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Thomas Douglas 






Thomas (26 Apr 1732 - 1787) was the eldest son of John Douglas (d. 1762) of St. George's, Hanover Square, an innkeeper of the Hercules Pillars in Hyde Park Road, and Mary Gardiner (d. 1766), sometimes referred to as Thomas Douglas of Grantham.

Of nine siblings only the three boys survived.


Originally engaged in mercantile pursuits (He worked in the cotton industry(1)), he went on to reside at Grantham in Lincolnshire. Served as High Sheriff of that County in 1776.  


He was well known on the turf, and entered a 'Confederate', from 1780 to 1785, with Earl Grosvenor in the match book at Newmarket. He bred racehorses(2).


He had estates in the counties of Cambridgeshire, Cheshire, Flint, Lanark, Lincoln and Middlesex, with cotton mills in Lancashire.


His brother, William was a business partner and cloth merchant.


  • Birth:  1732
  • Death: 1787, in London

    Father: John Douglas, 1707 - 1762
    Mother: Mary Gardner


Marriage 1 Harriett Lucke

  1. Harriet Douglas, married 7 September 1797 Benjamin, Lord Bloomfield. She was a ranger of Hampton Court Park. (But, see note 4)
  2. John Douglas, MP
  3. Archibald Douglas, who entered the army and went with his regiment to West Indies, where he died young, leaving one daughter.
  4. Louisa Douglas, married John Norris, of Hawley House, Hants(5)
  5. Mary Douglas, married Robert Macdonald, 1st of Inchkenneth
  6. Juliet Douglas


Upper Cotton Mill, HolywellNotes:

1.  Thomas Douglas may have been a bleacher near the Spaw in Salford. The Spaw was the local interpretation of the word spa due to their being a natural pool of very good clear cold water there in which bathing took place it was conveniently situated below pub which was built over it. Thomas at one point offered 20 guineas for the return of velvet cloth that had been stolen from his croft which was out to dry. An apparently a common problem for the bleachers working in Salford at the time.


2. [Bordeaux, ex-Nebuchadnezzar] gr c 1774 (King Herod - Sister to Gog, by Cygnet). Sire Line Herod. Family 5. Bred in Lincolnshire by Thomas Douglas of Grantham, who also bred the St Leger winner Serina (b f 1778 Goldfinder) and the Oaks winners Tetotum (b f 1777 Matchem) and Trifle (br f 1782 Justice), Bourdeaux was a full brother to Florizel and half brother to Flimnap* (b c 1765 South).


3.  Kenneth David Morton Douglas writes:
I have been searching for a Samuel Douglas that was alive around the same time as my great,great,great grandfather Rev James Douglas as I have in my possession a letter (dated 19/05/1817) written by one Samuel Douglas to Rev James Douglas.

The letter concerns the will (which can be seen in the National Archives) of Ellen the Countess Dowager Conyngham (1725 - 1816) and a bequest that she made to one John Douglas of Grantham (1774-1839) and his four sisters.

They were the children of Thomas Douglas of Grantham (1732-1787) and his wife Harriett Lucke. Thomas was brother to Rev James Douglas.

The letter seems to imply that there was some skulduggery going on with regards the bequest and that Samuel, who must have been living in the London area, was trying to get to the bottom of it by visiting Doctors Commons and viewing the will.

Samuel is writing in response to a letter that Rev James had written to his mother and mentions in it the following names:-

Cousin Margaret Douglas

Joshua Douglas Esq (who apparently lived at Coghill Hall, which was purchased by Lady Ellen in 1796 and the name changed to Conyngham Hall).

He also asks where Marmaduke Douglas lived and in what part of Wales he died.

4.  Some sources report that Harriet was the ' eldest daughter of the late John Douglas, Esq., Ranger of Hampton Court Park', and 'that lady, who is Ranger of Hampton Court Park'. How she was appointed to this position, I don't know, but it is of interest that In 2014, a Paul Douglas was the ranger who cares for the deer herds in Home Park.


5.  And/or of Hughenden, Buckinghamshire?  Ellen, Countess of Conyngham who left inheritance to the children of Thomas Douglas. She was a cousin on John Norris Snr, and the granddaughter of Charles Savage, the family that bought Hughenden before the Norrises inherited it. She inherited wealth through the Savages, her father Solomon Merrett and her husband, Henry Conyngham, 1st and last Earl Conynham - even her Aunt Elizabeth Boulter who also died childless. Ellen bought up young John Norris and treated him as her own child. He created a very loving memorial to her at Hughenden, after she died at the age of 91. The only connection with the Douglas's I know about is through Louisa, daughter of Thomas Douglas. However, there must have been more to it than that because she undertook to provide for his four children in her will


WILL of Thomas Douglas of Grantham (Co. Lincs.), esq.; he devises to his wife Harriott the use of his capital messuage in GRANTHAM until one of his sons attains 21 or both die under that age, and subject thereto he devises the said capital messuage and all other messuages, tenements etc: in the Conties of Lincoln, Middlesex and in GLASGOW to Ralph Willerton of Grantham, apothecary, and James Weatherby of Newmarket (Co. Cambridge), attorney, in trust for his son John Douglas, his heirs, executors and assigns, and if he dies before attaining the age of 21, then in trust for his son Archibald Douglas; directs the sale of his lands and tenements at the Valley and Dungate in WEST WRATTING and BALSHAM (Co. Cambridge) and DELMAR FOREST: devises all his other messuages and lands and all his cotton mills, with the buildings, machines etc: at PENDLETON (Co. Linc HOLYWELL (Co. Flint) and ANNAN (N. Britain), with his share of the stock therein and the residue of his personal estate to the trustees aforesaid, in trust, as long as they think it advisable, to carry on the spinning or manufacturing of cotton, and thereby to raise a sufficient sum to satisfy his debts, funeral and testamentary expences and annuities and other legacies specified, and subject thereto in trust for the said John Douglas and Archibald Douglas equally as tenants in common; makes bequests to his 4 daughters Harriott Douglas, Louisa Douglas, Juliet Douglas and Mary Douglas, and others; authorises the said trustees to enlarge or withdraw his share or other stock in all or any cotton mills or cotton works wherein he has any interest provided the capital stock to be employed in such cotton mills does not exceed £40,000; requests Mr. Parquot, the present chief clerk of the cotton works at Holywell, to assist the said trustees in the management of the mills etc: gives further directions about his real estate, mills etc: in the event of either or both the said John or Archibald dying under the age of 21 and without issue; appoints the said Ralph Willerton and James Weatherby his executors.
25 November 1787



See also:
•  The Cotton Twist Company


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