DOUGLAS, Hon. Robert (c.1703-45), of St. Ola, Orkney.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715-1754, ed. R. Sedgwick, 1970
Available from Boydell and Brewer



7 May 1730 - 30 Apr. 1745

Family and Education

b. c.1703, 3rd s. of George Douglas, 13th Earl of Morton [S]. unm.

Offices Held

Ensign 31 Ft. 1721, capt. 1732; lt.-col. 3 Ft. Gds. 1740; col. 1743; a.-d.-c. to the King 1743-d.


Douglas succeeded his father as Member for Orkney and Shetland in 1730, voting with the Administration on the army in 1732 and the excise bill in 1733. In March 1735, on an election petition of William Piers, he voted for the sitting Member, George Hamilton, whom the ministry had set themselves to turn out. According to the 1st Lord Egmont:

Sir Robert Walpole complained thereof to the Earl, his father, threatening to take his son’s commission away, whereupon the Earl, who is Admiral of Scotland, sent for his son, and after chiding him commanded him for the future to vote for Colonel Piers. The young gentleman replied that he had voted honestly as his conscience directed him and could not in honour appear and act counter to what he already had done, but to please him he would abstain from the House till the decision of the election was over. But his father, not being contented with this, threatened to disinherit him if he did not attend the election and vote for Piers. The son, who has nothing but his commission to depend on, would not promise it and has since refrained from going to the House, and has not seen his father since.1

Thereafter he voted consistently with the Administration, speaking in favour of the Hanoverians on 18 Jan. 1744. He served in the campaigns in Flanders, escorting Marshal Belleisle as a prisoner from the continent to England. On hearing of his death at Fontenoy, 30 Apr. 1745, Belleisle expressed ‘great sorrow on account of his genteel behaviour to him’.2

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: Paula Watson


  • 1. HMC Egmont Diary, ii. 161.
  • 2. Gent. Mag. 1745, p. 276.