Rogues and Vagabonds


York Assizes - William Douglas
The Morning Post and Gazetteer (London) Monday, August 16, 1802


Archibald Douglas (c.1540–c.1602), conspirator and Church of Scotland minister, was the second son of William Douglas of Whittingham and Janet Matheson.

In March 1566, with his brother William and his kinsman James Douglas, fourth earl of Morton, he was involved in the conspiracy to murder David Rizzio, secretary to Mary, queen of Scots.  In February 1567, with Bothwell, Douglas was implicated in the plot to murder Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, the queen's husband. In September 1570 he acted as ambassador to the earl of Sussex, and in April 1572, having been detected sending money and supplies to the queen's party besieged within Edinburgh Castle, he was imprisoned in Stirling Castle (when it was alleged he plotted to kill his kinsman Morton, now regent). And so it goes on!

You can read more about him here>>>


Francis Marion Spinney Douglass was reputedly a notorious horse thief who was the son of Lancaster Douglass of Switzerland County, IN.

His last sentence for this crime was completed at the Michigan City, IN. State Prison in 1900. He served about 5 other sentences and was born circa 1847. He also had trouble in KY and possibly in Ohio too.

It was rumoured that he was hanged by a lynch mob.

Does any one have more information?

Richard William Glode Douglas (1798-1862)

Following is an example taken from a transcript of court proceedings:
“In November, 1843, Mr. Thomas Chew, livery stable-keeper, Little Moorfields, city, says that Richard came to him, and representing himself as Lord Douglas, said he had a hunting-box at Eastbourne, in Kent and that he wanted to hire a pair of horses for a short time, giving a reference to Mr. Wells, a solicitor. He accordingly lent them to him, and a few days afterwards the prisoner sent a letter desiring to purchase them, at the same time requiring to know the price. On the 27th of December following he had another horse, when Mr Chew lent him a bridle and saddle. The last horse was returned, but he had not seen the bridle and saddle since, nor had he been able to trace any tidings of the prisoner until he had seen the account in the newspapers (of Richard's arrest). He further added that the dealing with the horses was a debt, but he should certainly charge the prisoner with stealing the saddle and bridle.”

Read Beryl Turner's account...

Belfast, September 1864: Robert Douglas was sentenced to fourteen days imprisonment and William McAnally was sentenced to a week’s imprisonment for having stolen a dress, the property of Sarah McDonnell. Both boys were to be whipped once in the jail with a birch rod.


Black Douglas was a notorious 'Mulatto Indian' who ran a bushranging operation between Melbourne and Bendigo.

Colin Douglas Dorset gunman convicted of 18 offences in 2011

George Douglas convicted of stealing a handkerchief and a pair of trousers, in 1849

George Boyce Douglas Convicted under the Medical Act of impersonating or practising as a doctor

Norman Douglas, suspected paedophile

Robert Scott Douglas, arsonist in India

Sawny Douglas former soldier and highwayman, executed at Tyburn, London, in 1664

Thomas Douglas murdered his shipmate, and was executed at Tyburn, London.  Read more>>>

Walter Douglas (born 1961) is a Scottish drug trafficker and organized crime figure...

Gang of Thieves and Pickpockets in Gateshead (Thomas, John, Eleanor and David Douglas)

William Douglas received 6 of the best in 1884...

William Douglas, of Paisley, was a murderer, in 2007

Henry Thomas Douglas was convicted of Larceny. Seemed a bit harsh to me.

William Thomas Douglas, convicted of murder in Thailand, 2010.

Elizabeth Douglas, the 'Sandy Row executioner'

Hugh Douglas alias Sholto McPherson, age 37, convicted for receiving stolen goods at Inverness Court of Justiciary on 5 Sep 1833, sentence 7 years

“James Douglass, one of 290 convicts transported on the Asia, 05 November 1835″ Convicted at Edinburgh Court of Justiciary for a term of 7 years on 02 February 1835

“Adair Douglas, one of 290 convicts transported on the Asia, 05 November 1835″ Convicted at Stirling Court of Justiciary for a term of life on 14 April 1835. Place of arrival; Van Diemen's Land

“Edward Douglas, one of 294 convicts transported on the Fairlie, 09 March 1852″ Convicted at Scotland, Glasgow Court of Justiciary for a term of 7 years on 23 April 1849. Ticket of Leave.

“Thomas Douglas, one of 290 convicts transported on the Lady Montagu, 31 July 1852″ Convicted at Northumberland. Assizes in Newcastle-upon-Tyne for a term of 10 years on 03 August 1848.

“Henry Douglas, one of 300 convicts transported on the Aurora, 03 July 1833″ Convicted at York. Doncaster Quarter Session for a term of life on 23 April 1833.

“Mary Ann Douglas, one of 140 convicts transported on the Henry Wellesley, 17 July 1837″ Convicted at Lancaster Assizes for a term of 14 years.

DOUGLASS, David / 30 Nov 1842 / FC 07 Dec 1842
Executed within the walls of the new jail in Lockport, New York  The first official act in this building would be the hanging of David Douglass.

Richard Douglas, son of the laird of Bonjedward, was banished from the realm of Scotland.

Jane 'Mother' Douglas, brothel keeper

William Douglas-Home, playwright may not be a 'rogue' nor a 'vagabond', but he was convicted by court martial and sentenced to be cashiered and to serve one year's imprisonment with hard labour.

George Douglas, Master-gunner of Fort William, in Scotland: Account of goods smuggled by his company: 1755. (Held in British Library)

Percy Douglas, Bakersfield bad boy - told as a story


See also: A list of Australian convicts

Do you have an ancestor who would merit an entry here?  If so, please let us know.


Robert Burns, Scotland's bard, who was so close...Robert Burns Find out just how close Scotland came to losing the poet to Jamaica, and the role played by Patrick Douglas

Seven Daughters of Eve Almost all people of native European descent, wherever they may live throughout the world, can trace their ancestry back to one of seven women, hence, the Seven Daughters of Eve.

ScotaPharoah's daughter - Queen of Scots. A new book, Scota, Egyptian Queen of the Scots, by Ralph Ellis, claims to prove that this origin myth was no made-up story but the actual recording of an Egyptian exodus that did indeed conclude in Scotland.

 Robert the Bruce. The 700th anniversary of his coronation was celebrated on 24th March 2006.

Rogues and vagabonds. Not all Douglases have been goody goodies - read about horse theives, and others.
Slaves and slavers. Slaves and tales of daring-do, as the Douglases hunt down the slave traders.

The Douglas Heart. A heart features on many Douglas family coats of arms, cests etc, including the one at the top of this page.

DNA for women. The scientists at Oxford Ancestors can trace ancient maternal ancestry by testing mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), which is passed down from mother to child and changes little over time. (There may be other suppliers)

DNA Lineage testing by DNA. A research project seeks volunteers to help prove Douglas connections

Research legends and myths.  Many families have cherished myths and stories about their immigration to America or other pivotal events and people. We show you how to determine which family legends are true or false.


If you have any questions or comments about the information on this site, please contact us . We look forward to hearing from you.

If you wish to stimulate debate, challenge the content or respond to requests for help, then our Forum, may be the place to do it.



Back to top


The content of this website is a collection of materials gathered from a variety of sources, some of it unedited.

The webmaster does not intend to claim authorship, but gives credit to the originators for their work.

As work progresses, some of the content may be re-written and presented in a unique format, to which we would then be able to claim ownership.

Discussion and contributions from those more knowledgeable is welcome.

Contact Us

Last modified: Friday, 17 May 2024