Douglases of Moray
The Douglas family (per. c.1170–c.1300), barons, was of Flemish origin, possibly part of the marked Flemish settlement in upper Clydesdale, found in the reign of Malcolm IV (1153–1165). But William Douglas, the earliest known member of the Douglas family, is attested only in the last quarter of the twelfth century. None the less, he was brother (less probably brother-in-law) of a Freskin of Kerdale, a Moray landowner, and both must have been related to the Freskin who was given land in Moray by David I, confirmed to his son William by Malcolm IV. The recurrence of these names and also of Hugh and Archibald in both families attests to their common ancestry, so that when a branch of the Moray family inherited the lordship of Bothwell in Lanarkshire in the 1240s, their near neighbours, the lords of Douglas, were distant kin. The senior line in Moray presumably procured the nomination of Brice Douglas (d. 1222), a son of William Douglas and prior of Lesmahagow in Lanarkshire, as bishop of Moray in 1203; the Brice (not a common name) who was a parson and dean of Christianity in Moray between 1188 and 1203 would be a Moray cousin. Bishop Brice brought his brother Freskin, parson of Douglas, to be dean, and three other brothers to be canons, of the cathedral chapter which he established in 1206–8 at Spynie, with the customs of Lincoln; hitherto the see had been peripatetic.
In November 1215 Brice was one of the Scottish bishops at the Fourth Lateran Council, and he had to visit the curia again in 1218 to seek absolution for ignoring the recent interdict on Scotland. In the same year his archdeacon and cathedral chancellor accused him at the curia of extortion of an eighth, or even a third, from his flock, of taking procurations without visitation, and of demanding money from ordinands and to grant divorces, money which he spent on women of ill fame. The truth of these allegations is unknown. Brice died in 1222. brother, Archibald Douglas, had two sons: William and Andrew. From the latter descended the Douglases ‘of Lothian’, or ‘of Dalkeith’, later earls of Morton. The former, William, lord of Douglas, died c.1270–74, when the lordship of Douglas, with the manor of Fawdon in Northumberland which he had bought, passed to his son (possibly second son) William Douglas> 1298).
FORFEITUKE OF THE EARLDOM OF MORAY
Item, Ane tack of the teinds of Plewlandis and Hogstoune, given
be George Douglasse, Bishope of Murraye, "with consent of the Dean
and Chapter, to Robert Innes of Innermarkie, father to Robert Innes,
now of Balveny, daitit at Spyny, the first and last of Maij, 1585.
I have collected some details of Douglases who lived in Moray in my 'work in progress' file on the Douglases of Pittendreich, q.v.
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Last modified: Saturday, 18 March 2017