2 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

William Douglas (9th Earl of Morton) (d. 1681), son-in-law of John Middleton (1st Earl of Middleton, one time Governor of Tangier, who ­ with Pepys ­ served as an expert witness on a Court-Marshall in Aptil 1669. (L&M note + SP’s Diary)

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

William Douglas, 9th Earl of Morton was the eldest son of Anne Villiers Douglas, Lady Dalkeith (as she is known to history, as the early governess to baby Princess Henrietta Anne, AKA Madame, AKA Minette). She became the Countess of Morton when Sir William Douglas, 7th Earl of Morton, died on 7 August, 1648.)

The Earls of Morton were the Sheriff of Orkney and Shetland.

Countess Anne Villiers Douglas’ husband, Robert Douglas, 8th Earl of Morton’s presence in Kirkwall (the main town in the Orklands) was essential in September 1649, because James Graham, Marquis of Montrose, landed 200 Danish mercenaries there as an advance guard to occupy Kirkwall, while he tried to raise further support in Germany.

Sadly, Robert Douglas died in Kirkwall on November 12, 1649 and the 9th Earl took over as Sheriff.

His mother, Anne Villiers Douglas, now Dowager Countess of Morton, was by then living in Paris.

On 23 March, 1650, Montrose landed at Kirkwall with around 250 German mercenaries and a small supply of weapons.

By the time Montrose landed on the Scottish mainland, Charles II had re-opened negotiations with the Covenanters. Charles wrote to Montrose ordering him to disarm, but the orders never reached him.

The Covenanters moved swiftly. Montrose was defeated at the battle of Carbisdale in April, 1650. A few days later, Charles disavowed Montrose under the terms of the Treaty of Breda. Montrose was hanged at the Mercat Cross on 21 May 1650, protesting he was a true Covenanter as well as a loyal subject.

On occasions, diplomacy and the greater good call for heartbreaking decisions like this.

NOTE: Isabel Douglas (d. 1650), married James Graham, 2nd Marquis of Montrose and had children. Therefore, Montrose was the brother-in-law of the 8th Earl and uncle to the 9th Earl of Morton. (It’s all in the family once again.)

We also know that Lady Grizel Middleton married William Douglas, 9th Earl of Morton on 12 June, 1662 and their only son, Charles, died in infancy in 1663. Grizel died at some point, as William remarried to a Marjory Foulis.

From this Pepys note, it sounds as if Grizel may still be alive in 1669. William died without leaving an heir in 1681

The Earldom passed to his uncle, James Douglas, 10th Earl of Morton, who was a younger brother to the 8th Earl (which is where we started).


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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.