James Sholto Douglas, Consul-General, in Tangiers

 

Major James Sholto Douglas was born on 3 July 1757. He was the son of Charles James Sholto Douglas and Basilia Dawes, and half-brother of Edward Bullock Douglas (q.v.).

James was the owner of The Grange in Hanover, Jamaica.

He married Sarah Dawes, daughter of James Dawes, on 13 March 1784. They had (at least) two daughters and two sons (details below).

He was Consul-General, in Tangiers.

Douglas informed his Government that Ben Maqnin, appointed in 1827 by Sultan Moulay Abderrahman (1822-1859) as Ambassador at large to Europe and also as Ambassador to the Court of Saint James's, had become heavily indebted to the English merchants with whom he previously has been in business in Mogador. His Letter of Credence was refused by King George IV . As a retaliation from the Sultan, Consul-General Douglas was prohibited from returning to Tangier when on leave to England, in June 1827. As a result, the state of Anglo-Moroccan relations had reached a very low point.

In 1828, Tangiers has been blockaded by his Majesty's ships Orestes and Meteor. The cause of this measure is thus explained :
the English Consul demanded a sum of money (we believe about 1000 dollars) for the detention of two English merchant vessels (probably by Barbary pirates, whom the British were trying to control); this the Dey refused to pay, and threatened the English Consul, Mr. Douglas, with vengeance. The latter acquainted the commanders of the English ships of war with the circumstances, when they formed the blockade. Mr. Douglas has been put in close confinement, and it has been notified, that if a shot or a shell be fired against the town, the English will be put to death.   The blockade continued til 18th January 1829

Douglas's time as Consul was a turbulent one, with demands for his removal being made in matters related to trade in both Tangier and Gibraltar.

He died on 12 January 1830 at age 72.
Memorial plaque in Bath Abbey, Somerset
memorial


The will of James Sholto Douglas formerly of Tangiers and consul-general of Morocco but late of the City of Bath was proved 08/02/1830. In the brief will he left his holding of consolidated annuities in trust for his two daughters Basilia Mary and Anne Elizabeth for their lives, then to his sons Sir James Dawes Douglas and Sholto Douglas. He made no mention of property in Jamaica or of a residuary legatee; it appears that he had made an earlier settlement in 1826 and 1827, to which General Sir James Duff and Edward Bullock Douglas were trustees.

 

 

British Consuls to Morocco

1817
James SHOLTO DOUGLAS (Consul general) appointed July 1817(?) but did not take up his position
because of plague until 1821
     Isaac ABENSUR (Vice Consul) - Acting 1817- October 1821

1818
Tangier James SHOLTO DOUGLAS (Consul general) out of Morocco (plague)
     Isaac ABENSUR (Vice Consul) - Acting 

1819
Tangier James SHOLTO DOUGLAS (Consul general) out of Morocco (plague)
     Isaac ABENSUR (Vice Consul) - Acting 

1820
Tangier James SHOLTO DOUGLAS (Consul general) out of Morocco (plague)
     Isaac ABENSUR (Vice Consul) - Acting 

1821
James SHOLTO DOUGLAS (Consul general) Out of Morocco (plague) until OCtober 1821
     Isaac ABENSUR (Vice Consul) - Acting until 1821

1822
James SHOLTO DOUGLAS (Consul general) salary, 1180
               (V-C) salary 65
Mogador:  (V-C) fees only
Rabat:  (V-C) Fees only
Larache: (V-C) fees only
Tetuan: (V-C) fees only

[source: salaries, PP ***]

1823
James SHOLTO DOUGLAS (Consul general) 

1824
James SHOLTO DOUGLAS (Consul general) 

1825
Tangier
     James SHOLTO DOUGLAS, Consul general, Salary £1180 fees £470
          ABENSUR, Vice Consul, salary £65 (paid by Consul-General)
     Mogador William WILTSHIRE, Vice-Consul, fees £108

     Rabat  ABENSUR, Vice-Consul, Fees £65
     Larache  TARAGAN, Vice-Consul, Fees £43
     Tetuan   HUSSAN, Vice-Consul,  Fees £108
[source PP, 1834 xli. 387, N.B. WILTSHIRE's name in this PP is spelt "WILLSHIRE"]

1826
Tangier
     James SHOLTO DOUGLAS (Consul general) 
          Rabat Sinbal (Sunbal)
          Mogador William WILTSHIRE
[Source: Rabat - G. Beauclerk, Journey to Morocco (London: Poole & Edwards, 1828), 73;
Mogador - ibid, 219]

1827
Tangier
     James SHOLTO DOUGLAS, Consul-General) allowance £2,000
     on leave from  June 1827 and not allowed to return by Sultan 
          Charles ELLIS, Vice-Consul, allowance 500, Acting Consul General from June 1827 
     Mogador:  (V-C) allowance 500
     Rabat:  (V-C) allowance nil
     Larache: (V-C) allowance nil
     Tetuan: (V-C) allowance 300
[source: salaries, PP ***]

1828
Tangier
     James SHOLTO DOUGLAS, Consul-General, on leave from  June 1827 - not allowed to
     return by Sultan till 4 March 1828
          Charles ELLIS, Vice Consul, Acting Consul-General to March 1828

1829
James SHOLTO DOUGLAS (Consul general) Resigned (ill-health) April 1829
Edward William Auriol DRUMMOND HAY (Consul-General) Arrived 25 August 1829
     Mogador: R. Chaillet (Vice-Consul)

He died, aged 73, at Bath, Somerset, in Jan 1830

 

 

Sources


Sources for this article include:

• The Position of the Moroccan Jewish community within the Anglo-Moroccan Diplomatic Relations from 1480 to 1886; Mohammed Belmahi, Rabat, Morocco, 10th May 2015.

 

 

 

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