The Douglas Archives

A collection of historical and genalogical records

Sir William Douglas, Lord of Liddesdale, the Flower of Chivalry.

Sir William Douglas, Lord of Liddesdale (circa. 1300-k.1353) was also known as the Knight of Liddesdale and the Flower of Chivalry. He was a Scottish nobleman and soldier active during the Second War of Scottish Independence.


Douglas' father, James Douglas of Lothian, a minor landowner in the Lothians, was a second cousin of the Good Sir James Douglas, a hero of the First War of Scottish Independence. At some point circa. 1323, Douglas succeeded to his small desmesnes. Circa. 1327 he became godfather to his third cousin William, son of Sir Archibald Douglas, and nephew of the "Good Sir James".

On the cover of Nigel Tranter's book, Sir William Douglas, Lord of Liddesdale, is depicted carry a shield with the well recognised Douglas arms.  But in a chart that I have recently been given, his arms are depicted rather differently. The heart and stars being quartered with chevrons.

George Harvey Johnston's heraldry of the Douglases states that he would have just had 'On a chief, two stars'.

One assumes the Tranter book cover was designed to attract the attention of potential purchasers, and was not correct, but Sir William was killed by William, Lord (afterwards Earl) of Douglas in the Ettrick Forest in about 1353, two decades after the death of his cousin at Teba, Spain, and so would have incorporated the heart into his arms.

It would be good to know.

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

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'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.

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