Douglas of Bonjedward




arms arms  

Douglas of Bonjedward, descended from a natural daughter of The First Earl of Douglas, bore the plain Arms of Douglas with a red label of three points: Scottish heraldry Made Easy, 1912

Arms of Douglas of Bonjedward: Argent, a man’s heart Gules imperially crowned Proper and on a chief Azure three mullets Argent and at the collar point a label of three points Gules (as described in 1722).

pdf logoI am indebted to Sally Douglas who has compiled a history of the Douglases of Bonjedward. This can be downloaded as a pdf. (Updated 27th March 2019)

This document contains detailed research, and gives reasons why our lineage differs from other sources.


Heraldry of the Douglases by Harvey Johnston lists the Bonjedward Lairds as –
1 Margaret Douglas and Thomas Johnson
2 John of Bonjedward
3 George
4 George
5 William (split to Andrew of Timpendean)
6 George
7 William
8 George
9 George
10 William
11 George
12 John

We list them as –
1 Margaret Douglas and Thomas Johnson
2 John
3 George
4 George
5 William (split to Andrew of Timpendean)
6 George
7 Willie (William)
8 George
9 William *additional to above
10 George
11 George *additional to above
12 William
13 George
14 John


 Two variations on the possible line:

1st Margaret c1376. Margaret and her spouse Thomas Johnson/Johnston took the name of Douglas to inherit the unentailed lands of Bonjedward. (Charter of 1404).

2nd John c1392. The subject of a Retour in 1439 (meant that he had died). He died in June, 1438.

3rd George c1419. The subject of a Retour in 1452 (meant that he had died). He died about 1452.

4th George c1441. George was one of the witnesses to a Notarial Instrument in the monastery of Dryburgh in June 1468. He was a witness in 1503/1504. George was the Sheriff of Roxburgh in 1509.

There was a conviction in the year 1502 (^ see below) relating to brothers of George Douglas 4th of Bonjedward - “John Douglas, brother to the Laird of Bon-Jedworthe, William his brother, James Douglas in Swynside, John, Adam, and John? his brothers there,' James Douglas in Onstoune, George Douglas in Swynside," John Davidsone in Bank, William and George, sons of the said John, Cristopher Davidsone, John Riddale, junior, of that Ilk, James Davidsone, son of Richard, convicted of art and part of Oppressioun and Convocation of the lieges, and coming upon Sir William Colvile of Uchiltre, knight', at his lands of Hardane-hede”.
(Ancient Criminal Trials by Robert Pitcairn – Vol 1, Edinburgh – Jedworthe 1502)
[Also Jedworthe 1502 – “…Adam Douglas, and Robert, Henry, Symone and George D, in Swynside, his brothers]

(^ See above) - Douglas Scott author of ‘A Hawick Word Book’ has suggested that there is room for another George Douglas – Laird of Bonjedward here as it is unlikely that men in their 60’s (or 50’s) would have attacked Sir William Colvile. My response is along the lines - “Or that they were convicted in 1502 but it may have happened before 1502 and I have William c1445 and John c1450 – so they would be in their 50’s – and if born later than my estimated dates then even in their 40’s”.

The same arguments could be made for the slaughter of Thomas Rutherfurd in Jedburgh Abbey in about 1504, except the difference is that George Douglas the Laird of Bonjedward was accompanied by his brother John and also it appears by a younger generation – his son Andrew Douglas the Laird of Timpendean and another son Robert.

There is also this - George was involved in the Skirmish at Sclaterford in 1513. The skirmish was with a large army from England. George Douglas was one of the leaders for the Scots army. Sclaterford Bridge was somewhere near Jedburgh. George Douglas was the Sheriff of Roxburgh in 1514. Once again is this the correct George Douglas in view of his age?

5th William c1467. He inherited Bonjedward. It was to go to his brother James who must have died. (Andrew was to inherit Timpendean with the agreement of James). William was mentioned in the Great Seal Register in 1540/1542. William was the Sheriff of Roxburgh in 1545. In part it was a Commission by Queen Mary.

6th George c1488. He was at a Retour of Inquest in 1523 on the death of John Hume at Flodden in 1513. In 1529 he was a witness to a Bond of Alliance.

7th Willie c1513. In about 1541 Willie contributed to the reparation of Jedburgh Abbey (such as it was). The Abbot and the Abbey responded by giving him feu-farms in land in Toftylaws and Padohugh in Ulston. It was said that he already had this land for 19 years. (Presumably meaning that he had already farmed the land, with perhaps paying tenure to the Abbey). Willie is mentioned in 1566. Willie was Deputy Warden of the Middle Marches in 1576. James Douglas, the Earl of Morton and Regent, in the late 1570's to the period 1578 split the Middle March into two Wardens making William Douglas the 'bewest the strete' (Dere Sreet) Western Warden. Morton wanted to contain the power of the encumbent Warden William Ker of Cessford.   Probably it this William who had a brother, Hugh, described as a cousin of  John Douglas, Rector of the University of St Andrews.

8th George c1540 was the subject of a Contact of Marriage in 1566. This George Douglas was in the Battle of Carter Bar in July 1575. It was also called the Raid of Reidswire. George participated in the Middle Marches in 1584/1585 with Sir Thomas Kerr of Fernihurst.

9th William c1570. In 1626 William had lands at Toftilaw, Padopuill and Spittlestains. The first two were also referred to as Toftilands and Paddapoole.

10th George c1606. In 1632 he made a discharge of 20,000 merks to Sir Patrick Murray of Elinbank. In 1632 his sister Mary Douglas married John Douglas 6th of Timpendean. George Douglas was a Commissioner of Public Affairs for the Kirk in 1643. The Scottish Kirk, it appears was the religious body trying to bring Protestantism to Scotland. The Rev James Douglas who took his degree MA from the University of Edinburgh in 1645 was a son of Douglas of Bonjedward. He had two sons - William of Plewlands and Newhall in 1681 and Robert.

11th George c1632. Inherited the Bonjedward title in 1682. He was sent to prison at the time of 'the Sufferings' in 1683 and again in 1685. In 1658 the Douglases had Tutors. George Douglas was fined 6,000 l. Scots in 1680. Was l. the Scots pound?

12th William c1652. He was mentioned in 1704.

13th George c1671. Children - John c1697 and possibly Christian in c1701. In 1739 George granted a heritable bond over his lands of Bonjedward to Lord Cranston. Infeftment followed. Soon after Lord Cranston and George Douglas granted a heritable bond to James Bogle. Lord Cassilis was somehow involved too. There are indications that he may have been one and the same person as James Bogle? But the Earls of Cassilis were Kennedys. Perhaps James Bogle was indebted to Lord Cassilis? These transactions under the Court of Sessions were for monies owing. The transactions seem to have been complicated. Once the farm goes that is it!

14th John c1697. Retoured to both his grandfather William and his father George in 1754. He may have had a son Andrew who was a factor on the Lothian Estates of Bonjedward in 1733.

This Douglas line seems to have petered out sometime in the early to mid 1700’s. Some of the lands being sold off as early as the late 1600's.
Perhaps the Douglas line of Bonjedward finished as there was no substantial property left, rather than there being a lack of a male heir?


Margaret Douglas 1st of Bonjedward Married Thomas Johnson Received charter from her half sister
They took the name: Douglas
John Douglas 2nd   Mentioned in above charter
George Douglas 3rd   Also had a son, William
retoured to his father 2 July 1439
George Douglas 4th   His eldest son, James , agreed that his brother Andrew could inherit Timpendean
William Douglas 5th   Presumably James died before his father, so William inherited
George Douglas 6th It may be this George who married Isabel Kerr Or Christian Murray?
William Douglas 7th Married Rebecca Drummond The 'Fiar of Bonjedward'
Had a 2nd son, Rev John, minister of Yetholm and Crailing, and a daughter Mary, who married John Douglas of Timpendean.
George Douglas 8th   Mentioned 1633, dead by June 1682
George Douglas 9th   Inherited 1682
William Douglas 9th   Probably son of George
George Douglas 10th   Had a 2nd son, Rev Walter, minister of Linton, died 1727
John Douglas 11th   Retoured to his grandfather 5 Jan 1754
      The next claimant is Sir William, 11th of Timpendean.


Bonjedward family historyLady Isabel Douglas , daughter of Sir Charles and Lady Douglas of Bonjedward, ran away to America in about 1742 - but she might have been the daughter of Sir Archibald Douglas, of Bothwell Castle.


George Douglas of Bonjedward was involved in the Raid on the Redeswire in 1575.

Rev. Walter Douglas (1674–1727) son of William of Bonjedward (probably the 12th), and brother to the laird of Bonjedward. He was minister of Linton from 1698 to 1727. He lived most of his life in the parish of Jedburgh, licensed by the Presbytry of Middlebie, called 20th July, and ordained 15th September.  He was a member of the General Assembly in 1724. He was described as a 'moderate man', ie, not an evangelical minister.


Rev. John Douglas, brother of George of Bonjedward was ordained 1661 and died 1674


Rev. James Douglas, son of William of Bonjedward ordained 1652 died 1665


Isobel Ker



Battle of BaugeIn this depiction of the Battle of Bauge in 1421, (click to enlarge) the pennants of Douglas of Bonjedward are prominent.  I have not yet seen evidence that the family were present in France during these wars.










Extract from The Rutland Papers

Referring to William, 7th Laird of Bonjedward










1.  Presumably not the same Plewlands as mentioned as a land holding, probably in Moray, of Bishop Alexander Douglas.


See also:

a.  Bonjedward - the lands
Map of the area, 1654

c.  Cunzeirton - the property of William Douglas of Bonjedward, in 1540, when it was razed and the cattle stolen.

d.  Dreghorn - the property of Hugh Douglas, in 1517



 Any contributions will be gratefully accepted

This page was last updated on 25 June 2022

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