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Douglas of Adderston





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Adderstone - probably part of the Barony of Hawick granted to Sir William Douglas of Drumlanark (sic), in 1511


An Adder stone, a stone with a hole in the middle, used for making predictions when looked through.


1770 Captain John Douglas of Adderston listed as a Landowner.


Thomas (son of Sir William Douglas, who died 1776), who was born in the May following his father's death, married Miss Jean Pringle of Haining, and had a son Andrew, who was a merchant in Suffolk Street, London, and in 1778 was Paymaster of the Navy. He married Miss Mercer, and died leaving two sons—1st, George, who succeeded to Cavers; 2d, Archibald, who succeeded his cousin, Captain John Douglas, in the lands of Adderstone, Midshiels, &c. He married Miss Jane Gale(1) of Arkleby, Cumberland, and dying in 1825, was succeeded by his son, now Archibald Pringle Douglas, who married Margaret Violet, daughter of Mark Pringle of Haining, &c, and has issue.


Archibald of Adderstone (1755-1825) younger son of Andrew, grandson of Thomas and great-grandson of Sir William of Cavers. He was christened at St. Martin in the Field, Westminster. On the death of Capt. James of Cavers in 1786 his brother George succeeded to Cavers, while he inherited the lands of Adderstone and Midshiels and lived at the latter. He was at Midshiels in the period 1788{95 when taxed for owning a carriage and was taxed for having up to 5 carriage or saddle horses at Midshiels in the period 1787-97. He paid tax on 3 female servants at Midshiels in 1787, 2 in 1788, 1 in 1789 and 2 in 1790 and 1791. He also had 4 male servants at Midshiels in 1790, 3 in 1791-92, 2 in 1793 and 4 in 1794 and 1797.
He also had 2 farm horses in 1797 and also paid tax on 3 non-working dogs in the same year. He was probably the Douglas of Midshiels who subscribed to John Learmont's book of poetry in 1791. He was recorded as owner of Midshiels in the 1811 Land Tax Rolls. He was listed as a Commissioner for Roxburghshire in 1805 and 1819. He married Jane Gale from Whitehaven.
Their children were: Andrew John, who died at Midshiels in 1806; Archibald Pringle, who succeeded him; Anne Mary (b.1787); Jane (b.1789); Katherine Rachel (b.1790), who married James Dove of Wexham House near Windsor; Elizabeth (b.1792), who married Ensign Aaron Reid of the 72nd Highlanders; and Grace Thomasina (b.1793).


Capt. John Douglas (d.1786) 17th Laird of Cavers, and also of Midshiels. He was the 4th son of Archibald to succeed to the Lairdship. He served with the Royal Navy, commanding H.M.S. `Greyhound' in 1745, when he captured 2 heavily-armed privateers, and later commanded H.M.S. `Unicorn', which helped take the privateer `Marshal Broglie', belonging to Brest. He retired from the Navy about 1750 and then purchased Adderstonelee and Adderstoneshiel from Francis Scott of Gorrenberry (possibly his cousin). About the same time he also bought Midshiels from Scott of Crumhaugh, and was therefore sometimes known as `of Midshiels'. He was also known as `of Ederton' (presumably meaning `Adderstone'). He is recorded in 1762 as one of the men raising an action against Henry, Duke of Buccleuch over the division of Hassendean Common. In 1775 he was involved with Turnbull of Knowe in arranging the repair of the road leading to Hawick `by the back of Meadshiells' and the road leading by Clarilaw and Newton to the main Turnpike road. He succeeded on the death of his brother Rev. Dr. James in 1780, but was already an old man by then. He was taxed for having 3 male servants in Wilton Parish in 1778 and 1779 and 4 in 1785. He was also taxed for having 5 female servants and 7 carriage horses in 1785, as well as for a carriage in 1786. He married Ann, younger daughter of Hugh Scott of Gala, who may have been the sister of his brother Archibald's wife. Having no male issue, he was succeeded by George, son of his cousin Andrew.

Archibald Pringle Douglas of Adderstone (1798/9-1860) eldest son of Archibald, from whom he inherited the lands of Adderstone and Midshiels. He was `Jun. Esq. of Adderstone' in 1825 when he subscribed to Robert Wilson's `History of Hawick' in 1825. He was a reform politician and M.P., who was made an Honorary Burgess in 1834. He owned the lands of Adderstoneshiel and Adderstonelee and lived for a while at Midshiels (being listed there in Pigot's 1837 directory). He was one of the 4 heritors of Kirkton Parish. He was also a member of the Jedforest Club. In 1851 he was recorded as `Landed Proprietor Justice of the Peace' at Midshiels. He married Margaret Violet, daughter of Mark Pringle of Haining and Clifton, and she died in 1868; she is recorded as proprietor of the Haining in a directory of 1868. They had one child, Anne Elizabeth, who succeeded to Fairnilee and Haining, married John Pattison in Melrose and was eventually succeeded by Andrew Seth Pringle Pattison, Professor of Logic and Metaphysics at Edinburgh University.


Haining and the other estates of Robert Pringle descended to his only sister, Margaret Violet Pringle, children of Mark Pringle (d1812). This lady married Archibald Douglas, Esq. of Adderston, whose family are cadets of the house of Cavers; issue, one daughter. In compliance with her brother’s settlement, she and her husband assumed the name and designation of Pringle of Haining in addition to that of Douglas. The life-rent of which is subsequently enjoyed by her daughter Mrs Pattison.


Margaret Violet nee Pringle (1800-68) daughter of Mark Pringle of Fairnilee, Clifton and Haining. Her brothers John and Robert were M.P. for Selkirkshire. She married Archibald Douglas of Adderstone and succeeded to Haining and Clifton on the death of her brother Robert in 1842. After her husband's death in 1860 she was one of the principle landowners in Kirkton Parish.


Birth 25 Sep 1787: to the lady of Archibald Douglas of Adderston, a daughter, at his seat at Mitchells (?Midshiels), Roxburghshire.


13 Sep 1806, at Coldsteam, Ensign Aaron Reid, of the 2d battalion 72d Highlanders, to Miss Elizabeth Douglas, daughter of Archibald Douglas Esq. of Adderstone


1811, Archibald Douglas of Adderston listed as a freeholder in Roxburghshire.



Archd. Douglas, esq (of Adderston), Midshields, Wilton, Magistrate in Hawick, 1828


Death 5th Jan 1819: At Edinburgh, in the 28th year of her age, Mrs Catherine Rachel Dove, wife of James Dove, Esq. and daughter of Archibald Douglas, Esq. of Adderstone, Roxburghshire.




1.  Jane Gale, daughter of John Gale, of Whitehaven, Cumbria, may have previously been married to Dr Luke Newton in New York. She apparently died there 10 July 1740.




Sources for this article include:

•  A Hawick Word book, by Douglas Scott



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Last modified: Thursday, 16 January 2020