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Rev. William Willoughby Douglas









Rev William Willoughby DouglasRev. William Willoughby Douglas of Salwarpe and of High Park, both co. Worcester was born 13 July 1824, and baptised. at Newland, co. Gloucester, on 7 September 1824 (Sponsors : Margaret Jeffreys, his great-aunt, the Rt. Rev. William Van Mildert, Bishop of Durham, his great-uncle, and the Earl of Enniskillen)

The son of The Revd. Preb. Canon Henry Douglas, (1793-1859) and Eleanor Birt (1802-1879), daughter of Rev Thomas Birt and his wife Mary Lane, he was educated at Eton and at St. John's College, Cambridge, B.A. 1847, B.A. and L.Th. University College, Durham, 1847, M.A. 1852.

Rector (and Patron) of Salwarpe 1849; Hon. Canon of Worcester 1866; Rural Dean of roitwich ; Proctor in Convocation ; Lord of the Manor of Salwarpe; J.P. for co. Worcester;

He died, aged 73, at Salwarpe Rectory on Saturday, 19 February, and was buried at Salwarpe on 24 February 1898. His Will was dated 17 July 1885, with codicils dated 3 June 1895 and 18 September 1897, proved in the Principal Registry 19 April 1898, by Frances Jane Douglas, relict, Archibald Douglas of Salwarpe, and William Douglas, sons.


In 1738, Salwarpe was settled on John Talbot, who appears to have sold it to Philip Gresley, for he in 1822 settled it on Robert Archibald Douglas, son of General Archibald Douglas of Witham, co. Essex. Philip Gresley died in 1825, leaving all his property to this Robert on condition that he would take the name of Gresley, and on the latter's death without issue in 1885 Salwarpe passed to his nephew William Willoughby Douglas, rector of Salwarpe, whose son Archibald Douglas now (1913) holds it.



He married Frances Jane How, and they had 16 children, including Gerald, Bishop of Nyasaland, Robert and Arthur.


Frances Jane, only dau. of William Wybergh How of Nearwell, Shrewsbury, co. Salop, by Frances his 2nd wife, dau. of Samuel Allsopp of Burton-on-Trent, co. Stafford, and sister of Henry, 1st Lord Hindlip of Hindlip Hall, co. Worcester ; born 21 January 1829, bapt. at Shrewsbury ; marr. at the Abbey Church, Shrewsbury (by the Rev. William Walsham How), on Tuesday, 22 January 1850; died, aged 70, at the Rectory, Salwarpe, on Monday. 1 1 December, bur. at Salwarpe 13 December 1899. Will dated 15 December 1898, proved (Prin. Reg. 199, 1900) 21 February 1900, by Archibald Douglas, William Douglas, and Robert Gresley Douglas, sons.


Archibald Douglas of High ParkAwaiting transcription


Eagle, Easter term 1898
The Rev William Willoughby Douglas who died on the 19th of February last, at Salwarpe Rectory, was the eldest son of the Reverend Henry Douglas (St John's BA. 18IS), sometime Rector of Salwarpe near Droitwich and Canon of Durham, by his wife Eleanor, daughter of the Rev Thomas Best, Vicar of Newland, Gloucestershire. He was born 13 July 1824, and was ordained Deacon in 1848, and Priest in 1849 by the Bishop of Worcester. He married 22 January 1850 at the Abbey Church, Shrewsbury, Frances Jane, only daughter of William Wybergh How Esq of NearweIl, Shrewsbury. She was sister of the late Bishop WiIliam Walsham How of Wakefield. Bishop How married Mr Douglas' sister. After serving curacies at Kidderminster and Hagley, he was presented by his uncle, Mr. R. A. D. Gresley, to the family living of Salwarpe. He was made an Honorary Canon of Worcester in 1886, and until his resignation last year he was Proctor in Convocation, having held the office for twenty years. He was also Rural Dean of Droitwicb, J.P. for the County, and Vice-Chairman of the Droitwich Petty Sessions, member of the Droitwich Rural District Council and Board of Guardians, Chairman of the SaJwarpe Parish Council, Manager of the Droitwich National Schools and Coventry Charity, Trustee and Chairman of the St. John Brine Baths, and one of the Committee of the Saltley Training College, and he was an actIve member of many other Societies and Commlttees. He was buried at Salwarpe on February 14th. The lesson was read by the Dean, and the service at the grave by the Bishop of Worcester.


The family memorial of Canon W. W. Douglas, Rector of Salwarpe, has recently been placed in the churchyard of that parish. It consists of a recumbent monument of the best Forest of Dean stone, richly moulded all round, and having on top a large cross, in the centre of which is carved a vesica, and ancient Christian symbol, found on some of the sarcophagi of the early Christians in Rome. In the centre of the vesica are the letters “I.H.S.”

The inscription on the tomb is as follows: “William Willoughby Douglas, Priest. Rector of this parish for forty-eight years. Born July 13, 1824. Died February 19, 1898.”




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