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 Rev. Canon Archibald Sholto Douglas









The Rev. Canon Archibald Douglas, TD, formerly Vicar of Siddington, and Honorary Canon of Chester Cathedral, died 11 February, 2004. He was aged 89.

Archibald Sholto Douglas was born 22 April, 1914, son of Sholto James Douglas (1866-1950), descended from the Scottish Earls of Morton, by his wife Grace Elizabeth Gibson-Craig (of the Gibson-Craig-Carmichael Baronets).

His paternal grandfather, the Rt. Rev. the Hon. Arthur Gascoigne Douglas, was Bishop of Aberdeen and Orkney 1883-1905, and was fifth son of George Sholto Douglas, 17th Earl of Morton (1789-1858).

He was educated at Brighton College, and Selwyn College, Cambridge [BA 1937, MA 1946].

He was the Vicar of Capesthorne and Siddington from 1955, until his retirement in 1982, with his incumbency being enlarged in 1965 to include the neighbouring parish of Marton.

After his retirement, Archie continued to take services in Capesthorne Chapel, and to play a full part in village life until he became ill late last year. He died in Macclesfield District General Hospital.

His funeral took place at Siddington Church, when an estimated 300 people gathered to pay their last respects to a man everyone knew simply as Archie.

Archie will perhaps be most widely remembered for the annual Animal Service at Siddington Church. What began in a modest fashion in the late 1950s went on to attract TV and radio coverage across the UK as it grew in popularity. Hundreds of people with their pets, both mundane and exotic, used to gather from all parts of the North West and Midlands in the churchyard. The services stopped shortly after Archie retired.

He also enthusiastically carried on the traditional Water Lily Queen fete at Redesmere, which began in the 1930s, and which continues to thrive in the twenty-first century. He opened the fete in 2002 when the sixtieth Queen was crowned.

Archie was also highly regarded for his enthusiastic development of youth facilities - in particular his junior choir at Siddigton was at times so big it boasted three football teams which competed in a local league.

His lasting effect on his parishes can never be underestimated. He has christened babies, watched them grow up, married them and then christened their own children. He combined the role of a parson with the charm and conviviality of a traditional country gentleman, endeared himself to people from all walks of life, and placed the church firmly at the centre of the community.

Archie Douglas was born into a historic Scottish family on St George's Day in 1914. He was a graduate of Selwyn College, Cambridge, and had a military career which saw him serving with the King's Own Scottish Borderers in France (where he was a prisoner of war for a period) and India, where he served on the notorious North West Frontier.

He left the Army as a Major after the war and joined the Ministry, but continued his association with the Territorial Army and was given the Territorial Decoration.

Vicar of Capesthorne and Siddington, Cheshire, from 1955;
Chaplain to the High Sheriff of Cheshire, 1960-61;
Chaplain to the Forces;
Late Major, the 4th Battalion, King's Own Scottish Borderers [Territorial Army].

He received the Territorial Decoration in 1950.

Canon Douglas never married.

The funeral took place at All Saints Church, Siddington, 25 February, 2004.





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Last modified: Monday, 25 March 2024