James Douglas, 4th Earl of Morton; Regent of Scotland

Is your surname Douglas?

Research the Douglas family

James Douglas, 4th Earl of Morton; Regent of Scotland's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!


James Douglas, 4th Earl of Morton; Regent of Scotland

Birthplace: Pittendriech, Elgin, Morayshire, Scotland
Death: Died in Edinburgh, Lothian, Scotland
Cause of death: executed
Place of Burial: Edinburgh, Lothian, Scotland, UK
Immediate Family:

Son of George Douglas of Pittendreich and Elizabeth Douglas
Husband of Elizabeth Douglas
Partner of unknown mistress of James Douglas and wife of Capt. Cullen
Father of James Douglas of Spott; Archibald Douglas of Pittendriech; George Douglas and William Douglas of Mosshouses
Brother of David Douglas, 7th Earl of Angus and Martha Douglas

Managed by: Erica "the Disconnectrix" Howton
Last Updated:

About James Douglas, 4th Earl of Morton; Regent of Scotland

Wikipedia Biographical Summary

"James Douglas, jure uxoris 4th Earl of Morton (c. 1516 – 2 June 1581) was the last of the four regents of Scotland during the minority of King James VI. He was in some ways the most successful of the four, since he did manage to win the civil war which had been dragging on with the supporters of the exiled Mary, Queen of Scots. However, he came to an unfortunate end—he was executed by means of the Maiden, a primitive guillotine, which he himself had introduced to Scotland during his time as regent...

...James Douglas was the second son of Sir George Douglas of Pittendreich, Master of Angus, and Elizabeth Douglas, daughter David Douglas of Pittendreich. He wrote that he was over 61 years old in March 1578, so was probably born around 1516. Before 1543 he married Elizabeth, daughter of James Douglas, 3rd Earl of Morton. In 1553 James Douglas succeeded to the title and estates of his father-in-law, including Dalkeith House in Midlothian, and Aberdour Castle in Fife. Elizabeth Douglas and her two elder sisters, who were married to Regent Arran and Lord Maxwell, suffered from mental ill-health. Their children either did not survive to adulthood, or in the case of three daughters were declared legally incompetent in 1581. James also had five illegitimate children."

SOURCE: Wikipedia contributors, 'James Douglas, 4th Earl of Morton', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 7 November 2012, 15:46 UTC, <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=James_Douglas,_4th_Earl_of_Morton&oldid=521838437> [accessed 10 November 2012]

More biography here: [http://www.electricscotland.com/history/other/douglas_james2.htm Significant Scots: James Douglas]


  1. A History of the House of Douglas from the Earliest Times Down to the Legislative Union of England & Scotland, Hon. Sir Herbert Maxwell, (Freemantle & Co. 217 Piccadilly W., 1902 Original, 2 volume set, property of Hon. Hew Hamilton-Dalrymple 1888- vg), v.1 p.285 (Reliability: 3). "Morton has never been a favourite with historians. It has been his fate always to appear in contrast with the inspiring and pathetic figure of Mary Queen of Scots; and although, like her, he ended his days on the scaffold, none of the glamour of a lost cause falls upon him, wherefore his faults loom more darkly, his merits shine less brightly, than is altogether just to his memory."
view all

James Douglas, 4th Earl of Morton; Regent of Scotland's Timeline

Elgin, Morayshire, Scotland
Age 42
Age 46
Lasswade, Midlothian, Scotland
June 2, 1581
Age 65
Edinburgh, Lothian, Scotland
June 2, 1581
Age 65
Edinburgh, Lothian, Scotland, UK