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Alexander Sholto Douglas











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Three biographies:


1.  Alexander Sholto Douglas ( – ) was an officer in the Royal Navy.

Captain of H.M. T.B. 110 13 Aug, 1906[3] – ?
Captain of H.M.S. Rival 15 Nov, 1916[4] – ?
Captain of destroyer H.M.S. Woolston 8 Jun, 1918[5] – ?
Captain of destroyer H.M.S. Wryneck 6 Aug, 1920[6] – ?

2.  Alexander Sholto Douglas born 20 April 1785, son of Peter Sholto Douglas. Ensign Madras 17 April 1803, Lt. 21 Sept 1804, resigned his commission 1811. Died Rajahmundry 18 February 1813.
One source (Journal of the Society of Army Historical Research, Vol. 18, pg 164; pub. 1939. ) says he was a son of Peter Douglas, who had been Captain and managing owner of the Indiaman, Queen, but (I) had doubts about that, as he would have had to be illegitimate if that was the case.

3.  Alexander Sholto Douglas WS, JP, of Gateshaw, who died in 1917, resident at 26 Drumsheugh Gardens, Edinburgh, was succeeded by Robert William Cowan, who under the terms of the will, adopted the surname Cowan-Douglas.

COWAN-DOUGLAS, Robert William, Esq., of Gateshaw, Roxburghshire.
Only son of John Black Cowan, Esq., LL.D., Professor of Mat. Med., Glasgow Univ., who d. 1896, by Mary Anne, who d. 1861, dau. of the late Dr. William Stokes, of Dublin; b. 1861; s. Alexander Sholto Douglas, Esq., W.S., J.P., 1916; m. 1892 Isabella Margaret, dau. of the late Robert Balloch, Esq., of Glasgow, and has, with other issue, a son, *John Robert, D.S.O., M.C., Capt. Highland L.I. ; educated at Marlborough Coll. and at the R. Mil. Coll., Sandhurst ; b. 1893.
Mr. Cowan-Douglas, who was educated at Fettes Coll., Edinburgh, and assumed the additional surname of Douglas 1916, was formerly ranching in Alberta, Canada.— Residence: Corbet Tower, Kelso; R. Automobile Club, s.w. ; Western Club, Glasgow.

Robert William COWAN was born 4apr1861 at Blythswood, Glasgow.
Robert inherited from his father, 1897 (National Probate Calendar). In 1895 he was a rancher in Alberta, Canada (father?s will) (scotlandspeople). Robert marr Isabella Margaret Balloch, dau of Robert Balloch and Isabella Brownrigg. A Robert W. Cowan marr M. Balloch in 1892 (scotlandspeople). Isabella was b. 23feb1861, Govan, Lanarks. (familysearch); her sister Ann (1853) marr Alexander D. Macindoe, 2nd cousin of Robert.
Robert was b. in 1861 and died in 1934 (John Marshall Cowan papers, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, Glasgow). Robert William Cowan-Douglas d. 10aug1934, age 73, at Corbet Tower, Morebattle, Kelso (the Times, London).

In 1881 William Alston (1829, no occ), brother Walter Cross (1854, no occ), visitor Robert Cowan (1862, mercantile clerk), all b. Glasgow, unm, were at Ayr (census); Robert was stepson of the sister of William Alston.
In 1890 Robt W. Cowan (unm) sailed from Liverpool to Halifax, Canada (findmypast). In 1896 Robt W. Cowan (1861, Scots, unm) arrived at NY (ellisisland). Robert William Cowan applied for a Western Land Grant (voicimafamille).

In 1901 Robert W. Cowan (4apr1861 Scotland, immig 1882, rancher), wife Isabella Balloch (29feb1861 Scotland, immig 1892), children John D.L. (29may1893), Lillian H. (13nov1894), Hugh (21nov1895), were at Beaver Dam, Alberta (census, automatedgenealogy names the wife Mabella).

In 1905 Robt W., ?, and L.H. Cowan left Liverpool for NY (findmypast).
In 1905 Robert William Cowan (1861, marr, rancher), wife Isabella Margaret (1861) and Lillian Horsburgh (1895), b. Scotland, last res Glasgow, bound for Alberta, arrived at NY from Liverpool; Robert had last entered USA in 1904 and the other 2 in 1903; In 1906 R.W. Cowan (1861, marr, last res Glasgow, rancher bound for ?Lochran, Alberta) arrived at NY; in 1906 Isabella Margaret Cowan (1861, marr), dau Lillian Horsburgh (1895), both Scotch, last resident Cochrane, bound for Cochrane, Alberta, arrived at NY (ellisisland).
In 1917 on death of Alexander Sholto Douglas (W.S., res 26 Drumsheugh Gdns, Edinburgh), John Marshall Cowan, MD, Glasgow, and Robert William Cowan-Douglas, esq., of Corbet Tower, Kelso, were executors (GWR shares, findmypast). John and Robert were 1st cousins once removed of Helen McCaul Forrester (b. 1833), wife of Alexander S. Douglas.
In 1917    of Corbet Tower, Roxburghs., in compliance with the will (1915) of Alexander Sholto Douglas of Gateshaw, W.S., assumed the surname Cowan-Douglas in lieu of the present surname of Cowan (London Gazette).

In 1939 Robt W.C. Douglas was reg at Corbet Tower, Morebattle (Kelso) (McDonalds Directory, mocavo).

A relative of the wife of Robert died at Corbet Tower, which presumably belonged to Robert and his heirs. Will of Charles Dalrymple Gairdner (d. 2may1942) of Corbit Tower Kelso; probate James Macnair Gairdner and Charles Dalrymple Gairdner (C.A-) (National Probate Calendar). Charles (b. 1861) marr Beatrice M. Balloch (b. 1868), sister of Isabella M. Balloch; as Isabella's son, Hugh, was described as ?of Corbet Tower? in 1958 it would seem that Charles was a guest and not owner of the property when he died.


From the Times of 2 August 2011:

Helen Jennifer (née Cowan-Douglas), died peacefully at home in Plaistow, West Sussex, on 28th July 2011, aged 88. Beloved wife of the late George (Sandy), dearly loved mother of Susan Brown and Christopher Hamer and stepmother of Susie and Jamie. Cremation private. Thanksgiving Service to be held in early September. Enquiries to Sue on 020 7736 0080 or

She was formerly Mrs John Hamer and was the dau of Maj John Robert COWAN-DOUGLAS DSO MC JP (c1893-1970) of Gateshaw House, Kelso, Roxburghshire and Rita (1896-1975, dau of Joseph Selby CHANCE JP (1862-1941, scion of that gentry family of Morton) and Helen Augusta (c1863-1956, dau of Col Archibald WYBERGH, scion of that gentry family of Borran's Hill formerly of Clifton Hall)). She m 2nd (as his 2nd w) 1964 Maj George William STAVERT (1916-91), scion of that gentry family of Hoscote.


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Last modified: Wednesday, 18 July 2018