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Sir James Douglas








Sir James Douglas was the British Consul General in Naples.


Book of Mackay, pg 329; Blackcastle, p 140 states Sir James Douglas, British Consul at Naples*, on whom His Majesty King George III was graciously pleased to confer the honour of Knighthood 20 Apr 1785. He died at Naples 6 May 1795. shows him marrying Isobel, daughter of Rev Alexander Douglas (of Baads) and Isabella Houston, daughter of Rev Andrew Houston of Calder.  She married 2ndly John Walcott.


MARRIED. At Naples, the 22d of October last (1792), Sir James Douglas, Consul-General to his Britannic Majesty at that place, to Miss Douglas, sister to Alexander Douglas(1), Esq. of Finsbury Square.— Lloyd's Evening Post, 07/12/1792


A MacKay genealogy website shows him as marrying abt 1735 Margaret MacKay, of Strathnaver, Farr, Sutherland, Scotland, daughter of Donald MacKay and Margaret Sutherland.


It is possible that Sir James had a daughter, Mary Elizabeth, who married Abraham Gibbs of Naples & Palermo (bpt 10 Sep 1753, d Dec 1816), 2nd son of John Gibbs of Topsham and Elizabeth Meachin.  They had a daughter, Mary Elizabeth Catherine Gibbs (1793-1878) who married Lt Gen Charles Ashe A'Court, later Repington, of Amington Hall, d 19 Apr 1861.

It is also possible that another daughter was Mary Elizabeth A'Court-Repington, who married Sidney Herbert, 1st Baron Herbert of Lea, son of George Augustus Herbert, 11th Earl of Pembroke and Catherine Woronzow, on 12 August 1846. She died on 30 October 1911.


Mary Elizabeth Douglas, 3rd daughter of Sir James Douglas of Faringdon, Berkshire, British Consul at Naples. She was under 18 on 2 March 1787. Died 4 March 1797.


His death notice in the The Gentleman's magazine, Volume 77 reads:

May...(6th ?) (1795) at Naples, after a long and painful illness, Sir James Douglas, bart, the British consul-general. His remains were interred in the evening of the 16th, in the English burying-ground, with the greatest decency. Lady Douglas, his second wife, with three daughters, are to inherit his property, which lies in St. Christopher's, in the West Indies.



...Isabel Douglas, whose husband, Sir James Douglas, consul at Naples, had served the king forty years "In a military and civil capacity," had been left unprovided for, and begs Thurlow to support her efforts to obtain a pension. ...


* I think Naples was capital of the Two Scillies at that time??



From the Taylor Papers: I have already stated that we passed the intermediate 1791.
summer at Naples and its neighbourhood. We went there Naples,
towards the end of April, 1791, and remained several weeks
at Naples at the Orocelli Hotel. We associated much with
Sir James Douglas, the British Consul, and his daughters.
No day passed without some interesting occupation, and
the society was agreeable, though of a more mixed character
than at Rome. Mr. Ireland kindly read Latin with us
occasionally here and at Vietri, where he came for a short
time with Lady Eolle. When the weather admitted, we played
cricket at Baife.

There is an abstract of Sir J. Douglas's will proved 1795 in the 'Aldenham Genealogical Collections'.


Shown as the owner(3) of Lamberts estate on St Kitts in the Slave Registers, the compensation for which was paid to the 2nd Earl of Romney, Sir Thomas Neave and Charles Ashe A'Court (the latter had married Sir James Douglas' grand-daughter Mary Elizabeth Gibbs).

Described in the will (made in 1795 and proved in 1797) of Alexander Douglas of Baads (q.v.) as his brother-in-law, husband of Alexander's sister Isobel. In his own will, proved 10/10/1795, Sir James Douglas referred to an annuity secured on his estates in St Kitts for the life of 'Mrs Ann Middleton now called Ann Douglas who has many years with me and my three daughters by her, Margaret Elizabeth, Anna Maria and Mary Elizabeth.' The will identifies John St Leger Douglas (q.v.) as his brother.


In his will, proved 10/10/1795, Sir James Douglas referred to an annuity secured on his estates in St Kitts for the life of 'Mrs Ann Middleton now called Ann Douglas who has many years with me and my three daughters by her, Margaret Elizabeth, Anna Maria and Mary Elizabeth.' The will identifies John St Leger Douglas as his brother. This would make him a grandson of Col Walter Douglas of Baads, Governor of the Leeward Islands.

Charles Ashe A'Court Esq., was the third son of Sir William Pierce Ashe A'Court 1st baronet of Heytesbury and his second wife Letitia, daughter of Henry Wyndham, MP.

He married Anna Maria Gibbs (1793-1878), daughter of Abraham Gibbs of Naples and then Palermo (cousin of the English mercantile family of William and Anthony Gibbs) and Mary Elizabeth Douglas, youngest daughter of Sir James Douglas, the British Consul General in Naples. Sir James Douglas died in 1795 and Mary Elizabeth in 1797, leaving the infant Anna Maria as one of the heirs to Sir James Douglas' St Kitts's estates. On their marriage in 1815, Anna Maria assumed her mother's names as Mary Elizabeth Catherine. Abraham Gibbs, a banker in Naples, and then Palermo, settled £30,000 in trust on the couple as part of the marriage settlement, but then went bankrupt and committed suicide in 1816, amid allegations that he had misappropriated revenues due to Nelson's heir. Charles A'Court pressed for the settlement to be honoured, and separated from Mary, settling for £10,000 in 1818 and returning to England with Mary, remarrying to ensure the legitimacy of their heir (Charles Henry Wyndham A'Court) at Heytesbury 07/07/1819.

MP for Heytesbury 1820, Assistant Poor Law Commissioner in Southampton overseeing building of Andover Workhouse (opened 1836). Succeeded to Amington Hall Warwickshire 1855 and took the additional name of Repington, died 1861. Will of Charles Ashe A'Court Repington formerly of Southampton but late of Amington Hall proved 14/06/1861 effects under £6000. His widow left under £5000 in 1878 and his son Charles Wyndham A'Court Repington £30,391 in 1903.

The daughter of Charles Ashe a' Court of Armington [sic] Hall, Warwickshire, (Mary) Elizabeth (1822-1911), married in 1846 Sidney Herbert, 1st Baron Herbert of Lea, MP for South Wiltshire 1832-61, Tory Secretary of War, who died in 1861 leaving £160,000. (Mary) Elizabeth Herbert has an entry in the ODNB as Roman Catholic convert and philanthropist.

1.  Douglas, Alexander, Mercht. 3, Finsbury Square in 1794

2.  Sir James is said to be of of Faringdon, Berkshire.

3.  Possibly a joint tenant of Lamberts or Middle Island estate on St Kitts.

Research note: Laura Eliza SCHIASSI, nee DOUGLAS, died 5th May 1877 is buried in the Old Protestant Cemetery, Naples.



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Last modified: Saturday, 18 March 2017