Ormond is the territorial designation of a title in the Peerage of Scotland and is an entirely separate title from that of Earl of Ormond(e) in the Peerage of Ireland. Although the Irish title was historically speaking also spelled as 'Ormond', it is now almost consistently referred to as 'Ormonde' and is therefore to be found at Earl of Ormonde.

The first Douglas Creation

Hugh Douglas was one of the five sons of James Douglas, 7th Earl of Douglas and therefore a younger brother of the William Douglas who succeeded as 8th Earl of Douglas in 1444 becoming head of the Black Douglas branch of the family.

This William Douglas was initially on good terms with king James II and thus Hugh Douglas found himself created Earl of Ormond in 1445. But after James II began to take personal control the government of Scotland in 1449, the king and the Earl of Douglas quarelled with the result that on the 22nd February 1452 William Douglas was brutally murdered at Stirling Castle.

The title of Douglas passed to the next brother in line James Douglas, 9th Earl of Douglas who despite his intital attempt at rebellion was forced to submit to the king. However the Black Douglases remained committed to the cause of revenging the murder of William and in 1455 Hugh Douglas joined his brothers in revolt against James II only to be defeated at the battle of Arkinholm on the 1st May 1455. Captured after defeat in that battle Hugh Douglas was executed and his title subsequently forfeited.

The Two Marquesses

Ormond was afterwards granted in the form of Marquess of Ormond as a subsidiary title to the holders of two royal dukedoms;

Firstly to James Stewart, second son of James III of Scotland, as one of his subsidiary titles when he was created Duke of Ross on the 29th January 1488 (having previously been the Earl of Ross since 1481); all of whose titles became extinct at his death on the 17th January 1504.

Secondly when Charles Stuart, second son of James VI of Scotland was created Duke of Albany on the 23rd December 1600, he also became Marquess of Ormond. All of these titles merged with the Crown when Charles succeeded as king Charles I of both Scotland and England in 1625.

The second Douglas creation

The leader of the royalist forces at the battle of Arkinholm in 1455 who effectively crushed the Black Douglas family was a certain George Douglas, 4th Earl of Angus, the head of the the Red Douglas line. Two centuries later, the lineal descendant of that George Douglas, named Archibald Douglas was granted the title of Earl of Ormond which had once been held by his distant kinsman.

This Archibald Douglas was the eldest son of William Douglas, 1st Marquess of Douglas and 11th Earl of Angus, who like his father was an ardent royalist and supporter of the Stuart cause. Thus on the 3rd April 1651 Archibald was created Lord Bothwell and Hartside and Earl of Ormond by Charles II. Given that Archibald anticipated inheriting his father's titles in due course, which of course his eldest son James would duly inherit, the grant of the title of Earl of Ormond specified a special remainder by which it passed to his second son. As it happens Archibald predeceased his father on the 15th April 1655, at which point his second son also named Archibald became the 2nd Earl.

However all this all took place in the middle of the Civil War, Oliver Cromwell was in the process of invading Scotland at the time and so the little matter of affixing the Great Seal to the letters patent was overlooked. It is therefore questionable whether this creation was entirely valid. In any case, after the Restoration the younger Archibald was awarded his own title when he was created the Earl of Forfar on the 2nd October 1661, and the whole question is rendered somewhat academic by his death without valid heirs in 1712, which rendered all his titles extinct.


THE EARLS OF ORMOND

DOUGLAS

STEWART/STUART As Marquess of Ormond

Creation of 1488

Creation of 1600

  • Charles Stuart, Duke of Albany, later Charles I(1600-1625)

DOUGLAS


SOURCES

  • A genealogical survey of the peerage of Britain at www.thepeerage.com
  • Stirnet Genealogy at http://www.stirnet.com/HTML/genie/genfam.htm
  • The Peerages of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom at http://www.angeltowns.com/town/peerage/Peers.htm
  • Charles Arnold Baker The Companion to British History (Longcross Press, 1996)

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