Archibald Douglas

Archibald Douglas

Scottish baron from the Douglas family.
Country: Great Britain

  1. Archibald Douglas: The Unfortunate Scottish Baron
  2. Early Battles and Involvement in Scottish Politics
  3. Breaking Promises and Involvement in Scottish Politics
  4. Family and Children

Archibald Douglas: The Unfortunate Scottish Baron

Archibald Douglas, also known as the "Unfortunate," was a Scottish baron from the Douglas family. He was the 4th Earl of Douglas (since 1400) and the Duke of Touraine (since 1424). Archibald was the eldest son of Archibald "the Grim," the 3rd Earl of Douglas. Due to his consistent defeats in battles, Archibald gained the nickname "the Unfortunate."

Early Battles and Involvement in Scottish Politics

In 1400, the young Earl successfully defended Edinburgh against the forces of the English king, Henry IV. In 1402, Douglas participated in the arrest of David Stewart, the heir to the Scottish throne, by the Duke of Albany, resulting in the prince's death. However, Douglas was declared innocent of this murder by King Robert III. Alongside other Scottish barons, Douglas actively took part in raiding northern English counties. In one of these expeditions in 1402, the Scottish army was defeated by the English in the Battle of Homildon Hill. Douglas was captured by Henry Percy but was not handed over to the English king. It is believed that Percy offered Archibald to join his planned rebellion against Henry IV. However, the rebellion ended in failure, with Percy being defeated and killed in the Battle of Shrewsbury. Douglas, once again on the losing side, was taken captive by the King of England.

Breaking Promises and Involvement in Scottish Politics

Temporarily released by Henry IV under the condition of returning to England and swearing allegiance to the English king, Douglas broke his promise in 1409 and refused to return to English captivity. This was associated with the restoration of the Earl of Dunbar, a long-time enemy of the Douglas family in southern Scotland. In exchange for supporting the restoration of the Dunbars, Douglas was granted Annandale. After the death of the ruler of Scotland, the Duke of Albany, in 1420, Douglas actively contributed to the liberation of the Scottish king, James I, from English captivity, hoping to crush the power of the Albany family with his assistance. Renewed military actions with England in 1417 once again pushed Douglas into military campaigns. However, success did not accompany him. The siege of Roxburgh failed, and the expedition to France, in which Douglas received the title of Duke of Touraine from the Dauphin Charles, ended in the defeat of the Scots in the Battle of Verneuil in 1424. In this battle, Earl Douglas was killed.

Family and Children

Archibald Douglas was married to Margaret Stewart (? – 1451), the eldest daughter of King Robert III Stewart and Arabella Drummond. They had the following children:
- Archibald Douglas (1390–1439): 5th Earl of Douglas (1424–1439) and Regent of Scotland (1437–1439)
- Elizabeth Douglas (? – c. 1451): 1st husband (since 1413) was John Stewart (c. 1380–1424), 2nd Earl of Buchan; 2nd husband was Thomas Stewart (c. 1420–c. 1435), son of Alexander Stewart (c. 1375–1435), Earl of Mar (1426–1435); 3rd husband was William Sinclair (1410–1484), 3rd Earl of Orkney (1420–1470)
- William Douglas (born before 1401)
- James Douglas (? – August 17, 1424)