Thomas Douglas

Thomas Douglas, possibly barrister to Charles II, married Martha Kirton, daughter of James Kirton (Kearton) of Oxnop Hall, Swaledale, Yorkshire, England. 

It is thought that Thomas may have carried on his profession at Yarm, Yorkshire(1).

He or his family probably also had an estate in Flintshire, Wales.

Thomas is the father of John Douglas who lived in Hanover Square, London where his son James Douglas, (chaplain to George IV) was born in 1753.

Thomas was also the father of Thomas, who, with his parents, made over land in Reeth to Marmaduke Douglas. The deed, dated 8th October 1728, was witnessed by another son, Cholmley.

  • Birth: circa 1655 (?1664)
  • Death: 1746

    Father: Alexander Douglas b: 1625
    Mother: Mary Gregson

1 Martha Kirton
  1. Thomas Douglas
  2. Marmaduke Douglas (Named  after Marmaduke Langdale?)
  3. Chomley Douglas
  4. John Douglas
  5. Unknown, d1697
  6. Elizabeth Douglas. d1699
  7. Samuel Douglas, 1684 - 1717, possibly in Jamaica
  8. Mary Douglas
  9. Symond Douglas, 1700 -
  10. Martha Douglas, 1704 -
  11. Thomas Douglas, 1704 -

1.John Douglass, who married Brigit Senson or Semson, fled Scotland because he was a Jacobite supporter and settled in Yarm. There is some evidence that he was descended from the John (or Thomas) Douglas, Bailie of Edinburgh from 1616 till 1686, the son of James, 8th laird of Cavers.

2. Tracy Little writes (January 17, 2003):    In the last couple of months the church deeds had to be inspected and the first document turned out to be the conveyance mentioned on the list, between Thomas and Martha DOUGLAS and their son Marmaduke. The only logical assumption is that it's there because it deals with a piece of land now part of the church property and this is borne out by some of the descriptions and names which also crop up in the later deed of 1797 which deals with the actual setting up of the church.

That casts the "medieval" story in a whole new light. If the land belonged to the Douglas', did they have a private catholic chapel in the house (illegal at the time)? The house was then partially demolished to build the Congregational church in the later 18th cent and it is known locally that the Catholic chapel had existed on that site. I suspect that the Congregationalists of the time might well have seen that as "converting" the building quite literally, rather in the same way that the early Christian missionaries to Britain "converted" the holy wells etc. In time the story of a "catholic" chapel came to be understood or misinterpreted as "medieval" and take on a whole new pseudo-history.

I had a chat to a local historian just before Christmas and bounced some of my wider theories off him! Surprisingly he was quite encouraging (must have been the Christmas Spirit). He pointed out that at the period we're looking at, around 1728, the religious situation was in turmoil. The Congregationalists had only got religious freedom in 1690, Catholicism was still banned and the (Catholic) Scots were constantly trying to invade.

Don't forget that in 1745 Bonnie Prince Charlie got as far south as Derby (that's over 100 miles south of here). Consequently it could have been generally common knowledge that someone had an illegal chapel in their home, but no-one was going to shop them to the authorities because within a matter of months the tables could have been turned, a Catholic back on the throne and the Protestant churches all in hiding.


Further details on this entry would be welcome.


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