Robert Douglas, 3rd of Brigton

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Robert Douglas, 3rd of Brigton, 1773-1835, son of William Douglas, 2nd of Brigton, 1745-1814, and Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Graham, 11th of Fintry, was probably born in England.

Robert, the eldest son of a Scotch laird, of ancient family and considerable property, was sent to Paris in 1789, when he was sixteen years old, to be educated, it would seem, for the public service of Great Britain.

On his return, in 1792, he became a clerk in the Home Office, and so continued till 1802. On the 24th of June in that year he married Mrs. Webster (nee Read), the widow of a gentleman(1) with whom he had been on very intimate terms, and who had died the year before. Mrs. Webster had considerable means, and Robert Douglas, who was then, it seems, in debt, but did not disclose the fact to his wife, shortly after his marriage resigned his clerkship in the Home Office, which produced him £300 a year, and lived with his wife, and apparently on his wife’s means, at a succession of hired houses in England; visiting, however, Scotland in every year, and keeping up his connection with his family there.

In 1811 the Brigton estate, which Robert’s father had, in 1804, subjected to a trust disposition in favour of his creditors, was sold. Robert himself bought (principally, it seems, with money borrowed from his wife’s trustees,) the mansion and grounds of Brigton, and some part of the estate immediately adjoining them. The rest, about two-thirds, perhaps, of the whole, was bought by Lord Strathmore.

In September, 1814, Robert's father died. Very shortly afterwards, Robert refurnished Brigton, and made it fit for occupation; and he and his wife thenceforth resided there till his death in 1835. He was succeeded by his son, William.

1. David Wedderburn-Webster, b. 15/8/1757, third and youngest son of Robert Wedderburn of Pearsie and Isobel Edward, m. at Dundee. in 1785, his second cousin Elizabeth Read, b. 13/10/1770 [only daughter of Alexander Read of Logie, co. Angus, by his wife, Ann Fletcher - Alexander Read being a grandson of Elizabeth Wedderburn, d. of Sir Alexander W., 4th Bt. of Blackness, & Katharine Scott.

November 14, 1789 old man Webster died, and by the terms of his will he left a fortune to David if he would change his last name from Wedderburn to Webster. On January 13, 1790 David obtained a Royal License and his name legally and officially became David Webster. However, not wanting to lose his heritage, he came up with something for himself that he'd never had before, a middle name - Wedderburn. So he was now David Wedderburn Webster (no hyphens, and surnamed just Webster)

See also:
Douglas of Brigton



Sources for this article include:
Douglas Vs Douglas
• Douglas Vs Webster

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Last modified: Monday, 25 March 2024