so, he was created a peer of Scotland, 20th April 1697, by the titles of earl of March, viscount of Peebles, and baron Douglas of Neidpath, Lyne, and Munard, by patent, to the heirs male of his body, which failing, to the heirs male of entail. He was by Queen Anne appointed governor of the castle of Edinburgh, by commission, dated 31st December 1702; but recalled in 1704. He died at Edinburgh, 2d September 1705. By his countess, Lady Jean Hay, second daughter of the first marquis of Tweeddale, high-chancellor of Scotland, he had, with three daughters, three sons; 1. William, second earl of March. 2. Hon. John Douglas of Broughton, M.P. for Peebles; and 3. Hon. James Douglas of Stow. The two younger sons died unmarried.

William, second earl of March, married Lady Anne Hamilton, the elder daughter of John, earl of Selkirk and Ruglen, and his countess, Lady Anne Kennedy, only daughter of the seventh earl of Cassillis, and had one son, William, third earl of March and fourth duke of Queensberry. His lordship died at Barston, near Edinburgh, 7th March 1731, in his 35th year. On the death of her father, 3d December 1744, the countess of March, (who subsequently married Anthony Sawyer, Esq., paymaster of the forces in Scotland, without issue,) became also countess of Ruglen, in her own right.

William, third earl of March, succeeded his mother as earl of Ruglen, on her death in April 1748, and in 1759, on the death of the eighth earl of Cassillis, he claimed that title as heir general, but his claim was disallowed by the House of Lords, and the titles of earl of Cassillis and Lord Kennedy adjudged to Sir Thomas Kennedy of Culzean, baronet, 27th January 1762. He was also unsuccessful in a litigation for the estates of the Cassillis family. On the accession of George III. in 1760, the earl of March was nominated one of the additional lords of the bedchamber, and in 1761 he was made a knight of the Thistle. Chosen one of the sixteen representative Scots peers at the general election that year, he was subsequently rechosen four different times. He was vice-admiral of Scotland from 1767 till 26th October 1776, when he was nominated first lord of police, the board of which was abolished in 1782. He succeeded his cousin in 1778, as fourth duke of Queensberry, thus uniting in his person three different peerages, and in addition he was created a British peer, by the title of Baron Douglas of Amesbury, Wiltshire, 8th August, 1786, with limitation to the heirs male of his body. On the king’s recovery, he was, early in 1789, dismissed from the office of lord of the bedchamber, on account of his supporting the right of the prince of Wales to the regency independent of the consent of parliament, and uniformly voting against ministers on that question.

His grace, when earl of March, had, in early life, made Neidpath castle, near Peebles, his residence. The wood which surrounded the castle he, in later years, caused to be cut down and sold, either for the purpose of impoverishing the estate before it should fall to the heir of entail, or to give the proceeds to his natural daughter. His conduct with regard to it called forth the following indignant sonnet from Wordsworth:

“Degenerate Douglas! Oh! The unworthy Lord,
Whom mere despite of heart could so far please,
And love of havock, (for with such disease
Fame taxes him,) that he could send forth word
To level with the dust a noble horde,
A brotherhood, of venerable trees,
Leaving an ancient dome and towers like these,
Beggared and outraged! Many hearts deplored
The fate of those old trees; and oft with pain
The traveler, at this day, will stop and gaze
On wrongs which nature scarcely seems to heed:
For sheltered places, bosoms, nooks and bays,
And the pure mountains and the gentle Tweed,
And the green silent pastures yet remain.”

When his grace first went to London, in his youth, being then earl of March, he became one of the principal patrons of horseracing of that day. At the outset of his career on the turf he distinguished himself by a wager with the celebrated Count Taafe, an Irishman who had spent some time in the Austrian service, that he would travel in a four-wheeled machine the space of 19 miles in sixty minutes, and having got one made for the purpose, he gained it, this match against time having come off on the course at Newmarket, 29th August, 1750. He took a house at Newmarket, overlooking the course, and was very successful in his betting speculations. He had a choice stud of racehorses, with trainers and groomboys, the latter dressed in scarlet. From the duke of Cumberland, the victor at Culloden, Mr. Jennings the antiquary, and various others, he gained large sums. In 1756 he rode a match in person, dressed in his own running stable livery, consisting of a red silk jacket, a velvet cap, and buckskin breeches, when he was successful. After he had left the turf, he sold his house at Newmarket, and betook himself to the study of books and coins, the enjoyment of pictures and statues, and the acquisition of one of the noblest and most expensive collections of shells in the kingdom.

His later years were spent in retirement at his house in Piccadilly, London. He had an ear for music, and is said to have displayed great taste in a song. A munificent patron of musicians, especially foreign ones, in his house were to be seen all the great singers who were attracted to England in his time. “In point of person,” says a writer in the Scots Magazine for February 1811, “his grace was of the middle size, neat, slim, and at an early period of life, graceful and elegant. In consequence of a speck in one of his eyes, a ridiculous story prevailed that he wore a glass one. He spent the greater part of his later years at the south-east extremity of his parlour bow window, where he sat eight or ten hours daily. Behind him stood a servant out of livery who acted the part of a nomenclator, and pronounced the names of such of the passengers as were of any distinction. So uniform was his grace in attendance during certain fixed hours, and of such long continuance of practice, that a gentleman who set out for India in quest of a fortune, on his return after ten years’ absence, actually found him fixed in the same spot. His favourite pony was saddled every forenoon, and, until the day of his death, stationed nearly opposite the door, in constant readiness, precisely at the same moment as formerly.”

His grace died at London, 23d December 1810, in his 86th year, unmarried. The titles of duke of Queensberry, marquis of Dumfries-shire, earl of Drumlanrig and Sanquhar, viscount of Nith, Torthorwald and Ross, with Drumlanrig castle, passed, by special limitation, to the duke of Buccleuch, the grandson of Lady Jean Douglas, duchess of Buccleuch. Those of marquis and earl of Queensberry, viscount of Drumlanrig and baron Douglas, devolved upon Sir Charles Douglas, sixth baronet of Kelhead, heir male of the family, of whom below. With these titles he got the baronies of Tinwald and Torthorwald, and other estates in Dumfries-shire. The titles of earl of March, viscount of Peebles, and Lord Neidpath, Lyne, and Munard, with Neidpath castle, and the estate attached to it in Peebles-shire, passed to the earl of Wemyss; while those of earl of Ruglen and Lord Douglas of Amesbury became extinct. The Wiltshire property of Amesbury went, in accordance with a settlement executed by the third duke of Queensberry, to Archibald, Lord Douglas of Douglas. His grace’s personal fortune, amounting to about a million sterling, was devised in legacies to various persons, the earl of Yarmouth being the residuary legatee. A list of these is given in the number of the Scots Magazine above quoted.

Sir Charles Douglas of Kelhead, baronet, who succeeded as fifth marquis of Queensberry, derived his descent from the Hon. Sir William Douglas of Kelhead, second son of the first earl of Queensberry. He was an officer in the army, and governor of Carlisle in 1647. He was created a baronet of Nova Scotia, by patent dated 20th February 1668, and died before 1673. He was twice married; first, to Agnes, daughter of Fawsyde of Fawsyde, parish of Tranent, Haddingtonshire; and, secondly, to Jean Stewart, of the Traquair family, relict of Andrew Riddell of Haining, and by the former had five sons and several daughters.

His 3d eldest surviving son, Sir James Douglas, 2d bart. Of Kelhead, born Sept. 19, 1639, succeeded him, and died before April 1708. By his wife, Lady Catherine Douglas, 2d daughter of the 2d earl of Queensberry, Sir James had one son, Sir William Douglas, 3d baronet, who died in 1733. The latter had 10 sons and 4 daughters. The eldest son, Sir John Douglas, 4th baronet, was chosen M.P. for Dumfries county at the general election of 1741. Apprehended in July 1746, on suspicion of having favoured the cause of the Pretender, he was, on Aug. 14th, committed to the Tower of London, and not liberated till March 1748, when he got out on bail. He died at Drumlanrig, Nov. 13, 1778. His eldest son, Sir William Douglas, 5th baronet, M.P. for the Dumfries burghs, died May 16, 1783. He married the eldest daughter and coheir of William Johnston, Esq. of Lockerby, Dumfries-shire, and, with 3 daughters, had 5 sons.

Sir Charles, the eldest son, 6th baronet of Kelhead, born in 1777, became in Dec. 1810, as already shown, 5th marquis of Queensberry. He was a knight of the Thistle, a lord of the bedchamber, lord-lieutenant of Dumfries-shire, and colonel in its militia. In 1833 he was created Baron Solway of Kinmount, in the peerage of the United Kingdom, a title which became extinct at his death in 1837. By his marchioness, Lady Caroline Montague, 3d daughter of Henry, duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry, he had 5 daughters.

He was succeeded by his next brother, John, 6th marquis of Queensberry, born in 1779; appointed a lord of the bedchamber in April 1835. He died Dec. 19, 1856. He had married, in 1817, Sarah, daughter of James Sholto Douglas, Esq., with issue. His son, Archibald William, 7th marquis, born in 1818, was educated at Eton, and became a cornet in the 2d Life Guards, but retired in 1844. As Viscount Drumlanrig, he was elected M.P. for Dumfries-shire in 1847; married the daughter of Major-general Sir William Robert Clayton, baronet; issue, 4 sons and 2 daughters. He was killed at Kinmount, Dumfries-shire, by the accidental discharge of his gun, while shooting rabbits, Aug. 6, 1858.

His eldest son, John Sholto Douglas, Viscount Drumlanrig, born July 20, 1844, succeeded as 8th marquis.

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