Lands forfeited by the 9th Earl of Douglas in 1456

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James Douglas, 9th Earl of Douglas, 3rd Earl of Avondale KG (1426–1488) was a Scottish nobleman, last of the 'Black' earls of Douglas.

He succeeded to the earldom on the murder of his brother William Douglas, 8th Earl of Douglas by King James II and his entourage. He denounced his brother's murderers and took up arms against the king, and he and his brothers attacked Stirling, driving a horse through the town with the safe conduct given to William attached to its tail. He was forced to back down when some allies deserted him.

He obtained a papal dispensation to marry his brother's widow, Margaret Douglas, Fair Maid of Galloway, in order to keep the family estates together. He was involved in intrigues with the English court, and in 1455 rebelled against James II once more.

Meanwhile, another branch of the Douglas family, the Red Douglases, had risen into importance, and George Douglas, 4th Earl of Angus, great-grandson of the first earl of Douglas, took sides with the king against the Earl of Douglas. Douglas and his three younger brothers, Hugh Douglas, Earl of Ormonde, Archibald Douglas, Earl of Moray, and John Douglas, Lord of Balvenie, were defeated at the Battle of Arkinholm. Moray was killed, Ormonde taken prisoner and executed, and Balvenie escaped to England. Their last stronghold, Threave Castle in Galloway, fell. James Douglas was attainted in 1455, and his lands and estates were forfeit to the crown. The lands of the Douglases were divided among their rivals, the lordship of Douglas falling to the Red Douglas 4th earl of Angus.



See also:
•  James, 9th Earl of Douglas
•  Places connected with the Douglas family


Sources

 

Sources for this article include:

•  Galloway - A Land Apart by Andrew McCulloch - available in the Scottish History section of our bookshop
•  Encyclopædia Britannica. (1911, 11th edition). Cambridge University Press. pp. 442–444

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Last modified: Saturday, 18 March 2017