William Douglas

(1725—1810) sybarite and politician

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[S] (1725–1810). Son of William Douglas, earl of March [S], whom he succeeded at the age of 6, Douglas became duke in 1778 when his cousin's sons died young. From 1760 until 1789 he was a lord of the bedchamber to George III and received the Thistle in 1763. From 1761 to 1786 he was a Scottish representative peer and was then created a British peer as Baron Douglas. After wobbling in the Regency crisis of 1789, he was deprived of his position in the bedchamber. A small, irritable, and foul-mouthed man of stupendous wealth, he was well known in gambling and racing circles and as a man about town. In his declining years, as Old Q, toothless and deaf, he was constantly to be seen on the balcony of his house in Piccadilly, watching life go by, an antiquated beau.

From The Oxford Companion to British History in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: British History.

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