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Sir William Douglas of Hawick





Sir William Douglas of Hawick, the only lawful son of Sir James Douglas, was the offspring of his father's second marriage, and when he was an infant, or at least very young, on 26 February 1546-47, his father became bound to place him in the fee of all his lands of Drumlanrig, co. Dumfries, and Hawick, co. Roxburgh.


He is again named in his father's will of 4 September 1550, when he was still a pupil, Sir John Maxwell of Terregles and Patrick Douglas, his own half-brother, being appointed his tutors.' He had several grants of land : Chapelerne, Garransoun, and Mill of Crossmichael ; the Mains of Lincluden, and lands of Carruchan, all in co. Kirkcudbright, from his natural brother, Mr. Robert Douglas, Provost of Lincluden, in which provostry he also had a personal interest; all the grants being dated 20 February 1564-65.


On 15 May 1565 he received the honour of knighthood at the hands of Henry, Lord Darnley, himself created Earl of Ross on that day.


On 7 October  1565 he and other Douglases received a remission for their share in the slaughter of Hugh Douglas of Dalvene, and from another remission of 28 October he appears to have joined his father in supporting the opposition of Moray and others to the Queen's marriage.


He was present at the Convention of Estates on 14 February 1569-70, after the funeral of the Regent Moray, when Maitland of Lethington was exculpated of the charges against him of being privy to the murder of Darnley.


He was wounded by a spear in a Border skirmish and though the hurt was slight it may have led to his death, which took place on 25 September 1572, as appears from his son's service to him in the barony of Hawick.


Sir William married Margaret, daughter of James Gordon of Lochinvar.  She was probably older than he, and seems to have excited the wrath of her father-in-law, who a few months before his death made provision as to her relations after his death with the young Laird, her son. He was to be allowed to show her reasonable attention and affection, but she was not to enter his house, nor rule it, nor remain therein, and that 'be ressoun I vndirstand hir to be ane proude and wilfull woman.'  Sir James believed she would use every means to have the handling of his grandson and his estate, would endeavour to separate the lad from his friends, to prey on his living, ' and to revenge hir wickit nature aganis the freindis of the hous.' Sir James therefore left strong injunctions regarding her.


 By his wife Sir William had issue :


1. JAMES, who succeeded to his grandfather.


2. Margaret, eldest daughter, to whom in his last will her grandfather assigned the marriage of McLellan of Gelston, of the value of 1200 merks; married (con- tract 13 November 1593) to Sir Robert Montgomerie of Skelmorlie, and died 1624, leaving issue.


3. Janet, to whom her grandfather left 2000 merks; married to Sir James Murray of Cockpool.


4. Helen, who received the same sum.


5. Christian, who was left 1000. She was married to Sir Robert Dalzell, afterwards first Earl of Carnwath.


6. Jean, who had the same sum.


Sir William had also apparently a natural son, William, described, on 9 July 1601, as a natural brother of the Laird of Drumlanrig.


In his Will, William Douglas of Hawick bequeaths to Hector Douglas a 19 year tack of Ardoch. No relationship has been found.




He was at the Battle of Langside and at Carberry Hill.


Sir William Douglas of Hawick, with Hume of Manderston and Hume of Huttonhall, was sent forward to break the array of the queen’s gunners, when she stood with her army on Carberry Hill. When the queen escaped from Lochleven, Sir William Douglas joined the regent Moray at Glasgow, and on the latter being advised to retire to Stirling, he declared, “If ye depart, I will go to the queen, as my Lord Boyd hath done.”

At the battle of Langside, he had the command of a party of horse on the regent’s side.




Death: 1572 (Before his father)

Father: James (Sir) (7th Baron of Drumlanrig) Douglas
Mother: Christian (of Eglington) Montgomerie

Marriage 1 Margaret (of Lochinvar) Gordon
  1.  James (8th Baron of Drumlanrig) Douglas
  2.  Margaret Douglas
  3.  Janet Douglas
  4.  Christian (of Hawick) Douglas


See also:
•  Descendants of William Douglas of Hawick [jpg]




Sources for this article include:
•  The Scots peerage : founded on Wood's ed. of Sir Robert Douglas's Peerage of Scotland; containing an historical and genealogical account of the nobility of that kingdom



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Last modified: Friday, 17 May 2024