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2nd Earl of Douglas

  • Born in 1358 - Scotland
  • Deceased 19 August 1388 - Otterburn , age at death: 30 years old


 Spouses and children



On 's side William Douglas, 1st Earl of Douglas 1323-1384


Individual Note

2 DATE 1358

James, 2nd Earl of Douglas
The 2nd Earl was born in 1358 and succeeded his father at a time of muchborder warfare between Scotland and England. Due to the old age of KingRobert II, the Douglases were left in charge of the defense of thekingdom. They literally became 'the shield of Scotland'. In 1388 the 2ndEarl led a plundering sweep into England in retaliation for thedevastation caused by King Richard's army three years earlier. While onthis raid, Douglas met and defeated the renown English knight Henry'Hotspur' Percy in personal combat. In triumph he carried off Percy'spennon.

In an effort to regain his pennon, and his honor, Percy pursued andengaged Douglas at the Battle of Otterburn. Douglas, although mortallywounded in the battle, directed his captains to carry his standard, soundhis battle cry and rally his troops. Even in death, he carried the field.James left one illegitimate son, William, 1st Lord of Drumlanrig, who wasthe sire of the Queensberry cadet branch. As no legitimate heir was left,the earldom passed to the 'base born' son of Sir James 'The Good'.


A Scottish ode to James, 2nd Earl of Douglas and Sir Hugh Montgomery, hisnephew, who fought and defeated Henry 'Hotspur' Percy on the field atOtterburn in 1388.

It fell about the Lammas tide,
When the muir-men win their hay,
The doughty Douglas bound him to ride
Into England, to drive a prey.

He chose the Gordons and the Graemes,
With them the Lindesays, light and gay;
But the Jardines wald not with him ride,
And they rue it to this day.

And he has burned the dales of Tyne,
And part of Bambrough shire,
And three good towers on Reidswire fells,
He left them all on fire.

And he marched up to Newcastle,
And rode it round about:
'O wha's the lord of this castle?
Or wha's the lady o't?'

But up spake proud Lord Percy then,
And O but he spake hie!
I am the lord of this castle,
My wife's the lady gay.

'If thou'rt the lord of this castle,
Sae weel it pleases me,
For, ere I cross the Border fells,
The tane of us shall die.'

He took a lang spear in his hand,
Shod with the metal free,
And for to meet the Douglas there
He rode right furiouslie.

But O how pale his lady looked,
Frae aff the castle-wa,
When down before the Scottish spear
She saw proud Percy fa.

'Had we twa been upon the green,
And never an eye to see,
I wad hae had you, flesh and fell;
But your sword sall gae wi me.'

The Otterbourne's a bonnie burn;
'Tis pleasant there to be;
But there is nought at Otterbourne
To feed my men and me.

'The deer rins wild on hill and dale,
The birds fly wild frae tree to tree;
But there is neither bread nor kale
To fend my men and me.'

'Yet I will stay at Otterbourne,
Where you shall welcome be;
And, if ye come not at three dayis end,
A fause lord I'll ca thee.'

'Thither will I come,' proud Percy said,
'By the might of Our Ladye;'
'There will I bide thee.' said the Douglas,
'My troth I plight to thee.'

They lighted high on Otterbourne,
Upon the bent sae brown;
They lighted high on Otterbourne,
And threw their pallions down.

And he that had a bonnie boy
Sent out his horse to grass;
And he that had not a bonnie boy
His ain servant he was.

But up then spake a little page,
Before the peep of dawn:
'O waken ye, waken ye, my good lord,
For Percy's hard at hand.'

'Ye lie, ye lie, ye liar loud!
Sae loud I hear ye lie:
For Percy had not men yestreen
To dight my men and me.'

'But I have dreamed a dreary dream,
Beyond the Isle of Skye;
I saw a dead man win a fight,
And I think that man was I.'

He belted on his guid braid sword,
And to the field he ran,
But he forgot the helmet good,
That should have kept his brain.

When Percy with the Douglas met,
I wat he was fu fain;
They swakked their swords, till sair they swat
And the blood ran down like rain.

But Percy with his good broad sword,
That could so sharply wound,
Has wounded Douglas on the brow,
Till he fell to the ground.

Then he call'd on his little foot-page,
And said, 'Run speedilie,
And fetch my ain dear sister's son,
Sir Hugh Montgomery.'

'My nephew good,' the Douglas said,
'What recks the death of ane!
Last night I dreamed a dreary dream,
And I ken the day's thy ain.'

'My wound is deep; I fain would sleep;
Take thou the vanguard of the three,
And hide me by the braken-bush,
That grows on yonder lilye lee.'

'O bury me by the braken-bush,
Beneath the blooming brier;
Let never a living mortal ken
That ere a kindly Scot lies here.'

He lifted up that noble lord,
Wi the saut tear in his ee;
He hid him in the braken-bush,
That his merrie men might not see.

The moon was clear, the day drew near,
The spears in flinders flew,
But mony a gallant Englishman
Ere day the Scotsmen slew.

The Gordons good, in English blood
They steepd their hose and shoon;
The Lindsays flew like fire about,
Till all the fray was done.

The Percy and Montgomery met,
That either of other were fain ;
They swapped swords, and they twa swat,
And aye the blood ran down between.

'Now yield thee, yield thee, Percy,' he said,
'Or else I vow I'll lay thee low!'
'To whom must I yield,' quoth Earl Percy,
'Now that I see it must be so?'

'Thou shalt not yield to lord nor loun,'
Nor shalt thou yield to me;
But yield to the braken-bush,
That grows upon yon lilye lee. '

'I will not yield to a braken-bush,
Nor yet will I yield to a brier;
But I would yield to Earl Douglas,
Or Sir Hugh Montgomery, if he were here.'

As soon as he knew it was Montgomery,
He struck his sword's point in the gronde;
The Montgomery was a courteous knight,
And quickly took him by the honde.

This deed was done at the Otterbourne,
About the breaking of the day;
Earl Douglas was buried at the braken-bush,
And the Percy led captive away.

James Douglas (2nd Earl of Douglas and Earl of Mar)
c.1358 - 1388

Inherited the Earldoms of Douglas and Mar from his father (1384). Douglasplotted against King David II (1324 - 71), who confronted him at Lanark.He went on to make a tentative bid for the Crown on David's death in1371. He married Isabel, the daughter of King Robert II (1316 - 90),however, he fell at the Battle of Otterburn (also known as the Battle ofChevy Chase) leaving no children. When mortally wounded he gaveinstructions that his body should be hidden in a bracken bush so that hisopponent (Henry Percy of Northumberland, Shakespeare's Hotspur) would nottake advantage from his death. Douglas left one illegitimate son,William, 1st Lord of Drumlanrig, who gave rise the the QueensberryDouglases.
GEDCOM File : David Peter Family6.ged

Family Note

Marriage with X Mistress:
1 REFN M17162

  Photos and archival records

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 Family Tree Preview

Archibald Douglas, Earl of Douglas ca 1290-1333   Beatrice Lindsay 1302-/1352   Patrick Dunbar, 8th Earl of Dunbar 1242-   Margaret Comyn ca 1265-
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William Douglas, 1st Earl of Douglas 1323-1384   Margaret Dunbar ca 1305-1393
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James Douglas, 2nd Earl of Douglas 1358-1388

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