Mary Stewart

Mary was one of the last gentlewomen of the Old Town, although after her husband's death she soon moved to the larger houses and nearby family of the New Town. She was a soldier's wife who saw two of her sons die in military service, and her soldier son-in-law Charles return to Edinburgh bankrupt to die, four days after her. But she also saw at least two of her grandchildren baptised in Charlotte Chapel, and the kindnesses shown by her daughters to their neice Charles' daughter suggest an affectionate family.

1734- 3 January 1816
Her husband was mentioned in Old and New Edinburgh as one of the last 'people of position' who 'continued to linger in the Old Town' after the creation of the New Town (3). They lived in Baron Maule's Close, but Mrs Douglas moved to 26 South Frederick Street soon after her husband's death in 1790.
Wealth at death
Her daughter's will mentions 'The trust estate of the late Mrs Mary Douglas my mother.' (4)
Assessed taxes 1811
Her house had 15 windows and a rental value of £60
Chapel connection
1816 (funeral)
Lt General John Douglas late Colonel of his Majesty's Dragoon guards. Douglas's (21st) Light Dragoons were formed in 1778 to patrol the Yorkshire coast in the face of the threat of the French invading in support of the American colonists, and to counter the rampant smuggling of run, tea and sugar from Holland. The regiments were no longer required after the end of this war in 1783 and the 21st was disbanded (10) Douglas subsequently commanded the Fifth Light Dragoons. (11)
William (d.1794 eldest son, Captain in the 41st Regiment of Foot, died in the West Indes (6)), John (d.1799, ensign of the 14th regiment, youngest son, died at Port Royal in the West Indes (5)), Jane (d.1826, m. John Duncombe of the East India Company (7)), Mary Douglas, Margaret Douglas, Anne (m. James Boyd Esq. d.1849 (8)), Elizabeth (unm, d.1861, living in 13 Maitland Street where Mary Douglas lived as a widow. (9))


  1. Registers of Charlotte Chapel (NAS CH12/3)
  2. Edinburgh Post Office Directory
  3. James Grant, Old and New Edinburgh (London, Cassell, 1880s) vol.2 p.282, online accessed 3 June 2010
  4. Elizabeth Douglas' Will, National Archives of Scotland SC70/4/75/787
  5. John Douglas' inventory, National Archives of Scotland CC8/8/131/1654
  6. William Douglas' inventory, National Archives of Scotland CC8/8/131/1651
  7. Jane Duncombe's inventory, National Archives of Scotland SC70/1/35/37
  8. Ann Boyd's will, National Archives of Scotland SC70/4/7/853
  9. Elizabeth Douglas' will, National Archives of Scotland SC70/4/75/787
  11. Richard Cannon, Historical record of the Fourteenth, or the Buckinghamshire Regiment of Foot: containing an account of the formation of the regiment in 1685, and of its subsequent services to 1845

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