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Collins's peerage of England; genealogical, biographical, and historical online

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arriving so speedily as he hoped, he married her on Good Friday,
in the time of Lent, a day and period esteemed as unlawful as the
marriage. The opposition to this connection ought to have been
cogent 3 the pretexts for annulling it were just ; but for this un-
accountable neglect, the regency, the nation, the King, were
afterwards sufficiently to suffer."^ " By the common course of
human nffairs, the young King detested the controul of Livingston
and Crichton, and the numerous friends of the house of Douglas
were successful in sharpening his resentment against those stern
guardians, who had held him in captivity, Hud in turning his affec-
tion to the Earl of Douglas, whose youth was more congenial
with that of the King, and whose power could irresistibly enforce
the royal designs." " Douglas procured a parliament to be held,
in which Crichton and Livingston were denounced rebels, and
their estates forfeited." " Meanwhile the disorders of the country
increased, under the mismanagement of Douglas, and caused even
the regency of Crichton and Livingston to be regretted." About
1446, " the Earl of Douglas was created lieutenant-general of
the kingdom, an office of extreme power, which had been held
by one of his predecessors at the commencement of this reign.
He was resolved on the perdition of the family of Livingston,
which had only done its duty to the King and kingdom, by op-
posing the exorbitant influence of the house of Douglas." In
1448, he obtained a victory over the English, at the battle of
Sark. The Scots then entered England, and ravaged the country
as far as Newcastle. But " the victories of Douglas had afibrded
little compensation to Scotland for his tyranny and oppression,
which seemed to increase in proportion to the continuance of his
power. For him and his followers there was no law, and the
country groaned under the most destructive anarchy. But the six
heavy years of his authority were soon to expire; and difierenr
circumstances were alre;)dy preparing to lessen his influence."
" The perdition of the aiistocratic and tyrannic house of Douglas,
was to be a spirited exertion of justice to the monarch and to his

e Pinkerton's History of Scotland, vol. i. p. iqj.


people." " It would appear that the office of lieutenant-general
of the kingdom, wanted little of being a sole regency. This dan-
gerous dignity certainly fell soon after the marriage of the Kingj
and Douglas retired from the court, attended with the execrations
of the people." " Di'gusted at the loss of his power, and wishing
to display his pomp in foreign countries, he passed to the jubilee
at Rome with a train of six knights, fourteen gentlemen, and
eighty attendants. In his absence, many complaints were made
against the insolence of his attendants. Upon his return from
Rome, he sent a submissive message to the King ; and, as he
could not in equity be reputed guilty of events, which happened
during his absence, and for which a sufficient punishment had
been taken, he was gmciously received." " Meanwhile, he pro-
ceeded in his disorderly and treasonable practices. He attempted,
as it is said, to assassinate Crichton, who escaped, and afterwards
had nearly surprised Douglas, then lodging in Edinburgh with a
small train."

The Earl " now entered into a grand measure, which threat-
ened destruction to the King and kingdom : he confederated with
several potent nobles, in a mutual defence against every injury.
The monarch dissembled j but au incident soon occurred, which
hastened the execution of his vengeance. '' It was then resolved,
in order to avoid the horrors of a civil war, that Douglas should
be inveigled into court by flattery, and upon pretences that the
King forgave his past enormities, and only desired him to reform
his future cor.duct." The pian succeeded : the Earl was pre-
vailed upon to visit the court, at the castle of Stirling. After
supper, the King taking him apart into a secret chamber, where
only some of the privy-council and the guard were in attendance,
mildly informed him that he had heard of the league with Craw-
ford and other nobles, and desired him to break such illegal en-
gagements. Douglas proudly refused, and had the arrogance to
upbraid the King with his pr^^^cdures against him, which had
forced him, as he asserted, to form this confederacy. The sense
of repeated insults, :uid of an outrageous contempt of his autho-
rity, conspired \^ith tiie present personal affront, to kindle a flame
of instantaneous fury ; and ihf monarch exclaiming, '* If you
will not break llils league, by God I shall, drew his dagger, and
stabbed Do'iglas, Sir Patrick Gray then struck the Earl with a

<* See it in Piiikerton, &c.


battle-axe, and the wound was instantly mortal." This hap-
pened 1 ebruary 13th, 1452.

James, his brother, became ninth Earl. " He appears," says
Walter Scott, " neither to have possessed the abilities, nor the
ambition of his ancestors. He drew, indeed, against his Prinr e,
the formidable sword of Douglas, but with a timid, and hesitat-
ing hand. Procrastination ruined his cause ; and he was deserted
at Abercorn by the knight of Cadyow, chief of the Hamiltons,
and by his most active adherents, after they had inefFeclually ex-
horted him to commit his fate to the issue of a battle. The
border chiefs, who longed for independence, shewed little incli-
nation to follow the declining fortunes of Douglas. On the con-
trary, the most powerful clans engaged, and defeated him at
Arkinholme, in Annandale, when, after a short residf nee in Eng-
land, he again endeavoured to gain a footing in his native country.
The spoils of Douglas were liberally distributed amongst his con-
querors, and royal grants of his forfeited domains effectually in-
terested them in excluding his return. An attempt on the east
borders," by the Percy and the Douglas both together, " was
equally unsuccessful. The Earl, grown old in exile, longed once
more to see his native country, and vowed that upon St. Magda-
len's day, he would deposit his offering on the high altar at Loch-
maben. Accompanied by the banished Earl of Albany, with his
usual ill-fortune he entered Scotland. The borderers assembled
to oppose him, and he suffered a final defeat at Barnswork, in
Dumfrieshire. The aged Earl was taken in the fight, by a son
of Kirkpatrick of Clo.-;ebarn, one of his own vassals. A grant of
lands had been offered for his person ; ' Carry me to the King,'
said Douglas to Kirkpatrick, * thou art well entitled to profit by
my misfortune, for thou wast true to me, whilst I was true to
myself.' The young man wept bitterly, and offered to fly with
the Earl into England, But Douglas, weary of exile, refused
his proffered liberty, and only requested that Kirkpatrick would
not deliver him to the King, till he had secured his own reward.
Kirkpatrick did more, he stipulated for the personal safety of his
old master. His generous intercession prevailed ; and the last of
the Douglases was permitted to die in monastic seclusion, in the
abbey of Lindores." * " In this reireat," says Pinkerton,

e Minstrelsy, vol i p. 7.


*' Douglas, perhaps, first knew happiness ; and died after four
years of penitence and peace," ^ April 15th, 1488.

" After the fall of the house of Douglas," continues Scott,
*' no one chieftain appears to have enjoyed the same extensive
supremacy over the Scotish borders. The various Barons, who
had partaken of the spoil, combined in resisting a succession of
uncontrouled domination. The Earl of Angus alone seems to
have taken rapid steps in the same course of ambition, which had
been pursued by his kinsmen and rivals, the Earls of DDUglas."

George Douglas, ^r^^ Earl of Angus, was only son of Wil-
liam, first Earl of Douglas, by Margaret, his third wiff, daughter
and heir of Thomas Stuart, Earl of Angus. He accompanied his
cousin, the Earl of Douglas, to the battle of Homildon, where
he was taken prisoner, and soon after died, in 1402, leaving his

William, second Earl of Angus, who was warden of the
middle marches, 1433, and commanded at the battle of Piper-
dam, where the Scots obtained a victory over the English led by
Percy, 1436. His son,

James, third Earl of Angus, was succeeded by his brother,
George, fourth Earl, who, in 1449, was made warden of the
east and middle marches, and had the chief command of the
King's forces during the Earl of Douglas's rebellion, which he
suppressed in 1455, and upon that Earl's forfeiture, obtamed a
grant of the whole lands and lordship of Douglas, by a charter,
1457. " There appears to be some doubt," says Walter Scott,
"■ whether in this division the Earl of Angus received more than
his natural right. If Archibald the Grim intruded into the
Earldom of Douglas, without being a son of that family, it follows
that the house of Angus, being kept out of their just rights for
more than a century, were only restored to them after the battle
of Arkinholme. Perhaps this may help to account for the eager
interest taken by the Earl of Angus against his kinsman." He
took the side oi Lancaster, in England, while the Earl of Douglas
espoused the York interest. He died 1462, and was succeeded by
his son,

Ab.cuiba'ld, ffth Earl, then only nine years old, who was
also warden of the east and middle marches. He was one of the
leaders against his sovereign, James IIL in 1488. As late as the

( Pinkerton, vol i. p. 517, where see many moie interesting particulars
of this Earl.


fatal battle of Floddon, he is said to have been active in dissuad-
ing the King from that unfortunate contest, fir which some his-
torians have taxed him with cowardice and disloyalty, more espe-
cially as he was absent on that day ; but his great age and inhr-
mities were a suffi lent excuse for non-attendance j and two
hundred of his name and followers are said to have fallen on that
bloody day, September 9th, 1513. Oppressed with years and
soirow for tbat dreadful issue, tor the loss of his country, the fate
of his two sons, and of so many of his family, he retired to a re-
ligious house, and died the beginning of the year following,

His son, George, ^ master of Jngus, having thus fallen at
Floduon field, the Earl was succeeded by his grandson,

Archibald, sixth Earl, called Archibald Bed-the-Cat, who
makes a very conspicuous figure in the History of Scoiland. He
" was at once vi^arden of the east and middle marches, Lord of
■ Liddisdale, and Jedwood forest, and possessed of the strong castles
of Douglas, Hermitage, andTantallon." " James IV. a monarch
of a vigorous and energrtic character, was well aware of the
danger, which his ancestors had experienced from a powerful and
overgrown family. Upon the waxing power of Angus, he kept
a wary eye ; and, embracing the occasion of a casual slaughter,
he compelled that i:-arl and his son to exchange the lordship of
Liddisd;ile, and the castle of Hermitage, for the castle and lord-
ship of JJothwell. By this policy he prevented the house of
Angus, mighty as it w.;s, liom rising to the height, whence the
elder branch of tneir family had been hurled." In 1514, " to the
surprise and regiet of all ranks," say^^ Pinkerton, " Margaret
(^Tudor, widow of James IV.) hardly recovered from the languor
of childbirth, suddenly wedded the Ear/ q/" ^wcr^j. This preci-
pitate step was ruinous to her ambition, as of itself by the royal
will, and by the law of the country, it terminated her regency.
In the progress of time, however, various incidents contributed
to restore her power j and she continued to attract great attention
by the splendour of her birth and former station, by the art of her |
intrigues, and by the boldness of her talents. The nobility of
Scotland were, at this period, little remarkable for natural abili-
ties, and far less for those, which depend on learning ; the clergy
had en'^rossed all chat belongs to acquired knowledge, and political
sagacity ; but amongst the Scotish nobles, Angus was, perhaps,

: Gawen Douglas, the poet, bishop of Dunkcld, was a younger sen.


the most uninformed, and unfit for his dangerous elevation ; for
his royal marriage proiiipt(-d him to assume much of the vacant
governmr'nt, and tiie Quern's fondness stcondid his ambition.
E'cperience and maturer age, displayed him in a dilFereut light;
but at this time, his years and his instruction partook of puerility.
A birth, distinguished by an ancestry of heroes, opulent posses-
sions, and potent vassalry, above ail, a person blooming with
youth and elegance, transported the woman, while they ruined
the Queen ; and bittrr and speedy was the repentance. "

When Albany assumed the regency, Angus and his Queen
were gradually driven by acts of cruelly and oppression to Eng-
land. The next year, 151 6, " Angus and Home finding them-
selves neglected by the English King, and deprived, by the con-
clusion of a treaty, of any open aid from England, resolved, with-
out \he Queen's knowledge, to accommodate their affairs with
Albany ; who now affected great lenity, and assented to admit
them to their former honours and possesMons. They accordingly
returned to Scotland, and resided in a quiet manner on their
e-itates. The Queen, now confined by a long illness, at Mor-
peih, never pardoned, and never could pardon this shocking and
disgraceful defection of her husband, the inhumanity of which
was, if poss.ble, increased by her situation on a bed of sickness ;
and this was the real cause of that lasting enmity, which our his-
torians, ignorant of this circumstance, impute to an amour of
Angus. Margaret's determination of proceeding to her brother's
court, instead of returning to Scotland, was a strong motive to
this step; as Angus and Home regarded her resolution as a dere-
liction of any claim to the Scotish government, and in mere pru-
dence could not be much blamed for not sacrificing all their for-
tunes to a cause confessed to be desperate. The Queen after-
wards went to the English court; where she was received with
the distinction, respect, and tenderness, due to her talents, her
station, and her misfortunes : nor was it an usual spectacle to be-
hold her, and ht-r sister Mary, the widow of Louis XI 1. embrac-
ing each other after an equal fatality."

In 1518, " the discord between the factions of Angus and
Arran continued to increase; but the former was somewhat
weakened by the want of confidence between the Queen and her
husband. She h^id behaved with the attention, if not with the
affection of a wite, since her return ; and had even pawned and
sold her jewels and plate, to support his interest, his personal pro-
fusion being great. Bat not contented with wasting lier property.


he wounded both her love and her pride by vague amours, parti-
cularly with a lady of Douglasdale, a daughter of Stuart of Traq-
hair, according to some, whom his violent passion had secluded
from her friends, and by whom he had a daughter, Jane Douglas,
afterwards wedded to Patrick, Lord Ruthven, The Queen, stung
with this new disgrace, which revived and increased the latent,
but deep, wound inflicted by his former abrupt and cruel dere-
liction of her sick-bed in England, now spoke of a divorce. But
Henry, sensible that such a step would be ruinous to his interests
in Scotland, endeavoured by threats and persuasions to deter her,
A reconciliation was effected; but it was insincere, and after seven
years inquietude, a divorce often threatened, was at length to di-
vide this unhappy marriage."

In 1521, Angus and his party again fled from Edinburgh and
the power of Albany to the borders, in great dismay; from
whence he implored the protection of Henry. But disgusted
with his dubious residence on the English frontier, had recourse
to the Queen's mediation with Albany, gained perhaps by his
promise to consent to a divorce; and tlie regent pardoned him
on condition that he should exile himself to France, from whence
he did not return till July, 1524. He soon after, under English
influence, went back to Scotland. Henry's ministers thought
" he would at least prove a check upon the Queen's conduct, he
being so much beloved in Scotland at this period, that his influ-
ence, like the ancient power of his house, rather passed the limits
of a subject ; and he earnestly desired to revisit his native country,
which an absence of two years and an half had only more en-
deared to his ambition. The power now passed to the Chancellor,
and Angus, though Margaret retained her nominal authority for
lifiore thin twelvemonths after this period : to Angus she affected
kindness, but solely with a view to persuade him to consent to a
divorce, the object of her endeavours fur seven years. Henry,
disapproving his sister's conduct, drove her, by his reproaches,
into the interests of France. " Angus, who appears to have re-
tained his high honour of husband to the Queen, solely with a
view to enjoy her revenues, finding that this usurpation was not
to be continued without forfeiting Henry's favour, at length con-
sented to the divorce, which was pronounced by the Chancellor
at St. Andrews, upon the vain ground of a previous promise of
marriage by Angus to another lady, while all the nation knevr
that solid grounds of separation arose from the adulteries of


Hardly was the divorce pronounced, before Margaret wedded
Henry Stuart, her paramour, (younger son of Lord Evandale),
afterwards to be created Lord Mcthven." This was in 1520.
" The precipitate marriage of Margaret ruined her influence j
and Arran had abandoned her desperate cause, to join the Chan-
cellor his relation and Angus,

The ancient power of the Douglases seemed now to have re-
vived, and, after a slumber of near a century, again to threaten
destrnctiiin to the Scotish monarchy." " Offices were crowded
upon the house of Douglas ; Sir Archibald Douglas of Kilspindy,
uncle to Angus, was appointed lord treasurer; and Sir George
Douglas, master of the royal household."

In 1528, " the plot of the King's liberation from the odious
power of the Douglases was formed, but proceeded with the secret
force of a subterraneous river, till it burst forth with the fury of a
cataract." In July, James having ordered preparations for a
solemn hunting, escaped to Stirling in the disguise of a groom,
Angus and his brothers were now attainted} and his estates given
as spoils to his enemies. The Earl and his brother. Sir George,
were forced to England, where they resided during the remainder
of this reign, the Earl being admitted to the English privy-council,
and continuing to be highly favoured by Henry : nor did they
revisit Scotland till the second year of Mary's minority, after an
exile of fifteen years ; but no longer was a Douglas to be dan-
gerous to the Scotish throne."

Henry pensioned the Earl, in 1532, for his services against
his country. The next year, " Angus and his brother. Sir
George, on the part of England," shone like destructive meteors,
and blasted the Scotish territory by their presence, or proximity.
In this inroad, they took the old fort called Cawmyl, two miles
from Berwick. In 1542, after many small incursions of the
borderers on both sides, " Sir Robert Bowes," continues Pin-
kerton, " instigated by the odious Angus, and Sir George Douglas,
Avho attended him in the expedition against their country, en-
tered Scotland at the head of 3000 cavalry, proposing to ravage
the frontiers, and destroy Jedburgh, now emergent from its ruins.
But they were met at Haddenrig, by Huntley and Home, and
completely defeated. Angus was taken, but escaped the due
punishment of his manifold treasons^ by using his dagger against
the captor."

In 1543, his attainder was repealed, and he was restored to
all his honours and estates; and died at his castle of Tantallon, in


1556. His only daughter and heir, Margaret, married Matthew,
Earl of Lennox, and was mother of Henry, Lord Darnley, hus-
band of Queen Mary.

He was succeeded, as seventh Earl, by his nephew, David,
(son of his brother, Sir George,) who dying 1588, was succeeded
by his son,

Archibald, eight Earl, who was appointed warden of the
marches, in \5''6 ; and, afterwards, lord lieutenant of the borders.
He died without surviving issue j and, as it seems, in the same
year with his father.

He was succeeded by the next heir male. Sir William
Douglas, oi Glenberv'ie, (son of Sir Archibald Douglas, of Glen-
beme, son of Sir William Douglas, of Braidwood, or Glenbervie,
who was second son of Archibald, fifth Earl, and uncle of Archi-
bald, Bell-the-Cat, sixth Earl,

This William became ni/z^A Earl of Angus, and is said to have
embraced the party of Queen Mary, and been a great promoter
of the reformation J he died 159 1, and was succeeded by his

William, tenth Earl, who, in 1502, joined the conspiracy of
the popish lords, in f.ivour of Spain ; and the next year v.':is seized,
and committed to Edinburgh castle, but escaped out of prison,
and retired to the mountains. He then fled to France, where he
died a religieuse, and was buried in the church of St. Germaines,
\Q\Q. His son,

William, became eleventh Earl, and, on the accession of
Charles L was appointed commander in chief, and lieutenant of
the borders, and was advanced to the i\\\QO^ Marquis of Douglas,
June l/th, 1633. He distinguished himself on the King's side,
in the b;Utle of Philiphaugh, where he was afterwards taken pri-
soner, and suffered many hardships under Cromwell.

His son, by his second marriage, was created Duke of Ha-
milton, in consequence of his marrying the heiress of that family.
b'or him see title Brandon, vol. i. p. 511.

My Lord Marquis surviving all our intestine commotions,
which were not a few, the detail of which I need not at this
time enter into ; he at last gave way to fate in a good advanced
age, in the spring of the year lOu'O ''

James succeeded his grandfr.ther in the honour ; he was
•worn one of the privy-council to King Charles H. about lOp'O,

h Mr. Simson's Essay on the family of Douglas.


and so continued to two succeeding Kings, for the space of thirty
years, even to his death. He married, first, Barbara, daughter of
John, Earl of Mar, by whom he had a son,

James Lord Angus, a very brave youth, who engaging early
in the wars, signalized his courage upon every occasion that
offered itself, especially at the battle of Stenkirk, where he was
unfortunately slain, August 3d, i6q2, in his twenty-first year,
generally lamented, being a nobleman of great hopes and expec-
tations^ and would have been an honour and ornament to his
country, had not an untimely death too soon deprived his illus-
trious family of the great advantages it might have reaped by his
enjoyment of a longer life.

His Lordship married to his second wife, Mary, daughter of
Robert, Marquis of Loihian, by whom he had

Archibald, his son and heir.

And a daughter, Lady Jane, married to John Stewart, Esq.
afterwards Sir John Stewart, of GrandtuUy, Bart, by whom she
had two sons; first, Archibald, now Lord Douglas; second,
ShoUo, who died young.

He departed this mortal life in a most christian manner, and
with an entire resignation to the will of the Creator, on February
25th, 1/00, at the age of fifty-four, and was interred at Douglas
without any funeral solemnity.

Archibald, twelfth Earl of Douglas, created Duke of Douglas,
a young nobleman of great hopes, succeeded his father at six
years old ; and her Majesty Queen Anne was pleased, in the
Rin-th year of his age, to augment his Lordship's honours by
creating him Duke of Douglas, on April 18th, 1703. The rea-
sons for bestowing the honour upon him, are thus set forth in the
preamble to his patent.

Quod nos in Regio nostro animo revolventes fidelissimum et
dilectissimum no-trum Consangjuineum Archibaldum Marchionem
de Douglass, ex familia nobili et illustri ortom esse, et a progeni-
toribus qui maximae fiduciae munia illis concredlta immaculata
viriute et singular! fide obierunt, quique ob res ab illis clarissime
gestis, Eegium diadema tuendo et sustentando summis honoris et
dignitatis titulis per nostros Regios predecessores exornati fuerunt:
nos quoque hujus maxime memoies e^ cupidae per ulteriorem ho-
noris additionem dictum Archibaldum Marchionem de Douglass
ejusque heredibus masculis ipsius corporis, sibi animum addere,



ut nobiles suos predeeessores imitetur ; Noveritis igitur nos fecisse,

Online LibraryArthur CollinsCollins's peerage of England; genealogical, biographical, and historical → online text (page 22 of 56)