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Alexander Douglas



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Alexander Douglas (d. 1623) was a Church of Scotland minister and bishop. He was the (probably illegitimate) son of Archibald Douglas of Kilspindie.

Minister at Elgin for 17 years, he was elevated to the bishopric of Moray, receiving crown provision on November 30, 1602. He was preferred by both King James V and King Henry VIII.  He was not consecrated, however, for over over 8 years, not until he received consecration at Edinburgh on March 15, 1611. He died May 11, 1623, at Elgin. He was buried at the church of St Giles, Elgin, in a vault by a window.

Alexander Douglas (fl. 1528) was a Scottish aristocrat and cleric. He was the son of Sir Archibald Douglas of Kilspindie, Treasurer of Scotland.  (See below)

After the death of Robert Shaw, Bishop of Moray, Alexander was given crown nomination to the Apostolic see as Shaw's successor. At that time, during the minority of King James V of Scotland, Alexander's kinsman Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus, was in control of the country. However, this appointment was opposed by John Stewart, Duke of Albany, Angus' rival, who was supporting his own brother, Alexander Stewart. The fall of Angus in late 1528 appears to have doomed Alexander's candidature. He largely disappears from the records, and it is Stewart who succeeds to the bishopric.

In 1565, he signed a charter as Sir Alexander Douglas, chaplain of St Mary, in the regaility of Spynie.

On 18-19th October 1619, Bishop Alexander granted to his wife, Mary Innes, and his son, Alexander Douglas, the toun and lands of Spynie, the brewhouse and its croft 'betwxt the windlands and marches pairted through the wood of Spynie..'  Bishop Alexander died in May 1623.  He was buried at the church of St Giles, Elgin, in a vault by a window.

Alexander Douglas of Spynie was father of William Douglas, Chamberlain of Orkney, to whom he disponed his lands of Spynie in 1687.

Item, Ane tack of the teinds of Plewlandis(1) and Hogstoune, given be George Douglasse, Bishope of Murraye, "with consent of the Dean and Chapter, to Robert Innes of Innermarkie, father to Robert Innes, now of Balveny, daitit at Spyny, the first and last of Maij, 1585.

Item, Ane tack of the teind sheaves of Hogstoune and Plewlandis, sett be Allexander Douglass, Bischope of Murraye, to Robert Innes, now of Balveny, and to Barbra Burnet, his spouse, in lyfrent, and nynteen yeir thereafter, daitit at Elgin, 10th Marche, 1607.

When Episcopacy was restored in Scotland, the lands of Morriston seem, by some means, to have been recovered by Alexander Douglas, Bishop of Moray, and in the year 1609 conveyed to Alexander Douglas, his son, and Mary Innes, his spouse, along with Spynie and Burgh Briggs.

From Alexander Douglas the estate passed to Gavin Douglas, perhaps his brother, who had a great deal of property in Elgin. John Douglas, his son, succeeded.

He was served heir to his father in a great variety of burgh lands, before the Magistrates of Elgin, in 1654, and he was also served heir before the Sheriff of Elgin, in the half davoch land of Middlehaugh, or Morriston, on 28th December, 1655. On 23rd October, 1665, John Douglas wadset these lands to Robert Martin, writer in Edinburgh, for 8260 merks, and in 1668 he discharged the right of reversion, and Martin became absolute proprietor. His right was confirmed by charter from Murdo Mackenzie, Bishop of Moray, the superior, dated 22nd October, 1672.

He also acquired about the same time great part of the Douglas burgh lands, in and about Elgin.


ALEXANDER DOUGLAS, born 1561, son of Alexander Douglas, provost of Elgin, and Agnes Leslie ; reader at Essil in 1574 ; pres. to the vicarage of Alves by James VI. 4th Sept., and to vicarage of Spynie 27th Oct. 1574 ; min. of Keith in 1580 ; trans, to Elgin in 1581 ; app. by the Assembly a Commissioner for Moray Aug. 1588 ; became titular Bishop in 1600, taking his seat as a spiritual peer in the Scottish Parliament before he had been consecrated ; app. 30th Nov. 1602 (retaining his parochial charge); app. Comuiendator of the Priory of Beauly 1st Feb. 1606, and in the same year was named Constant Moderator of Presb. of Elgin, whose members were ordered by the Privy Council, 17th Jan. 1607, to receive him as such within twenty-four hours under pain of rebellion ; consecrated (at Edinburgh) 15th March 1611 ; died at Elgin llth May 1623, and was buried in St Giles Church, Elgin. He marr. (1) Margaret Guthrie : (2) Mary, third daugh. of Robert Innes of Innes, and Elizabeth, daugh. of Robert, third Lord Elphinston (she marr. (2) before 1638, William Hay of Fetterletter), and had issue Alexander of Spynie, factor for Earldom of Orkney ; Mary. Publication " Fourteen Letters and Petitions " (Orig. Letts., Bannatyne Club, i., 265, 306-8). [Dowden s Bishops, 415; Young s Parish of Spynie, 321 ; Monument in Elgin Cathedral.}


1.  Presumably not the Plewlands referred to in Douglas of Bonjedward land holdings.

See also:
•  Bishops of Moray
•  Douglases of Elgin



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