James Douglas 1702-1768

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James DOUGLAS 14th Earl of Morton, 1702-1768

Biographical Note

Eldest son of George Douglas (1662-1738), 13th Earl of Morton, and Frances Adderley of Halstow, Kent, he was born in Edinburgh and educated at King's College, Cambridge ( M.A. 1722). He then travelled on the continent for some years where he studied physics. On his return he helped to found the Society for Improving Arts and Sciences in Edinburgh (1739) and was chosen as its first president. He was also active as a member of the Royal Society in London and became its President in 1764. He was one of the founding Trustees of the British Museum and as Lord Clerk Register was keeper of records of Scotland. For nearly thirty years he was active in the House of Lords as one of the representative peers of Scotland.


Used an engraved bookplate (Franks 8898): (Douglas, Earl of Morton), anonymous, and an armorial binding stamp. A book with the binding stamp is recorded in the Clements Collection at the National Art Library, London.

The extent and disposition of his library is not known. The library of George Douglas, 18th Earl of Morton, probably contained books from earlier generations of the family; it was sold at auction in London by Wheatley & Adlard 18 May 1829.