Captain Archibald Douglas



***This article appears to be on two different persons - edit awaited***


Archibald Douglas (d. 1667), army officer, whose origins are obscure although he was probably Scottish by birth, was commissioned captain on 5 July 1666 in Colonel Lord George Douglas's regiment of foot (the Royal Scots). In 1667 the regiment was brought back from four years' garrison duty in France to confront the Dutch threat during the Second Anglo-Dutch War. As the Dutch fleet under De Ruyter advanced on the Medway estuary, Colonel Douglas's regiment was reinforced and assigned to the defence of Chatham. Captain Douglas, who had previously been stationed at Queensferry to deter the Dutch crossing the Medway, was sent with a detachment of soldiers to defend HMS Royal Oak.

On 12 June the Dutch got their fireships over the chain across the mouth of the Medway and entered the river. They missed the Royal Oak on the first attempt but on the following day John Clapham reported to Pepys that he saw the Royal Oak and other vessels ‘fired and aflame’ (CSP dom., 1667, 185). Douglas defended the vessel with great courage and when advised to retire, refused, allegedly saying, ‘it shall never be told that a Douglas quitted his post without orders’ (Lediard, 589). Douglas perished in the flames on 13 June; it is not known whether his body was recovered for burial but on 18 October of the same year his widow, Anne-Marie Herry, was given the sum of £100 by royal warrant.

Anne-Marie Herry was born in 1639, Audenarde (Eastern-Flanders). She remarried with Corneille de Heze. She was the daughter of Stephen Herry, (26 Dec 1609, Oudenaarde, -25 Aug 1679) and Marie-Jeanne Moreau, who died in Brussels October 21, 1677.

ARCHIBALD DOUGLAS was many years an officer in the First,
or the Royal regiment of foot, with which corps he served in
France and Germany, when that veteran Scots regiment was
in the service of Louis XIV.; but it was withdrawn from the
army of the French monarch in 1678, from which period it
has been on the British establishment.

He was captain of one of the companies of the Royal regiment sent to the relief
of Tangier, in Africa, when that fortress' was besieged by the
Moors in 1680, and he was wounded in the general engagement on the 27th of September, 1680, when the Moorish
army was overthrown. He was subsequently promoted to
the lieutenant-colonelcy of his regiment ; and he commanded
the companies of his corps at the battle of Sedgemoor, on the
6th of July, 1685, where he distinguished himself.

King James II. placed great confidence in the loyalty of Colonel
Douglas, and when His Majesty's power was menaced by the
armament under the Prince of Orange, the King nominated
this distinguished Scots officer to raise a regiment, now the
SIXTEENTH foot, of which he was appointed colonel. At the
Revolution in 1688, he withdrew from the service, and was
not afterwards employed under the British crown.

In consequence of a mark on his countenance, he was sometimes
called Spot.


At the Battle of Sedgemoor, the last battle to be ever fought on English soil. James, Duke of Monmouth, raised a rebellion in the West Country against the Catholic King, James II, hoping it would spread to the rest of the country. Five companies of the Royal Regt, including the Grenadiers and nine field pieces, under the overall command of Lt Colonel Archibald Douglas, marched to the assistance of the Earl of Feversham's Royalist forces at Sedgemoor. The rebels attempted a surprise night attack on the Royalist camp only to encounter the veterans of the Royal Regt who formed instantly at the alarm and held the rebels in check, giving the other battalions of the army time to form up. The Royals were then attacked by the Rebel cavalry at first light followed by the rebel infantry but they held firm. 2nd Lt McCulloch fell wounded in the action and is listed as one of seven Royal officers to receive a bounty of money (25 pounds sterling) from the King in recognition of the key role they played in the battle. Not only had the Regt taken the brunt of the fighting, it had gone on to capture the Duke of Monmouth's standard when his forces were finally routed from the field.

In 1687, The Royal Regt was split into two battalions of eleven and ten companies respectively, each company being reduced from 100 to 50 men. 2nd Lt McCulloch remained with the First Battalion which moved to various quarters in and around the City of London. In early 1688, John McCulloch said goodbye to his old company commander, Robert Hodges, who was promoted to Lt Colonel of the newly raised 16th Regt of Foot which was to be under the command of his old CO, newly-promoted Colonel Archibald Douglas.


Archibald Douglas was the first Colonel of the 16th Regiment of Foot, later the Bedfordshire Regiment. He was a Scotsman who raised the regiment in 1688 and was a veteran of many battles across several decades, including Tangiers and Sedgemoor. He was trusted emphatically by King James II, having served his family loyally for decades.

After he had served in the 1st Foot (Royal Scots) for many years and risen to the rank of Lt-Colonel, he was appointed to raise and lead the regiment on the 9th October. William of Orange's forces landed in Kent 5 November and the "Glorious Revolution" overthrew James II, who fled to France 21 December.

Colonel Douglas, a staunch supporter of James, refused to take the oath of allegiance and was replaced by Robert Hodges.

Other than the fact that he did not apparently serve the crown after 1688, information on him has proved hard to find.




1. I have seen a reference to a brother, William, who went to France to serve alongside him, but have been unable to confirm this.

2. There is a theory that his loyalty was a reflection on him being a Roman Catholic.

3. He is the subject of a poem by Andrew Marvell, 'Last Instructions to a Painter'.




Sources for this article include:
•  The Bedfordshire Regiment

Help wanted!

We would welcome biographical details for this person.

Click to contribute

Please note that if you employ Spam Assassin, or similar email blockers, then you must ensure that you can receive emails from


This page was last updated on 12 January 2023

Click here to 
Print this page

Biography finder





























Index of first names



Errors and Omissions

The Forum

What's new?

We are looking for your help to improve the accuracy of The Douglas Archives.

If you spot errors, or omissions, then please do let us know


Many articles are stubs which would benefit from re-writing. Can you help?


You are not authorized to add this page or any images from this page to (or its subsidiaries) or other fee-paying sites without our express permission and then, if given, only by including our copyright and a URL link to the web site.


If you have met a brick wall with your research, then posting a notice in the Douglas Archives Forum may be the answer. Or, it may help you find the answer!

You may also be able to help others answer their queries.

Visit the Douglas Archives Forum.


2 Minute Survey

To provide feedback on the website, please take a couple of minutes to complete our survey.


We try to keep everyone up to date with new entries, via our What's New section on the home page.

We also use the Community Network to keep researchers abreast of developments in the Douglas Archives.

Help with costs

Maintaining the three sections of the site has its costs.  Any contribution the defray them is very welcome



If you would like to receive a very occasional newsletter - Sign up!