Douglas of Cavers

 

Robert The Bruce rewarded ‘The Good’ Sir James Douglas with lands spread across Scotland.  These included Cavers, granted in 1320.  Sir James had been Bruce’s trusted lieutenant at Bannockburn in 1314, and was key to his power base in southern Scotland.  Bruce confirmed this in 1324 with the "Emerald Charter", giving James criminal jurisdiction over his own estates, as well as excusing the lords of Douglas from certain feudal obligations.  By tying Douglas to his side, Bruce was ensuring his own position, and also ensuring a supply of men at arms for Scotland’s defence against the English.

When the good Sir James died in Spain, at the battle of Teba, in 1330, en route to the Holy Land with Bruce’s heart, his estates would have devolved to his eldest, legitimate, son, William, Lord of Douglas.  However, he was himself killed in 1333 at Halidon Hill.   Archibald, who was later to become 3rd Earl of Douglas, the next surviving son, was not only a minor, but also a bastard, and so could not inherit.  It seems likely that Sir James’ brother, Hugh ‘The Dull’ was next to inherit,  but he resigned in 1342.

The family line now continues through Archibald ‘The Tyneman’ Douglas, Regent of Scotland.  However, he too had been killed at Halidon Hill, and so it passes to his son, William, who was to be created 1st Earl of Douglas on 26 January 1357/58.  Through his marriage to Margaret, Countess of Mar, he was also earl of Mar.  On 26 May 1342 he inherited the vast Douglas family estates from his uncle, Hugh Douglas and in 1354, he received the lands of his kinsman, William Douglas, Knight of Liddesdale, whom he had slain. He has an extensive biographical entry in the Dictionary of National Biography.  When the 1st earl died in 1384, his son James, born about 1358, succeeded.

James, 2nd Earl of Douglas, like so many other Douglases, was not to die in his bed, but on the field of battle, at Otterburn in 1388.  James's sons and (a) daughter(s) were all illegitimate! To ensure their succession, he granted the lands of Drumlanrig to his bastard son William and Cavers to Archibald.  Following the death of her mother, Margaret in 1390, James’ sister Isabel became Countess of Mar, inheriting the lands of Mar and his unentailed estates.  The 2nd Earl was succeeded by his cousin Archibald Douglas (the Grim), bastard son of James, Lord of Douglas, (called the Good Sir James) who was in turn the son of Sir William (le Hardi) Douglas.  Consolidation and strengthening of the Douglas powerbase was essential and steps were taken to safeguard the estates within the Douglas family.

Douglas of Cavers arms

James DOUGLAS,
2nd Earl of Douglas; Earl of Mar
d. Aug 1388 the Battle of Otterburn
m. 24 Sep 1371
Isabel STEWART, a.k.a. Eupheme, daughter of Robert II
b. C 1348; d. C 1410

Children, but not of Isabel. They are all illegitimate.

  1. Has No Children son Douglas, died young
  2. Has No Children Catherine Douglas. She married James Douglas 28 OCT 1667. He was born 19 SEP 1639, and died 1708 NOTE: This cannot be correct!
  3. Has Children William (Sir) (1st Baron of Drumlanrig) Douglas
  4. Has Children Archibald (of Cavers) Douglas
  5. Has Children Eleanor (of Douglas) Douglas b: ABT. 1380. She married William (Sir) (2nd of Philorth) Fraser ABT. 1400, son of Alexander (1st of Philorth) Fraser and Joanna or Janet Ross. He was born ABT. 1376, and died BEF. 1441.
  6. Has Children Joan (of Mar) Douglas. She married William 5th Lord Dacre, son of Hugh (4th Lord Dacre) de Dacre and Elizabeth (of Carlaverock) Maxwell. He died 20 JUL 1388 (Unconfirmed)

Sir Archibald DOUGLAS of Liddesdale & 1st of Cavers
Regent of Scotland
Sir Archibald sided with the Red DOUGLASes of Angus against the Black DOUGLASes.
m.
Margaret

Children of Sir Archibald DOUGLAS and Margaret: 

1.  William, 2nd of Cavers {below}
2.  Eleanor m. Sir Patrick Hepburne of Hailes; 
3.  Elizabeth m. Alexander STEWART of Garlieston
Archibald Douglas carried his father's standard at the battle of Otterburn, and defended it with success against the repeated attacks of the English; it is still preserved at Cavers. (This circumstance has probably misled those historians who have stated that it was the flag of Percy which Douglas captured before Newcastle. The trophy which Earl Douglas won in that encounter, and which has been always preserved along with the foregoing, was a small ornament of silk, with the cognisance of the Percies embroidered in small pearls, which was attached to the end of Percy's lance when it was captured by Douglas.*) He had from his father the lands and barony of Cavers, with the heritable sheriffship of Teviotdale. It seems that the superiority remained at first with the Countess of Mar, and that Archibald had from her a new charter of the lands and sheriffship without procuring the royal sanction, by which neglect they recognosced to the King, and were conferred by him on Sir David Fleming of Biggar in 1405. But as Fleming did not long survive that date, it does not appear whether he ever took possession. Sir Archibald afterwards obtained from King James I. a charter of confirmation, dated at Croydon, 30th November 1412, proceeding upon a charter granted to him by his aunt, Lady Isabel, Countess of Mar, in her widowhood, in which the superiority is resigned. He died in the reign of James I., and was succeeded by his son.

William DOUGLAS, 2nd of Cavers
d. 08 Jan 1464



Children of Sir William DOUGLAS

  1. Sir Archibald DOUGLAS {below}

Sir William, who had a like charter from the King in 1432. He died in 1464, and was succeeded by his eldest son.

Sir Archibald DOUGLAS, 3rd of Cavers
d. 1486


Children of Sir Archibald DOUGLAS: 

  1. William {below}; 
  2. Elizabeth m. Sir Alexander STEWART, 3rd of Garlies

 Sir Archibald, one of the commissioners for settling a truce with the English in 1457, and a Warden of the Marches in 1459. He died in 1486, and was succeeded by his son.

William DOUGLAS, 4th of Cavers
d. 26 Oct 1506


Children of William DOUGLAS: 

  1. William; 
  2. Sir James {below}

1500 May 26. CHARTER by Sir WILLIAM DOUGLAS of Cavers, in favour of ANDREW KER of Over Crailing, of the half part of the lands of Feoroule. A notarial copy, on paper, made by PATRICK ATZENSONE, Notary. To all who shall see this charter, William Douglas laird of the barony of Cavers knight and sheriff of Roxburgh, Greeting in Godeverlasting. Know that I have given, granted and by this my present charter confirmed, as I by this my present charter give, grant and confirm to an honest man Andree Ker of Uvir Crailing all and sundry the land of the half part lands of Fewruele with tenants, tenandries andservice of free tenants of the foresaid half part lands with pertinents, lying within the barony of Cavers and sheriffdom of Roxburghe. ... Paying therefor annually the said Andrew Ker & his heirs the annual suits at the courts of the foresaid barony of Cavers, Reserving to me and my heirs the marriage of the heirs of the said Andrew Ker in place of all other exactions secular service or demands which could in any way be exacted or required for the half part lands with pertinents tenantstenandries and service of free tenants. In witness hereof my seal is appended to this my present charter At Jedworth the 26th day of May 1500 before these witnesses George Douglas and Sir Walter Douglas vicar of Hassenden my uncles and Archibald Douglas. Copy certified by Patrick Atzensone, Notary public.

Sir William, a Warden of the Marches in his father's lifetime, and called by King James III. to assist at the Parliament at Edinburgh 29th January 1487. In 1488 the old Earl of Douglas wrote to him from his cell in Lindores, exhorting him to continue loyal to the King, &c. Being at the battle of Sauchieburn, 11th June 1488, he was outlawed by the victorious party, but obtained a remission for himself, with his friends, &c., dated 10th February 1488. A protection was given under the Privy Seal in 1502 to William Douglas of Cavers, knight, and William his son and heir, who is to pass to Denmark. Probably this William died before his father, who is said to have "died (1508) in defence of the realm, in resisting the old enemy of England" (Charter 21 of James IV. 1509.)—Crawford's MS. Baronage in Advocates' Library.

Sir James DOUGLAS, 5th of Cavers
d. 28 Sep 1545

m. 1537
Elizabeth MURRAY of Fallahill


Children of Sir James DOUGLAS and Elizabeth MURRAY: 

  1. Sir James {below};
  2. Robert
  3. Wiiliam, 1st of Friarshaw

Sir James married Elizabeth, daughter of John Murray of Fala Hill, (ancestor of the Murrays of Philiphaugh) and died in the beginning of Queen Mary's reign. He was succeeded by his eldest son

Sir James DOUGLAS, 6th of Cavers
d. Jul 1558

m.
Christian KERR, daughter of Andrew Kerr of Ferniehurst
 

Children of Sir James DOUGLAS and Christian KERR: 

  1. Sir William {below}; 
  2. James; 
  3. William

Sir James, who was served heir to his father in 1545. He married Christian, daughter of Sir Andrew Ker of Fairniehirst, and had two sons, William his successor, and James. He died in 1557.

Sir William DOUGLAS, 7th of Cavers

m.
Euphemia KERR, dau. of Sir William KERR of Cessford
 

Children of Sir William DOUGLAS and Euphemia KERR: 

  1. Sir James {below}

Sir William married Euphemia, daughter of Sir William Ker of Cessford. (That this was the name of his wife seems placed beyond doubt; a charter extant, containing the names of James Douglas fiar of Cavers, William Douglas his father, and Euphemia Ker his mother. But Douglas's Peerage (article "Cranston") asserts that Sir William married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir William Cranston of that Ilk.)

Sir James DOUGLAS, 8th of Cavers
d. 1612

m1. contract 01 Jun 1580
Margaret CRANSTOUN

Children of Sir James DOUGLAS and Margaret CRANSTOUN: 
  1. Sir William {below}

m2.
McGILL, dau. of Sir James McGILL

Children of Sir James DOUGLAS and McGILL: 

  1. James Douglas - minister of Cavers
  2. Thomas Douglas
Sir James had a charter under the Great Seal on his father's resignation, reserving liferent, &c., 1576. He married first, Margaret, daughter of Sir John Cranston of that Ilk, by whom he had Sir William; second, a daughter of Sir James M'Gill, by whom he had James, minister at Cavers, and Thomas, bailie in Edinburgh. He died in 1612.
 
Sir William DOUGLAS, 9th of Cavers
d. C 1658

m.
Ann DOUGLAS, dau of William DOUGLAS, 4th of Whittinghame

Children of Sir William DOUGLAS and Ann DOUGLAS: 

  1. Sir Archibald {below};
  2. John of Garvald; 
  3. Helen m. Sir William BRUCE, 2nd Baronet of Stenhouse

Sir William, who was deeply engaged on the Parliament side, and was one of the commissioners from the Scottish army to treat with Charles I. in 1639. He is frequently mentioned in Baillie's Letters as " the sheriff of Teviotdale."* He commanded a regiment of horse, and defeated a body of men raised from Richard Graham's lands in the north of England, who were on their march to join Montrose in 1646.   (This was placing Sir William in a delicate position, seeing that nine of his sister's sons had fallen in the preceding year at Aulderne 9th May 1645.)  He was also one of the commissioners for trying the Montrosians in 1646.  He married Ann Douglas of Wittingham, and left two sons—Archibald his heir, and John, head of the Douglases of Garvald; and a daughter, married to Sir William Elliot of Stobs. He died about 1658.

Sir Archibald DOUGLAS, 10th of Cavers
Possibly MP for Roxburghshire and hereditary sheriff
d C 1669

m.
Rachel SKENE
 

Children of Sir Archibald DOUGLAS and Rachel SKENE: 

  1. Sir William {below}; 
  2. Anne born 1636, m. Sir John MURRAY of Philiphaugh
  3. James Douglas born 1633, died 1674, age 41, murdered by Andrew Rutherford.
  4. Archibald Douglas born 1634
  5. Elizabeth Douglas born 1637

Sir Archibald, who also had a command in the army of the Parliament, purchased in 1658 the lands of Denholm, Spittal, &c., from William Lord Cranston, whose ancestors had held them in feu from the family of Cavers since they were first granted by charter of Thomas, Earl of Mar. He married Rachel, daughter of Sir James Skene of Halyards, President of the Court of Session. Their united arms may still be seen rudely carved over the kitchen chimney at Westgatehall, Denholm. He died not long after his father (1669 ?), and was succeeded by his son. She was born 1612, aged 20 at the time of her marriage.

Sir William DOUGLAS, 11th of Cavers
d. Dec 1676

m.
Katherine RIGG, dau. of Thomas RIGG of Atherne


Children of Sir William DOUGLAS and Katherine RIGG: 

  1. Sir William, 12th of Cavers m. Elizabeth DOUGLAS; 
  2. Archibald {below}; 
  3. John; 
  4. James; 
  5. Thomas {below}

 Sir William, married to Katherine, daughter of Thomas Rigg of Athernie (better known as the Good Lady Cavers, some notice of whose sufferings during the persecution, especially after the death of her husband, may be seen in Wodrow, Crookshanks, and other histories of the times, and of which a detailed account will be found in The Ladies of the Covenant, lately published. She was imprisoned in Stirling Castle from November 1682 to December  1684 (with the exception of three months, from July 1683, during which she was released on bail for the recovery of her health), when her son, returning from his education abroad, gave a bond that she should conform or leave the country within fourteen days, in accordance with which she went to reside in England.) Sir William was deprived of the sheriffship for not complying with the innovations of the Government. He died in December 1676, leaving five sons—1st, William, his heir; 2d, Archibald, who succeeded to William ; 3d, John ; 4th, James ; 5th, Thomas, ancestor of the present family of Cavers.

Sir William, 12th of Cavers (has been supposed to be the Sir William Douglas mentioned in Dalrymple's Memoirs, vol. i., p. 123, 4to ed., 1771, whose wife, a French Protestant lady, was not permitted by Louis XIV. to leave France, though applied for by the ambassador in 1685; but of this we have found no confirmation.) He accepted the command of a troop of dragoons (Scots Dragoons (Scots Greys); he was a captain in the corps in 1689) from William III., on his accession to the throne, and married, about 1690, Elizabeth, daughter of Mr John Douglas of Newcastle (1), but they left no family.  He died in 1698, and was succeeded by his brother. She afterwards married, secondly, Sir A. Home.

Archibald DOUGLAS, 13th of Cavers
b. C 1668; d. 1741

m. 05 Jan 1693 Edinburgh, Midlothian, SCOTLAND
Anna SCOTT
, dau. of Francis SCOTT of Gorrenby
b. C 1678 Gorinberrie, SCOTLAND; d March 1744


Children of Archibald DOUGLAS and Anna SCOTT: 

  1. William, 14th of Cavers;who resigned the sheriffship to his brother Archibald, in order to represent Roxburghshire in the United Parliament, 1742. He died unmarried in 1748.
  2. Archibald, 15th of Cavers m. Elizabeth SCOTT, (d bef 1776?) dau of Hugh Scott of Gala; 
  3. James, Rev, 16th of Cavers m. Jean HALYBURTON, dau of Halyburton of Pitcur; 
  4. John, Captain, 17th of Cavers m. Ann SCOTT, dau of Hugh Scott of Gala; He was 'of Edderstone, having bought that property from his cousin Archibald before he succeeded to Cavers)
  5. Ann {below}
  6. Catherine
  7. Euphane

Archibald Douglas 13th of Cavers came from an ancient Roxburghshire family with a strong Covenanting tradition. His father William Douglas 11th of Cavers had been deprived of the hereditary sheriffdom on account of his opposition to the court, and his mother, Katherine Rigg the reputed 'good Lady Cavers', was imprisoned in Stirling Castle in November 1682. She was only released permanently in December 1684, when, upon being given the choice of conforming or leaving the country, she took up residence in England. The family's status naturally revived with the Revolution, whereupon the heritable jurisdiction of Roxburghshire was restored. Douglas succeeded his elder brother to the sheriffdom and the estate of Cavers in 1698. Prior to the Union of Scotland and England (1701), Douglas had been able to return himself as one of Roxburghshire's four representatitves to the Scottish parliament. In his electoral capacity, he consistently opposed the Rosburghe interest both in the Scottish and British Parliaments. Repeated successes prompted his son William to remark with pardonable exaggeration in 1712 that "you have it in your hands to make the Member for the county." --Source: "The House of Commons, 1690-1715"

Archibald, who married Anna, daughter of Francis Scott of Gorrenberry, was Receiver-General for Scotland from 1705 to 1718, and PostmasterGeneral for Scotland in 1725. He acted as curator for the Dukes of Douglas and Queensberry during their minorities. He represented Roxburghshire in the last Scottish Parliament, and concurred in the Union. He was actively engaged with Argyle and Carpenter in 1715, advancing money at his own risk when no public resources were available, and attended Argyle at Stirling, bringing 300 baggage horses from Roxburghshire for the march to Perth at a few days' notice, in the midst of the violent snow-storm which then prevailed.  Archibald was the last heritable sheriff of Teviotdale, on the resignation of his brother; heritable jurisdictions being abolished by act of Parliament shortly after 1745. He succeeded his father as Postmaster-General for Scotland.  He (13th) died in 1741, leaving a large family, four of whom succeeded.

The Rev. James Douglas, D.D., Prebendary of Durham, 16th of Cavers, married Jean, daughter of Halyburton of Pitcur, and died in 1780.

Ann DOUGLAS of Cavers  a.k.a. Anna
All of Ann's brother's died without issue.
b. C 1702 Cavers, Roxburgh, SCOTLAND
m. C 1721 Fife, SCOTLAND
William CAMPBELL

"William Campbell, a tutor in the family of Douglas of Cavers married Ann Douglas, the eldest daughter of Archibald Douglas & Anna Scott. The tradition goes that her father Archibald was much displeased by their news & the couple eloped to Gretna Green & were married there, then the father Archibald Douglas, disinherited his daughter." Source: Extract from a letter written by Miss Mary Alexa Campbell to a relation Australia posted in 1915.



Thomas Douglas d 1677

Children of Thomas DOUGLAS

  1. Thomas {below}

Thomas DOUGLAS,
b 05.1677

m. Jean Pringle

Children of Thomas DOUGLAS

  1. Andrew d. Dec 1785 {below}


Andrew Douglas, Paymaster to the Navy, of Suffolk St, St Martin in the Fields, London, had power of attorney for Viscount Melville. Following his death there was an inquiry into the handling of navy funds, involving Henry Dundas, Viscount Melville, Minister for the Navy. Viscount Melville was subsequently acquitted of the charges of misappropriating Navy funds; Andrew Douglas might have been similarly charged had he still been alive.

Children of Andrew DOUGLAS

  1. George {below}
  2. Archibald Douglas, d. 1825

 

George Douglas 18th of Cavers, d. 1815
Married 10 Jul 1789 Lady Grace, daughter of the 9th Earl of Moray

Children of George and Lady Grace DOUGLAS

  1. James Douglas, b. 9th Aug 1790, at Cavers{below}
  2. Son, b 28 Sep 1796

James Douglas, 19th of Cavers, d. 1861

Children of James DOUGLAS

  1. James {below}
  2. Mary Douglas, d. 1859
  3. Emma, d. 1870
  4. Ellen, d. 1811
  5. Lucy
  6. Agnes

James Douglas, Esq. of Cavers (1822-78) was the 20th and last, the male line becoming extinct.

However, it should be noted that the Palmer-Douglas successors like to use 'of Cavers', though it is not clear that this has been authorised by the Lord Lyon.

Lady Grace Stuart au of the 8th earl of Moray, married 10 Jul 1789 George Douglas, of Cavers (d.1815) (was he 19th Laird?)
1.James Douglas, of Cavers, d.1861; m.Emma Carnegie
1.1.James Douglas, of Cavers (1822-1878); m.23 Jun 1858 Mary Graham Agnew
1.2.Mary Douglas, d.12 May 1859; m.1857 William Elphinstone Malcolm (d.30 Dec 1907)
1.2.1.Mary Palmer-Douglas, of Cavers, d.1949; m.12 Nov 1879 Edward Palmer, later, Palmer-Douglas (18 Sep 1836-22 Apr 1933)
1.2.1.1.Archibald Palmer-Douglas, of Cavers (21 Aug 1880-predeceased his mother); m.19 Oct 1920 Mary Kuehn
1.2.1.1.1.James Malcolm Palmer-Douglas, b.25 Aug 1922
1.2.1.1.2.John Aidan Palmer-Douglas, b.13 Mar 1929; m.1961 NN
1.2.1.1.3.Angela Mary Palmer-Douglas, b.5 May 1924
1.2.1.2.Malcolm Palmer-Douglas (29 Mar 1882-12 Mar 1902)

William Elphinstone Malcolm married James' sister, Mary Douglas of Cavers in 1857. She produced a daughter, Mary, in 1859, but died tragically in childbirth. He married again in 1866, but had no more children. Mary had inherited from her mother the great estate of Cavers near Hawick. She married Capt. Edward Palmer in 1879 and produced a son and heir to both properties – Archibald Palmer Douglas. When Mary died in 1949, aged 90, the death duties payable on her estate were fatal to the family’s fortunes. Her son had pre-deceased her, so her eldest grandson, James, took over Cavers, and her youngest, John, Burnfoot (another Malcolm property).

See also:  

  1. Cavers House
  2. Townhead of Cavers
  3. Douglas of Friarshaw
  4. Cavers churches
  5. Cavers banners
  6. Cavers plate

 

I have the following notes:

  •  Janet Douglas of Cavers, dau of Sir William of Cavers, marr John Ainslie of Dolphinstone c1420.  They had sons, John and David.
  • Elizabeth Douglas m. William Eliott of Stobs (a 1640, MP)
  • In the 1830s, James Douglas of Cavers played a significant role in the campaign to abolish slavery.
  • Elizabeth, dau of sir Archibald Douglas of Cavers, married Sir Alexander Stewart, a scion of the earl of Galloway, and had issue, Alexander his successor.
  • Married Edin. March 31,1771 William Oliver of Dinlabyre in Liddesdale (1738-1830) Sheriff of Selkirk and later Roxburgh, son of William Oliver and Violet Douglas of Cavers
  • James Palmer-Douglas, 80, moved away from Cavers, near Hawick, in 1975, when the remaining lands of the once vast estates in Roxburghshire were put on the market.
  • Sir William Bruce, 2nd Baronet, b. 1621, m. Helen daughter of Sir William Douglas of Cavers. They had two son: William, who succeeded, and Charles, from whom the Russian General Romulus Bruce and Prussian Peter Bruce are descended.
  • "Upon the 14 day Of May, 1645, my father, Francis Gladstains, being of tuentie-ane years of age and ane lyvetennant, was, with his brother Captaine James Gladstaines and other nyne sistar sons of Sir William Douglas of Cavers, Shyreff of Teviotdale, killed att the battell of Aulderne fought agt. Montrose."
  • c1860, James Douglas of Cavers gave bi-weekly Grand Soirees in the Subscription Rooms. 'What we want,' he said, 'is love: love between all ages and conditions of men.
  • c1822, James Douglas of Cavers, the Scottish philanthropist and essayist.
  • Rev. John married Margaret, sister of William Douglas of Cavers, probably distant relatives, with issue William and James.
  •  
  • Samuel Douglas, of Cavers, was amongst those drowned on The Crown whilst being transported.

    Note:
    1. This is the John Douglas who was lawyer and an agrarian, who bought the Matfen estate from the Carnaby family between 1680 and 1702. He was Town Clerk of Newcastle.  There is a theory that John was a brother of William, 12th of Cavers. I think this unlikely.
    This page was last updated on 14 November 2016

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