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Samuel Douglas





Samuel Douglas was the son of John Douglas, of Newron, a Galloway farmer, and his wife, Mary Heron.  Like his brothers, William, James and George, he made his fortune in America.  He also was a partner in the firm of Douglas & Shaw, merchants of No1 America Square, Minories, London.


William and Samuel set up cotton mills in Carlingwark, which was subsequently developed as a 'planned' town, and re-named Castle Douglas. They also established cotton mills in Newton Stewart, which was re-named Newton Douglas, though this reverted to its original name in 1826, when the mills were sold.


Samuel purchased Netherlaw, Dundrennan. He was a friend of Robert Burns' widow, Jean Armour.


He married Elizabeth Stevenson, daughter of Captain William Stevenson and Elizabeth Douglas, herself the daughter of William Douglas of Worcester.  Elizabeth (of Worcester) married 2ndly Samuel's brother, James.  Captain Stevenson ran the Douglas brothers' privateering operations off the American coast during the American War of Independence. 


Samuel died on 6th April 1824, aged 64 years and was interred in the Douglas Mausoleum.  His wife had died in 1796.


Elizabeth, Samuel's daughter This portrait of Elizabeth, Lady Abercrombie, is by Henry Raeburn

Samuel's daughter, Elizabeth Stephenson Douglas, wife of Sir Robert John Abercrombie, 5th of Birkenbog






•  Sir James Shaw, when seventeen years old he went to America to join his brother David, who held a position in the commissariat service, and by his interest was placed in the commercial house of George and Samuel Douglas in New York Three years later he returned to Britain, and was made a junior member of the firm (Douglas & Shaw) in London in which he eventually became a full partner. Lord Mayor of London, be was created a Baronet of Kilmarnock, co. Ayr, and Polmadie, co. Kirkcudbright. He supported Jean Armour, Robert Burns's wife, after his death. Presumably a common friendship with Samuel.  William Douglas, MP for Plymton Erle is described as Sir James Shaw's nephew, but I am unable to trace the relationship.  He was the son of James Douglas of Orchardton and Elizabeth Douglas, daughter of William Douglas of Worcester




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Last modified: Friday, 17 May 2024