The Douglases are an ancient Scottish kindred from the Scottish Lowlands taking their name from Douglas, South Lanarkshire, and from there their chiefs gained vast territories throughout the Scottish Borderland, Angus, Lothian, Moray and France. The Douglases were the most prominent family in lowland Scotland during the Late Middle Ages, often holding the real power behind the throne of the Stewart Kings. The heads of the House of Douglas held the titles of the Earl of Douglas (Black Douglas) and later the Earl of Angus (Red Douglas). The clan does not have a chief recognised by the Lyon Court, so therefore it is now considered an armigerous clan.
The original caput of the family was Douglas Castle in Lanarkshire. The Kirk of St Bride at Douglas, along with Melrose Abbey and the Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés holds the remains of many of the Earls of Douglas and Angus.
Clan Douglas, also referred to as the House of Douglas, is an ancient family from the Scottish Lowlands taking its name from Douglas, South Lanarkshire, and thence spreading through the Scottish Borderland, Angus, Lothian and beyond. The clan does not currently have a chief, therefore it is considered an Armigerous clan.
Clan crest of Clan Douglas
The Douglases were once the most powerful family in Scotland. The chiefs held the titles of the Earl of Douglas, and following their forfeiture the chieftancy devolved upon the Earl of Angus (see also: Duke of Hamilton). The 4th Earl of Morton held the chieftaincy during the 16th century, the Earldom of Morton was then a subsidiary title of the 8th Earl of Angus after the 4th Earl's forfeiture and death in 1581.
The family's original seat was Douglas Castle in Lanarkshire, but they spread to many properties throughout Southern and North-Eastern Scotland.