James Douglas

From Shetland History Online
Jump to: navigation, search

Sir James Douglas (b. 1703, d. 2 November 1787), also known as Guid Sir James, and Black Douglas, was a Member of Parliament for Orkney and Shetland.

He was elected in 1754, replacing John Halyburton. He was returned to the seat in the 1761 election, and served until 1768 when he was replaced by Thomas Dundas.

James Douglas was an officer in the Royal Navy and continued with this career during the time he represented the constituency.

Naval Career

Douglas became a captain in the Royal Navy in 1744. In 1745 he commanded the HMS Mermaid at Louisbourg and in 1746 he commanded the HMS Vigilante at Louisbourg. In 1746 was appointed Commodore of Newfoundland by Vice-Admiral Isaac Townsend. He then served as a Member of Parliament for Orkney & Shetland from 1754 to 1768.

In 1757 served as a member of the court martial which tried and convicted Admiral Byng and in 1759 he was knighted for his participation in the capture of Québec. He was commander of the squadron which captured Dominica in 1761.[2] He served in the fleet under George Rodney which captured Martinique in February 1762 and then served in the fleet under George Pocock which captured Havana in August 1762.[2] He became Commander-in-Chief, Jamaica Station later in the year.

Promoted to vice-admiral in 1770, he became Commander-in-Chief, Portsmouth in 1774 and was then promoted to admiral in 1778. In 1786 he was made a Baronet.

Timeline of Naval Career

  • 1744 Captain in the Royal Navy
  • 1745 Commanded the Mermaid at Louisbourg
  • 1746 appointed Commodore of Newfoundland
  • 1759 Knighted for his participation in the capture of Quebec
  • 1770 Promoted to Vice-Admiral
  • 1778 Promoted to Admiral
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
James Halyburton
Member of Parliament for
Orkney and Shetland

Succeeded by
Thomas Dundas Snr
Members of the Parliament of Great Britain
MPs Alexander Douglas (1707-1713) • George Douglas (1713-1715) • James Moodie (1715-1722) • George Douglas (1722-1730) • Robert Douglas (1730-1747) • John Halyburton (1747-1754) • James Douglas (1754-1768) • Thomas Dundas (1768-1771) • Thomas Dundas (1771-1780) • Robert Baikie (1780-1781) • Charles Dundas (1781-1784) • Thomas Dundas (1784-1790) • John Balfour (1790-1796) • Robert Honyman (1796-1801)