Douglas, William - portraits of his children

In a single frame are three miniature portraits of children of William Douglas (14 Apr 1780-30 Jan 1832) a miniature painter from Edinburgh, Scotland.

He was born at Torryburn, Fife, Scotland and died in Edinburgh. His wife was Charlotte Grieve who he married on 7 Aug 1805.

William Douglas held an appointment as Miniature Painter to HRH Princess Charlotte.

The three children are Archibald Ramsay Douglas at the top, Charlotte Douglas at the lower left, and Robert Duncan Douglas at the lower right.

Later in her life (yes, Archibald was female!) Archibald Ramsay Douglas (24 Apr 1807-?) was a miniature painter in her own right and several miniatures by her feature in this gallery.

Charlotte Douglas (2 May 1810-?) later married William Stuart and that branch of the family emigrated to New Zealand in the mid 19C.

Records suggest that Robert Duncan Douglas (24 Feb 1812->1881) never married and lived all his life in Edinburgh.

He appears to have trained as a lawyer and been a Writer to the Signet, as well as a Procurator Fiscal (i.e. Crown Prosecutor).

The acquisition of this frame is poignant, in that the frame was acquired at public auction, about ten years subsequent to the purchase of a miniature of a fourth child of William Douglas and Charlotte Grieve, named Christina Brown Douglas (19 Mar 1815-21 Jan 1821) who died before the age of six.

She is shown in the fourth miniature. Thus, it is both fitting and very fortunate that the four children have been reunited in this collection of miniature portraits.

They could very easily have gone to different collectors and thus never been reunited.

The presence of these four miniatures of children, all painted by William Douglas, is an important resource for judging the quality of his work, especially when taken with the various other miniatures in this gallery which were painted by William Douglas or by his daughter Archibald Ramsay Douglas. 1331

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