Sir James Douglas Bart. MP for Orkney

1703 - 1787


Admiral, c-in-c West indies 1763-1765, and MP for Orkney 1754-1768, of Springwood Park Roxburgh and St Olla Orkney. Father of Sir George Douglas (q.v.). Shown by Vere Langford Oliver (from Luffman's map of 1787-1788) for the Ravencrofts estate on Antigua; a map in the William L. Clements Library shows the estate then named Douglas & Ravenscroft of Admiral Sir James Douglas bart. in Old Road division in St Mary Parish in Antigua in 1787. He has an entry in the ODNB as 'naval officer'.

  1. David Alston shows James Douglas as the same man as the Sir James Douglas & Co. identified as owner of a plantation named Weilburg in Demerara [and presumably the enslaved people attached to it] by Storm Van 'S Gravesande in 1762. According to this source, Sir James Douglas bought Springwood Park c. 1750, and then Pln. Weilburg in the 1760s.

  2. According to Stephanie Barcewksi, '[t]he profits from the plantation contributed to Douglas's acquisition of a second Scottish estate, Longnewton in the Borders, in 1765.'

Sources; Ruddock Mackay, ‘Douglas, Sir James, first baronet (1703–1787)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Jan 2008 [, accessed 14 July 2017]; “Plan of the estates of Admiral Sr. Jas. Douglas bart. called Douglas & Ravenscroft, and the estate of Robert Harvey esqr. situated in Old Road Division and Parish of St. Mary in Antigua : Surveyed in 1787 / by John Killian surveyor general..” University of Michigan Library Digital Collections. Accessed: June 08, 2021.

  1. David Alston, 'Slaves & Highlanders: Highland Scots in Guyana before Emancipation', 'Plantation Weilburg'," [accessed 12/02/2018]; Storm Van 'S Gravesande: The Rise Of British Guiana Complied From His Despatches By C. A. Harris, C.B., C.M.G., Chief Clerk, Colonial Office, and J. A. J. De Villiers, Of The British Museum, VOL. II. (London: Printed For The Hakluyt Society, 1911), p. 399.

  2. Stephanie Barczewski, Country Houses and the British Empire, 1700-1930 p. 69.

Further Information

(1) Helen Brisbane (2) Lady Helen Boyle
Oxford DNB Entry

Associated Estates (1)

The dates listed below have different categories as denoted by the letters in the brackets following each date. Here is a key to explain those letter codes:

  • SD - Association Start Date
  • SY - Association Start Year
  • EA - Earliest Known Association
  • ED - Association End Date
  • EY - Association End Year
  • LA - Latest Known Association
1778 [EA] - 1787 [LA] → Tenant-for-life

Legacies Summary

Political (1)

election →
Orkney and Shetland Orkney and Shetland
1754 - 1768

Relationships (3)

Father → Son
Nephew → Uncle
Legatee → Testator
Notes →
Sir James Douglas bart. MP for Orkney was almost certainly the Sir James Douglas Vice Admiral who was trustee and beneficiary under the will of Mary McNemara [sic], his...

Addresses (2)

St Olla, Orkney, Highlands & Islands, Scotland
Springwood Park, Roxburgh, Roxburgh-shire, Southern Scotland, Scotland