Identified with present day Lanarkshire, the Scottish Borders and Angus in the far north, the Douglases take their name from the Gaelic dubh-glas, meaning ‘black stream’, and it was adopted after the grant of lands in 1147 at the Douglas Water, in Lanarkshire.
Resolute in their defence of Scotland’s freedom and independence, William Douglas was a staunch supporter of the freedom fighter Sir William Wallace, while his son Sir James Douglas was a leading commander of the army of the great warrior king Robert the Bruce.
It was Sir James, along with others, who was entrusted with attempting to carry out the monarch’s wish, following his death in 1329, for his heart to be carried to the Holy Land.
Later branching out into the two family lines of the Red and the Black Douglases, they continued to accrue high honours and distinction that included the Earldom of Angus.
Their inspiring tale is chronicled here.