Archibald "Bell the Cat" Douglas, 5th Earl of Angus

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Archibald Douglas, 5th Earl of Angus

Also Known As: "Bell the Cat", "Bell The Cat Angus"
Birthdate: (64)
Birthplace: Kilmaurs, Ayrshire, Scotland
Death: Died in Tantallon Castle, North Berwick, East Lothian, Scotland
Cause of death: Heartbreak over death of his sons at the Battle of Flodden Field
Place of Burial: Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland
Immediate Family:

Son of George Douglas , 4th Earl of Angus and Isabel Sibbald of Balgony
Husband of Elizabeth Boyd and Katherine Stirling
Partner of Janet Kennedy, Lady Bothwell
Father of George Douglas, Master of Angus; Marion Douglas of Angus; Sir William Douglas of Glenbervie, Kt.; Gavin Douglas, Bishop Of Dunkeld; Sir Archibald Douglas of Kilspindie and 4 others
Brother of Elizabeth Douglas; Isabella Douglas; Janet Douglas of Angus; Margaret Douglas; John Douglas and 5 others
Half brother of John Carmichael of Meadowflat; Bartholomew Carmichael; James Carmichael, 2th of Balmedie, Whelphill and Folkarton; Elizabeth Carmichael, of Balmedie and Peter Carmichael

Occupation: Bell-the-Cat, the Great Earl, High Chancellor of Scotland., 5th Earl of Angus
Managed by: John Bryan Knapp
Last Updated:

About Archibald "Bell the Cat" Douglas, 5th Earl of Angus

Archibald Douglas, 5th Earl of Angus (1449 – 19 November 1513), became known as the "Great" Earl of Angus and, perhaps more famously, as "Bell the Cat".

Angus, born about 1449 at Tantallon Castle in East Lothian, succeeded his father, George the 4th earl, in 1462 or 1463.

In 1481, Angus became Warden of the east marches, but the next year he joined the league against James III and his favourite Robert Cochrane at Lauder. Here he earned his nickname by offering to "bell the cat" – specifically, to deal with Cochrane – beginning the attack upon him by pulling his gold chain off his neck, and then ordering the hanging of Cochrane and others of the king's favourites. (The phrase "to bell the cat" comes from one of Aesop's fables, "The Mice in Council", and refers to a dangerous task undertaken for the benefit of all.)

Subsequently he joined Alexander Stewart, 3rd Duke of Albany, in league with Edward IV of England on 11 February 1483, signing the convention at Westminster which acknowledged the overlordship of the English king. However, in March Albany and Angus returned, outwardly at least, to their allegiance, and received pardons for their treason.

Later, Angus became one of the leaders in the rebellion against James III in 1487 and 1488 which ended in the latter's death.

Angus became one of the guardians of the young king James IV. but soon lost influence, to the Homes and Hepburns, and the wardenship of the marches went to Alexander Home. Though outwardly on good terms with James, Angus treacherously made a treaty with Henry VII around 1489 or 1491, by which he undertook to govern his relations with James according to instructions from England. He also agreed to hand over Hermitage Castle, commanding the pass through Liddesdale into Scotland, on the condition of receiving English estates in compensation.

In October 1491 he fortified his castle of Tantallon against James, but had to submit and to exchange his Liddesdale estate and Hermitage Castle for the lordship of Bothwell.

In 1493 Angus again returned to favour, receiving various grants of lands. He became Chancellor, which office he retained till 1498. In 1501, in disgrace once more, he was confined to Dumbarton Castle. At the disaster at Flodden Field in 1513, though absent himself, Angus lost his two eldest sons. He won appointment as one of the councilors of Margaret Tudor the queen regent. He died at the close of this year, or in 1514.

Marriages and children

Angus married twice:

  • On 4 March 1468: Elizabeth (d. 1498), daughter of Robert Boyd, 1st Lord Boyd[4]
  • In the summer of 1500: Katherine Stirling, daughter of Sir William Stirling of Keir[4]
  • Janet, daughter of John Kennedy, 2nd Lord Kennedy, was one of his mistresses.[4]
  • 4. Norman Macdougall, ‘Douglas, Archibald , fifth earl of Angus (c.1449–1513)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004

Children by first marriage

Name Birth Death Notes

  • George Douglas, Master of Angus 1469 9 September 1513 married in March 1488, Lady Elizabeth Drummond; had issue, killed at the Battle of Flodden
  • Lady Mariot Douglas 1470 married Cuthbert Cunningham, 2nd Earl of Glencairn; had issue
  • Sir William Douglas 1471 9 September 1513 married Lady Elizabeth Auchinleck; had issue, killed at the Battle of Flodden
  • Gavin Douglas, Bishop of Dunkeld 1472
  • Lady Elizabeth Douglas 1474
  • Sir Archibald Douglas of Kilspindie 1475 Given the nickname Greysteil by James V
  • Lady Janet Douglas 1476

Children by ...

Name

  • Lady Mary Douglas
  • Archibald Douglas

References

  • incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.

Died 1467 or 1513? Check sources.

Old:

Angus married four times:

  • 1. Catherine Seton, a natural daughter of Alexander Gordon, 1st Earl of Huntly
  • 2. on 4 March 1467: Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Boyd, 1st Lord Boyd
  • 3. about 1498: Janet, daughter of John Kennedy, 2nd Lord Kennedy
  • 4. in 1500: Katherine Stirling.

Archibald Douglas, 5th Earl of Angus (Wikipedia)

Sir Archibald led the noble's rebellion against James III which ended in the defeat and death of the King at the Battle of Sauchieburn n 1488. When the nobles asked who was willing to lead the rebellion against the kind, Sir Archibald volunteered by saying "I will bell the cat". This earned him his nickname.


Archibald Douglas, 5th Earl of Angus was born circa 1453.1 He was the son of George Douglas, 4th Earl of Angus and Isabel Sibbald.1 He and Catherine Seton were engaged on 30 September 1461.1 He married, firstly, Elizabeth Boyd, daughter of Robert Boyd, 1st Lord Boyd of Kilmarnock and Mariot Maxwell, on 4 March 1467/68.1 He married, secondly, Janet Kennedy, daughter of John Kennedy, 2nd Lord Kennedy and Lady Elizabeth Gordon, circa 1498.1 He married, thirdly, Katherine Stirling, daughter of Sir William Stirling, 2nd of Keir and Margaret Crichton, on 1 June 1500.2 He and Katherine Stirling were separated before 1513.1 He died between 29 November 1513 and 31 January 1514 at Priory of St. Ninian, Galloway, Scotland.1

Archibald Douglas, 5th Earl of Angus also went by the nick-name of 'The Great Earl'.1 Archibald Douglas, 5th Earl of Angus also went by the nick-name of 'Bell the Cat' for his courage in initiating opposition to King James III's favourites at court.1 He succeeded to the title of 5th Earl of Angus [S., 1389] on 14 November 1462.1 He was created 1st Lord Douglas [Scotland] in 1475/76.3 He held the office of Warden of the East Marches on 11 April 1481.1 He was invested as a Privy Counsellor (P.C.).1 He held the office of High Chancellor [Scotland] between 1493 and 1498.1 His marriage to Janet Kennedy was annulled circa 1499.1 Cokayne writes that "his advice to the King against the fatal engagement at Flodden being insultingly received, he quitted the field shortly before the fight, bidding his two sons remain, both of whom were there slain, with their King."1

Children of Archibald Douglas, 5th Earl of Angus and Elizabeth Boyd:

George Douglas, Master of Angus+ b. c 1469, d. 9 Sep 1513

Sir William Douglas+ b. bt 1470 - 1475, d. 9 Sep 1513

Lady Marion Douglas+ b. bt 1470 - 1477

Elizabeth Douglas b. bt 1471 - 1478

Janet Douglas b. bt 1472 - 1480

Gavin Douglas b. c 1475, d. Sep 1522

Sir Archibald Douglas b. a 1475, d. c 1536

Citations

[S6] G.E. Cokayne; with Vicary Gibbs, H.A. Doubleday, Geoffrey H. White, Duncan Warrand and Lord Howard de Walden, editors, The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct or Dormant, new ed., 13 volumes in 14 (1910-1959; reprint in 6 volumes, Gloucester, U.K.: Alan Sutton Publishing, 2000), volume I, page 156. Hereinafter cited as The Complete Peerage.

[S8] Charles Mosley, editor, Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 106th edition, 2 volumes (Crans, Switzerland: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 1999), volume 1, page 1283. Hereinafter cited as Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 106th edition.

[S37] Charles Mosley, editor, Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, 3 volumes (Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A.: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 2003), volume 2, page 1742. Hereinafter cited as Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 107th edition.

[S6] Cokayne, and others, The Complete Peerage, volume I, page 157.

[S6] Cokayne, and others, The Complete Peerage, volume I, page 159.


Angus, born about 1449 at Tantallon Castle in East Lothian, succeeded his father, George the 4th earl, in 1462 or 1463.

In 1481, Angus became Warden of the east marches, but the next year he joined the league against James III and his favourite Robert Cochrane at Lauder. Here he earned his nickname by offering to "bell the cat" – specifically, to deal with Cochrane – beginning the attack upon him by pulling his gold chain off his neck, and then ordering the hanging of Cochrane and others of the king's favourites. (The phrase "to bell the cat" comes from one of Aesop's fables, "The Mice in Council", and refers to a dangerous task undertaken for the benefit of all.)

Subsequently he joined Alexander Stewart, 3rd Duke of Albany, in league with Edward IV of England on 11 February 1483, signing the convention at Westminster which acknowledged the overlordship of the English king. However, in March Albany and Angus returned, outwardly at least, to their allegiance, and received pardons for their treason.

Later, Angus became one of the leaders in the rebellion against James III in 1487 and 1488 which ended in the latter's death.

Angus became one of the guardians of the young king James IV. but soon lost influence, to the Homes and Hepburns, and the wardenship of the marches went to Alexander Home. Though outwardly on good terms with James, Angus treacherously made a treaty with Henry VII around 1489 or 1491, by which he undertook to govern his relations with James according to instructions from England. He also agreed to hand over Hermitage Castle, commanding the pass through Liddesdale into Scotland, on the condition of receiving English estates in compensation.

In October 1491 he fortified his castle of Tantallon against James, but had to submit and to exchange his Liddesdale estate and Hermitage Castle for the lordship of Bothwell.

In 1493 Angus again returned to favour, receiving various grants of lands. He became Chancellor, which office he retained till 1498. In 1501, in disgrace once more, he was confined to Dumbarton Castle. At the disaster at Flodden Field in 1513, though absent himself, Angus lost his two eldest sons. He won appointment as one of the councilors of Margaret Tudor the queen regent. He died at the close of this year, or in 1514


Archibald Douglas, 5th Earl of Angus


Archibald, Earl of Angus, (then Chamberlain) had the greatest power in the state.
5th Earl of Angus

Archibald Douglas, 5th Earl of Angus (1449 – 19 November 1513), became known as the "Great" Earl of Angus and, perhaps more famously, as "Bell the Cat".

Angus, born about 1449 at Tantallon Castle in East Lothian, succeeded his father, George the 4th earl, in 1462 or 1463.

In 1481, Angus became Warden of the east marches, but the next year he joined the league against James III and his favourite Robert Cochrane at Lauder. Here he earned his nickname by offering to "bell the cat" – specifically, to deal with Cochrane – beginning the attack upon him by pulling his gold chain off his neck, and then ordering the hanging of Cochrane and others of the king's favourites. (The phrase "to bell the cat" comes from one of Aesop's fables, "The Mice in Council", and refers to a dangerous task undertaken for the benefit of all.)

Subsequently he joined Alexander Stewart, 3rd Duke of Albany, in league with Edward IV of England on 11 February 1483, signing the convention at Westminster which acknowledged the overlordship of the English king. However, in March Albany and Angus returned, outwardly at least, to their allegiance, and received pardons for their treason.

Later, Angus became one of the leaders in the rebellion against James III in 1487 and 1488 which ended in the latter's death.

Angus became one of the guardians of the young king James IV. but soon lost influence, to the Homes and Hepburns, and the wardenship of the marches went to Alexander Home. Though outwardly on good terms with James, Angus treacherously made a treaty with Henry VII around 1489 or 1491, by which he undertook to govern his relations with James according to instructions from England. He also agreed to hand over Hermitage Castle, commanding the pass through Liddesdale into Scotland, on the condition of receiving English estates in compensation.

In October 1491 he fortified his castle of Tantallon against James, but had to submit and to exchange his Liddesdale estate and Hermitage Castle for the lordship of Bothwell.

In 1493 Angus again returned to favour, receiving various grants of lands. He became Chancellor, which office he retained till 1498. In 1501, in disgrace once more, he was confined to Dumbarton Castle. At the disaster at Flodden Field in 1513, though absent himself, Angus lost his two eldest sons. He won appointment as one of the councilors of Margaret Tudor the queen regent. He died at the close of this year, or in 1514.

Marriages and children

Angus married twice: •On 4 March 1468: Elizabeth (d. 1498), daughter of Robert Boyd, 1st Lord Boyd[4] •In the summer of 1500: Katherine Stirling, daughter of Sir William Stirling of Keir[4] •Janet, daughter of John Kennedy, 2nd Lord Kennedy, was one of his mistresses.[4] •4. Norman Macdougall, ‘Douglas, Archibald , fifth earl of Angus (c.1449–1513)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004

Children by first marriage

Name Birth Death Notes •George Douglas, Master of Angus 1469 9 September 1513 married in March 1488, Lady Elizabeth Drummond; had issue, killed at the Battle of Flodden •Lady Mariot Douglas 1470 married Cuthbert Cunningham, 2nd Earl of Glencairn; had issue •Sir William Douglas 1471 9 September 1513 married Lady Elizabeth Auchinleck; had issue, killed at the Battle of Flodden •Gavin Douglas, Bishop of Dunkeld 1472 •Lady Elizabeth Douglas 1474 •Sir Archibald Douglas of Kilspindie 1475 Given the nickname Greysteil by James V •Lady Janet Douglas 1476

Children by ...

Name •Lady Mary Douglas •Archibald Douglas

References •incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.

Died 1467 or 1513? Check sources.

Old:

Angus married four times: •1. Catherine Seton, a natural daughter of Alexander Gordon, 1st Earl of Huntly •2. on 4 March 1467: Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Boyd, 1st Lord Boyd •3. about 1498: Janet, daughter of John Kennedy, 2nd Lord Kennedy •4. in 1500: Katherine Stirling.

Archibald Douglas, 5th Earl of Angus (Wikipedia)

Sir Archibald led the noble's rebellion against James III which ended in the defeat and death of the King at the Battle of Sauchieburn n 1488. When the nobles asked who was willing to lead the rebellion against the kind, Sir Archibald volunteered by saying "I will bell the cat". This earned him his nickname.

Archibald Douglas, 5th Earl of Angus was born circa 1453.1 He was the son of George Douglas, 4th Earl of Angus and Isabel Sibbald.1 He and Catherine Seton were engaged on 30 September 1461.1 He married, firstly, Elizabeth Boyd, daughter of Robert Boyd, 1st Lord Boyd of Kilmarnock and Mariot Maxwell, on 4 March 1467/68.1 He married, secondly, Janet Kennedy, daughter of John Kennedy, 2nd Lord Kennedy and Lady Elizabeth Gordon, circa 1498.1 He married, thirdly, Katherine Stirling, daughter of Sir William Stirling, 2nd of Keir and Margaret Crichton, on 1 June 1500.2 He and Katherine Stirling were separated before 1513.1 He died between 29 November 1513 and 31 January 1514 at Priory of St. Ninian, Galloway, Scotland.1

Archibald Douglas, 5th Earl of Angus also went by the nick-name of 'The Great Earl'.1 Archibald Douglas, 5th Earl of Angus also went by the nick-name of 'Bell the Cat' for his courage in initiating opposition to King James III's favourites at court.1 He succeeded to the title of 5th Earl of Angus [S., 1389] on 14 November 1462.1 He was created 1st Lord Douglas [Scotland] in 1475/76.3 He held the office of Warden of the East Marches on 11 April 1481.1 He was invested as a Privy Counsellor (P.C.).1 He held the office of High Chancellor [Scotland] between 1493 and 1498.1 His marriage to Janet Kennedy was annulled circa 1499.1 Cokayne writes that "his advice to the King against the fatal engagement at Flodden being insultingly received, he quitted the field shortly before the fight, bidding his two sons remain, both of whom were there slain, with their King."1

Children of Archibald Douglas, 5th Earl of Angus and Elizabeth Boyd:

George Douglas, Master of Angus+ b. c 1469, d. 9 Sep 1513

Sir William Douglas+ b. bt 1470 - 1475, d. 9 Sep 1513

Lady Marion Douglas+ b. bt 1470 - 1477

Elizabeth Douglas b. bt 1471 - 1478

Janet Douglas b. bt 1472 - 1480

Gavin Douglas b. c 1475, d. Sep 1522

Sir Archibald Douglas b. a 1475, d. c 1536

Citations

[S6] G.E. Cokayne; with Vicary Gibbs, H.A. Doubleday, Geoffrey H. White, Duncan Warrand and Lord Howard de Walden, editors, The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct or Dormant, new ed., 13 volumes in 14 (1910-1959; reprint in 6 volumes, Gloucester, U.K.: Alan Sutton Publishing, 2000), volume I, page 156. Hereinafter cited as The Complete Peerage.

[S8] Charles Mosley, editor, Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 106th edition, 2 volumes (Crans, Switzerland: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 1999), volume 1, page 1283. Hereinafter cited as Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 106th edition.

[S37] Charles Mosley, editor, Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, 3 volumes (Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A.: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 2003), volume 2, page 1742. Hereinafter cited as Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 107th edition.

[S6] Cokayne, and others, The Complete Peerage, volume I, page 157.

[S6] Cokayne, and others, The Complete Peerage, volume I, page 159.

Angus, born about 1449 at Tantallon Castle in East Lothian, succeeded his father, George the 4th earl, in 1462 or 1463.

In 1481, Angus became Warden of the east marches, but the next year he joined the league against James III and his favourite Robert Cochrane at Lauder. Here he earned his nickname by offering to "bell the cat" – specifically, to deal with Cochrane – beginning the attack upon him by pulling his gold chain off his neck, and then ordering the hanging of Cochrane and others of the king's favourites. (The phrase "to bell the cat" comes from one of Aesop's fables, "The Mice in Council", and refers to a dangerous task undertaken for the benefit of all.)

Subsequently he joined Alexander Stewart, 3rd Duke of Albany, in league with Edward IV of England on 11 February 1483, signing the convention at Westminster which acknowledged the overlordship of the English king. However, in March Albany and Angus returned, outwardly at least, to their allegiance, and received pardons for their treason.

Later, Angus became one of the leaders in the rebellion against James III in 1487 and 1488 which ended in the latter's death.

Angus became one of the guardians of the young king James IV. but soon lost influence, to the Homes and Hepburns, and the wardenship of the marches went to Alexander Home. Though outwardly on good terms with James, Angus treacherously made a treaty with Henry VII around 1489 or 1491, by which he undertook to govern his relations with James according to instructions from England. He also agreed to hand over Hermitage Castle, commanding the pass through Liddesdale into Scotland, on the condition of receiving English estates in compensation.

In October 1491 he fortified his castle of Tantallon against James, but had to submit and to exchange his Liddesdale estate and Hermitage Castle for the lordship of Bothwell.

In 1493 Angus again returned to favour, receiving various grants of lands. He became Chancellor, which office he retained till 1498. In 1501, in disgrace once more, he was confined to Dumbarton Castle. At the disaster at Flodden Field in 1513, though absent himself, Angus lost his two eldest sons. He won appointment as one of the councilors of Margaret Tudor the queen regent. He died at the close of this year, or in 1514

Archibald Douglas, 5th Earl of Angus

Archibald, Earl of Angus, (then Chamberlain) had the greatest power in the state. 5th Earl of Angus

•Updated from WikiTree Genealogy via mother Isabel 'Isobel' Douglas (born Sibbald aka Carmichael) by SmartCopy: Jul 21 2015, 20:40:30 UTC •Archibald Douglas, 5th Earl of Angus From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia •Whithorn Priory From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Archibald "Bell the Cat" Douglas, 5th Earl of Angus's Timeline

1449
October 16, 1449
Kilmaurs, Ayrshire, Scotland
1469
March 8, 1469
Age 19
Kilmaurs, East Ayrshire, Scotland
1469
Age 19
North Berwick, East Lothian, Scotland, United Kingdom
1471
1471
Age 21
Kincardineshire, Scotland
1472
1472
Age 22
Scotland
1474
1474
Age 24
Scotland
1475
1475
Age 25
Scotland
1476
1476
Age 26
Scotland
1497
1497
Age 47