Birth Dateabt 1340
Birth PlaceLothian, Scotland
Death Date1420
Death PlaceDalkeith, Midlothian, Scotland
FatherLord John de DOUGLAS Of Lothian , M (~1302-<1350)
MotherLady Agnes Munfode , F (~1320-)
ChildrenJames , M
 John , M (-<1406)
 Margaret , F (~1355-)
Notes for James (Spouse 1)
He [John Douglas] married a lady named Agnes, who had been identified as Agnes Munfode, widow of John Munfode, but this is not completely proved.

He had issue:

1. James, who succeeded to Dalkeith

2. William, who was created a knight between 1351 and 1375 ...
3. John, who is named in the entail of 1351 with his brothers ...
4. Henry, who became the ancestor of the Douglasses of Lochleven and of the present Earl of Morton. ...
5. Thomas, named with his preceding four brothers in the entail of 1351, by Sir william Douglas of Liddesdale ...
6. Nicholas, not named in the entail of 1351, perhaps because he was very young. ...
7. Ellen.
8. Margaret. These daughters are named by their brother, Sir James ...
9. Elizabeth, named by Sir James in his wills ...

Source: THE SCOTS PEERAGE, ed. by Sir James Balfour Paul, Vol VI , Edinburgh, 1906, pp. 342-4

Sir James Douglas is first named in a charter dated 7 April 1351, at Dalkeith, by which his uncle, Sir William, granted to him the lands of Aberdour in Fife.
He next occurs in the entail of 3 November 1351 made by Sir William Douglas of Liddesdale, and he is there designed nephew of the granter and son of the late Sir John Douglas, brother of Sir William. There he and four of his brothers are named in succession. It is not certain when he succeeded to Dalkeith and the other lands named in the entail. The grant of Aberdour was confirmed by King David II on 20 october 1360, and was followed by others ... all between 1360 and 1365.

Between 1365 and 30 june 1367, he had a dispute with Thomas Erskine, younger of Erskine, about certain lands in Dumfriesshire, which had belonged to Mary Douglas, daughter of the Knight of Liddesdale. She had married Erskine in 1365, and died in childbirth, when he claimed a liferent right over her estates. This was disputed by James Douglas who was her nearest heir, and the question was put to arbitration of a duel in presence of King David II. James Douglas was knighted by his kinsman, Sir Archibald, and Thomas Erskine by his father, and entering the lists they fought fiercely, and were with difficulty separated, even at the command of the King, but ultimately Erskine accepted a sum of money for his claim, and Sir James obtained his cousin’s lands, being duly served heir to her on 30 June 1367.

About the same date probably, certainly before 7 April 1370, when the deed was ratified by the King, William, Earl of Douglas, resigned any rights he had over the barony of Dalkeith. Previous to this, however, on 5 January 1368-69, Sir James received the royal permission to build, repair, or alter the castle of Dalkeith, and on 8 December 1369 he resigned the barony and castle in the hands of the King, receiving on the following day a charter in favour of himself athe lawful heirs-male of his body, with remainder always to his nearest heirs-male having the surname of Douglas ... After this he is styled in all writs Lord of Dalkeith, his former designation having been Sir James Douglas, knight.

From 1368 to 1371 Sir James appears on various committees of Parliament, and he did homage to King Robert II on his accession. In 1371 he was one of an important embassy to France. Between 1369 and 1372 Sir James received a large accession of territory. ...

Sir James does not appear to have taken much part in public affairs, but he was much attached to the Church, and expressed his devotion in stone and mortar. In December 1372 he obtained the royal consent to found a chaplainry in the chapel of St. Nicholas of Dalkeith, and to endow it from the lands of Horsbruke or Horsburgh, county peebles. In 1377 he further endowed another chaplainry in the same place, for the souls of his father and mother and other relatives.

In December 1384 he endowed another chapel within the Castle of Dalkeith in memory of his wife, Agnes Dunbar, with special endowments and provisions for continuing the services amid the interruptions of war or necessary repairs to the castle. In june 1406 he crowned his previous benefactions by adding to the original fabric of the chapel of St. Nicholas and endowing six chaplainries for a provost and five other priests, by adding considerably to the previous emoluments, and erecting the whole into a collegiate charge.

In the later years of his life, Sir James made at least two wills, which have been preserved. They are interesting as being the oldest known documents of that nature existing in Scotland, and also as showing what possessions were most valued by a Scottish Baron of the period. Jewels and relics of various kinds, some of them of great value, are given to his son and heir, with his armour, silver-plate, and all his books, including those of law and romances, except works on grammar and logic, which were bequeathed to a natural son, John Douglas of Aberdour. He makes a special provision that all books borrowed by him should be returned to their owners. Other jewels are bequeathed to other friends. One remarkable provision is that for the welfare of his uncle’s soul and his own, all the obligations found that were his uncle’s should be burned and declared void. Whether this was because of anything treasonable in these writs may be a question.

These wills contain much the same bequests and provisions, the first being dated on 30 September 1390, and the second on 19 December 1392. Sir James, however, survived his lated will by nearly thirty years, as he did not die till 1420, and then he succumbed to a malady, called popularly ‘Quhew,’ evidently the influenza, which was we are told, very fatal that year.

Sir James Douglas married, first, Agnes Dunbar, daughter of Sir Patrick Dunbar, by Isabella Randolph, and sister of George, Earl of March.
The marriage appears to have taken place between 8 and 21 November 1372, or perhaps on the latter date. She came to her husband with a large dowry, not of broad lands only, though these ... were extensive, but only a month before his death, King David II made a grant to her of six hundred merks of sterlings yearly from the customs of Aberdeen, and four hundred merks yearly from the customs of Haddington, a thousand merks in all, for her dress, personal furnishings, and other necessaries, though it has been suggested that the annuity ceased at her marriage. Her relations with the King, and the payments made on her behalf in 1639 and 1370, have called forth the opinion that her influence as favourite was beginning to supersede that of Queen Margaret Logie, whom the King was then endeavouring to divorce. Agnes Dunbar or Douglas died some time before October 1378.

Sir James married, secondly, about October 1378, Egidia Stewart or Lindsay, sister of King Robert., and widow successively of Sir James Lindsay of Crawford and Sir Hugh Eglinton. She was living in 1392, when her husband made his last will, but died before june 1406, when she is referred to as deceased.

By his first wife only, Sir James had issue:

1. Sir James, who succeeded.
2. William, who is said to have received Mordingtoun from his father. He is named for the first time, on 22 April 1372, in his brother’s marriage contract. He is also named in his father’s testaments as a legatee of 20 merks and a gold ring. On 15 July 1401 his father granted him various land and a fishing on the Tay, in the barony of Kinnoul. He was still alive in 1406.
3. Agnes, contracted on 15 August 1381, when quite young, to marry john Livingstone of Callendar, as his second wife. he was killed at Homildon in 1402, and she married secondly, John Gordon of that Ilk, whom she also survived. she was alive in 1422, but may have died in that year.
4. Jacoba, to whom her father bequeathed a gold circlet valued at 40 merks. She was contracted on 1, and married before 8, November 1388, to Sir John Hamilton of Cadzow, by whom she had issue. She survived him, and on 12 June 1410 had a dispensation to marry, as his second wife, Sir William Douglas of Drumlanrig. they are said to have been in the fourth degree of affinity, while Joanna Murray, Sir william’s late wife, and Jacoba from divers stocks, and Sir John and Sir William from one stock, were in the fourth degree of consanguinity.

According to Douglas, a daughter of Sir James and his first wife is said to have married a Tweedie of Drummelzier, but as 1351 is the date assigned to the marriage in the family history of the Tweedies, it seems doubtful, and no evidence has been found.

Sir James Douglas had also two natural sons, whom he names in his testaments, and a daughter:

Sir James Douglas, styled of Aberdour in his father’s testaments of 1390 and 1392. On 10 july 1411 he received from his father the lands of Stanypath and Baldwinsgill, or Baddinsgill, and was then styled Sir James Doutlas of Robertson. he was named one of his father’s executors, and he appears in numerous charters. On 11 May 1413 he paid seven hundred merks for the liberation of William Douglas, grandson of Sir James Douglas of Dalkeith, and he was witness to a charter on 2 April 1415, after which he disappears from record.

John Douglas, also called of Aberdour. His father named him in his testaments as the intended recipient of his books, but he predeceased his father, dying before 1406.

Margaret, married, before 25 october 1372, to Philip Arbuthnott of that Ilk, and had issue. She is usually said to be the daughter of Agnes Dunbar, but the latter was married a month after her reputed daughter, and is constantly styled the first wife of Sir James, the conclusion seems irresistible that Margaret was a natural daughter.

Source: THE SCOTS PEERAGE, ed. by Sir James Balfour Paul, Vol VI , Edinburgh, 1906, pp. 344-50
Last Modified 30 Mar 2015Created 9 Jan 2017 using Reunion for Macintosh