The Douglas Archives

A collection of historical and genalogical records

Guilty as charged - but who was this David Douglas?

On 12th October 1693, John Skudamore , David Douglas and John Gowen , were indicted for a Misdemeanor, in erecting and setting up a private Printing-press, and printing therewith, or causing to be printed several Scandalous and Seditious Pamphlets against the Peace of the King and Queen, and Government, and for privately and secretly dispersing the said Scandalous Pamphlets .

The King's Messenger swore that the Press was found in Douglas's House at Westminster , and there was printed thereupon several Seditious Papers and Pamphlets; one, entituled, The Jacobites Principles vindicated; and Great Britain's Just Complaint; Another Book of Paradoxes; and that Mr. Douglas came into the Printing-room whilst the men were printing of them, and bid them make more haste, for, says he, I was used to make more haste when I made Gloves for my Mistress the Queen; and Further, it was proved that Mr. Douglas had several of the Pamphlets from the Printer, and that he sold them, and brought the money for them to him; and in Mr. Gowen's House was found in a Drawer the Scotch Whim; and in his House of Office was found the Jacobite Principles vindicated: The Prisoners had several Friends appeared for their Reputation, who declared in general that they were men that followed of their private Trades; and no ways disaffected as they ever apprehended, &c.

Mr. Skudamore did not appear, though often called; so the Jury were discharged of him; and having considered of their Verdict, they were both found guilty of a Misdemeanor.


Extracted from Proceedings of the Old Bailey.

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Comment by William Douglas on January 19, 2011 at 0:01

I have since discovered that  David Douglas was fined 200 Marks, and William Gowen 100 l. 

'John Skudamore, mentioned in the Tryal of Douglas and Gowan, appeared after their Tryal was over, and gave fresh Bail to appear next Sessions.'

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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