DOUGLAS, John St. Leger (c.1732-83), of Springfield Place, nr. Chelmsford, Essex

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1754-1790, ed. L. Namier, J. Brooke., 1964
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1768 - 1774
1774 - 23 May 1783

Family and Education

b. c.1732, 1st s. of John Douglas of St. Kitts, West Indies by Susanna, da. of Michael Lambert, lt-gov. of St. Kitts, wid. of Richard Holmes. educ. Westminster Jan. 1743, aged 10; Trinity, Camb. 22 Oct. 1748, aged 17. m. (1) (d. 11 June 1764), 2s. 1da.; (2) 30 Dec. 1765, Caroline Otway, issue. suc. fa. 1747.

Offices Held


Douglas was returned for Hindon after a contest; he probably purchased the seat from the Calthorpe family. In Parliament he was a regular Government supporter. He was connected with Richard Rigby, a great friend of Lord Weymouth, on whose interest Douglas was returned in 1774 at Weobley. Only one speech by him is recorded: on 5 Dec. 1775 in support of the American prohibitory bill. Another West Indian, Nathaniel Bayly, having said that it would materially affect his property in the West Indies, Douglas replied that he too ‘had a considerable estate in the West-Indies ... nevertheless he thought the present bill a very wise and salutary measure ... it was better to suffer temporary inconveniences than sacrifice the British Empire in America to the local interests of any of its constituent parts’.1 And on 14 Dec. A. M. Storer, himself a West Indian, wrote to Lord Carlisle that even ‘moderate West Indians’ foresee total ruin for themselves—‘every West Indian, except Jack Douglas, is in the utmost consternation’.2

Douglas died 23 May 1783.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: J. A. Cannon


  • 1. Almon, iii. 252.
  • 2. HMC Carlisle, 311.