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James, 3rd Earl of Angus





James Douglas, third earl of Angus (c.1415–1446), was the eldest son of William Douglas (2nd Earl of Angus) Douglas (c.1398–1437), and his wife, Margaret (fl. 1410–1484), daughter of Sir William Hay of Yester. Earl William had performed distinguished service to the crown in the reign of James I and would probably have been a significant figure in the minority administration of James II had he not died in late 1437. James seems to have lacked the experience to assume his father's mantle, although he did hold the wardenship of the east march against England, a well-nigh hereditary office. He is little heard of during the political intrigues of the minority, when such men as William Crichton, the chancellor, the Livingstons, and the earls of Douglas were jockeying for power. Angus's most public role was to mediate in the early 1440s in the dispute involving David Hume of Wedderburn, his nephew Alexander Hume of that ilk, and Coldingham Priory, a cell of Durham Priory, principally over the office of bailie on Coldingham's extensive lands.

Nevertheless, Angus was singled out for an important distinction, namely marriage to Princess Joanna, third daughter of James I. A contract was drawn up in October 1440, when the intended bride would have been about twelve years old, but it is thought that the marriage did not take place, and in 1445 the princess was sent to France. The earl was by then in serious trouble. The king's exchequer rolls show that the annual pensions he lifted from the burghs of Haddington and North Berwick were being seized from, rather than willingly released by, the burghs. Angus appears to have allied himself with the group surrounding the queen mother, Joan Beaufort (probably explaining in part the proposed marriage alliance), but this group was increasingly removed from authority. The earl was charged with treason in parliament in June 1445, although the cause is unknown, and was consequently forfeited. It seems that the forfeiture was lifted before his death, which had occurred by September 1446.

As he had no children, he was succeeded by his brother, George Douglas (c.1417–1463), who was able to enter into his landed patrimony without dispute. Earl James held estates in Fife, Perthshire, Haddingtonshire, Angus, Berwickshire, Selkirkshire, and Roxburghshire, and was apparently buried in the ancestral graveyard at the collegiate church of St Bride, Abernethy, Perthshire.

Death: 1446

Father: William (2nd Earl of Angus) Douglas b: ABT. 1398
Mother: Margaret (of Locherwort & Yester) Hay

Marriage 1 Joan (the Dumb Lady) Stewart b: ABT. 1428 (Dau of King James I; she married 2nd James. 1st Earl of Morton)
  • Married: 18 OCT 1440





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Last modified: Friday, 17 May 2024