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John Douglas, Clock and Watch Maker



I am indebted to Sally Douglas for the following contribution:

John Douglas, who was living in 1759, of Jedburgh, Roxburghshire became a Master Clock and Watch maker and founded a dynasty of Clock and Watch makers, Jewellers, Jewellery makers, Goldsmiths and Silversmiths.

Eighteen Clock and Watch makers named Douglas that are part of the family have been identified, plus a Walter Lamont - a total of nineteen. Besides clockmaking there is a strong descent of Artists - Snuff Box painter, Portrait painters, Genre painters and Picture restorers; plus Photographers - including portrait and carte-de-viste and Innkeepers and Vintners in Scotland.

Some of these careers and talents show up in later generations e.g. with Walter Douglas (living 1786), of Jedburgh a son of John's with his first wife Mary Newton/Nuton c1762 - for there were two more generations of Clock and Watch makers beyond Walter.

The Guildhall in London found in their apprentice records that John Douglas, Master Clockmaker in Jedburgh, had two apprentice Clockmakers - Joseph Ellcot - 30 Jan 1793 - 4 years apprenticeship and Thomas Hill - 31 Oct 1794 - 3 years 6 months apprenticeship

John Douglas of Galston clock

John and Mary (Newton/Nuton) Douglas had five and possibly six children in Jedburgh -
1. Gabriel Douglas 7/7/1784 Clockmaker, Portland Arms Inn Keeper/Owner, Vintner - married (1) Elizabeth Paterson and (2) Margaret Anderson Inn Keeper/Owner Vintner
2. Jean Douglas c Feb 1786?
3. Walter Douglas 26/2/1786 Master Clock and Watch maker - married Isabella Anderson
4. Jean Douglas 15/1/1788 - married John Lamont Weaver
5. Christian Douglas 7/12/1789 - married John Aitken
6. John Douglas 10/9/1794 Master Clock and Watch maker - married Mary McLiver

John and Mary Douglas moved from Jedburgh, Roxburghshire to Galston, Ayrshire between 1798 and 1803 - Mary (Newton/Nuton) Douglas died in Jan 1803 and is buried in Loudoun Kirk churchyard - near Galston and a memorial tablet remains - erected by her spouse John Douglas Clockmaker. Also buried with Mary is a James D Douglas.

On 23/10/1808 John married Agnes Allan at Galston, Ayrshire and they had at Galston -
1. Mary Douglas 16/1/1810 - married John Moffat
2. Isabella Douglas 1/6/1812 - married John Lees
3. George Douglas 3/4/1814 Clockmaker - married Christian McLintock
4. James Douglas 20/9/1816 - possibly buried with Mary (Newton/Nuton) Douglas
5 and 6. Margaret Mason Douglas 11/6/1819 - married George Lawrie Fletcher
and her twin Maria 11/6/1819

John Douglas 1759 died c1833 is buried in the Galston Parish Churchyard and a memorial tablet remains (though flattened).

Artists in this Douglas family include James Douglas 24/7/1810 Kilmarnock, Ayrshire - a son of Gabriel Douglas 1784 Jedburgh. James was a Portrait painter and Picture restorer and painted a portrait of his grand-father John Douglas 1759 in about 1816 in Galston and he also painted a self- portrait at about that same time. James later painted a portrait of his son Edwin James Douglas 14/7/1848 Edinburgh. Edwin James in turn became a Portrait, genre and animal painter of some repute.

Both James and Edwin James Douglas exhibited their art at the Royal Scottish Academy and James painted Lord Melville and the painting hung in Archer's Hall, in Edinburgh. James also painted several pictures of the Duke of Buccleuch, Earl of Strathmore and Earl of Moray. His equestrian portrait - after Vandyck - hung in the Great Hall of Darnaway Castle.

The Stewart Society stated that "…Lord Moray confirms that there is still a large equestrian portrait of Charles I, attended by the Duke of Hamilton in the entrance hall at Darnaway after Vandyck. It is thought to have been commissioned in the 17th Century…"
While for Edwin James Douglas 1848 his paintings, drawings and etchings include -

Cattle, dogs, horses, sheep, members of Edwin James Douglas’s family i.e. portraits of Christiana Maria (Martin) Douglas his wife and Margot (Marguerete Laura) Douglas his daughter.

Plus paintings of coach postcards; horse and jinker, hunting with hounds, a lone rose, tranquil roses in a vase, a sailing ship and baroque images. Other paintings are of - nature, botanical, abstract, ancient/old world and Oriental images.

There were also paintings on the web by other family members –

Four paintings/drawings by Geundolen Douglas - Edwin’s daughter

· One drawing by Christiana Maria (Martin) Douglas

· Art by Margot Douglas - Marguerite Lora Douglas a Painter in France

· Art by Georgina Douglas Painter, Helensburgh, 1885 - Edwin’s sister

· Three paintings by James Douglas 1810 Kilmarnock, Ayrshire - Edwin’s father

Besides John Douglas, 1813, Dollar, Clackmannan who was a first cousin of Edwin James Douglas, 1848; was a portrait painter, photographer and snuff box painter in Ayrshire. Later John was a photographer (portrait and carte-de-viste) and artist in Glasgow with his own business with some of his six sons coming into the business - one of whom, Walter was also an Artist as well as being a Photographer. John, 1813, also had a photography business in Helensburgh, Dunbartonshire.

Alex Buck of the Royal Collection stated regarding art by Edwin James Douglas “…the Royal Collection holds an oil painting by Edwin James Douglas of the racehorse 'Persimmon', dated 1897…According to our records this painting was presented to the Prince of Wales by Sir James Blyth (late 1st Baron Blyth), summer 1897…”

Sleuthing is needed, but I have a hunch that the parents of John Douglas, 1759, were George Douglas/s or Dowglas, 1720, Jedburgh a Gardener who was a tenant of Howden, Jedburgh and Agness/Agnus (Annie) Oliver 1723 Jedburgh (Of Dykeraw - daughter of Goerge Oliver/Olipher).

A direct ancestor of George Douglas was James Douglas, c1669 to 1750, Jedburgh, Roxburghshire - James was a Gardener and Burgess of Jedburgh and is buried in the Jedburgh Abbey Graveyard, as is George Douglas, 1720 to 1801, Jedburgh .

In conclusion John Douglas, 1759, has been referred to on the web as a "dour old Scot" but his ancestors and descendants indicate that he comes from a talented and worthy family.


See also:

  • John Douglas's family
  • Douglas clock and watch makers

  • Errors and Omissions

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