"It is said that if the name of Douglas were removed from Scottish history there would be few stories left for the telling. They belong to legend as much as to history. Whatever they did was dramatic and usually memorable and were Scotland's outstanding representatives in the Age of Chivalry. Obviously, if the Douglases had not existed it would have been necessary for Sir Walter Scott to invent them."-Scotland Magazine

DOUGLAS 'Hush thee !, hush thee !, little pet thee, do not fret thee, the Black Douglas shall not get thee' was a rhyme sung by worried mothers to comfort children in the days of Scottish raids. It refers to a friend of Robert the Bruce called Jamie 'the Black Douglas' (1286-1330), who was much feared in England. Douglases have long been associated with the border country and the name originates from Douglas in Lanarkshire. The name derives from Dubh Glas, meaning 'black stream' and as well as being the origin of the surname has also given rise to Douglas, the Christian name. William de Duglas is the first known member of the family and lived in the twelfth century. Other Douglases include William Douglas 'The Hardy', father of the Black Douglas and Governor of Berwick in 1296 when the town fell to the English. At the Battle of Otterburn on the 19 August 1388 the famous rivalry between the Douglases and the Percy family of Northumberland reached a dramatic climax. James Earl Douglas invaded England with an army of 4000 soldiers and burned Northumberland and Durham as far as Brancepeth. At Newcastle Douglas taunted Harry Hotspur Percy who was safely protected behind the defended town walls. Later Hotspur attacked Douglas and his army at their camp at Otterburn and the battle commenced. James Douglas was killed in the battle but only after he had correctly predicted a Scottish victory - 'I hae dream'd a dreary dream, beyond the Isle of Skye, I saw a dead man win a fight, I think that man was I'


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