This article was commissioned by Robert Jarman for Debrett’s Bicentennial Australia which he compiled and edited 1987. Robert Jarman took great delight in inviting Stewart Aberdour and his wife Amanda to visit Australia during its bicentennial year and to participate in the celebrations of its discovery in 1787 in which his ancestor James Douglas, 14th Earl of Morton, played a major part in funding and organizing.
Lord Aberdour is the son of the present (21st) Earl of Morton whose predecessor, the 14th Earl of Morton, selected James Cook to captain the Endeavour and was directly responsible for the plans to discover the strange land which he was convinced existed in the South Seas or the Pacific Ocean. Lord Aberdour is also a collateral descendant of the famous “Black Douglas” after whom a rather well-known Whiskey is named!
Lord Aberdour writes:-
It is a great pleasure to contribute to the bicentennial celebrations and to record the part played in Australia’s history by my ancestor James Douglas, 14the Earl of Morton.
He was an unusual man. Other bearers of the Black Douglas name had featured in some of the most violent episodes in the stormy history of Scotland, but this Morton was essentially an intellectual; a man of the thesis and the telescope, rather than of blood and the sword.
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