The Douglas Archives

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Douglass for abusing Sergeant Orrick and Corporal Smith : punishment Black-hole 48 hours.

I have been asked to identify which Douglas was sentenced to 48 hours in the black hole.

The diary of John Dawson of Brunton contains the brief entry:

[1761. March] 24. Tuesday. This morning I was president of a 
court martial held upon one. Douglass for abusing Sergeant Orrick 
and Corporal Smith : punishment Black-hole 48 hours. 

John Dawson was the son of Robert Dawson, who had inherited a small estate in the township of Wall from his father and grandfather, whose surname appears in lists of tenants of Wall from 1538 downward.

When the Northumberland Militia was first embodied in 1759 under an Act of Parliament, John Dawson was appointed to be captain of a Tynedale company, his lieutenant being Francis Dawson of Newcastle, perhaps a kinsman, and his ensign Henry Fenwick of Hexham. He died in the month of April, 1769, and was buried at St. John Lee.

One of the Field Officers was Sir Edward Blackett, bart., who married Oley Douglas's daughter, Anne. Oley Douglas, mentioned earlier in the diary, was a Member of Parliament, and the son of John Douglas, of Newcastle, notable for constructing that city's water supply. See:
http://www.douglashistory.co.uk/history/john_douglas_of_newcastle.htm

The Diary printed is very much concerned with the doings of the Militia during the year 1761. These were difficult times and the Militias were raised to counter civil unrest. The raising of the militas themselves led to further riots. John Dawson writes in his diary about these times, and about the civil trials and courts martial that arose. He has interesting views on the punishments given.

It seems that 'one Douglass' was a soldier in the Tynedale company of the Northumberland Militia, Orrick being one of the sergeants, whom he is said to have abused. Given the punishment, 'Black-hole 48 hours', it cannot have been too serious a crime, as 100 lashes were quite often administered.

I have not been able to locate a Tyndale list, nor identify this 'one Douglass', but details of the Northumberland Militia can be found here:
http://www.zen102131.zen.co.uk/northumberland-militia.htm

Can anyone help?

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