William Douglas, 10th Earl of Angus

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William Douglas
Earl of Angus
Guillaume Douglas.JPG
Tomb of the 10th Earl of Angus
Predecessor William Douglas, 9th Earl of Angus
Successor William Douglas, 11th Earl of Angus
Spouse(s) Lady Elizabeth Oliphant
Father William Douglas, 9th Earl of Angus
Mother Egidia Graham
Born 1552
Died 3 March 1611
Paris, France
Buried Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés

William Douglas, 10th Earl of Angus (1552 – 3 March 1611) was the son of William, the 9th Earl (1533–1591). He was a direct descendant of King James I through his paternal grandmother, Lady Agnes Keith, a daughter of William Keith, 3rd Earl Marischal.

He studied at St. Andrews University and joined the household of the Earl of Morton. Subsequently, while visiting the French court, he became a Roman Catholic, and was in consequence, upon his return, disinherited and placed under restraint.

Nevertheless he succeeded to his father's titles and estates in 1591, and though in 1592 he was disgraced for his complicity in Lord Bothwell's plot, he was soon liberated and performed useful services as the King's Lieutenant in the north of Scotland. In July 1592, however, he was asking for help from Queen Elizabeth in a plot with Erroll and other lords against Sir John Maitland, the Chancellor, and protesting his absolute rejection of Spanish offers, but in October he signed the Spanish Blanks, and upon the discovery of this treason was imprisoned in Edinburgh Castle on his return in January 1593.

He succeeded on the 13th in escaping by the help of his Countess, joining the Earls of Huntly and Erroll in the north. They were offered an Act of "oblivion" or "abolition" provided they renounced their religion or quit Scotland. Declining these conditions they were declared traitors and "forfeited."

They remained in rebellion, and in July 1594 an attack made by them on Aberdeen roused James's anger. Huntly and Erroll were subdued by James himself in the north, and Angus failed in an attempt upon Edinburgh in concert with the Earl of Bothwell.

Subsequently in 1597 they all renounced their religion, declared themselves Presbyterians, and were restored to their estates and honours. Angus was again included in the Privy Council, and in June 1598 was appointed the King's Lieutenant in southern Scotland, in which capacity he showed great zeal and conducted the "Raid of Dumfries," as the campaign against the Johnstones was called.

Not long afterwards, Angus, offended at the advancement of Huntly to a Marquessate, recanted, resisted all the arguments of the ministers to bring him to a "better mind," and was again excommunicated in 1608.

In 1609 he withdrew into exile, and died in Paris, France on 3 March 1611. He is buried at the Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés.

He married Elizabeth Oliphant, a daughter of Lawrence, 4th Lord of Oliphant, in spring 1585, and they had three sons and two daughters. His second son, James, was created Lord Mordington in 1641. His daughter Mary was married to Alexander Livingston, 2nd Earl of Linlithgow.

From The Scottish Nation:


Name Birth Death Notes
William Douglas, 1st Marquess of Douglas 1589 19 February 1659 Married 1st Lady Margaret Hamilton, 2nd, Lady Mary Gordon; had issue.
James Douglas, 1st Lord Mordington 1591 11 February 1656 Married Lady Anne Oliphant and Lady Elizabeth Hay; had issue.
Lord Francis Douglas 1593  
Lady Catherine Douglas 1595 Married Sir Andrew Kerr
Lady Mary Douglas 1597 Married Alexander Livingstone, 2nd Earl of Linlithgow; had issue.
Lady Elizabeth Douglas 1599 Married Sir John Campbell

He was the author of the Chronicle of the House of Douglas.

He was succeeded by his son William, as 11th earl of Angus, afterwards 1st marquess of Douglas (1580–1660). The title Earl of Angus is now held by the Dukes of Hamilton, and is used as a courtesy title for the eldest son of the heir apparent to the current dukedom.

See also


  1. Anderson, William The Scottish Nation or The Surnames, Families, Literature, Honours and Biographical History of The People of Scotland 1863
  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). [https%3A%2F%2Fen.wikisource.org%2Fwiki%2F1911_Encyclop%C3%A6dia_Britannica%2FAngus%2C_Earls_of "Angus, Earls of" ] Check |ws link in chapter= value (help). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
Peerage of Scotland
Preceded by
William Douglas
Earl of Angus Succeeded by
William Douglas