Sir James Douglas of Dalkeith


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Sir James succeeded his uncle, Sir William of Liddesdale, and was well known for his learning and accomplishments.


In 1384 Sir James entertained some French knights at the castle and invited them to join him in an excursion for booty and plunder in Northumberland. This typified a period marked by tit for tat raids and forays between Scotland and England, and the occasional major assault. As a consequence of this raid, the English army, in 1385, under King Richard II, marched up the Lowlands, burning Newbattle and attacking Dalkeith and Edinburgh. The Scots replied with an attack that resulted in the defeat of the English at Otterburn in 1388.


Dalkeith Castle had, by the fourteenth century, developed into a typical dwelling of the period, that of a tower house. Every noble family spent a great deal of money on their residences. The tower house functioned as a place of prestige, comfort, and safekeeping. The possessions of James Douglas certainly required safekeeping. In 1376 and1377, James had an average income from rents of over 900 pounds, and in 1377 and 1378 of 1000 pounds, well above the average for the time. James’ rental of 1376 and 1378 covered extensive lands in Lothian, Dumfriesshire, Kirkudbright, Fife, Moffatdale, and Liddesdale.

James was among the first of the 14th century nobles to show some degree of literacy as was reflected in his will. His is the oldest known will in Scotland. His wills of 1390 and 1392 show the immense amount of wealth a leading noble enjoyed. It included; four sets of armor, a large amount of gold jewelry including three clasps and eight rings, silver and gold utensils, gold cloth, silks and furs, and books on romance, grammar, and logic.


Sir James was married in 1372 to Agnes Dunbar, daughter of Sir Patrick Dunbar. They had four children, including a son, before her death in 1378. Sir James' second wife was Egida, half-sister of King Robert II. S


ir James died in 1420.

Father: John (Sir) Douglas
Mother: Agnes Monfode

Marriage 1 Agnes Dunbar 

  1. Has Children James (Sir) (1st Lord Dalkeith) Douglas b: ABT. 1356
  2. Has No Children William (of Mordingtoun) Douglas
  3. Has Children Agnes (of Dalkeith) Douglas = 1 John Gordon, = 2 Sir John Livingston
  4. Has Children Margaret (of Dalkeith) Douglas b: ABT. 1358 = Philip, 8th of Arbuthnott
  5. Has Children Janet (Jacoba) (of Dalkeith) Douglas = Sir John Hamilton, 4th of Cadzow

Marriage 2 Egida, half-sister of King Robert II



See also:
•  History of Dalkeith House


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