William Douglas - 4th Baronet of Kelhead

William Douglas

Born 1730
Died May 16, 1783


4th Baronet of Kelhead


Son of Sir John Douglas, 3rd of Kelhead (and son of Boswell's mother's half-sister Helen Erskine) and Christian Cunninghame (1710-1741). Married Grace Johnstone (1746-1836) in 1772, with whom he had seven children, Mary (b.1773)1, Christian (b. 1774), Catherine-Heron (b. 1775), Charles (b. 1777)2, John (1779-1856)3, Henry-Alexander (b. 1781)4 and William Robert Keith (1783-1859)5

He sat as a Member of Parliament for Dumfries Burghs (1768-1780), a seat which was later held by his youngest son, William. An army captain in 1762. 

  • 1. Married (1817) Major-General Sir Thomas-Sydney Beckwith (1769-1831).
  • 2. Married (1803) Caroline Montagu-Scott, daughter of the 3rd Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry. On December 23 1810 he became the 6th Marquis of Queensberry, succeeding his distant relative William Douglas, 4th Duke.
  • 3. Married (1817) Sarah Sholto Douglas. In 1837 he succeeded his older brother as the 7th Marquess of Queensberry.
  • 4. Married (1812) Elizabeth Dalzell
  • 5. Married (1821) Elizabeth Irvine. MP for Dumfries Burghs from 1812 to 1832.

Life with Boswell: 

Boswell possibly was in William Douglas' company on October 6, 1762, when he visited Douglas' family at Kelhead. Boswell mentions a "Mr. Douglas, son to Sir John, an officer in the Greys, an amiable young fellow whom I hope to see in the circumstances which he deserves". However, Sir John did have two other surviving sons, at least one of whom was in the army. Also, it is doubtfulwhether Boswell would refer to a 32 year old as a young fellow.

JB also dined with Douglas and Captain Maxwell on December 20, 1762.