James Douglas 2d earl of Douglas and Mar

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Douglas, James Douglas, 2nd earl of [S] (c.1358–88). Son of William, the 1st earl, whom he succeeded in 1384. To secure his loyalty to the new Stewart dynasty, he was given an annuity of 100 marks, Robert II's fourth daughter Isabella as a wife, and £500 Scots, following his father's brief claim to the throne (1371). Douglas was one of several Scottish earls who took advantage of the expiry of truce, and the domestic troubles of Richard II, to invade England (1388), initially across the Solway Firth to Cockermouth, and later in a smaller invasion in the east. This force eventually met with Henry (Hotspur) Percy at Otterburn (August 1388). In the ensuing battle Percy was captured, the English defeated, but Douglas killed. He was commemorated as ‘doughty Douglas’ in the ballad ‘Chevy Chase’. He lacked a legitimate heir, which eventually split the family into ‘Black’ and ‘Red’ branches.

Roland Tanner

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