The Douglas Archives

A collection of historical and genalogical records

Are the Angus family descendants of the 6th Earl of Angus?

Several websites that I have seen make a connection between the progenitor of the Angus family and the Earls of Angus.

It is suggested that Richard Angus is a son of Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus.  Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus (c. 1489 – 22 January 1557) was a Scottish nobleman active during the reigns of James V and Mary, Queen of Scots. He was the son of George, Master of Angus, who was killed at the Battle of Flodden, and succeeded as Earl of Angus on the death of his grandfather, Archibald.

He married several times, most famously to the dowager queen and regent, Margaret Tudor, widow of James IV, mother of two-year-old James V, and elder sister of Henry VIII of England. He had a number children, both legitimate and illegitimate.

The suggestion is that one of the latter, by an unknown mother, Richard, took the surname Angus.

It is claimed that Richard Angus was born c1523 in Tantallon Castle, East Lothian, Scotland, and died 1604 in Dilston, Northumberland, England.

Since the 6th Earl of Angus's only legitimate son, James Douglas, by his wife Margaret Maxwell died young, he was succeeded by his nephew David, the son of George Douglas of Pittendreich. David succeeded as Earl of Angus in 1557, but died at Cockburnspath in 1558. Davis was succeeded by his son Archibald Douglas, 8th Earl of Angus and 5th Earl of Morton

The 8th Earl of Angus was profoundly Protestant in his religious thinking, something which brought him into frequent conflict with his king. He even tried to arrange an English invasion of Scotland to rescue his uncle the Earl of Morton. Morton had been imprisoned for his part in the murder of James VI’s father, Mary Queen of Scots’ unpopular second husband Lord Darnley. Morton was beheaded and Angus felt it wise to live in exile in London for a year.

Somehow Archibald was allowed to return to Tantallon. But when in 1584 he joined a new rebellion against King James led by the Earls of Mar and Gowrie, which was defeated by the Earl of Arran, he had to leave the country once again.

Archibald fled to Northumberland, along with his cousin Richard and Richard’s wife Alice. When Archibald continued south to London, Richard and Alice remained in the northeast of England. Perhaps Richard did not share his cousin Archibald’s Protestant position; rather surprisingly he and Alice settled in Dilston in County Durham, which was the stronghold of a staunchly Catholic family, the Radcliffes.

It is said that Richard Angus had a son, Alexander, born about 1560 and another George, who was born in 1594 in Radcliffe Upon Tyne, Northumberland. Richard died in 1603 in Durham.

However, I have read that there exists a will of a Richard Angus of Dilston written 25 Dec 1604. However, there is no mention of an Alexander nor of Alexander's son George. There is mention of a daughter Agnes a brother Nathan and Nathan's children and many more people are named including his wife Alice. From the Dilston Court Rolls we find that Alice [widow] was licensed to brew & run a lodging house at Dilston in 1605.

One source (Pengilly) claims that it was Alexander who fled from Scotland with the Earl of Angus in 1584. As he would then have been 24, it could have been them both.

Does anyone have knowledge of this family?

Views: 1955

Add a Comment

You need to be a member of The Douglas Archives to add comments!

Join The Douglas Archives

Comment by Elsdon Watson on January 15, 2022 at 20:10

The site has been compressed by google and is quite hard to follow. The simplest way is to google richardangusoftantalloncastle then follow references to articles by Elsdon Watson


Comment by William Douglas on January 15, 2022 at 14:29

Elsdon - would you like to provide a link to your articles?

Comment by Elsdon Watson on January 15, 2022 at 13:41

I have studied extensively the Angus family who were ancestors of mine.  I think that the Angus fanily that lived in Bywell in the 16th century were part of the cavalry unit who arrived in England in  1529 with the 6th Earl of Angus.   They went on to fight in the Earls rebellion of 1569.  There is no evidence they were related to the 6th Earl.  The evidence for this is contained in " A History of Northumberland Volume 6 by John Crawford Hodgson" This shows the Angus family were present in Bywell from1538.

I have also produced 4 articles for the Angus family web site on this topic

Elsdon Watson

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?

© 2024   Created by William Douglas.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service