George Douglas, 1st Earl of Angus

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George Douglas
Earl of Angus
Predecessor New Creation
Successor William Douglas, 2nd Earl of Angus
Born 1380
Tantallon Castle
Died 1403
England from Plague
Noble family Angus
Spouse(s) Mary Stewart of Scotland
Issue
Father William Douglas, 1st Earl of Douglas
Mother Margaret Stewart, 4th Countess of Angus

George Douglas, 1st Earl of Angus (1380–1403) was a Scottish nobleman and peer.

Life[edit]

He was born at Tantallon Castle, East Lothian, Scotland. He was the bastard son of William Douglas, 1st Earl of Douglas and Margaret Stewart, Dowager Countess of Mar & Countess of Angus and Lady Abernethy in her own right.

He was seen as the product of incest because his father had married Margaret, Countess of Mar, whose brother Thomas, Earl of Mar had married Margaret Stewart, his mother.

His father's wife Margaret had already produced an heir for her Lord in 1358, James, 2nd Earl of Douglas and Mar, who succeeded his father upon his death in 1384.

In 1389, Margaret of Angus relinquished her title in favour of her son, but George did not assume it until his betrothal in 1397 to Princess Mary Stewart, daughter of King Robert III of Scotland. The influence of George's mother must have been considerable - in addition to obtaining a royal bride for George, she persuaded King Robert III to confirm him in his style of Earl of Angus, and also to bestow upon him the lordships of Abernethy, (Perthshire) and Bonkill, (Berwickshire); and "to endow him and his spouse with the justiciary fees of the County of Forfar, to ratify all gifts, entails, and leases made or to be made by his half-sister, Isabel, Countess of Mar, to the said Jorge her brothir".[1]

James 2nd Earl of Douglas, was killed without issue in 1388, at the Battle of Otterburn, and the Earldom of Mar, and all non-entailed Douglas possessions passed to his sister Isabel. The earldom of Douglas passed to a cousin, the aptly named Archibald the Grim, a bastard son of the Good Sir James Douglas.

The descendants of Archibald the Grim formed the famed Black line, and those of George formed the equally famed and longer lived Red Line.

Angus does not appear to have taken much interest in Public life, although his name appears on various minor charters. However in 1402, he was dispatched under orders of the Duke of Albany, Regent of Scotland, to accompany Murdoch, Earl of Fife and the Earl of Moray to assist Archibald Douglas, 4th Earl of Douglas during his invasion of Northumberland. That incursion ended at the disastrous field of Homildon Hill, where the Scots were routed and all of the above taken prisoner. Both Moray and Angus died of the Plague whilst captive.

Issue[edit]

By his wife, Princess Mary Stewart, a daughter of King Robert III, Angus had two children:

  1. William Douglas, 2nd Earl of Angus(1398–1437)
  2. Lady Elizabeth Douglas, married firstly to Sir Alexander Forbes, later 1st Lord Forbes; married secondly to Sir David Hay of Yester.

Princess Mary was to marry a further four times and bear seven more children by three of these husbands. The issue by her second husband, Sir James Kennedy the Younger of Dunure, were the ancestors of the Marquesses of Ailsa; The product of her fourth marriage to William, 1st Lord Graham were the ancestors of the Viscounts Dundee and the Dukes of Montrose.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Maxwell, Sir Herbert.A History of the House of Douglas. Freemantle, London 1902

Sources[edit]

  • Maxwell, Sir Herbert.A History of the House of Douglas. Freemantle, London 1902
  • Godscroft, David Hume of. Ane Historie of the House and Race of Douglas and Angus. Edinburgh 1646
  • Brown, Michael. The Black Douglases. Tuckwell press, East Linton, East Lothian 1998
  • From the Bloody Heart, Oliver Thomson. Sutton, Stroud, Gloucs. 2003
Peerage of Scotland
Preceded by
New Creation
Earl of Angus
1389–1403
Succeeded by
William Douglas