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Re: William Douglas/Egidia Stuart

At 18:47 19/10/00 -1000, kevin and rika wrote:
>Would anyone know how this William Douglas fits into the family tree? i see
>him listed as Lord of Galloway and Nithdale. I have also seen him as an
>Archibald's son , but at this time period there seem to be a number of
>Archibalds and Williams about. Mahalo , Kevin
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Sir William Douglas was the son of Archibald, Earl of Douglas and Lord of 
His daughter, Egidia or Algidia (sometimes referred to as Giles Douglas) 
married Henry St Clair,
the son of Prince Henry St Clair, in 1387.  With this marriage he was 
granted lands which
had previously been the stronghold of the Douglases in cluding the Lordship 
of Nithsdale,
which, during the 'reign' of Earl William St Clair, the son of the above 
Egidia and Henry,
gave rise to some problems between the Douglases and the Sinclairs - in as 
much as the
Sinclairs would not allow Archibald III, 5th Earl of Douglas to pass to 
Edinburgh through
Sinclair ground which, at the material time, meant that he could not reach 
The dispute arose because the Sinclair claimed the 'rentals' of Nithsdale, 
Galloway and

Notwithstanding, these later difficulties Earl William St Clair married his 
cousin, Elizabeth
Douglas, daughter of Archibald II, Earl of Douglas, Duke of Touraine and 
Marshall of France.

Elizabeth had previously been married twice.  Firstly, to John Stuart, Earl 
of Buchan and
Constable of France, the son of the Regent Albany.  By him, she had a 
daughter, Margaret,
who married George, 2nd Lord Seton.  Her second marriage was to another 
Stuart (or Stewart)
named Thomas, a natural son  of Alexander, Earl of Mar and the Earl of Garioch.

As Thomas pre-deceased his father, we find the King, James II, transferring 
the Earldom of
Garioch to his "well-beloved cousin, Elizabeth, spouse of my well-beloved 
cousin, William,
Earle of Orkney and Lord Sinclere".

The marriages to the Douglases gave rise to two problems.  The first was 
one of affinity
because the Church held William's marriage to Elizabeth Douglas was in the 
2nd, 3rd
and 4th degree of consanguinity and should be annulled.  However, on the 
payment of
a "fine" to Rome, the marriage was recognised and the children legitimitised.

The second problem arose because of the vast lands which the Sinclairs 
controlled.  James III
decreed that Earl William St Clair should divide his lands into three.  The 
lands of Rosslyn
were given to his son, Oliver. The lands of Caithness went to his son 
William, by his second
wife, Marjorie Sutherland.  The remaining lands fell to his eldest son, 
William, by his first
marriage to Elizabeth Douglas.

Inevitably, this set brother against brother which was precisely what the 
King had planned.
It is the old story of "dividing and ruling".  The British became adept at 
this stratagem which
eventually allowed them to control one quarter of the World with a handful 
of people (mainly

As I have pointed out in earlier e-mails, marriages had nothing to do with 
"love".  Why, for
example, would Earl William Sinclair, marry a woman who had already been 
married twice
when, with his wealth, he could have had the choice of any nubile female 
within his vast
Estates (and probably did).  Nevertheless, he did his 'duty' and begat 
children by both his
legitimate wives.

You are quite right.  The Douglases and the Sinclairs tended to stick to 
the same Christian
names.  Thus, we have three Archibald Douglases who became Earls of Douglas 
and, unless
one remembers to add the suffix I, II, or III after their names, confusion 
can reign.  Similarily,
Earl William St Clair had two sons called William.  The first by his first 
wife, Egidia Douglas
and the second, by his second wife, Marjorie Sutherland.  Even to this day, 
you find the same
names cascading down through the generations.  Whilst this 'continuity' may 
be commendable
it can prove to be a nightmare for genealogists who, all too frequently, 
end up by marrying
a son to his own mother.

Niven Sinclair

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