Douglas of Mains

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The arms of Douglas of Mains were not registered with the Lord Lyon King of Arms until 1672, however it was known to have been used for many years before that date.

The Arms for the Cadet Branch of Mains are as follows;

Argent a Fesse Chequy Gules and of the first between three Mullets in Chief Azure and a man's Heart in base proper

 

The arms are based on those of the Earl of Douglas, which at the time the Mains branch was established, had three stars, but an uncrowned heart. The addition of a fess chequy represented the Lennox land (inherited through the Galbraiths) that formed the estate. The fess of the Stewart Earls of Lennox arms was a silver and blue check, but the Mains family changed the check colour to red (an old Lennox colour)

 

Crest - An Oak Tree Proper

 

Motto - Quae Serrata Secura

The Douglases of Mains are a branch of the Clan Douglas, related to the Lords of Douglas through Archibald I, Lord of Douglas. The first Laird obtained land through marriage into the Galbraith family, which had been granted land in New Kilpatrick by Maldowen, Earl of Lennox.

The family produced minor nobles in the Scottish court, perhaps the most notable of which was Malcolm Douglas, the 8th Laird, executed for treason in Edinburgh for conspiracy in the Raid of Ruthven. His second son, Robert Douglas, was made Viscount of Belhaven and is buried in Holyrood Abbey.

The family intermarried in the Glasgow area, having links with the Campbells of Blythswood, with landed families across Scotland (including the Duke of Douglas) and more latterly the United Kingdom.

The title became extinct in the 20th century; the last 33.5 acres of the estate (including the house) was sold to Dunbartonshire county and was subsequently used for the erection of the secondary school, Douglas Academy, in Milngavie prior to the death of the last heir (Lt-Col Archibald Vivian Campbell Douglas) in 1977

The Douglases of Mains are related to the Lords of Douglas through Archibald I, Lord of Douglas (born before 1198 – died ca. 1238), whose first son was William Longleg, Lord of Douglas and whose second son was Andrew Douglas of Hermiston. The title Laird of Mains was created in 1373, when Nicholas Douglas, son of the fourth Lord of Hermiston married Janet Galbraith, from whom he obtained the lands of Mains. However it was not until 1672 that the 11th Laird registered the coat of arms with the Lord Lyon King of Arms.

Tracing the ownership of the title becomes increasingly difficult from the beginning of the 18th century, as the title became junior to the Campbells of Blythswood, with both titles being held by the same family, but never by the same individual. The title become extinct (in 1928) when the last heir (Archibald Vivian Campbell Douglas) was granted a disposition to break the hereditary ownership of the estate (and therefore enabling him to sell it). Archibald VC Douglas was subsequently father to two daughters. He died at his home, Laraich, 2 miles west of Aberfoyle on 28 October 1977.

THE DOUGLASES OF MAINS IN KILPATRICK, AND ARLEHAVEN IN STRATHBLANE.
Extracted from:
The Parish of Strathblane and Its Inhabitants from Early Times: A Chapter of Lennox History, by John Guthrie Smith; 1886

The first of this family in the West of Scotland was Nicolas Douglas,

brother of Sir James Douglas of Dalkeith. He married Janet, one of the
— co-lieiresses of ihe great Lennox family of Galbraith, and

with her he received, as her share of their barony, the lands of Mains and possibly ArlehavenX1X. Nicolas Douglas is witness to a charter by his brother, 7th June, 1396, and his seal is appended to his brother's will, dated 19th December, 1392. Without tracing the Mains family step by Step, It is cnough to say that with varying fortune the descendants of Nicolas Douglas and Janet Galbriuth have held Mains in property and Arlehaven — but only in superiority now — to the present day.

Alexander Douglas of Mains, a distinguished member of the family, married about 1518 Margaret, eldest daughter of Mathew Earl of Lennox. His son Mathew, the succeeding laird, was one of the party under Thomas Crawford of Jordanhill, who surprised and took Dumbarton Castle in iS71. The next possessor of Mains was Malcolm, whose tragical story is related in the life of Sir James Edmonstone of Dunireath a little further on. XXXXXXXXXXXX

Robert Douglas, second son of the unfortunate Malcolm, was early in life page of honour to Henry Prince of Wales, and was afterwards in office at the Courts of King James VL and King Charles 1. He was a member of the Privy Council, and in 1633 he was created Viscount Belhaven. He died childless in t639, and was buried in the Abbey of Holyrood, where, says Crawford, his hisiorian, a monument was erected on which was carved an epitaph giving an account of the "remarkable actions" of this worthy scion of a Strathblane race. Since the beginning of last century the families of Campbell of BIythswood and Douglas of Mains have been intermingled in a most confusing way, the result being that while the Campbells of BIythswood are almost entirely Douglas, the Douglases of Mains are a good deal Campbell The well known and witty Margarct Douglas, who married in 1758 Archibald Duke of Douglas, was a daughter of the house of Mains.


The [present] proprietor of Mains, Archibald Campbell Douglas, is the representative of a race who, though they have never resided in it, have been connected with Strathblane for well nigh five hundred years. Mr. Douglas married in 1867 Eliza Christian, only daughter of Robert Spier of Culdees, and niece of the late Sir Robert Milliken Napier of Napier, Bart.

The arms of Douglas of Mains, as illustrated by the two woodcuts given above, are a capital example of the ancient custom, which prevailed both in England and Scotland, of families adopting as part of their arms the principal bearing of the great Earl or overlord who was their superior. Thus when Nicolas Douglas came into the Lennox towards the close of the fourteenth century, he added the well-known saltire of the Lennox to the chief charged with two mullets, the family arms of Douglas of Dalkeith. His beautiful little seal, a copy of which Mr. Corner has skilfully engraved from a cast of No. 259 of Mr. Laing's collection, shows how he arranged the addition. It represents a lion, whose head in this, the only known impression, has unfortunately been broken off, supporting between his fore paws a shield charged with the Lennox saltire, and on a chief the Douglas mullets. The well-known Douglas heart, which had been only lately adopted by the Douglas family — viz., in 1343, by William first Earl of Douglas — was at that time no part of the Dalkeith arms.

Some branches of the Douglas family bear this heart ensigned with a crown; when it was first introduced it was uncrowned.

Alexander Douglas of Mains married, as already shown, Margaret, eldest daughter of Mathew Earl of Lennox, second of the Stewart Earls, and the arms of the family of Mains were thereupon completely changed. The saltire of the old race of Lennox disappeared, and the fesse checque of the new line of Earls took its place; another mullet was added to the two already in chief, and an uncrowned heart was placed in base, and these are the arms now borne by the family. The fesse checque of the Stewart Earls of Lennox was azure and argent; but, apparently to keep up some connection with the old Earls of Lennox, the Mains family changed the tincture to gules — the old Lennox colour — and or. The reason the third mullet was added was no doubt because the Douglases of Dalkeith or Morton, the original head of the Mains family, had it so; and the uncrowned heart was also by this time part of the Douglas arms.

The Earls of Morton of the present day seem, however, to bear the heart crowned.

No doubt the Mains family thought it a feather in their cap when the laird married a daughter of the Earl of Lennox, and lost no time in commemorating the grand marriage by this change of arms. They would have been wiser if they had left them alone, for the beautiful, simple coat of Sir Nicolas Douglas brought out the antiquity of their race in a way the present coat fails to do. The two mullets and the absence of a heart showed they were very old Douglases, and the saltire showed their connection with the original and very ancient line of Lennox.

* In the woodcut of the present arms of Douglas of Mains the bearings on the shield are taken from a funeral escutcheon in the Lyon Office (figured in volume i. p. no, Scottish Arms), The Crest and Motto are those now in use by the family.

X1X There is a place which appears in the Chartulary of Lennox as a Galbraith possession, in Strathblane, under the name of Achrefmoltoune or Aclitofinoltoune.  This is probably Atlehaven.







Nicholas Douglas, 1st Laird of Mains and of DounteraySeal of Nicholas Douglas of Mains
b. ABT 1350 of Mains, New Kilpatrick, Dunbartonshire, SCOTLAND
d. AFT 1392 Mains, New Kilpatrick, Dunbartonshire, SCOTLAND

Parents:

Father: John Douglas, 4th Lord of Herdmanston (Hermiston?)
Mother: Agnes  Munfode 

Marriage 1: Janet Galbraith, SEP 1373, from whom he obtained the land of Mains. (2)


Children

  1. Has Children James, 2nd Laird of Mains)

James Douglas, 2nd Laird of Mains and of Dounteray
b. ABT 1374 of Mains, New Kilpatrick, Dunbartonshire, SCOTLAND
d. AFT 1420

 

Parents:

Father: Nicholas Douglas, 1st Laird of Mains 
Mother: Galbraith, Janet (Heiress of Mains)

Marriage 1: Unknown

Children:
1. James, 3rd Laird of Mains (1)

James Douglas, 3rd Laird of Mains and of Dounteray
b. ABT 1409 Mains, New Kilpatrick, Dunbartonshire, SCOTLAND
d. 1490

Parents:

Father: James  Douglas, 2nd Laird of Mains 
Mother: Unknown

Marriage 1: Catherine Maxwell b. ABT 1409, Marriage: ABT 1435

Children:

1. William Douglas,  4th Laird of Mains
2. David Douglas
3. Patrick  Douglas
4. Humphrey Douglas

William Douglas, 4th Laird of Mains
b. ABT 1436 Mains, New Kilpatrick, Dunbartonshire, SCOTLAND
d. AFT 1491


Parents:

Father: James Douglas, 3rd Laird of Mains
Mother: Catherine Maxwell

Marriage 1: Elizabeth Houston, b. ABT 1440, Marriage: ABT 1466

Children:
1. John Douglas, 5th Laird of Mains
2. Robert Douglas
3. William Douglas

John Douglas, 5th Laird of Mains
b. ABT 1467 Mains, New Kilpatrick, Dunbartonshire, SCOTLAND
d. 1513 Battle of Flodden, Northumberland, ENGLAND

Parents:

Father: William Douglas, 4th Laird of Mains
Mother: Elizabeth Houston

Marriage 1: Margaret Kincaid, Marriage: ABT 1497

Children:
1. Alexander Douglas, 6th Laird of Main

Douglas, Alexander (6th Laird of Mains)
b. ABT 1498 Mains, New Kilpatrick, Dunbartonshire, SCOTLAND


Parents:

Father: John Douglas, 5th Laird of Mains 
Mother: Margaret Kincaid

Marriage 1: Margaret Stewart, dau of Matthew, 2nd Earl of Lennox, b. ABT 1497, Marriage: 1518

Children:
1.  Matthew Douglas, 7th Laird of Mains

Matthew Douglas, 7th Laird of Mains
b. ABT 1519 Mains, New Kilpatrick, Du
nbartonshire, SCOTLAND
d. AFT 1571

Parents:

Father: Alexander Douglas, 6th Laird of Mains 
Mother: Margaret Stewart, daughter of the earl of lennox, as her second husband.

Marriage 1: Margaret Buchanan, b. ABT 1523, Marriage: ABT 1539

Children:
1. Malcolm Douglas, 8th Laird of Mains

Malcolm Douglas, 8th Laird of Mains
b. BET 1540 AND 1548 Mains, New Kilpatrick, Dunbartonshire, SCOTLAND
d. 9 FEB 1585 executed for treason at Edinburgh, Midlothian, SCOTLAND

Parents:

Father: Matthew Douglas, 7th Laird of Mains 
Mother: Margaret Buchanan

Marriage 1: Janet Cunningham, Marriage: 1562

Children:
1. Alexander  Douglas, 9th Laird of Mains
2. Robert Douglas,  1st Viscount Belhaven
3. Malcolm Douglas, ,b. BET 1565 AND 1585
4. William Douglas,  b. 1566
5. James Douglas,  b. 1568
6. George Douglas,  b. 1560

Alexander  Douglas, 9th Laird of Mains
b. ABT 1563 Mains, New Kilpatrick, Dunbartonshire, SCOTLAND
d. ABT 1618

Parents:

Father: Malcolm Douglas, 8th Laird of Mains
Mother: Janet Cunningham,  (Cuninghame) , Daughter of
 John Cuninghame, Laird of Drumquhasle, Master of the Household to James VI.

Marriage 1: Grizell Henderson, b. ABT 1570 of Fordell, Fife, SCOTLAND

Children:
1.
Sir Robert Douglas of Blackerstone, Marr his cousin Susanna Douglas, and had issue
2. Sir Archibald Douglas, 10th Laird of Mains
3.
Mary Douglas

Archibald Douglas, 10th Laird of Mains
(dspm)

Parents:

Father: Alexander  Douglas,9th Laird of Mains 
Mother: Grizell Henderson,

Marriage 1: Isabel Elphinstone, dau of Sir George Elphinstone

 

Notes:
1.  James may have previously known as being of Lethcamrach, with his son William also being of Lethcamrach (or Ledcameroch).

2.  Lands obtained from the Galbraiths are listed here>>>

3.  Research required:
JOHN DOUGLAS of Maynes, heir of Walter Douglas of Kay- toune, his father  (This Walter of Kaigtown and his son, John)
WALTER DOUGLAS of Hayistoun, heir of Malcolme Douglas of Hayistoun, (In Baljafray, Kilpatrick)

4.  Alexander Douglas of Mains married, as already shown, Margaret, eldest daughter of Mathew Earl of Lennox, second of the Stewart Earls, and the arms of the family of Mains were thereupon completely changed. The saltire of the old race of Lennox disappeared, and the fesse checque of the new line of Earls took its place; another mullet was added to the two already in chief, and an uncrowned heart was placed in base, and these are the arms now borne by the family. The fesse checque of the Stewart Earls of Lennox was azure and argent; but, apparently to keep up some connection with the old Earls of Lennox, the Mains family changed the tincture to gules — the old Lennox colour — and or. The reason the third mullet was added was no doubt because the Douglases of Dalkeith or Morton, the original head of the Mains family, had it so; and the uncrowned heart was also by this time part of the Douglas arms. The Earls of Morton of the present day seem, however, to bear the heart crowned.
No doubt the Mains family thought it a feather in their cap when the laird married a daughter of the Earl of Lennox, and lost no time in commemorating
the grand marriage by this change of arms. They would have been wiser if they had left them alone, for the beautiful, simple coat of Sir Nicolas Douglas brought out the antiquity of their race in a way the present coat fails to do.
The two mullets and the absence of a heart showed they were very old Douglases, and the saltire showed their connection with the original and very ancient line of Lennox.


Continues on page 2


Source

 

Sources for this article include:
•  A Short History of Mains. Bearsden & Milngavie District Libraries and several others.

 



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