James, Earl of Angus
James Douglas, Earl of Angus, was a son of the 2nd Marquis of Douglas. He was born around 1671 at Douglas Castle, in South Lanarkshire. His great-uncle, William, was married to Duchess Anne of Hamilton.
In 1689, when only 18 years old, James became Colonel of a regiment created to protect Scotland from the armies of King James VII. The Earl of Angus’ Regiment was formed near Douglas on 14th May 1689.
Soon after, James’ father sent him back to London to finish his education, and the Regiment was then commanded by William Cleland. Following its first battle and victory at Dunkeld, the Earl of Angus’ Regiment was sent to Flanders to take part in the war against France.
Refused permission by his father to join his regiment, James continued his studies at Utrecht in Holland. However, some people criticised the young Colonel for allowing his regiment to fight while he studied. James wrote to his father, insisting that he be allowed to join the Regiment at once. Against his father’s wishes, James then joined his regiment and, on 3rd August 1692, led them in the Battle of Steenkerque, where he, along with many others of the Regiment, was killed.
A statue of James, Earl of Angus, was unveiled at Douglas in 1892 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the forming of the Earl of Angus’ Regiment.