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James, 2nd Earl of Queensberry



James, 2nd Earl of QuensberryJames Douglas, 2nd earl of Queensberry (d. 1671), nobleman, was the eldest son of Sir William, 1st Earl of Queensberry (d. 1640), and Isobel (d. 1628), daughter of Mark Ker, first earl of Lothian, and his wife, Margaret Maxwell. he was elder brother of Sir William of Kelhead.

In 1622 he was conjoined with his father in the charter by which the barony of Torthorwald was added to the family estates. By a contract dated 4 June 1630 he married Lady Mary Hamilton (d. 1633), third daughter of James Hamilton, second marquess of Hamilton; the marriage produced no children. By a contract dated 26 March 1635 he married Lady Margaret Stewart (d. 1673), eldest daughter of John Stewart, first earl of Traquair, with whom he had four sons, including William Douglas, later first duke of Queensberry, and five daughters. As heir to the earldom of Queensberry from 1633 he was styled Viscount Drumlanrig until he succeeded his father in 1640 as second earl of Queensberry, second viscount of Drumlanrig, and second Lord Douglas of Hawick and Tibberis.

Initially Queensberry was a supporter of the Scottish national covenant. He was appointed a commissioner for the apprehension of papists in 1642, to the committee of war for Dumfriesshire in 1643, and the following year to the committee for the south. However, in 1645 he changed his allegiance to the king. He set out to join Montrose after his victory at Kilsyth, but on the way was captured and taken prisoner to Carlisle. William, first marquess of Douglas, who had accompanied him on his ill-fated journey, but had evaded capture, and others tried to bribe the governor of Carlisle to win his release, but they failed and were fined. Queensberry was fined 120,000 marks Scots by parliament for his delinquency, but in 1647, after half the amount had been paid, the remainder was discharged. Nevertheless, he remained out of favour during the rule of the kirk party.

On 2 March 1649 parliament ruled against Queensberry in a case brought by the heritors of Glencairn, who wanted to remove the gift of the barony of Glencairn from the earl. In July 1649 he supplicated the general assembly to be received to the covenant, and his situation eased as Scottish divisions diminished in the face of invasion from England. In December 1650 his complaint to parliament about his treatment at the hands of the army of the western association was referred to the committee of estates, while in March 1651 he regained a command in the army. In 1654 he was fined £4000 by the protectorate's Act of Pardon and Grace, but this was reduced by three-quarters the following year. In 1656 he took advantage of the government's order for the relief of debtors in Scotland, registering debts of £290,000 Scots.  Queensberry exploited the more favourable political climate to relieve his straitened financial position. In June 1661 a report estimated his losses to have been £234,879 Scots. Significantly, in addition to other grants, parliament ordered £2000 to be paid to him by those attached to the forces of the western association in 1650, when goods and cattle had been seized and the gates of Drumlanrig Castle burnt. He was appointed a commissioner of excise in 1661 and a JP in 1663. He added to his estates with the acquisition, among others, of the lands of Kininmont, Locharwood, and Cummertrees.

He died in 1671 and was survived by his wife.


  • Death: 1671
  • Event: Info 6 See Burke's Peerage under "Queensberry"

    Father: William Douglas,  1st Earl of Queensbury
    Mother: Isobel Kerr, of Lothian

    Marriage 1 Mary Hamilton  (Viscountess Drumlanrig) 
    • Married: BEF. 4 JUN 1630

    Marriage 2 Margaret Stewart,  of Traquair
    • Married: 26 MAR 1635
    1. William Douglas, 1st Duke of Queensbury b: 1637
    2.  Lt General James Douglas
    3. John Douglas Death: 8 AUG 1675 in Siege of Treves
    4. Robert Douglas Death: 1675 in Siege of Maastricht
    5. Mary  Douglas  (of Queensbury)= Alexander Stewart,  3rd Earl of Galloway
    6. Isabel Douglas  (of Queensbury)= Sir William Lockhart, Bt of Carstairs
    7. Catherine Douglas  (of Queensbury)= Sir William Douglas, 2nd Bt of Kelhead
    8. Margaret Douglas  (of Queensbury)= Sir Alexander Jardine,  1st Bt of Applegirth
    9. Henrietta Douglas  (of Queensbury)= Sir Robert Grierson of Lag, 1st Bt.






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Last modified: Friday, 17 May 2024