Archibald, 1st Baron Douglas

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Archibald James Edward Stewart

Also Known As: "Archibald James Edward Steuart"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Fauboug St. Germain, Paris, Paris, Île-de-France, France
Death: Died in Lanarkshire, Scotland
Immediate Family:

Son of Sir John Stewart, 15th of Grandtully, 3rd Baronet and Lady Jane Douglas
Husband of Lucy Douglas and Lady Frances Scott
Father of Jane Margaret Montagu; Sholto-Scott Douglas; Baron James Douglas IV of Douglas; George Douglas; Caroline-Lucy Douglas and 2 others
Brother of Sholto Thomas Stewart
Half brother of Sir John Stewart, 16th of Grandtully, 4th Baronet

Occupation: Politician
Managed by: Douglas John Nimmo
Last Updated:

About Archibald, 1st Baron Douglas

He was born Archibald James Edward Stewart, in Paris, the twin son of Sir John Stewart, 3rd Baronet (1687–1764) and Lady Jane Douglas (1698–1753), daughter of James Douglas, 2nd Marquess of Douglas.[1] The circumstances of the birth were controversial. Lady Jane Douglas was the sister of the wealthy Duke of Douglas. As he was childless, his estate would pass to the next in line, the Duke of Hamilton, unless an heir could be found.[2] Lady Jane was 47 when she married the 60-year-old Colonel Sir John Stewart, a man described by her brother, the Duke of Douglas, as a 'wore-out old rake'. In the summer of 1748 in Paris, by which time she was 50, Lady Jane gave birth to twin boys - Archibald and Sholto.

The Douglas Cause

One of the eighteenth century's most famous legal battles was the Douglas cause. Archibald's inheritance was challenged by the Hamiltons, who argued that he and his brother were supposititious. The Hamilton lawyers put together a plausible circumstantial argument that Archibald was actually Jacques Louis Mignon, the son of a Parisian glassworker, who had disappeared in July 1748. The case was litigated at great length and expense (the two sides spent £54,000 between them). It attracted tremendous interest, especially in Scotland. Not only was a large estate at stake, but many felt that requiring Archibald Douglas to in effect prove his identity raised a question that could endanger the security of inheritance in general. In Scotland the Douglas side enjoyed broad popular support, with James Boswell an especially eager partisan, though many of the literati favoured the Hamilton side. In 1767 the court of session decided by the casting vote of the lord president against Douglas. Douglas appealed to the House of Lords which, following the opinions of law lords Mansfield and Camden, reversed the decision without a division.

Lord Douglas married first (1771) Lady Lucy Graham (1751–1780), daughter of the 2nd Duke of Montrose, and secondly (1783) Lady Frances Scott (1750–1817), sister of the 3rd Duke of Buccleuch.[6] He had nine children (five sons and four daughters, most of whom reached old age). Douglas died on 26 December 1827 at Bothwell Castle, Lanarkshire. He was buried in Douglas parish church in the same county. He was succeeded by his sons Archibald (1773–1844) as 2nd Baron Douglas of Douglas, Charles (1775–1848) as 3rd Baron and Rev. James (1787–1857) as 4th Baron, on whose death, the Barony of Douglas of Douglas became extinct.

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Archibald, 1st Baron Douglas's Timeline

1748
July 10, 1748
Paris, Paris, Île-de-France, France
1779
1779
Age 30
1785
1785
Age 36
1787
July 9, 1787
Age 38
1788
August 2, 1788
Age 40
1827
December 26, 1827
Age 79
Lanarkshire, Scotland
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