Clan Douglas

Douglas Clan Crest: On a chapeau, a green salamander surrounded by fire.

Douglas Clan Motto: Jamais Arriere (Never behind).

Douglas Clan History:

This is a family which became, next to the Royal House of Stewart, the most powerful and influential dynasty in Scotland. The first of the name to be recorded is William de Douglas, who lived in the 12th century and witnessed a Charter by the Bishop of Glasgow, and a second Charter from William the Lion, around the year 1200. In 1263, two sons of Sir William de Douglas fought for Alexander III against the Norse at the Battle of Largs.

Having been held prisoner by the English, William Douglas, Governor of Berwick, was a follower of Sir William Wallace in the ongoing conflict for Scottish independence.  Sir James 'The Good' Douglas, son of William and Founder of the Black Douglas Dynasty, was a supporter of Robert the Bruce and was knighted on the eve of the Battle of Bannockburn. It was he who led the group of nobles who carried the Bruce's heart on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. He was killed at the Battle of Teba in Spain in 1330.

Places of Interest:

Blackhouse Tower, on the Douglas Burn of the Yarrow Water, Selkirkshire.  Stronghold of Sir James 'The Good' Douglas, friend of Robert the Bruce. Hermitage Castle, Newcastleton, Roxburghshire; Drochil Castle, near Biggar, Lanarkshire;

Loch Leven Castle, Loch Leven, Kinross. Property of Sir William Douglas of Loch Leven when Mary Queen of Scots was held prisoner here 1567-68.

Bothwell Castle, between Bothwell and Uddingston, South Lanarkshire. This mighty thirteenth century Moray stronghold was rebuilt by the Black Douglases. The magnificent Douglas constructed great hall and chapel survive to this day. Bothwell castle is now cared for by Historic Scotland.