The Douglas Family and Drumlanrig

Visit Drumlanrig Castle and you’ll immerse yourself in over 600 years of The Douglas Family’s history. The story began in the 14th Century when William, the son of James, 2nd Earl of Drumlanrig (who died at Otterburn in 1388) became the 1st Laird of Drumlanrig.

Over the decades the Douglas family stayed close to the monarchy, a relationship, which as you’d expect, benefitted both the Douglases and the royals. However the relationship did have its difficult times and James Douglas was one of the Lords responsible for driving Mary Queen of Scots out of the country in 1567.

Yet Mary’s son, James Vl and l, chose to visit Drumlanrig in 1617 and the royal bond continued to strengthen. William, 3rd Earl of Queensberry, was very loyal to Charles II and was made 1st Duke of Queensberry in 1684. The Castle you see today was built to reflect his new-found status. Its rich history – told in both art and architecture – keeps the family history alive and stands as a fitting tribute to a clan who have preserved Drumlanrig Castle throughout generations for you to enjoy today. The setting is so authentic that the producers of Outlander recently used Drumlanrig as one of their filming locations for the second series.

The Montagu Douglas Scott Family

The name Buccleuch, the object of much misspelling and poor pronunciation, originates from the 10th century when legend has it that King Kenneth III was hunting in a deep ravine or ‘cleuch’ in the heart of the forest, when a young buck became cornered and charged towards the unarmed King. A young man named John Scott seized the buck by the antlers and wrestled it to the ground, saving the King’s life. From that day, the Scotts were referred to as Buck Cleuch, the ‘buck from the ravine’ and were rewarded for their bravery.

Since the 15th Century, the Scotts of Buccleuch have played a leading part in the life and development of large parts of the South of Scotland. Their links to the commercial property market trace back to this period, with the 5th Duke of Buccleuch responsible for the development and ownership of Granton Harbour (now part of Edinburgh’s Waterfront masterplan), as a means of exporting coal mined from the estates to generate additional income.

One of the more colourful characters to emerge during the turbulent times of the 16th century was Walter Scott. Knighted by King James VI in 1590, he became known as ‘Bold Buccleuch’ because of his dashing exploits in Border raids; in 1606 Walter was created 1st Lord Scott of Buccleuch and the Dukedom arose from the marriage of Walter’s great granddaughter Anna to James, Duke of Monmouth in 1663. As a consequence, the houses of the Scotts were united with the Montagus of Boughton and in 1810 the death of William, 4th Duke of Queensberry brought Drumlanrig and the Queensberry Estate into the family, thus establishing the family’s full surname, Montagu Douglas Scott.

Montagu Douglas Scott Family Tree (PDF)