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Major General Robert Douglas






General Robert Douglas

Robert Douglas (1727–1809) was a Scottish-born soldier who replaced Ludwig Ernst von Brunswick-Lüneburg-Bevern as governor of the garrison city of 's-Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands in 1784. A commander of the Marines, he was a major-general from 1778 and commander of the city from 1780 to 1794.

Robert Douglas was the 5th son of George, 7th Laird of Friarshaw, and Elizabeth Scott of Ancrum. Robert's grandfather was Henry Douglas, 6th laird of Friarshaw

Born Edinburgh 24 April, baptised Canongate Church 25 April 1727, died Zierikzee, (Zeeland), 30 December 1809. Buried 4 January 1810, south side of the choir in the Dutch Reformed church of Zierikzee.

Military Career :
1745, November, Captain regiment of the Duke of Ancaster. Marched from Stamford to Doncaster in order to go to Culloden, but was ordered to return.
1746, April, Battle of Culloden, where he arrived too late at the battle field, so that he did not have to fight against his countrymen, about which he was very pleased as he wrote later in his autobiography.
1746 Ensign regiment Duke of Ancaster on half payment. Present at the judgements of the Lords Cromarty, Kilmarnock, Balmerino and Lovat.
1747 Captain regiment of his kinsman the Earl of Drumlanrig, leaving Prestonpans for Gilse near Breda (North-Brabant)
N.B. The Scots Magazine of July 1747 contains a complete list of the officers of Lord Drumlanrig's regiment, then "raising in Scotland".
1748, 10 April, in Breda with the regiment. (see chapter 8-14a) .
1750, March, in Maastricht (Limburg), Sas van Gent (Zeeland)

1751, portrait painted by James Seymour

General Robert Douglas riding out
 in a wooded landscape
By James Semour, 1751.

1752, March, captain 2nd Battalion under Lord Drumlanrig in Lieutenant-General Halkett's regiment.
1754, at garrison in Brielle (South-Holland).
1762 Captain-commander regiment Gordon, company Baron de Salve.
1763 Lieutenant-Colonel regiment Marines of Baron de Salve.
1766 Colonel
1778 Commander and Great-Major of the city of 's-Hertogenbosch
(North-Brabant) .
1779 General-Major regiment Marines, which carried his name.
1780 Commander and Under-Governor of 's-Hertogenbosch.
Resolution by the States-General of the Republic of 28 January,
no. 3835 page 55.
1794 Lieutenant-General regiment Marines (Infantry).
1795 Retired on half-prnsion after the invasion by the French and the fa:~
of the city.

There is a large quantity of correspondence between him and the Stadholder Prince Willam V of Orange in the "Koninklijk Huisarchief" (Archive of the Royal Family) in The Haque.

He wrote his biography of which there is a copy in the National Library. ~~~I have been unable to verify this###

1781 meeting with Emperor Joseph II of Austria who travelled incognito as Count Von Falkenstein and visited 's-Hertogenbosch.
1786 hired the Brouwmeer under St Michielsgestel of Hermanus Martinus van Ermel, Major of Cavalry.

Married Bergen op Zoom, (North-Brabant), 24 June 1754, Helena, daughyer of Lieutenant-General Daniel de Brauw and Hester Stavenisse, born Bergen op Zoom, 1 January 1734, died Zierikzee, 5 January 1802. Buried southside the choir of the Dutch Reformed church. (which not longer exists) .

[He was an Ensign in the Regiment Marjorybanks of the Scots Brigade in 1745.  It is suggested that this is when his 'riding out' portrait was started, and finished in Holland in 1751]

He married Helena de Brauw in 1754. They had issue:

  • Mary Douglas, b. 10 Dec 1755, Bergen op Zoom = Caspar, Baron van Breugel.

  • Elisabeth Douglas, b. 29 Jun 1758, Bergen-op-Zoom = Pieter Jan van Ee. They had issue 

  • Archibald Douglas, b. 6 Sep 1759, Bergen op Zoom = Anna Juliana Maria Salontay van Salontha. They had issue



    Robert died at Zierikzee, Zeeland on 30th September 1809.




    The arms of Robert, son of George Douglas of Rriarshaw and Elizabeth Scott are: Argent, a heart Gules ensigned by a royal crown Or lined Gules, on a chief azure three molets argent, with a bordure nebuly Azure Celeste.
    Wreath and mantling; Argens and Gules Crest: A dexter forearm and hand proper holding a lance sinister bendwise Or the upper half broken dexter bendwise proper the point argent.
    Motto: Do or Die




    Not to be confused with:

    General Robert Douglas, Count of Skenninge 1611-1661
    Major-General Robert Douglas (of Garlston, NB) Born c1744, died 7th June 1798
    Lt General Robert Douglas  abt 1745 - 1827
    Major General Robert Douglas Death: Aug. 20. 1828 At Great Baddow, Essex,
    General Robert Douglas, C.B. died at Claygate, Surrey on February 10, 1871
    Major General Sir Robert Percy Douglas died on 30 September 1891 aged 87
    Major General Robert Wilkins Douglass Jr. born in 1900 in Memphis, Tennessee, USA



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Last modified: Friday, 17 May 2024