The Douglas Archives

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Seeking informations about Robert Douglas and Robert Bruce Douglas

Some details about my family :

 

Robert (Bruce Erle) DOUGLAS (my grand father) was born in Paris on January 5th, 1892. He was the son of Robert Bruce Douglas and Sophia Louisa, born Watts.

He had three sisters :

-  Sophia-Louisa (born 1872 in London, died after WWII in Hungary). Lived in Paris, then married an hungarian painter who went back home with her.- Ethel Elise (born on June 18th, 1874 in London ; died on March 1963 in Paris, France), Artistic painter in Montmartre.- Enid Vera (born on April 11th, 1880 in London ; died in Paris on Decembre 20th, 1943), nurse. Ethel and Enid never married and were briefly detained, as british citizens, in Besançon prisoners camp (Frontstalag 142) in 1940/1941.

 

When 21, Robert B. Douglas retained his british natonality. During WWI, he enrolled the Royal Highlanders regiment « Black Watch » and fought in France, Belgium and, finally, Germany.

After the war, he completed his studies. To become teacher, he then opted for french naturalization in 1923 and married Henriette Delattre in Boffres (Sept. 4th, 1923).

They had two children :

-  Olivier (born on July 18th, 1924 in Nyons, died in Paris 1995)- Christiane (born in Paris on April 30th, 1932), my mother He died in Paris from a cancer (probably induced by WWI poison gas) on April 4th, 1932, 26 days before the birth of his daughter Christiane.

 

 Robert Bruce DOUGLAS (his father) was born on June 22nd, 1848 at 184 Piccadilly, St James, Westminster (baptized on December 31st, 1849). After his studies at university (Oxford, Cambridge ?), he became journalist and lived a dandy life.

 

 He had four sisters (never married) :

- Mary Ann (born c. 1834)- Margaret (born c. 1837 in Brompton, London)

-Clara Georgiana (born on August 17th, 1839 in Brompton, London, baptized on January 25th, 1844 at St James, Westminster, Londres)

- Ellen (born c. 1843 in St James, Westminster, Londres) He married Sophia-Louise WATTS (born on October 3rd, 1847 in Marylebone, London) on August 10th, 1971 in Croydon Parish Church. She was the daughter of Henry WATTS and Sophia WATTS, born GOODE.

 

 They lived in 184 Piccadilly, London, then moved to Chelsea, then to Eversleigh Derby Road, Croydon (Surrey).

 His lifestyle didn’t pleased his family who exiled him to France (date unknown, between 1881 and 1890).

He finally settled in Paris and, aside his journalist job, published and translated several books :

 

- « Fairy tales» and « So much the better for her : the sultan Mistapouf » by Abbé de Voisenon (Leonard Smithers, 1895). Translation from french toenglish.

- « The life and times of Madame du Barry » (Leonard Smithers, 1896). By his own hand.

- « A french volunteer in the war of independance » de Charles-André de Moré de Pontgibaud (Charles Carrington, 1897). Translation and adaptation.

- « Sophie Arnould, actress and wit » (Charles Carrington, 1898). By his own hand.

- « One hundred merrie and delightsome stories right pleasaunte to relate in all goody companie by way of joyance and jollity» by Antoine de la Sale (Charles Carrington, 1899). Translation

- « Libertinism and marriage» by Louis Jullien (F.A. Davis, 1901). Translation.

- « Thaïs» by Anatole France (Charles Carrington, 1901). Translation.

- « The Commune, a novel» by Paul and Victor Margueritte (Chatto & Windus, 1904). Translation.

- «From Valmy to Waterloo : extracts from the diary of Capt. Charles François, soldier of the Revolution and the Empire» (Everett & co., 1906). Translation and adaptation.

- « Men in women’s guise» by O. P. Gilbert (John Lane : The Bodley Head, 1926). Translation. His wife, Sophia-Louise, died in Paris on July 26th, 1911.

He never abandoned his british citizenship. He died in Paris on April 13th, 1927.

Robert DOUGLAS (his father) was born on August 15th, 1792 in Shifnal (Shropshire). As his son, he orthographied his name either Douglas or Douglass. Son of Robert and Mary Douglas.

Married Margaret Bowen (born c. 1808, probably at Ludlow, Shropshire) at St Mary’s Church, Marylebone, London on Novembre 18th, 1832.

He owned a store at 184 Piccadilly, London, specialised in china, glass and lamps. He invented a solar lamp c. 1840 called « Douglass table lamp for burning inferior oils» with a great commercial success.

Robert Douglas died, aged 72, on June 28th, 1864 at The Cedars, Esher.

I searched desperately the whereabout of Robert Douglas (the laste one, born 1792), but never succeeded. Have you any idea from where he came from and who were his parents ? What is the connection between my family and the Douglas Clan and Scotland ?

If you could be at any help...

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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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