Douglas family, Earls of Morton
This page summarises records created by this Family
The summary includes a brief description of the collection(s) (usually including the covering dates of the collection), the name of the archive where they are held, and reference information to help you find the collection.
In the Middle Ages the Douglas family owned extensive estates in Fife (Aberdour), Midlothian (Dalkeith), Berwickshire, Peeblesshire and elsewhere, and were created Earls of Morton in 1458. The 3rd Earl of Morton (d. 1550) was succeeded in his estates and title by his son-in-law James Douglas of Pittendriech, Regent of Scotland 1572-78, but in 1558 they reverted to the Douglases of Loch Leven (Kinross-shire).
Considerable sales of land took place in the 17th century, including Dalkeith to the Earl of Buccleuch in 1642 and Loch Leven to Sir William Bruce of Balcaskie (Fife), c.1670. The islands of Orkney and Shetland, however, were granted to the family in 1643. They were annexed by the Crown in 1669, regranted in 1707 and finally sold to the Dundas family in 1766 (see Dundas, Marquesses of Zetland). The Dalmahoy (Midlothian) estate was acquired in the mid 18th century and the Conaglen (Argyllshire) and Loddington (Leicestershire) estates probably for sporting purposes in the later 19th century.
Earlier but temporary accessions of property had come through marriages with the Hay family of Smithfield (Peeblesshire) in 1649 and the Halyburton family of Pitcur (Forfarshire) c.1730. The marriage of the 18th Earl to Helen Watson in 1844 explains the presence in the Morton archive of Watson of Saughton (Midlothian) records.
Estates in 1883: 49,814 acres in Argyllshire; 10,411 acres in Midlothian; 2,551 acres in Berwickshire; 1,644 acres in Fife; 91 acres in West Lothian; and 650 acres in Leicestershire; worth a total of £22,288 a year.
|Sources of authority:||Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts, Principal family and estate collections A-K, 1996, p. 47.|
|Name authority reference:||GB/NNAF/F82312 (Former ISAAR ref: GB/NNAF/F8027 )|