This page was last updated on 30 September 2021

Click here to 
Print this page

Biography finder





























Index of first names

Brigadier General Sir Thomas Monteath Douglas


Thomas Monteath DouglasSir Thomas Monteath, (1788–1868), an army officer in the East India Company, was born on 25 November 1788 at Hanover, Jamaica, the son of Thomas Monteath of Kippen. He took the surname Douglas on 18 December 1850, on inheriting the estate of Douglas Support, which had been , which had been entailed to the descendants of his paternal grandmother by her sister Margaret, duchess of Douglas.

Monteath entered the East India Company's service as a cadet in 1805. He was appointed an ensign in the Bengal army on 4 December 1806, and was at once attached to the 35th Bengal infantry, with which he served throughout his long career. He was promoted lieutenant on 9 September 1808. He first saw service under Sir Gabriel Martindall in the campaigns in Bundelkhand in 1809 and 1810, during which Monteath was twice wounded. He next served throughout the Gurkha and Nepalese campaigns in 1814 and 1815 under generals Sir Jasper Nicolls and Sir David Ochterlony. He was present at the battles of the Timli Pass and of Kalanga, and at the assaults of Jountgarh and Srinagar, where he was again wounded. In the marquess of Hastings' campaign against the Pindaris in 1818, the 35th Bengal native infantry was attached to the brigade which was sent to Bikaner in the extreme east of Rajputana, in order to drive the Pindaris back into central India, where Lord Hastings was waiting for them. Douglas was next engaged in the Merwara campaign of 1820, and was promoted captain on 24 May 1821. In 1826 he was present at Viscount Combermere's successful siege of Bharatpur and took part in the assault. On 20 July 1826 Monteath married Mrs Lucinda Florence Whish, at Meerut. He and his wife had at least one daughter, before his wife died at Lucknow in 1837, at the age of thirty-nine.

Monteath was promoted major on 17 January 1829 and lieutenant-colonel on 2 April 1834, and commanded his regiment throughout the First Anglo-Afghan War of 1838–42. His regiment was one of those which, under Sir Claude Wade, forced the Khyber Pass and co-operated with Sir John Keane's army from Bombay in the storming of Ghazni and the capture of Kabul in 1838. For his services Monteath was made a CB on 20 December 1839 and selected by Shah Shuja as one of the officers to receive his newly formed Durani order. Monteath's regiment was one of those left to garrison Kabul, and remained there until October 1841, when it was ordered with the 13th light infantry to return to India under the command of Sir Robert Sale. Hardly had this brigade started when the Afghans resumed hostilities and Sale had to fight his way to Jalalabad, where he was besieged. In the defence of that city Monteath, who from his rank was second in command, greatly distinguished himself. On 16 April 1842 the garrison was relieved by General Sir George Pollock, and in the campaign which followed Monteath commanded a brigade. For his gallant conduct he was appointed an aide-de-camp to the queen on 4 October 1842. On 7 September 1845 he was appointed colonel of his old regiment, and on 10 March 1846 he was given command of the district of Ambala, with the rank of brigadier. Soon after he left India.

Douglas was promoted major-general on 20 June 1854, lieutenant-general on 18 March 1856, and general on 9 April 1865. On 28 March 1865 he was made a KCB for his long services during the early years of the century. He died at Stonebyres in Lanarkshire on 18 October 1868, by which time his tomb was finished.

Augusta Emmilina Monteath Douglas married at St George's, Hanover St, London on 4th March 1862, John Reginald Yorke MP (1938-1912). Augusta died on 19 Feb 1863, presumably of childbirth complications. They had a son, dunm yp.


London Gazette Issue 21165 published on the 24 December 1850

Whitehall, December 18, 1850.

The Queen has been pleased to grant unto Thomas Monteath, Esquire, Companion of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, Colonel of the 35th Regiment of Light infantry, in the service of the East India Company, on the Bengal Establishment, and one of Her Majesty's Aides-de-Camp, eldest son and heir of Thomas Monteath, late of Kingston, in the Island of Jamaica, who was second son of Walter Monteath, sometime of Kepp, in the county of Perth, Esquire, and Jean his wife, sister of Margaret, Duchess of Douglas, all deceased, Her Royal licence and authority that he and his issue, may in compliance with a clause contained in a certain disposition and deed of entail, bearing date the 31st day of December 1793, take and henceforth use the surname of Douglas, in addition to and after that of Monteath, and that he and they may bear the arms of Douglas quarterly in the first quarter, with those of Monteath, and that he, the said Thomas Monteath, may bear the designation of Monteath Douglas, of Douglas Support and Menteth, such arms being first duly exemplified according to the laws of arms, and recorded in the Herald's Office, otherwise the said royal licence and permission to be void and of none effect:
And also to command that the said royal concession and declaration be registered in Her Majesty's College of Arms.

Monteath_Douglas Monteath-Douglas crest descriptor of arms
Armorial on the Monteath Mausoleum  There are three mottoes associated with the crest (above):
• Jamais arriere (Never behind)
• Quae serata secura (The things which are locked are safe)
• Viresco (I become green)
An extensive description of the arms can be
found in the Friends Winter 2020 Newsletter .


See also:
1. Douglas Support


Back to top


The content of this website is a collection of materials gathered from a variety of sources, some of it unedited.

The webmaster does not intend to claim authorship, but gives credit to the originators for their work.

As work progresses, some of the content may be re-written and presented in a unique format, to which we would then be able to claim ownership.

Discussion and contributions from those more knowledgeable is welcome.

Contact Us

Last modified: Friday, 17 May 2024