Earl of Angus
The Mormaer or Earl of Angus was the ruler of the medieval Scottish province of Angus. The title, in the Peerage of Scotland, is currently held by the Duke of Hamilton.
Angus is one of the oldest attested Mormaerdoms, with the earliest attested Mormaer, Dubacan of Angus, known to have lived in the early 10th century, as recorded in the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba. Despite this, the Mormaers of Angus are among the most obscure of all. After the death of Mormaer Maol Chaluim, in probably about 1240, the Mormaerdom passed through his daughter to Gilbert de Umfraville.
Angus was, according to the doubtful and legendary text de Situ Albanie, one of the seven original mormaerdoms of the Pictish kingdom of Alba, said to have been occupied by seven brothers, of whom Angus (Oengus) was the eldest. The Gaelic male line ended with Matilda (fl. 1240), countess of Angus in her own right, who married, in 1243, Gilbert de Umfraville.
John Stewart of Bonkyll, Berwickshire, obtained the title Earl of Angus in a new line after the forfeiture of the de Umfraville line, though the latter family continued to use the title in England. This Stewart line ended with Margaret Stewart, countess of Angus in her own right, and widow of Thomas, Earl of Mar.
As a result of an illicit affair with her brother in law, William Douglas, 1st Earl of Douglas (married to the sister of her husband), Margaret Stewart, Countess of Mar and Angus, became the mother of George Douglas, 1st Earl of Angus (c. 1380–1403), and secured a charter of her estates for her son, to whom in 1389 the title was granted by King Robert II.
The countess, the wife of Thomas, earl of Mar, was the eldest daughter of Thomas Stuart, second earl of Angus, and on the death of his brother Thomas, the third earl of Angus of the Stuart line without issue, succeeded to the title of Countess of Angus. The peerage writers and even Lord Hailes assumed this lady to have been the third wife of William, earl of Douglas, and supposed that his first wife, Margaret of Mar, after her brother's death in her own right Countess of Mar, had been divorced; but there is no proof of either the marriage or the divorce.
The earl's first wife survived him and is styled after his death Countess of Douglas, while this lady is styled Countess of Angus and Mar; so there seems no escape from the conclusion that the relation between her and the Earl of Douglas was unlawful, and George their son illegitimate. The stain of bastardy was little thought of at that time, when the parties were sufficiently powerful, and on the resignation of his mother, a charter of the lands and earldom of Angus, with the lordships of Abernethy in Perth and Boncle in Berwick, was granted to George Douglas by Robert II, on 10 April 1389, and he is thenceforth called Earl of Angus.
He married, on 13 May 1397, Mary Stuart, daughter of Robert III, and received from that king in 1397 a confirmation of all his lands in the shire of Forfar (or Angus) and the baronies of Abernethy and Boncle (Robertson, Index of Charters, p. 139). In the same year a very extensive charter in his favour by Sir James Sandilands was also confirmed. It included in Roxburgh the lands of Caries with the sheriffship and custody of the castle of Roxburgh, the burgh castle and forest of Jedburgh, the lands of Bonjedward, and lordship of Liddell; in Dumfries the burgh of Selkirk and the superiority of the baronies of Bintel and Drumlanrig; in Edinburgh the customs of Haddington, besides lands in Clackmannan and Banff. Sandilands was married to a daughter of Robert II, an aunt of the wife of Angus, and it is probable this grant, which had the important consequence of introducing the Earl of Angus into the country of his father's clan, the Douglases, was a settlement in connection with his marriage. It also led to his taking part in the border war and his early death. He followed his kinsman, Archibald, fourth earl of Douglas, who had, like him, married a daughter of Robert III, in the English war, and was taken prisoner at Homildon 14 Sept. 1402, and in the following year died of the plague in England. He left a son, William, the second earl of Angus, and a daughter, Elizabeth, who married the first Lord Forbes, and on his death, Sir David Hay of Yester. The widow of the earl married Sir James Kennedy of Dunure, and became mother of the famous Bishop Kennedy, the counsellor of James III, and after his death Sir William Graham of Kincardine, by whom she was the mother of Kennedy's successor in the bishopric of St. Andrews, Patrick Graham, who was deposed for heresy and contumacy. She married a fourth husband, Sir W. Edmonstone of Duntreath.
He was taken prisoner at Homildon Hill in 1402, and died in captivity in England. Archibald "Bell-the-Cat" (1453–1514) the powerful adversary of James III, was his great-grandson.
William Douglas (1589–1660) 11th Earl of Angus, was created Marquis of Douglas in 1633. He resigned the title of Earl of Angus, having it recreated with the marquessate, so he was the 1st Earl of Angus in the new creation. He outlived his son Archibald Douglas, Earl of Angus (c.1609–1655) and was succeeded by Archibald's son James Douglas, 2nd Marquess of Douglas (1646–1699). James' son and heir Archibald Douglas was created Duke of Douglas, Marquess of Angus and Abernethy, Viscount of Jedburgh Forest, and Lord Douglas of Bonkill, Prestoun and Robertoun on 10 April 1703. He died without leaving an heir and the titles acquired with the dukedom became extinct. All his other titles devolved to his distant cousin the 7th Duke of Hamilton, whose descendants hold them still.
GEORGE Douglas, illegitimate son of WILLIAM Douglas Earl of Douglas & his mistress Margaret Stewart Ctss of Angus ([1378 or before]-1402). He was created Earl of Angus.
m (contract 24 May 1397) as her first husband, Lady MARY Stewart, daughter of ROBERT III King of Scotland & his wife Annabel Drummond (-after 1458, bur Strathblane).
Earl George & his wife had one child:
1. WILLIAM Douglas (-Oct 1437). He succeeded his father as Earl of Angus. m (betrothed 12 Dec 1410, dispensation 1425) MARGARET Hay, daughter of Sir WILLIAM Hay of Yester & his first wife Jean Gifford of Yeser (-after 22 Apr 1484). William & his wife had two children:
a) JAMES Douglas (-[before 9 Sep] 1446). He succeeded his father as Earl of Angus.
b) GEORGE Douglas (-14 Nov 1462, bur Abernethy). He succeeded his brother as Earl of Angus. m ([before 1446]) as her first husband, ISABEL Sibbald, daughter of Sir JOHN Sibbald of Balgony, co. Fife & his wife --- ([1500/Feb 1503]). She married secondly (1477 or before) John Carmichael of Balmedie, and thirdly (after 1479) as his second wife, Sir Robert Douglas of Lechleven. George & his wife had one child:
i) ARCHIBALD Douglas (-[Priory of St Ninian/Whithorn, Galloway] [29 Nov 1513/31 Jan 1514]). He succeeded his father as Earl of Angus.
ARCHIBALD Douglas, son of GEORGE Douglas Earl of Angus & his wife Isabel Sibbald (-Priory of St Ninian/Whithorn, Galloway [29 Nov 1513/31 Jan 1514]). He succeeded his father as Earl of Angus.
m firstly (4 Mar 1468) ELIZABETH Boyd, daughter of ROBERT Boyd Lord Boyd & his wife Mariot Maxwell of Calderwood (-before 21 Feb 1497).
m secondly (, separated before 1 Jun 1501) [as her second husband,] JANET Kennedy, [widow] of Sir ALEXANDER Gordon, daughter of JOHN Kennedy Lord Kennedy & his second wife Elizabeth Gordon of Huntly Dowager Countess of Erroll (-after 1531). She was mistress of James IV King of Scotland.
m thirdly (1500, [separated [10 Aug 1510/14 May 1513]) KATHERINE Stirling, daughter of Sir WILLIAM Stirling of Keir & his wife Margaret Crichton of Ruthvendeny (-after 14 May 1513)
Earl Archibald & his first wife had two children:
1. GEORGE Douglas (-killed in battle Flodden 9 Sep 1513). Master of Angus. Possibly styled Lord Douglas. m (before Mar 1488) as her second husband, ELIZABETH Drummond, widow of Sir DAVID Fleming of Monycabo, daughter of JOHN Drummond Lord Drummond & his wife Elizabeth Lindsay of the Earls of Crawford (-after 21 Aug 1514). George & his wife had two children:
a) ARCHIBALD Douglas (-Tantallon Castle Jan 1557, bur Abernethy). He succeeded his grandfather in 1514 as Earl of Angus. Member of the Council of Regency for James V King of Scotland 1517-1521, and 1523-1526. High Chancellor of Scotland Aug 1527-1528, when a sentence of forfeiture was passed against him and he retired to England. Returned to Scotland 1542, after the death of King James V. He died of erysipelas. m firstly (contract 26 Jun 1509) MARGARET or MARY Hepburn, daughter of PATRICK Hepburn Earl of Bothwell & his wife Janet Douglas of the Earls of Morton (-1513). She died in childbirth. m secondly (Kinnoul Church 6 Aug 1514, divorced 11 Mar 1527) as her second husband, MARGARET Tudor, widow of JAMES IV King of Scotland, daughter of HENRY VII King of England & his wife Elizabeth of York (Palace of Westminster 28 Nov 1489-Methven Castle, Perthshire 18 Oct 1541, bur Carthusian Monastery of St John, Perth). Queen Regent of Scotland. She married thirdly (before 2 Apr 1528) as his second wife, Henry Stewart, who was created Lord Methven 17 Jul 1528. m thirdly (9 Apr 1543) MARGARET Maxwell, daughter of ROBERT Maxwell Lord Maxwell & his wife Janet Douglas of Drumlanrig (-1593). She married secondly (before Sep 1560) Sir William Baillie of Lamington.
Archibald & his first wife had one child:
i) child (1513-1513).
Archibald & his second wife had one child:
ii) MARGARET Douglas (Harbottle 18 Oct 1515-Hackney 9 Mar 1578, bur 3 Apr 1578 Westminster Abbey). Betrothed to Lord THOMAS Howard, son of THOMAS Howard Duke of Norfolk & his second wife Anne Tylney (-1537). m (St James’s Palace 29 Jun 1544) MATTHEW Stewart Earl of Lennox, son of JOHN Stuart Earl of Lennox & his wife Elizabeth Stewart of Atholl (Dunbarton Castle 21 Sep 1516-murdered Stirling 4 Sep 1571, bur Stirling).
Archibald & his third wife had one child:
iii) JAMES Douglas (-Feb 1548). Master of Angus. Possibly styled Lord Douglas.
b) Sir GEORGE Douglas of Pittendriech (-10 Sep 1547). m ELIZABETH Douglas, daughter and heiress of DAVID Douglas of Pittendriech & his wife ---. Sir George & his wife had one child:
i) DAVID Douglas (-Cockburnspath Jun 1557). He succeeded his uncle in 1557 as Earl of Angus. m (contract Linlithgow 8 May 1552) as her second husband, MARGARET or ELIZABETH Hamilton, widow of JAMES Johnstone Laird of Johnstone, daughter of Sir JOHN Hamilton of Clydesdale (illegitimate son of James Earl of Arran) & his wife Janet Home. She married thirdly Sir Patrick Whitelaw of that Ilk. David & his wife had one child:
(a) ARCHIBALD Douglas (-Smeaton near Dalkeith 4 Aug 1588). He succeeded his father as Earl of Angus. He succeeded in 1585 as Earl of Morton. m firstly (Stirling 13 Jun 1573) MARY Erskine, daughter of JOHN Erskine Earl of Mar & his wife Annabella Murray of Tullibardine (-3 May 1575, bur Holyrood). m secondly (25 Dec 1575, divorced 1587) MARGARET Leslie, daughter of GEORGE Leslie Earl of Rothes & his first wife Margaret Crichton. m thirdly (contract 29 Jul 1587) as her second husband, JEAN Lyon, widow of ROBERT Douglas [Master of Morton], daughter of JOHN Lyon Lord Glamis & his wife Elizabeth Abernethy (-[7 Aug 1607/23 Feb 1611]). She married thirdly (31 May 1590) Alexander Lindsay Lord Spynie.
2. Sir WILLIAM Douglas (-killed in battle Flodden 9 Sep 1513). m ---. Sir William & his wife had one child:
a) Sir ARCHIBALD Douglas of Glenbervie, co. Kincardine (-1570). m firstly AGNES Keith, daughter of WILLIAM Keith Earl Marischal & his wife ---. Sir Archibald & his first wife had one child:
i) WILLIAM Douglas (-Glenbervie 1 Jul 1591, bur Glenbervie). He succeeded his cousin as Earl of Angus. The succeeding Earls of Angus, and Marquesses of Douglas, descend from him.
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