|Cavers castle ruins|
Sir Archibald Douglas, 1st of Cavers
William Douglas, 2nd of Cavers
Sir Archibald Douglas, 3rd of Cavers
Sir William Douglas, 4th of Cavers
Sir James Douglas, 5th of Cavers
Sir James Douglas, 6th of Cavers
Sir William Douglas, 7th of Cavers
Sir James Douglas, 8th of Cavers
Sir William Douglas, 9th of Cavers
Sir Achibald Douglas, 10th of Cavers
Sir William Douglas, 11th of Cavers
Sir William Douglas, 12th of Cavers
Sir Archibald Douglas, 13th of Cavers
Sir William Douglas, 14th of Cavers
Sir Archibald Douglas, 15th of Cavers
Sir James Douglas, 16th of Cavers
Sir John Douglas, 17th of Cavers
Sir Thomas Douglas, 18th of Cavers
Sir James Douglas, ?th of Cavers
|Douglas Clan Crest|
• Douglas Clan Crest: On a chapeau [French for hat/helmet], a green salamander surrounded by fire.
• Douglas Clan Motto: Jamais Arriere (Never behind)
• Douglas Clan History: The first of the name to be recorded is William de Douglas, who lived in the 12th century and witnessed a Charter by the Bishop of Glasgow, and a second Charter from William the Lion, around the year 1200. In 1263, two sons of Sir William de Douglas fought for Alexander III against the Norse at the Battle of Largs. Having been held prisoner by the English, William Douglas, Governor of Berwick, was a follower of Sir William Wallace in the ongoing conflict for Scottish independence. Sir James 'The Good' Douglas, son of William and Founder of the Black Douglas Dynasty, was a supporter of Robert the Bruce and was knighted on the eve of the Battle of Bannockburn. It was he who led the group of nobles who carried the Bruce's heart on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. He was killed at the Battle of Teba in Spain in 1330.
Shortly after the defeat of the English in Jedburgh Forest (~1300), a Gascon knight, named Edmund de Cailou, governor of Berwick, made an inroad into Teviotdale, but while returning through the Merse loaded with spoil, he was attacked by Douglas and killed, along with most of his men. A similar fate befell Sir Robert Neville, who at that time resided in Berwick. He boasted of his willingness to encounter this puissant Scottish leader if he would display his banner before that renowned stronghold. On receiving notice of this bravado, Douglas marched to the neighbourhood of Berwick, and sent out a detachment to burn some villages within sight of the garrison. An obstinate engagement ensued, in which the more numerous English were defeated with the loss of their leader, who was slain in a hand-to-hand encounter with Douglas, and Sir Ralph Neville and various other persons of distinction were taken prisoners. In consequence of these and other similar exploits, Sir James excited such dread among the enemies of his country that all along the Borders the English mothers were accustomed to quiet their children by threatening that they 'would make the Black Douglas take them.'
Douglas Coat of Arms -- borne by all the generations sucessive to Sir James Douglas
Before he died in 1329, King Robert made it his last request that Sir James, as his oldest and most esteemed companion in arms, should carry his heart to the holy land, and deposit it in the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem. His heart was placed in a silver and enameled casket which Douglas placed around his neck. Early in 1330, James Douglas set sail from Scotland with six other knights and twenty six squires and gentlemen. They stopped in Flanders, and joined a crusade by Alfonso XI of Castile against the Muslims of the kingdom of Granada. Douglas and almost all of the men were slain here; his body and the casket containing the embalmed heart of Bruce were found together upon the field, and were conveyed back to Scotland. The remains of Douglas were deposited in the family vault at St Bride’s chapel, and the heart of King Robert the Bruce solemnly interred under the high altar of Melrose Abbey.
Sir James's younger brother, Sir Archibald, was Guardian of the Realm in the minority of David II, and Sir James's nephew, Sir William, was created 1st Earl of Douglas in 1358. He granted the advowson of the church of Caevers to the Monks of Melrose, in whose abbey he was interred in 1384. After the Reformation (1517-1648), the patronage of Cavers Church was granted to Douglas of Cavers.
Sir James Douglas (b.~1358), 2nd Earl of Douglas, was an influential and powerful magnate in the Kingdom of Scotland. He married Isabel Stewart, daughter of King Robert II, and died at the Battle of Otterburn in 1388, age 30, and was buried at Melrose. He left no legitimate male heir so the earldom and entailed estates of Douglas reverted to Archibald "The Grim" Douglas, cousin of the 1st Earl, and a natural son of the "Good" Sir James Douglas.
However, Sir James' widow, Isabel Stewart, Countess of Mar, behaved handsomely to her husband's three "natural" children (bastards), bestowing the lands of Cavers upon Archibald and the lands of Drumlanrig to his older brother William. [In 1398 the first Scottish dukes were created. Hitherto the title of earl (laird) had been the highest secular dignity under the monarch.] However, she did so without obtaining the necessary assent and sanction of the King, who decided to confer them upon Sir David Fleeming of Biggar, along with the sheriffwick of Roxburghshire. More than displeased, Sir William Douglas locked up Sir Alexander Ramsay of Dalwolsy, a former sheriff, in the Castle of Hermitage, and there "immured in the dungeon till he died of want." Sir James Douglas, second son of Archibald Earl of Douglas, assassinated Sir David Fleeming at Longherdmanston in 1406. After this the lands of Cavers, together with the hereditary sheriffship of Roxburghshire, were possessed by the family of Douglas till the abolition of the heritable jurisdictions.
1. Archibald Douglas (~1370s-~1435),1st of Cavers, married Margaret Unknown, and had 1 known child, William, 2nd of Cavers.
By the 1420s, the seemingly limitless power of the Douglas family in Scotland was causing concern to supporters of their Stewart cousins. The 4th Earl of Douglas, (another) Archibald Douglas married Margaret Stewart, James I's sister, became Duke of Touraine, and on the King's death became Lieutenant General of the Kingdom. A cousin, Sir George Douglas, 1st Earl of Angus, founder of the "Red" Douglas Dynasty, married Mary Stewart, daughter of Robert III in 1397. In 1440, the young 6th Earl of Douglas and his brother were invited to dine with the 10-year-old James II at Edinburgh Castle, whereupon they were accused of treason and executed. Twelve years later, the 8th Earl was invited to Stirling Castle by the King and he too was murdered.
2. William Douglas (~1400-1464), 2nd of Cavers, married Unknown, and had a son Archibald, 3rd of Cavers, and a daughter unknown who married Andrew Ker of Cessford and Auldtounburn.
Last of the Black Douglases. In 1455, Sir James Douglas, 9th Earl, together with his three brothers proclaimed King James II a false and perjured man, and proceeded to pillage and burn the town of Stirling, and unsuccessfully besiege the castle. Sir James then entered into a treasonable correspondence with the English Government, and swore allegiance to the English King. On receiving intelligence of these intrigues, King James II called a meeting of Parliament, which declared it was lawful for the King to put Earl of Douglas to death as a rebel, his mother and brothers were also declared traitors, their estates were forfeited to the Crown and were shortly afterwards distributed among the barons who opportunely deserted the Douglas side and joined the King. Assembling a powerful army, the King marched in person against the rebellious baron, intent upon a complete overthrow of the house of Douglas, burning and ravaging his estates, dismantling their strongholds -- Douglas Castle, and the fortresses of Strathaven, Thrieve, Lochendorb, and Darnaway. While the Earl of Douglas had fled into England, his three brothers, the Earls of Ormond and Moray and Lord Balveny, collected a numerous army on the Borders and plundered and laid waste to the country, until they were defeated and killed. (The former Sir) James remained exiled in England for nearly thirty years. After an additional five years of exiled retirement in Lindores Abbey, the Earl died in 1488, and with him expired the main line of the great house of Douglas whose rank and power, which had been gained by the unwavering loyalty and invaluable services of its founders and early heads, were forfeited through the ambition and treasonable practices of its later chiefs. The earldom had lasted for ninety-eight years (1358-1455), making an average of only eleven years to each possessor of the title.
3. Archibald Douglas (~1430s-1486), 3rd of Cavers, married Unknown, and had a son William Douglas, 4th of Cavers, and a daughter Elizabeth Douglas who married Sir Alexander Stewart, 3rd of Garlies.
The "Red Dynasty" continued. In 1482, Archibald, 5th Earl of Angus, achieved notoriety for murdering the favourites of James II in an incident at Lauder, earning himself the title of 'Bell the Cat.' He subsequently was appointed Lord Chancellor of Scotland, and his grandson, the 6th Earl of Angus, became Guardian of James V, when he married the King's mother, Queen Margaret, widow of James IV. Their daughter was Lady Margaret Douglas, who married the Earl of Lennox. Their grandson, Henry Stuart Lord Darnley, married Mary Queen of Scots in 1565 (his cousin -- both Catholics) and was the father of James VI of Scotland, I of England.
4. William Douglas (~1460s-1506), 4th of Cavers, married Unknown, and had a son William (predeceased) and a son James 5th of Cavers.
1500 May 26. CHARTER by Sir WILLIAM DOUGLAS of Cavers, in favour of ANDREW KER of Over Crailing, of the half part of the lands of Feoroule. A notarial copy, on paper, made by PATRICK ATZENSONE, Notary. To all who shall see this charter, William Douglas laird of the barony of Cavers knight and sheriff of Roxburgh, Greeting in Godeverlasting. Know that I have given, granted and by this my present charter confirmed, as I by this my present charter give, grant and confirm to an honest man Andree Ker of Uvir Crailing all and sundry the land of the half part lands of Fewruele with tenants, tenandries andservice of free tenants of the foresaid half part lands with pertinents, lying within the barony of Cavers and sheriffdom of Roxburghe. ... Paying therefor annually the said Andrew Ker & his heirs the annual suits at the courts of the foresaid barony of Cavers, Reserving to me and my heirs the marriage of the heirs of the said Andrew Ker in place of all other exactions secular service or demands which could in any way be exacted or required for the half part lands with pertinents tenantstenandries and service of free tenants. In witness hereof my seal is appended to this my present charter At Jedworth the 26th day of May 1500 before these witnesses George Douglas and Sir Walter Douglas vicar of Hassenden my uncles and Archibald Douglas. Copy certified by Patrick Atzensone, Notary public.5. James Douglas (~1500-1545), 5th of Cavers, married in 1537 Elizabeth Murray, daughter of John Murray of Falahil, and had three sons: (a) son James, 6th of Cavers, (b) William Douglas, 1st of Friarshaw (who married Eufame Davidson and died 1575), and (c) Robert Douglas.
Archibald Douglas 13th of Cavers came from an ancient Roxburghshire family with a strong Covenanting tradition. His father William Douglas 11th of Cavers had been deprived of the hereditary sheriffdom on account of his opposition to the court, and his mother, Katherine Rigg the reputed 'good Lady Cavers', was imprisoned in Stirling Castle in November 1682. She was only released permanently in December 1684, when, upon being given the choice of conforming or leaving the country, she took up residence in England. The family's status naturally revived with the Revolution, whereupon the heritable jurisdiction of Roxburghshire was restored. Douglas succeeded his elder brother to the sheriffdom and the estate of Cavers in 1698. Prior to the Union of Scotland and England (1701), Douglas had been able to return himself as one of Roxburghshire's four representatitves to the Scottish parliament. In his electoral capacity, he consistently opposed the Rosburghe interest both in the Scottish and British Parliaments. Repeated successes prompted his son William to remark with pardonable exaggeration in 1712 that "you have it in your hands to make the Member for the county." --Source: "The House of Commons, 1690-1715"
Stirling Castle (in Stirlingshire) dating from 14th century -- the scene of much royal intrigue. King James II murdered the 8th Earl of Douglas and tossed his body from a window in 1452 -- childhood home of Mary Queen of Scots in 1540s -- Lady Katherine Rigg Douglas imprisoned here 1682.
----- (OPRs births and marriages start 1694) -----
12. Archibald Douglas (~1667-1741), 13th of Cavers, married Anna Scott, daughter of Francis Scott of Gorrenberry, Roxburghsire, and had four sons, all who suceeded, and all of whom had no issue: (a) William Douglas (~1690s-1748), 14th of Cavers, (b) Archibald Douglas (~1690s-1774), 15th of Cavers, who married Elizabeth Scott, daughter of Hugh Scott of Gala, (c) James Douglas (~1700-1780), 16th of Cavers, who married Jean Halyburton, daughter of Halyburton of Pitcur, and (d) John Douglas (~1700s-1786), 17th of Cavers, who married Ann Scott, daughter of Hugh Scott of Gala.
(Elizabeth Douglas of Cavers, b. 1678, married Lord "Andrew Hume of Kimmerghame in Apr 1700 -- no idea whose daughter she is)
13. The sheriffdom now passed to a cousin: Thomas Douglas (1677- ), 18th of Cavers, married Jean Pringle -- check this too -- seems like it was his father Thomas was too young to have a child born circa 1677. And that this Thomas, if born 1677 upon his father's death, would be too old to take over in 1786 on his cousin's death -- hmmmm, at age 109????? Think at least one generation skipped here.
?? James married Mary Graham Agnew, daughter of Sir Andrew Agnew of Lochnaw on 1858/6/23, and died without issue. -- apparent last one
(Source: "The Heraldry of the Douglases" by G. Harvey Johnston)
The ancestry of Margaret Douglas, daughter of Thomas, born 1709 in Cavers, cannot be determined with accuracy. While it is virtually certain she is descended from the Douglas-Kerr unions of the 1500s, it is not clear if she is decended from the Douglas-Cranstoun union of 1590 or the Douglas-McGill Union of ~1600. Both branches have the name Thomas in their line, and the church records do not go back this far; the OPR are extant only as of 1694. And even then, with the Douglases being Covenenters, all their records may not be in the registers in the Established church.
Parochial Registers -- "these have hitherto been very imperfectly kept, and are consequently very defective."
OPR: Baptisms, 1694-1854; Marriages, 1695-1854, 1780-1841; Burials, 1796-1800. (Preferred film for viewing. Use this before ordering the other filming.) FHL BRITISH Film 1067933 Items 2 - 4 -- NO Another filming. 1951. VAULT BRITISH Film 102285 Item 1 -- NO
BOOK: Rulewater and its People. by George Taqncred. Rulewater is a stream and valley in the area of Teviotdale in Roxburghshire. The stream is about nine and one-half miles long and the valley contains parts of the parishes of Hobkirk, Cavers and Bedrule. The valley is tradionally associated with the Turnbull family. The Turnbulls and other noted families of the area are among the subjects covered in the book. 941.47 H2t -- NO
INDEX: Births and christenings, A thru Z 1694-1854 (2 microfiches) FHL BRITISH Fiche 6901635 -- YES Marriages, A thru Z, 1695-1841 (1 microfiche) FHL BRITISH Fiche 6902374 -- YES
|Cavers Kirk -- in ruins|
The Covenanters*. In 1658, Denholm was reunited to the Cavers estate by Sir Archibald Douglas. The new Laird and his family were fervent Covenanters, bitterly opposed to the bishops and Anglican forms of worship which Charles 1st had tried to force upon the Presbyterian Church of Scotland. In 1662 the Douglas's refused to admit a curate sent by the official Church and representatives from Jedburgh were stoned by the women of Cavers. After this the Covenanters in this area were persecuted by the law and had to resort to to secret conventicles and prayer meetings in hidden places such as Pedens pulpit on Ruberslaw and Pedens Vale in Denholm Dean (just below the ruined cottage). In 1690 the Presbyterians were finally recognised as the established Church in Scotland but the strictest Covenanters would not join it. A group of them known as the Cameronians formed their own congregation in Denholm under the patronage of the Douglas family.
The Cameronian Chapel*. We do not know what building they used until about 1740 when the old Cameronian chapel was built with the preachers house adjoining. The site, behind Poplar Nook on the Small Green, was given by the Laird. The Chapel had seating for 230 people and had three pulpits, the lowest one for the precentor. Seats and pulpits were later covered in red plush and the high pulpit ran the full length of the building. The Douglas family continued to reject the Established Church in their home village of Cavers and worshipped with the Cameronian "Dissenters" or "Independents" all through the 18th and 19th centuries. They would walk to Denholm and back every Sunday as it was held to be wrong to ride a horse on the Lord’s Day. Their route through the Dean became known as the "Kirk Walk". Presumably any Denholm Villagers who belonged to the Established Church would take the same path to and from worship to Cavers – but in the opposite direction.
(*Source: the 1839 Statistical Account of Cavers)
Some Places of Interest:
|Loch Leven Castle|
Parish of Cavers Statistical Account: 1791-99
County of Roxburgh, Presbytery of Jedburgh, Synod of Merse and Teviotdale
By the Rev. Mr. Thomas Elliot, Minister
|Statistical Account - Cavers, p.1|
Rivers, Soil and Produce. The soil in the lower part of the parish from the church to the eastern boundary, at the confluence of the two rivers, Tiviot and Rule, is rich and fertile, and produces good crops of wheat, oats, barley, and pease. Clover, rye-grass, and turnis, are also raised in considerable quantities. The land there lets from 15s. to 30s. per acre. The soil of the upper parts is perfectly adapted to the purpose to which it is chiefly applied, viz. the breeding of sheep.
|Statistical Account - Cavers, p.2|
Proprietors, Rent &c. There sare 11 heritors in the parish, and, except the Duke of Buccleugh, all the principal ones reside in it. The valued rent is 18,921l. 16s. Scotch. The real rent is about 4700l. Sterling.
Population. The number of births, deaths, and marriages, cannot be precisely ascertained, as few of the Seceders enter their childrens names in the parish register. From Dr. Webster's report, however, it is certain, that the population of the parish has increased considerably within these 40 years.
The number of inhabitants at present (1794) is about . . . 1300
The number of souls, in 1755, was . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .993
Increase . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .307
Church and Poor. George Douglas, esq. of Cavers is patron of the parish. The living sonsists of 83l. 6s. 8d. Sterl. in money, and 2 and a half chalders of grain, half meal, half barley; together with a manse and garden, and a glebe of 11 English acres. "Besides the parish church, there is a chaple of ease erected, for the convenience of the westerns parts of this parish, and that of Hawick.
|Statistical Account - Cavers, p.3|
Eminent Men. Lord Heathfield*, so justly famed for his military exertions, particularly his gallant defence of Gibraltar, in the years 1779, 1780, and 1781, is sprung from the family of Stobs, now represented by Sir William Eliott, Part. one of the principal heritors of this parish.
* George Augustus Eliott, Lord Heathfield, the 8th son of Sir Gilbert Eliott, Bart. of Stobs, was born at the paternal estate n the year 1718. He shewed an early inclination for a military life, and soon became an officer in the 23d regiment of foot, the Royal Welsh Fusileers. He left this regiment, and went into the corps of engineers at Woolwich, where he continued till the year 1740, when he became adjutant, in the 2s troop of horse guards. He served in Germany, and was wounded at the battles of Dirtengen and Fontenoy. In March 1759, he was appointed to the 15th regiment of light dragoons; and in the August following, headed the second line of horse under the Marquis of Granby, at the battle of Minden. Being constituted a lieutenant general, he was, in 1762, ordered from Germany, for the purpose of assisting, as second in command, at the memorable reduction of the Havannah. He was appointed Commander in Chief in Ireland in 1774, but being disgusted, on his arrival, he made a request to be recalled, which was complied with; and, upon the death of Lord Cornwallis, he was made Governor of Gibraltar in his place, which fortress he bravely defended during the late siege, in the years 1779, 1780, 1781, and 1782. In 1783, he was granted a pension of 2000L per annum, and created a Knight of the Bath; and, in 1787, was raised to the dignity of a peer of Great Britain. The honours which he had thus justly acqired, he did not long enjoy, for he died in the ear 1790.
|Statistical Account - Cavers, p.4|
*At a place call Carlenrigg, a number of Roman urns were dug up about 5 years ago; but when these camps were formed, or the urns deposited, the present incumbent has bever been able to discover. At Priest-haugh, a great number of gold coins were found, supposed to have been deposited by some of the attendants of Queen Mary, when she visited Bothwell at the Hermitage Castle. At a small wood, near Carlenrigg Chapel, the famous JOHN ARMSTRONG was taken and slain.