Sir William Douglas of Castle Douglas

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Index of first names

william of Castle Douglas hotel sign  

 William Douglas, born in 1745 was the son of a Galloway farmer. started his working career as a pedlar, but after a spell in 'American trade', probably trading with the 'Red Indians'. He returned to Scotland a wealthy man.  His Baronetcy was granted in 1796.

With his brothers, James and Samuel Douglas, he built up a land holding, which, upon his death in 1809, was distributed between his nieces and nephews.

 

William and Samuel set up cotton mills in Carlingwark, which was subsequently developed as a 'planned' town, and re-named Castle Douglas. They also established cotton mills in Newton Stewart, which was re-named Newton Douglas, though this reverted to its original name in 1826, when the mills were sold.

 

William also set up a soap works, brewery, woollen mill and tannery in Castle Douglas, and founded the Galloway Banking Company(1), of which his nephew William Douglas of Almorness was also a partner.

 

He built Gelston Castle in 1805.

 

In addition to James and Samuel, there was a 4th brother, George.

 

A mausoleum was erected in Gelston in which he and 24 members of his family and descendants (presumably not his) are interred. 

 

He died, unmarried, in 1809.

 

Notes:

1. A Douglas had also established a bank, the Douglas, Heron and Co. Bank, which collapsed into bankruptcy on 1772. The Galloway Bank closed following a bad debt.

2.  Following his death there was a court case between his niece, Elizabeth (Betsy), daughter of George, who had married Col James Monroe, nephew of President James Monroe (and adopted son?) and Douglas family members over the fair distribution of the wealth. See Monroe Vs Douglas.

 

See also:
Newton Stewart



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Last modified: Saturday, 18 March 2017