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John Sholto Douglas

(1844—1900) sportsman and controversialist


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[S] (1844–1900). Douglas inherited the title at the age of 14. He was a representative peer of Scotland from 1872 until 1880, when he lost re-election, largely for his outspoken support for Bradlaugh. A keen amateur boxer, he helped in 1867 to draw up the Queensberry rules, which governed boxing. His life was turbulent. His first wife obtained a divorce and his second marriage was annulled. A younger brother died climbing the Matterhorn. His first son died in a shooting accident in 1894. His third son, Lord Alfred Douglas (‘Bosie’), formed a friendship with Oscar Wilde, of which his father violently disapproved. Queensberry's notorious card, left at Wilde's club, provoked Wilde to the action for criminal libel which ruined him.

From The Oxford Companion to British History in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: British History.


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