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Major-General Robert Douglas (of Garlston, NB)





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Born c1744, died 7th June 1798.

Memorial in St. Mary Magdalen's church, Taunton, Somerset - "Sacred to the Memory of Major-General Robert Douglas, who died June 7th 1798, aged 54, Sincerely regretted by all his relatives & friends. After serving his country forty years In all quarters of the globe, he fell a victim to the fatal effects of climate. His remains lie interred near this spot. Also to the memory of his son, John Douglas, Captain in the 54th Regt. of Foot, who died of the yellow fever, at St. Kitt's, July 11th 1796, In the 22d year of his age. This tribute of gratitude is erected by her who lives to deplore the loss of the best of husbands and a beloved son."

DALB contributes:
His will is a model of brevity (if not very informative) "Everything belonging to me money or effects I leave to my dear wife to be at her disposal."

At probate the relict was granted to Elizabeth Douglas, widow.
Will of Elizabeth Douglas, Widow of Taunton , Somerset
Date Written: 8 Nov, 1809
Probated: 24 May 1811

She makes provisions for sons Charles Douglas and Robert Sholto Douglas and daughters Elizabeth Ann, Harriet, Isabella and Louisa and also Frances who married a Captain Charritior {sp?}.

It is known that Sir George Best Robinson, 2nd Bart. married 'Louisa, dau. of the late Major-General Douglas'. It would seem likely that this is the same Maj Gen Douglas.

His grandson, Charles, was killed at Delhi, in the Indian Mutiny. He was married to Louisa, dau of Sir G.B. Robinson, above.


  • Inscription details in Holy Trinity, Cheltenham
  • Holy Trinity Church is situated in Portland St., Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England
    Lieut. Charles DOUGLAS, R.H.A. June 7, 1827
    Harriet DOUGLAS Sept. 21, 1857
    Isabella DOUGLAS June 18, 1847
    Major Robert Sholto DOUGLAS, R.A. Oct. 2, 1831



The Legacies of British Slavery database, quoting the Douglas Archives as a source, includes the following:

Robert Sholto (given as Shalto) Douglas counterclaimed as assignee of two deeds, claiming £1435 12s 8d (and was awarded £857 6s 4d) for a currently unknown estate in Riviere du Rempart, Mauritius. On 5th August 1839: upon probate, the share of the late Robert Shalto [sic] Douglas was awarded to Harriett [sic] Douglas and Isabella Douglas, his executrixes.

Despite his relatively unusual name (in either spelling) he has not yet been reliably traced. The will of a Robert Sholto Douglas Captain of Artillery and Brevet Major in the Army, of Cheltenham, was proved 11/11/1831. The date of this will would suggest that he cannot be the same man as the awardee here, but the wills of two spinsters named Isabella and Harriet Douglas of St Anne's Cheltenham were proved 07/07/1847 and 12/11/1857: the three were, according to genealogical sources, the children of Major General Robert Douglas of 'Garlston' (d. 1798) and Elizabeth nee Tyndale (d. 1809). A Captain Douglas registered government slaves attached to the Royal Artillery at Port Louis in Mauritius in 1817. There are a number of people surnamed Douglas born in Mauritius after Emancipation who appear in the England and Wales censuses of 1861-1911. [accessed 22nd July 2023].



1.  In social announcements in newspapers, the General was referred to as 'of Garlston, NB'.  It is not known where this is/was.  It could be in near Haddington, Scotland, (see Garleton Castle) or it could be Galston, Ayrshire, or even Garlieston, Wigtonshire.

2.  The following are listed as residents of Cheltenham in 1846:
Douglas Major; 4, Bays hill villas; Commissioner the better paving, lighting, etc, the town of Cheltenham,
Douglas Mrs. 2, Royal Well terrace, Bays Hill
Douglas The Misses; St. Anne’s, Near St. John’sChurch
Douglas Miss; 14, Royal Crescent Also at this address: J. Mure



Bookplate - Robert Douglas3.  The ownership of this bookplate is not known, but the crest indicates that he was from the Douglas of Cavers branch of the family.  If this is Major-General Robert Douglas's bookplate, then that gives us a clue as to his ancestors.



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Not to be confused with:

General Robert Douglas, Count of Skenninge 1611-1661
Lt General Robert Douglas  abt 1745 - 1827
Major General Robert Douglas Death: Aug. 20. 1828 At Great Baddow, Essex,
Major General Robert Douglas 1727-1809
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