Douglas of Kelhead

C of A

The Douglas of Kelhead, Scotland Baronetcy was created 26 February 1668 in the Baronetage of Nova Scotia.

Note that some sources refer to this family as of Kilhead.

Sir William Douglas of Kelhead

Sir James Douglas, 1st Bt of Kelhead

Sir William Douglas, 2nd Bt of Kelhead

Sir John Douglas, 3rd Bt of Kelhead

Sir William Douglas, 4th Bt of Kelhead

Charles (6th Marquess of Queensbury) Douglas








26 Feb 1668

Nova Scotia


James Douglas

19 Feb 1639

c 1707









c 1707



William Douglas

c 1675

10 Oct 1733









10 Oct 1733



John Douglas

c 1708

13 Nov 1778





MP for Dumfries-shire 1741-1747











13 Nov 1778



William Douglas

c 1731

16 May 1783





MP for Dumfries 1768-1780











16 May 1783



Charles Douglas




      He subsequently succeeded to the Marquessate of Queensberry in 1810 with which title the baronetcy remains merged.      

Sir Charles Douglas of Kelhead, baronet, who succeeded as fifth marquis of Queensberry, derived his descent from the Hon. Sir William Douglas of Kelhead, second son of the first earl of Queensberry. He was an officer in the army, and governor of Carlisle in 1647. He was created a baronet of Nova Scotia, by patent dated 20th February 1668, and died before 1673. He was twice married; first, to Agnes, daughter of Fawsyde of Fawsyde, parish of Tranent, Haddingtonshire; and, secondly, to Jean Stewart, of the Traquair family, relict of Andrew Riddell of Haining, and by the former had five sons and several daughters.

His 3rd eldest surviving son, Sir James Douglas, 2nd bart. of Kelhead, born Sept. 19, 1639, succeeded him, and died before April 1708. By his wife, Lady Catherine Douglas, 2d daughter of the 2d earl of Queensberry, Sir James had one son, Sir William Douglas, 3d baronet, who died in 1733. The latter had 10 sons and 4 daughters. The eldest son, Sir John Douglas, 4th baronet, was chosen M.P. for Dumfries county at the general election of 1741. Apprehended in July 1746, on suspicion of having favoured the cause of the Pretender, he was, on Aug. 14th, committed to the Tower of London, and not liberated till March 1748, when he got out on bail. He died at Drumlanrig, Nov. 13, 1778. His eldest son, Sir William Douglas, 5th baronet, M.P. for the Dumfries burghs, died May 16, 1783. He married the eldest daughter and coheir of William Johnston, Esq. of Lockerby, Dumfries-shire, and, with 3 daughters, had 5 sons.

Sir Charles, the eldest son, 6th baronet of Kelhead, born in 1777, became in Dec 1810, as already shown, 5th marquis of Queensberry. He was a knight of the Thistle, a lord of the bedchamber, lord-lieutenant of Dumfries-shire, and colonel in its militia. In 1833 he was created Baron Solway of Kinmount, in the peerage of the United Kingdom, a title which became extinct at his death in 1837. By his marchioness, Lady Caroline Montague, 3d daughter of Henry, duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry, he had 5 daughters.

He was succeeded by his next brother, John, 6th marquis of Queensberry, bom in 1779; appointed a lord of the bedchamber in April 1835. He died Dec 19, 1856. He had married, in 1817, Sarah, daughter of James Sholto Douglas, Esq., with issue. His son, Archibald William, 7th marquis, bom in 1818, was educated at Eton, and became a cornet in the 2d Life Guards, but retired in 1844. As Viscount Drumlanrig, he was elected M.P. for Dumfries-shire in 1847: married the daughter of Major-general Sir William Robert Clayton, baronet; issue, 4 sons and 2 daughters. He was killed at Kinmount, Dumfries-shire, by the accidental discharge of his gun, while shooting rabbits, Aug. 6, 1858.

St. John's Churchyard, Bengal, India
Here lye the remains of Mrs. JANE DOUGLAS, aged 28 years, who departed this life the 7th November 1755, to the lasting affliction of all who were happy in the knowledge of her many good, sensible and amiable qualities.

By her lies deposited the body of her daughter, HELEN DOUGLAS, "who deceased prior to her mother, the 22nd June 1755, aged 3 years, to whose beloved memories this monument is erected by their afflicted and affectionate husband and father, Mr, Charles Douglas, third son of Sir William Douglas of Kelhead, Baronet. 

Douglas -v- Adjudging Creditors of Kelhead and sub nom Douglas -v- Stewarts (1765) 3 Ross's LC 169; M 15616
In 1705 Sir William Douglas bound himself on marriage to provide the estate of Kelhead in favour of himself and the heirs-male of his body. He did not carry out that obligation, but in 1724 he executed a strict entail of the lands, which was recorded in the register of tailzies, but no infeftment followed upon it. He died in 1733 and, eventually, in 1751 his son, Sir John Douglas, succeeded in having the entail reduced on the ground that Sir William had had no power to entail the estate of Kelhead since it had been provided to the heirs of the marriage. Sir John was then infeft in fee simple in the estate and proceeded to borrow large sums. In due course, during Sir John's lifetime, a process of ranking and sale of the estate was brought at the instance of his creditors, some being heritable creditors infeft and others being personal creditors who had adjudged and one of whom was infeft. Sir John's eldest son, Captain Douglas, objected to the sale on the ground that, by serving heir to Sir William, his father had barred himself from reducing the entail. The creditors argued that, even supposing that the reduction of the entail could be taken out of the way, this could not affect their debts since the feudal right of the estate was vested in Sir John as a fee-simple without any fetters or limitations whatever and so it was liable for the payment of all his personal debts. Held: the entail would never be more than a personal right which would not affect the creditors, since it had not been feudalised by infeftment and recording in the register of sasines. The principle in Bell -v- Gartshore applied even in cases where the creditors had not relied on the register when contracting with the debtor.

A full report can be found in: Cases decided in the Court of Session: from November 1790 to July 1792

Douglas of Kelhead silver bowl
The crest is described as "A human heart, gules (red), bezantée (a heraldic term, for a form of decoration, resembling circular discs, to a division or field contained in a coat of arms), imperially crowned, and winged, or (gold)."

crest bowl 

11th Baronet (and current); Sir David Harrington Angus Douglas, 12th Marquess of Queensberry.


See also:

  • Colonel William Douglas of Kilhead’s Regiment of Foot
  • Kinmount House
  • Kilhead salt cellar


  • This page was last updated on 26 April 2022

    Click here to 
    Print this page

    Biography finder





























    Index of first names