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Douglas in Elgin






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A collection of notes about the Douglas family in Elgin, Morayshire


  • Alexander Douglas (1226-1232), Sheriff of Elgin

  • On 12th March, 1560-1, James Hay of Mayne, Alexander Guthrie in Elgin and seven others burgesses of Elgyne were delated before the Lords for convocation of the lieges to the number of eight score on the eighth day of January last, and for setting upon Alexander Robertson in 1'ittendreich and others tenants and servants to Elizabeth Douglas, Lady of Pittendreich, and hurting and wounding them to the great effusion of blood. They compeared not and were denounced rebels. 

  • In 1476, James Douglas, custumar of the burghs of Elgin and Forres, charges himself with twenty pounds, being the custom of salmon carried beyond the kingdom for two years past.  It is noted in the " Rolls " about this time (1501) that James Douglas of Pittendreich "has had and exersit the office of Chaumerlanery of oure lordschip of Murray this lang tyme bypast."


  • 1477, November 22nd. The King granted to James of Douglas and his heirs certain lands in the Lordship of Moray, he paying, inter alia, the sum of 5 6s. 8d. yearly from the lands of Pittendreich to a chaplain, of old foundation, on the Castle Hill of Elgyne.


  • 1528, September 6th. The King granted to his brother James, Earl of Moray, his heirs and assignees, the third part of the lands of Duffus, the lands of Pettindreich, Caldcottis, Darcle and Serestoun, and the house, tower, tenements and buildings within the burgh of Elgin per- taining to the King by reason of the forfeiture of George Douglas, brother of Archibald, formerly Earl of Douglas.

  • 1528, September 6th. The King granted.... 2s. of yearly rent from the east land of William Douglas, senior, burgess of Elgin, on the north side of said burgh ;   Isabella Douglas, relict of Robert Pedder is mentioned as being a neighbour in the same charter, as is James Douglas in Elgin

  • 1546, August 17th. The Queen granted to Alexander, Lord Gordon (son and heir apparent of George, Earl of Huntly), his heirs and assignees, the land and tenement, with garden and tail in the burgh of Elgin, on the east side of the Queen's highway, between the croft called Harvyisfield, the lands of Robert Innes and Elizabeth Douglas, and the land called St. Ninian's land, pertaining to the Queen by the death of James, Earl of Moray, her uncle, bastard, without lawful heirs. 

  • George Douglas was born about 1566 as the son of Alexander Douglas, the Provost of the royal burgh of Elgin in Moray. In 1588 he held the living of the parish at Dallas (Presbytery of Forres) just nine miles southwest of Elgin. He studied in Edinburgh and graduated in 1599 under the regency of William Craig. He was admitted to his next charge in 1601 in Cullen with Deskford also in the charge. w: 1st unknown s: Alexander w: 2nd Jean Stewart s: George d: Elizabeth, Marie

  • Alexander Innes, translated from Essil, 1589, deprived before 1598, and outlawed by the Court of Judiciary for “being airt and pairt in the slaughter of Agnes Leslie, relict of Alexander Douglas, Provost of Elgin, and of William Hay, Mayne.”


  • ALEXANDER DUFF, adm. to Creich 1628 before 28th Nov. 1616; dem. 13th Aug. 1623, and adm. here ; ratified his promise, 19th April 1626, to marry Jean, daugh. of John Douglas, burgess of Elgin, but in 1626 for failing to implement the same, his horse was seized and he was ordered to be warded if found within Elgin. [The Book of the Duffs, ii., 532 ; Reg. of Deeds, dl., 374 ; Elgin Sess. Rec.~]


  • Abt May 1645 - Montrose carried his revenge still farther, for, after burning the lands and houses of Campbell of Calder, and plundering all his effects, as well as those of the earl of Moray, who was then in England, he proceeded to Elgin, where, on the twelfth of May, he burnt the houses of Walter Smith, John Mill, John Douglas of Morristoun, and Alexander Douglas, some of whom, with some of their sons, were concerned in James Gordon’s murder.
    The houses of Robert Gibson, George Donaldson, and George Sutherland, and other inhabitants of Elgin, from their proximity to those put on , were seized upon by the flames, and consumed. The houses of Hay, the provost, and Gawin Douglas were also selected for destruction, but their safety was secured by the payment of a sum of money.
  • On 23rd July 1694, William Douglass, merchant, was listed as a baillie of the South Wast Quarter of Elgin





  • Provosts of Elgin

    1488 James Douglas (father of David Douglas of Pittendreich)
    1521–1525 David Douglas of Pittendreich
    1529–1530 William Douglas
    1554-1557 Alexander Douglas
    1559-1561 Alexander Douglas
    1568-1569 Alexander Douglas
    1574-1575 Alexander Douglas
    1584-1585 James Douglas of Shutting Acres
    1586-1587 James Douglas
    1600-1601 James Douglas of Shutting Acres
    1609-1610 James Douglas of Barflethills
    1623-1631 Gavin Douglas of Shutting Acres
    1643-1645 Gavin Douglas of Morristoun (or Murieston) (Possibly brother to Alexander Douglas, Bishop of Moray, q.v.)
    1650-1653 John Douglas of Morristoun
    1655-1658 John Douglas of Morristoun


In the book, 'When Scotland was Jewish: DNA Evidence, Archeology, Analysis of Migrations ...' By Elizabeth Caldwell Hirschman, Donald Neal Yates, it suggests that these early Douglas Provosts were Jewish.


See also:

  • Douglas of Pittendreich
  • Bishop Alexander Douglas
  • Douglases of Moray

  • •  Bishops of Moray
  • Ancestors of Alexander Douglas, 1855-1922 [pdf]


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    Last modified: Thursday, 16 January 2020