Douglas Clan

Clan Douglas

Crest: A green salamander encircled with flames. Motto: Jamais arriere (Never behind).

Clan Douglas of Berwick, Scotland were first recorded when William de Dufglas who, between 1175 and 1199, witnessed a charter by the Bishop of Glasgow to monks of Kelso. Sir William de Douglas, the third laird, had two sons who fought against the Norsemen at the Battle of Largs in 1263. William Douglas ‘The Hardy’ was governor of Berwick, and was taken prisoner by the English, being released when he recognized Edward I as overlord of Scotland. He later joined William Wallace and was captured again, dying in England in 1302. Sir James Douglas, founder of the Black Douglases was killed in battle in Spain in 1330, carrying the heart of King Robert the Bruce to the Holy land. The casket containing Bruce’s heart was returned to Scotland and interred in Melrose Abbey.

His great nephew, the second Earl of Douglas, gained great wealth and prestige by marrying a Stewart princess, but died in victory at Otterburn in 1388. Sir James’ ‘illegitimate son, Archibald ‘The Grim’, was third Earl. He defended Edinburgh Castle against Henry IV of England in 1400, dying a year later. Archibald, the fourth Earl, married James I’s sister in 1437, on James I’s death, and was one of the council of regents, and later lieutenant general of the kingdom. He and his son were killed fighting the English in France. In the early fifteenth century the Douglases had become so powerful they were seen as a threat to the nation’s stability. In 1440 the sixth Earl and his brother were invited to dine at Edinburgh Castle with ten-year-old James II. A black bull’s head, a symbol of death, was brought in. The Douglas boys were dragged away and beheaded after a mock trial. The ninth Earl spent much of his life in England, when he returned to Scotland in 1484 with a small army to recover his possessions. He was caught and confined to Lindores Abbey where he died in 1491, the last in his line.

Sir James’ nephew George became the first Earl of Angus and was the first of the ‘Red Douglases’. He also married a Stewart princess, and the Red Douglases rose to great prominence, largely due to the success of Archibald, fifth Earl of Angus, known as ‘Bell the Cat’, a nickname gained in 1482, who became Lord Chancellor of Scotland. His grandson, the sixth Earl, made himself guardian of James V by marrying his widowed mother, Margaret Tudor. He was still taking the field against the English at over sixty.

James, Earl of Morton, younger brother of the seventh Earl, was a bitter enemy of Mary Queen of Scots, and one of the murderers of her secretary David Rizzio. He was also implicated in the assassination of her second husband. A brutally effective regent during the infancy of James VI, he fell from power in 1581 and was executed. William, eleventh Earl of Angus, first Marquis of Douglas was a supporter of Charles I during the civil wars. Created Marquis in 1633, he lived in style at Douglas Castle. He joined Montrose after the Battle of Kilsyth in 1645 and was present when Royalists forces were surprised by Covenanter cavalry at Philiphaugh, barely escaping with his life. He made peace with Cromwell’s government, but was fined £1,000.

William, brother of the second Marquis became Duke of Hamilton through marriage in 1660. The titles of Marquis of Douglas, Earl of Angus and several others were to devolve on the Dukes of Hamilton and his eldest son and heir, as ‘Marquis of Douglas and Clydesdale’. Other branches include the Earls of Morton and the Marquises of Queensbury, who gave name to the rules of boxing.

The Douglas-Hamiltons are the male heirs of the house of Douglas, but are barred under the Lord Lyon Court rules from taking the chieftain ship because of their hyphenated surname.

Douglas Crest

Douglas Clan - Tartan, actual size

This flag style would typically be flown outdoors or on a vertical or angled flagpole or on display indoors on an indoor flagpole.
This is our most-popular selling design
(137cm x 69cm)

This flag is designed to be flown on a flagpole set at a 45 degree angle perhaps on the side of a house or office. When hug in this manner the crest will hang parallel to the building and the clan crest will show clearly.
(69cm x 137cm)

This flag can be used indoors or outdoors.  Perhaps above a fireplace or bar or hung on a wall like a tapestry.  If used outdoors it will hang parallel to the building on a horizontal flagpole. 
(69cm x 102cm)