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In a fitting tribute to Sir George, the younger brother of Sir William Douglas, who owned Lochleven Castle, a plaque was placed at Deans Court, St Andrews, on the 450th anniversary of Mary’s escape from Lochleven on May 2, 1568.

It was unveiled by Elizabeth Roads, Snawdoun Herald of the Court of the Lord Lyon, seen here with the project manager, Colin McAllister.

Sir George’s link with the ancient building, which was originally the residence of the Archdeacon of St Andrews, dates back to the Reformation, when he saved it and made extensive repairs.

A youth called Willie Douglas, believed to be the illegitimate child of Sir William, helped Mary escape on May 2 and the Queen was met by Sir George at the shore. The plaque tells the story.

Above the gateway, are the arms of Sir George. I have located an image which might be his - or might be those of Gavin Douglas.

Gavin Douglas, a Scottish prelate and poet, was born about 1474, third son of Archibald, Fifth Earl of Angus. He was educated for the church at St Andrews and Paris and held a benefice in East Lothian before being appointed Provost of Collegiate church of St Giles in Edinburgh in 1501. His name appears in the pages of the Acta Facultatis Artium Universitatis Sancti Andree as a determinant (for the Bachelor’s degree) in 1489/90 and as a licentiate (for the Master’s degree) in 1494. Later in life, the patronage of Queen Margaret as Regent, who married Douglas’s nephew, obtained for him the abbacy of Arbroath and later the Bishopric of Dunkeld. He was caught up in the political turmoil of the time and, after trial and imprisonment, fled to England in 1521, dying of plague in 1522.

If anyone is visiting St Andrews, could they please photograph the site and plaque and share with us?

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Comment by Russell Lynn Drysdale on August 1, 2018 at 22:40

the ancient Greek Muses, Thalia, and Melpomene ?

Comment by William Douglas on August 1, 2018 at 10:58

These two faces appear below Sir George's arms. Who are they, I wonder?

Making conections

The more information you can give about the people you mention, the more chance there is of someone else connecting with your family.

Dates and places of births, deaths and marriages all help to place families.

Professions also help.

'My great-grandmother mother was a Douglas from Montrose' does not give many clues to follow up! But a bit of flesh on the bones makes further research possible. But if we are told who she married, what his profession was and where the children were baptised, then we can get to work.

Maybe it is time to update the information in your profile?


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