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Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V08, Page 444 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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5TH EARL OF DOUGLAS ARCHIBALD (c. 1391–1439), succeeded to his father's English and Scottish honours, though he never touched the revenues of Touraine. He fought at Bauge in 142r, and was made count of Longueville in Normandy. His two sons, WILLIAM, 6TH EARL (1423 ?–1440), and David, were little more than boys at the time of their father's death in 1439. They can hardly have been guilty of any real offence when, on the 24th of November 144o, they were summoned to court by Sir William Crichton, lord chancellor of Scotland, and, after a mock trial in the young king's presence, were beheaded forthwith in the courtyard of Edinburgh Castle. This murder broke up the dangerous power wielded by the Douglases. The lordships of Annandale and Bothwell fell to the crown; Galloway to the earl's sister Margaret, the " Fair Maid of Galloway "; while the Douglas lands passed to his great-uncle JAMES DOUGLAS, 7TH EARL OF DOUGLAS, called the " Gross," of Balvany (1377-1444), lord of Abercorn and Aberdour, earl of Avondale (cr. 1437), younger son of the 3rd earl. The latter's sons, WILLIAM (c. 1425–1452) and JAMES (1426- 1488), became 8th and 9th earls respectively; Archibald became earl of Moray by marriage with Elizabeth Dunbar, daughter and co-heiress of James, earl of Moray; Hugh was created earl of Ormond in 1445; John was lord of Balvany; Henry became bishop of Dunkeld. The power of the Black Douglases was restored by the 8th earl, who recovered Wigtown, Galloway and Bothwell by marriage (by papal dispensation) with his cousin, the Fair Maid of Galloway. He was soon high in favour with James II., and procured the disgrace of Crichton, his kinsmen's murderer, by an alliance with his rival, Sir Alexander Livingstone. In 1450 James raided the earl's lands during his absence on a pilgrimage to Rome; but their relations seemed outwardly friendly until in 1452 the king invited Douglas to Stirling Castle under a safe-conduct, in itself, however, a proof of strained relations. There James demanded the dissolution of a league into which Douglas had entered with Alexander Lindsay, the " Tiger " earl (4th) of Crawford. On Douglas's refusal the king murdered him (February 22) with his own hands, the courtiers helping to despatch him. The tales of the hanging of Sir Herbert Herries of Terregles and the murder of McLellan of Bombie by Douglas rest on no sure evidence.
End of Article: 5TH EARL OF DOUGLAS ARCHIBALD (c. 1391–1439)
ARCHIL (a corruption of " orchil," Ital. oricello, ...

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