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The Duke of Queensberry and the Union of Scotland and England: James Douglas and the ...

Chapter 1:  The Making of a Rebel, 1662–1689
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The Duke of Queensberry and the Union of Scotland and England:

Chapter 1

The Making of a Rebel,
1662–1689

Born on December 18, 1662, James Douglas grew up in a countryside resonating with political dissent and intrigue, and rebellious activity and political dissent prevailed throughout his life.1 His birthplace of Sanquhar would remain a focus for protest during his entire political life, and his political actions in the Scottish Parliament would provide much of the focus of that dissent. The restoration of Charles II on May 25, 1660, had introduced the hated Act Recissory (1661), which rescinded all legislation enacted since 1633. The king deemed no longer acceptable anything considered constitutionally progressive in terms of separating church from state or the prerogative from the crown. The Act Recissory confirmed the prerogative and, among other things, allowed the king the power to make war and to summon, or prorogue, the parliament as he thought fit.

James' father, William Douglas, third Earl of Queensberry, did not hold significant office until 1680. His mother, Lady Isabel, was the daughter of William, first Marquis of Douglas. William Douglas