Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Douglas, Archibald (d.1667)

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DOUGLAS, ARCHIBALD (d. 1667), captain, was in command of the Royal Oak when the Dutch fleet under De Ruyter advanced up the Medway to Chatham in 1667. He conducted the defence of his vessel with great courage, and when advised to retire, refused, saying, 'It shall never be told that a Douglas quitted his post without orders.’ The ship was set on fire, and her commander, remaining in his place till the end, perished in the flames. There is no evidence that Douglas was a naval officer. It is remarked by Charnock (Biog. Nav. i. 291) as a singular fact that no person of Douglas's name officially appears as having held any command in the navy prior to the revolution, and he suggests that Archibald Douglas was probably a land officer, and was sent from the shore with a detachment of soldiers to defend the Royal Oak. By a warrant given under the royal sign-manual, 18 Oct. 1667, the sum of 100l. was given to ‘— Douglas, relict of Captain A. Douglas, lately slain by the Dutch at Chatham.’ Temple (Memoirs, ii. 41) says: ‘I should have been glad to have seen Mr. Cowley before he died celebrate Captain Douglas's death.’

[Lediard's Naval Hist. of England, p. 589; Charnock, as above; Hume's Hist. of England, p. 693, ed. 1846; Gent. Mag. new ser. xxxiii. 394.]

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