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William Douglas, Duke of Queensberry



William, Duke of Queensberry



William Douglas, 3rd Earl of Queensberry (1637–1695) (became Marquess of Queensberry in 1682, and Duke of Queensberry in 1684) was a Scottish politician.


William, third earl of Queensberry, was constituted by King Charles the second 1 June 1680 lord justice general of the kingdom of Scotland, and created 11 February 1682 baron Douglas of Kinmount, Middleby and Dornock, viscount of Nith, Torthorald and Ross, earl of Drumlanrig and Sanquhar, and marquis of Queensberry.


He exchanged 12 May in that year the office of lord justice general for that of lord high treasurer of the kingdom of Scotland, and was farther created 3 November 1684 marquis of Dumfries, and duke of Queensberry. By king James the second he was appointed -- May 1685 lord high commissioner to the Scottish parliament, and -- February 1686 lord president of the privy council of that kingdom. In the latter end of that year he was removed from all his employments for refusing to consent to the repeal of the penal and test laws.


He was responsible for the construction of Drumlanrig Castle between 1679 and 1691. Legend holds that the Duke was so outraged at the cost of the castle's construction he refused to live in it. He purchased Queensberry House, in Edinburgh, probably from Dame Margaret Douglas of Balmakellie(1).


He obtained the peerage of Earl of March for his second son, for whom he purchased Neidpath Castle, and was succeeded by his first born son, James, upon his death in 1695.




There is a theory that the Duke had another son, Samuel, who took, or was given, the name Marksberry. Marksberry's do appear to have Douglas DNA, so there may be some truth in this story.


1. Dame Margaret Douglas of Balmakellie purchased various properties on the site in the late 1660s. 
The Scots Peerage, vol. 7, Balfour Paul, J. (1910), (Edinburgh: David Douglas), pp. 20-21.
Colonel Henry Maule(2), of Balmakellie, (Kincardineshire) who is found associated with his father in various writs. He was one of the 'Engagers' for the rescue of King Charles I., was in command of a regiment and was taken prisoner at the battle of Preston, but escaped. He was also at the battle of Dunbar in 1650, and was again taken prisoner at Worcester in 1651. He was fined £2500 by Cromwell, a sum afterwards reduced to £1000, which his father paid. He died 1667, being buried at Holyrood 8 April of that year. He married, first, 9 August 1649 (contract 1 and 3 August), Jean Wemyss, third daughter of John, first Earl of Wemyss, and widow of Sir Alexander Towers of Garmilton and Inverleith. She died before 10 May 1662, leaving issue, and her husband married, secondly, Margaret, daughter of Patrick Douglas of Spot, by whom he had one daughter, Margaret, married to Alexander Cochrane of Barbachlaw.

2.  Henry Maule was the son of Patrick Maule, 1st Earl of Panmure, Sheriff of Forfar





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Last modified: Friday, 17 May 2024