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Sir John Sholto Douglas


(8th Marquis of Queensberry; Viscount Drumlanrig)

1844 - 1900

Patron of sport and subject of an infamous trial. Although born in Italy, Douglas succeeded his father to the Queensberry title in 1858 at the age of just 14. He is best known for giving his name to the "Queensberry Rules" for boxing, which he sanctioned in 1867. Douglas was also a founder of the Amateur Athletic Club in 1860. He was tried for libelling the Irish playwright Oscar Wilde, who Douglas accused of having a homosexual relationship with his son, Lord Alfred. This action eventually led to Wilde's disgrace and imprisonment.

A noted atheist, Douglas was prevented from taking his seat as a Representative Peer in the House of Lords after refusing to take the oath of allegiance, because it included a reference to God.

He died in London and is buried at Kinmount House, a family home in Dumfries and Galloway.


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