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Douglas of Springwood







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Springwood crest
Gates of Springwood Park
A baronetcy is also possessed by the family of Douglas of Springwood Park, Roxburghshire, conferred, June 27, 1786, on Sir James Douglas, a naval officer of eminence,  who was knighted, in consideration of bearing home the despatch announcing the surrender of Quebec in 1759, and was created a baronet for his subsequent professional  achievements. In 1761 he commanded a fleet in the Leeward Islands, took Dominica, and had a broad pendant at the siege of Martinique in the same year. On his death in  1787, he was succeeded by his eldest son Sir George, who died June 4th 1821. His son Sir John James, third baronet, married, in 1822, Hannah Charlotte, only daughter and heiress of Henry Scott, Esq. of Belford, Roxburghshire, and assumed, in consequence, by sign manual, the surname and arms of Scott, in addition to those of Douglas. Sir John was Captain in the 15th Hussars, and served at Waterloo, for which he received a medal. He died 23d January 1836. His son, Sir George Henry Scott-Douglas, 4th Baronet, born at Edinburgh 19th June 1825, captain 34th Foot, 1850, retired 1851; married the eldest daughter of Francisco di Pina, Esq. of Gibraltar; with issue.






Jamie Scott Douglas came from an important Scottish Border family and his multi-great, grandfather, Sir James Douglas was an Admiral who purchased some land at Bridgend, beside Kelso bridge, and built a wonderful house, Springwood Park, in 1750.

When he died the estate was left to his son George who had a career in the army but later became MP for Roxburgh. In turn George’s son Sir John James Douglas fought in the Peninsular war, married the heiress of Henry Scott of Belford and changed the family name to Scott Douglas. So it went on down the family tree until 1935 when the incumbent, Sir George Scott Douglas died in 2004 with no issue.



The Douglas family owned the estate of Springwood Park in Kelso for six generations.

The first Baronet James Douglas, (1704-1787) had a distinguished career in the Royal Navy, after which, he retired as an Admiral. He was created a baronet in 1786 and then a Knight of the Order of the Bath. In 1750, he bought the estate of Bridge End, and renamed it Springwood Park.He married twice: firstly in 1753 to Helen, daughter of Thomas Brisbane of that Ilk, and secondly to Lady Helen Boyle, daughter of John the Second Earl of Glasgow.

The second Baronet was his son George Douglas (1754-1821) who served as a Captain in the 21st Foot. During the threat of invasion by Napoleon, he commanded the Kelso Volunteers. He became MP for Roxburghshire (1784-1790) and married Lady Elizabeth Boyle in 1786, daughter of the 3rd Earl of Glasgow. Their son, John James, the 3rd baronet, succeeded in 1821, served in the 15th Hussars and fought in the Peninsula Wars and at Waterloo.

Sir John married Hannah Charlotte, daughter and heiress of Henry Scott of Belford, changing the family name to Scott-Douglas. They had four children George Henry the son and heir, Catharine, Mary (Sholta) and Hannah (Charlotte) When he died, his widow married William Scott-Kerr of Sunlaws with whom she had another daughter Elizabeth (Mary) before her own death in 1850. Mr Kerr remarried in 1855 to Frances Louisa Fennessy (Mary's governess).

The 4th baronet, Sir George Henry Scott-Douglas (1825-1885) succeeded at the age of 11. After attending Harrow, he joined the 34th Regiment of Foot (The Border Regiment). He was also Brigadier-General of the Royal Company of Archers. He was firstly stationed in Ireland then posted to Corfu, during which time he bought a boat called the Vampire, in which he sailed round the Greek islands; seeing a slave market in Constantinople and visiting the Holy Land. After being posted to Barbados, he decided to resign his commission in 1851 and married Mariquita Sanchez de Pina, daughter of Don Francisco Sanchez de Pina of Gibraltar. They returned to Springwood Park, where Sir George concentrated on improving his estate and public works around Kelso. He served as MP for Roxburghshire (1874-1880).

Of the Scott-Douglas girls Charlotte was the only to marry. She married Edward Octavius Douglas, her cousin, in 1859. They lived at Killiechassie, Perthshire. There were no children from the marriage. Catharine died following a period of illness in 1863.Sholta died in 1905 aged 77.

Their sister Mary Scott-Kerr, married James Henry Ramsay of Bamff, Perthshire in 1861. She died in 1868 but in that time gave birth to 3 daughters. Her youngest, Agnata, became a famous Cambridge scholar and was the mother of the historian James Ramsay Montagu-Butler.

Sir George had five children. One son died as a baby and his eldest son, Jaime, was killed on service in Zululand in 1879, leaving his second son, George Brisbane to inherit in 1885. Sir George had two other sons and a daughter.

The 5th baronet, George Brisbane Douglas (1856-1935) was the last resident of the house. He was educated at home and at Harrow. After graduating from Trinity College, Cambridge, he went on a grand tour. He met the author Thomas Hardy in 1881, and kept up a correspondence with him for many years. Sir George published New Border Tales in 1892, Poems of a Country Gentleman in 1897, Diversions of a Country Gentleman in 1902 and The Border Breed in 1909. He also wrote a biography of Major General Wauchope, a History of Roxburgh, Selkirk & Peebles and a wide range of articles on Scottish poetry, local events and history. He was also Lecturer on Literature at the University of Glasgow in 1911.

When he died in 1935, Sir George was succeeded by his great-nephew James Louis Fitzroy Douglas Scott who was born in 1930. Sir James served in the 15th/19th King's Royal Hussars and the Lothians and Border Horse. He became a journalist and member of the Press Club and owned homes in Wiltshire and Cheshire.

Sir James never lived at Springwood Park and it is said that he rapidly spent his two large inheritances. The contents of Springwood Park were put up for auction in 1947 and the house was left to decay until it was eventually demolished in 1954.


Springwood Park bookplates

1. Sir George Brisbane Douglas, fifth Baronet, was born in 1856. He became a member of our Club in 1876. More than this I need not say. He uses a small bookplate consisting of the Douglas and Scott crests —

(1) a cubit arm erect grasping a broken tilting spear, all p.p.r., for Douglas.

(2) A lion's head erased, holding in its mouth a thistle, for Scott. Over both, on a ribbon, the motto " doe or die." Beneath the crests, on an escutcheon, the " Red Hand of Ulster," and below all, " Sir George Douglas, Bt."

2. Hannah Charlotte, Lady Scott Douglas of Springwood Park, used a quartered coat, with supporters, and ribbon scrolls, by Lizars. The blazon is I. and IV., Argent, a human heart gules, imperially crowned or, on a chief azure three mullets argent, the whole within a bordure nebuly of the fourth (Douglas). II. and III., Or, on a bend azure an estoile between two crescents of the field ; in the centre chief a sword erect p.p.r., and on a canton argent ionr fleurs de lis (Scott). On a surtout the arms of Scott, without the canton, and in the centre chief the badge of Ulster. Supporters, on either side a pegasus.
Lady Scott Douglas afterwards married William Scott Kerr of Chatto and Sunlaws.


See also:
•  Scott Douglas mausoleum

•  Music of Springwood Park

•  Bookplates




Any contributions will be gratefully accepted





Sources for this article include:


•  Whyte, Donald 'Douglas of Springwood Park', Borders Family History Society Magazine (June 1996)
•  Notes from a talk by Mr Ian Abernethy c. 2008
•  Papers of Sir James Ramsay Montagu Butler (1889-1975) historian: Small manuscript book of juvenile poems by Mary Scott-Kerr (1846)

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