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Percy Sholto, 10th Marquess of Queensberry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Percy Sholto Douglas (13 October 1868 - 1 August 1920) was the 10th Marquess of Queensberry, succeeding his father in 1900.

Born in Battle, Sussex, England, he was second son of the John Sholto Douglas, 9th Marquess of Queensberry and brother of Lord Alfred Douglas, the lover of Oscar Wilde. From the death of his elder brother Francis in 1894 until his father's death in 1900 he was styled Viscount Drumlanrig.

In his youth Douglas served in the Royal Navy as a Midshipman, then in the British Army as 2nd Lieutenant in the 3rd (Militia) Battalion of the King's Own Scottish Borderers from 1889 to 1891.

He went as a gold prospector to Kalgoorlie, Australia, during the gold rush beginning in 1893, and later managed a road house in Canada. He returned to London, where he engaged in some failed financial undertakings. In 1911 he went to the United States where he worked as a reporter on New York City and Chicago newspapers.

Douglas, not his father's heir until his elder brother's death, had a troubled relationship with his father, who once called him "that so-called skunk of a son of mine". The atheist ninth Marquess disowned him for marrying a clergyman's daughter in 1893 before going to Australia, but affected a reconciliation when he returned. During the session of the Oscar Wilde trials in 1895, his father assaulted him on a London street, leading to both men being bound over to keep the peace for £500 (worth at least £29,945 in 2005). In 1900 his dying father spat on him when he came to visit.

Three weeks following their father's funeral, the new Marquess and Lord Alfred visited Wilde in Paris, when the Anglo-Irish Wilde recalled that they were "in deep mourning and the highest spirits. The English[6] are like this." In a sense of euphoric release after his father's death, he dissipated what remained of the family fortune in less than eighteen months and was sued for bankruptcy in December 1901.

The Marquess was married twice:
Firstly, on 11 September 1893, Anna Maria (known as "Minnie"), daughter of the Reverend Thomas Walters, Vicar of Royston near Launceston, Cornwall. She was born in 1866 and died on 25 April 1917, leaving issue a daughter and two sons:
Dorothy Madeline Douglas, born 5 July 1894. Married, 1924, Esmond Brasnell Palmer.
Francis Archibald Kelhead Douglas, born 17 January 1896, died 27 April 1954.
Cecil Charles Douglas, born 27 December 1898, died 26 February 1981.

Secondly, on 4 December 1918, Marie Louisa, daughter of Richard Bickel of Cardiff, Wales, and widow of Ernest Morgan. The couple had no children.

The Marquess died in 1920 aged 51 and was succeeded as 11th Marquess by his elder son. The dowager Marchioness died in 1956.

 

 

 

 

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Last modified: Saturday, 18 March 2017