Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Douglas, Archibald (1653-1712)

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DOUGLAS, ARCHIBALD, first Earl of Forfar (1653–1712), son of Archibald, earl of Ormonde [q. v.], by his second wife, Lady Jean Wemyss, eldest daughter of David, second earl of Wemyss, and grandson of William, eleventh earl of Angus and first marquis of Douglas [q. v.], was born on 3 May 1653, and in less than two years was left fatherless. He should have inherited the titles of Earl of Ormonde, Lord Bothwell and Hartside, which his father obtained for himself and the heirs male of his second marriage during the brief sojourn of Charles II in Scotland in 1651. But owing to the defeat of Charles at Worcester and the establishment of the Commonwealth the patent was never completed, and the title of Earl of Ormonde was never borne by either father or son. After the Restoration, however, by patent dated 2 Oct. 1661, the king created Douglas Earl of Forfar, Lord Wandell and Hartside, with precedency dating from the grant of the title of Ormonde.

Forfar sat in parliament in 1670, before he had reached the age of twenty years. He took an active part in bringing over the Prince of Orange at the revolution in 1688, and served diligently in the parliaments of the reign of William III. His wife, Robina, daughter of Sir William Lockhart of Lee, was one of the ladies of Queen Mary, and one of her majesty's most valued friends. Forfar was one of the lords of the treasury; but at the union of the kingdoms in 1707 he was obliged to resign that post. Queen Anne promised him an equivalent, and until it was obtained gave him in compensation a yearly pension of 300l., but no other post was given him. He possessed the baronies of Bothwell and Wandell in Lanarkshire, but resided chiefly at Bothwell Castle. He built the modern edifice on a site near the old castle on the banks of the Clyde, and he is said to have utilised many of the stones of the old building for his new fabric. He died on 23 Dec. 1712, and was buried in Bothwell Church, where his countess, who survived till 1741, erected a monument to his memory. He left a son, Archibald, who is noticed below.

[Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland; Calendar of Treasury Papers; Fraser's Douglas Book.]

H. P.