This page was last updated on 18 May 2023

Click here to 
Print this page

Biography finder





























Index of first names

James, 2nd Earl of Douglas and Mar






Earl of douglas and Mar coat of armsJAMES, 2ND EARL OF DOUGLAS AND MAR(C. 1358-1388), married Lady Isabel Stewart, daughter of Robert II. In 1385 he made war on the English with the assistance of a French contingent under John de Vienne. He allowed the English to advance to Edinburgh, wisely refusing battle, and contented himself with a destructive counter-raid on Carlisle. Disputes soon arose between the allies, and the French returned home at the end of the year. In 1388 Douglas captured Hotspur Percy's pennon in a skirmish near Newcastle. Percy sought revenge in the battle of Otterburn (August 1388), which ended in a victory for the Scots and the capture of Hotspur and his brother, though Douglas fell in the fight. The struggle, narrated by Froissart, is celebrated in the English and Scottish ballads called " Chevy Chase " and " The Battle of Otterburn." Sir Philip Sidney " never heard the oide song of Percy and Douglas that I found not my heart mooved more than with a trumpet " (Apologie for Poelrie). The 2nd earl left no legitimate male issue. His natural sons William and Archibald became the ancestors of the families of Douglas of Drumlanrig (see QUEENSBERRY) and Douglas of Cavers. His sister Isabel became countess of Mar, inheriting the lands of Mar and his unentailed estates.


1 A descendant of a younger son of the original William de Douglas.


2 Un the murder of the knight of Liddesdale, his lands, with the exception of Liddesdale and the .Hermitage forfeited to the crown and then secured by his nephew, fell to his nephew, Sir James Douglas of Dalkeith and Aberdpur (d. 1420), whose great-grandson James Douglas, 3rd Lord Dalkeith (d. 1504), became earl of Morton in 1458 on his marriage with Lady Joan Stewart, third daughter of James I. His grandson, the 3rd earl, left daughters only, of whom the eldest, Margaret, married James Hamilton,earl of Arran, regent of Scotland, ancestor of the dukes of Hamilton; Elizabeth married in 1543 James Douglas, who became by this marriage 4th earl of Morton. *•-.




Father: William (1st Earl of Douglas) Douglas
Mother: Margaret (Countess of Mar) Mar

'Marriage 1' unknown, or various! Including Isabella (of Durisdeer) Stewart, sometime after 24 Sep 1371.

  • Marriage Status: Friends!
  1. Has No Children son Douglas, died young
  2. Has Children William (Sir) (1st Baron of Drumlanrig) Douglas
  3. Has Children Archibald (of Cavers) Douglas
  4. Has Children Eleanor (of Douglas) Douglas b: ABT. 1380. She married William (Sir) (2nd of Philorth) Fraser ABT. 1400, son of Alexander (1st of Philorth) Fraser and Joanna or Janet Ross. He was born ABT. 1376, and died BEF. 1441.
  5. Has Children Joan (of Mar) Douglas. She married William 5th Lord Dacre, son of Hugh (4th Lord Dacre) de Dacre and Elizabeth (of Carlaverock) Maxwell. He died 20 JUL 1388 (Unconfirmed)

Marriage:  Princess Isabel Stewart, daughter of King Robert II and Elizabeth Mure.  James died in 1388 and in 1389 she married John Edmonstone of that Ilk.
1.  Infant, died young

He left no legitimate male issue. His natural sons William and Archibald became the ancestors of the families of Douglas of Drumlanrig and Douglas of Cavers. His sister Isabel inherited the lands and earldom of Mar, and the unentailed estates of Douglas. Isabel arranged for the Bonjedward estate to be passed to their half-sister, Margaret, who became 1st Laird of Bonjedward.

The earldom and entailed estates of Douglas reverted by the patent of 1358 to Archibald Douglas, called "The Grim", cousin of the 1st Earl and a natural son of The "Good" Sir James Douglas.


Earl of Douglas at Chevy Chase The Death of Earl Douglas James, Earl of Douglas, at the fight at Otterburn; Joseph Ratcliffe Skelton
Earl Douglas advancing with his men; F. Tayler Death of Earl Douglas; F. Tayler James, Earl of Douglas, at the fight at Otterburn; Joseph Ratcliffe Skelton



Robert Burns wrote of James, the second Earl of Douglas and Mar, the hero of Otterburn:

" One Douglas lives in Home's immortal page,
But Douglases were heroes every age."


This document is damaged and incomplete.]Letter from the Earl of Douglas and of Mar to the King of England, complaining about the lack of an English warden of the East March to do justice on those who have acted against the truce, after the discharge of the Earl of Northumberland at the feast of the Assumption last, and before Lord Neville took up the post two days before the following Easter: so that no justice can be done on malefactors during that period. He asks the King to send his letters patent to Lord Neville and the Earl of Northumberland, or to one of them, to be at Lyliat Cross on 29 June next to do justice on these people, so that the lords who will be present at the great day shortly afterwards will not have to concern themselves with it; and to write back let him know his will on this matter.” 1383 


Hotspur's pennon


  This pair of armorials refers to Earl James as marrying Ellen, daughter of king Robert.
However, we


See also:

•  Standoff at Tantallon Castle

•  Wardens of the Scottish Marches 




Any contributions will be gratefully accepted



Errors and Omissions

The Forum

What's new?

We are looking for your help to improve the accuracy of The Douglas Archives.

If you spot errors, or omissions, then please do let us know


Many articles are stubs which would benefit from re-writing. Can you help?


You are not authorized to add this page or any images from this page to (or its subsidiaries) or other fee-paying sites without our express permission and then, if given, only by including our copyright and a URL link to the web site.


If you have met a brick wall with your research, then posting a notice in the Douglas Archives Forum may be the answer. Or, it may help you find the answer!

You may also be able to help others answer their queries.

Visit the Douglas Archives Forum.


2 Minute Survey

To provide feedback on the website, please take a couple of minutes to complete our survey.


We try to keep everyone up to date with new entries, via our What's New section on the home page.

We also use the Community Network to keep researchers abreast of developments in the Douglas Archives.

Help with costs

Maintaining the three sections of the site has its costs.  Any contribution the defray them is very welcome



If you would like to receive a very occasional newsletter - Sign up!
Temporarily withdrawn.



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