The Douglas Archives

A collection of historical and genalogical records

Who is Frances Browne, Mrs John Douglas?

Thomas Gainsborough  (1727 – 1788) was an English portrait and landscape painter, draughtsman, and printmaker. One of his sitters was Frances Browne, Mrs John Douglas, who appears to be born in 1741 and died in 1811.

The portrait hangs in Waddesdon Hall, the property of the Rothschild Family.

Also in Waddesdon is the painting titled The Douglas Children, or 'Juvenile Retirement' (below), depicting four of the children of Hon. John Douglas  He was the second son of James Douglas, the 14th Earl of Morton and his wife, Frances Lascelles, was the eldest daughter of Edward, Earl of Harewood. The children were painted by John Hoppner.

Frances Douglas (née Lascelles) was born in 1762 and died in 1817 and was mother of all of John's children, so seems not to be a second wife.

So, who was Frances Browne, Mrs John Douglas? And, indeed, who was the 'other' John Douglas?

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Comment by William Douglas on May 14, 2020 at 16:41

A further discovery reveals that the Gainsborough portrait  passed by descent to the sitter's daughter Georgina Browne Pierrepont (d.1872) and son-in-law Hon. Philip Pierrepont (d.1864).

Georgina (or Georgiana) was the only daughter and heiress of Herbert Gwynne Browne, who bought Evenley Hall (historically known as Imley) in 1790. He was born circa 1763 (in which case he bought Evenley when just 17, which seems unlikely?) and died possibly in 1807. Georgina in 1810 carried it in marriage to the Hon. Philip Sydney Pierrepont, 5th son of Charles, 1st Earl Manvers.

So, did 'Mrs John Douglas' marry Herbert as her second husband?

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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