The Douglas family history stretches back to the eighth century. Legend claims that a Scottish king, whose army was losing in battle, saw the tide turn in his favour following the intervention of an unknown warrior.
The man was a fearsome fighter named Sholto Douglas, one of the earliest recorded members of the Douglas family.
A more recent member of the family to go down in history was John Sholto Douglas, 9th Marquis of Queensberry. Born in 1844, John Douglas was a Scottish nobleman, remembered for his outspoken views and his brutish manner.
He lent his name to the rules that form the basis of modern boxing. Queensberry was a noted boxing enthusiast and he was one of the founders of the Amateur Athletic Association of England. The Club published a set of twelve rules for conducting boxing matches.
The rules appeared under Queensberry’s sponsorship and are universally known as the Queensberry rules.
John Douglas, however, is probably more remembered for his role in the downfall of author and playwright Oscar Wilde.
The notorious Lord Alfred Bruce Douglas, known to the world as Bosie, was the son of Queensberry and the lover of Oscar Wilde. In 1895, angered by the apparent ongoing homosexual relationship between Wilde and his son, Queensberry started legal proceedings that would result in Wilde’s imprisonment.
Lord Alfred was a British poet whose work was characterised by the history of Ancient Greece. There are many who believe that his poetry was far better than anything Wilde ever published.