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John St. Leger Douglas



John St. Leger Douglas (Died 23 May 1783) was an 18th century politician, a member of the House of Commons of Great Britain.

He was Member of Parliament for Hindon from 1769, at a time when bribery was the norm in this constituency, til 1774, and Member of Parliament for Weobley 1774 - 23 May 1783, when he died.

He was succeeded in Weobly by John Scott, 1st Earl of Eldon PC KC FRS FSA (4 June 1751 – 13 January 1838) was a British barrister and politician. He served as Lord Chancellor of Great Britain between 1801 and 1806 and again between 1807 and 1827.

A grandson of Col Walter Douglas of Baads, Governor of the Leeward Islands, and the son of John St. Leger Douglas, a West Indian plantation owner, and his wife Susannah, daughter of Michael Lambert, Lieutenant-Governor of Saint Kitts, and brother of Sir James Douglas bart., slave-owner on St Kitts. In his only recorded speech in the House of Commons, he supported the Government against the interests of the West Indies even after the outbreak of war against America in 1775, declaring that he too 'had a considerable estate in the West Indies'.

He lived at Springfield Place:  The estate belonging to Springfield Place is not very considerable; formerly it Springfield belonged to Ruke Church, and afterwards to the Bridges and the Capels; to these [PlacB.?] succeeded Mr. Samuel Fryar, of London; it was afterwards possessed by Mr. Robert Witham, lord of the manor of Kewton, who rebuilt the house, which is an exceedingly good one, and stands near the east end of the church. It was purchased next by John Strutt, Esq. who sold it to John St. Leger Douglas, Esq. who laid out the adjoining grounds with elegance and taste, and rendered it a commodious and handsome country residence.

He may have owned racehorses:-

SIRE: (Old) Snap - Snip - Flying Childers - DARLEY ARABIAN. Darley Arabian Sire Line
DAM: Mare by Blank - mare by Regulus (Nettles' dam) - mare by Lonsdale Bay Arabian - Bonny Lass by Bay Bolton - mare by Darley Arabian - mare by Byerley Turk - mare by Taffolet Barb - mare by Place's White Turk mare - Tregonwell Natural Barb mare (Family 1)
Bay 1764. Bred by John St. Leger Douglas of Essex and sold as a 3 year old to Jenison Shafto. Unbeaten in three seasons of racing at Newmarket, though lightly raced. His wins included the Ascot Stakes in 1768, the Gold Cup in an 1800 guineas sweep at the 1769 October Newmarket meeting, and a half-dozen other races, beating the top horses of his time. In 1770 he broke down during a training run in October. He retired to Shafto's stud, but was sold in the fall of 1771 for 1,350 guineas, to Sir Charles Sedley and was placed in service at his stud near Notthingham. When Sedley died, Goldfinder was sold again and stood at Coxe's Farm near Mitchem, Surrey. He got some good racehorses and broodmares, including the dam of Torrent (by Herod), the dam of John Bull (by Boston), the dam of Coiner (Saltram) and Miss Coiner (Don Quixote), and Manilla, the dam of Dexter, Nettle and Flycatcher. He also got sons Molecatcher and Goldfinder(1), the latter imported into the U.S. He died in 1789 at the age of 25

His wife, Caroline, (late Caroline Otway) appears to have had interests in Montserrat.

They may have had a son, also John St Leger Douglas:-

John St Leger Douglas Gent to be ensign vice William Faucitt in 3rd regiment of Footguards
Pelham, Gent, to be Ensign vice John St Leger Douglas, deceased 11 Jul 1775

There were 5 children:

1. Charlotte; Married Admiral John Leigh Douglas
2. Agnes;
3. Mary;
4. John, the eldest son and heir, (above?) and
5. William.

John St. Leger Douglas of Pall Mall, co. Middlesex, Esq.
Will dated 7 Dec. 1779. (559 Cornwallis.) All my plantations real & personal estate to my brother Lt Col. James Douglas & Alex' Douglas of Devonshire Sq., on trust. My dau. Mary Willett £6000. My dau. Charlotte £6000 at 21. Alex' Douglas £100. My said brother James £1000. Geo. Gavillear £100 & £20 a year for his services. Trustees to hold all my plantations in the Island of S' Christopher's for my son W" Douglas, remainder to my daus. ; in the latter event £4000 to my brother James.
Trustees to be Ex'ors. Witnessed by Edward Wilmot, Richard Wiles, Mark Clay.


1 Thomas Douglas of Grantham bred the St Leger winner Serina (b f 1778 Goldfinder) 
2.  James George Douglas, John's brother, for a time acted as agent for the interests of St. Kitts in England
3.  On 4th January, 1739, John Douglas granted a Deed of Gift to his brother, James George Douglas. The gift consisted of seven negroes in trust for his children, who were all infants. James George Douglas was the agent in this country for the island of St. Kitts until 1752.



Sources for this article include:
•  History of Parliament online


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Last modified: Friday, 17 May 2024