Thomas Douglas was born - On this day in history


20 June 2019
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Thomas Douglas, 5th Earl of Selkirk, was born on 20 June 1771.

Thomas Douglas, 5th Earl of Selkirk, was born on 20 June 1771 at Saint Mary's Isle, Kirkcudbrightshire. As the seventh son, Douglas was not expected to inherit his father's estates and attended Edinburgh University in preparation for a career in law. Whilst a student, he noticed the plight of Scottish crofters being displaced by their landlords and decided to help their cause, establishing the Red River Colony in 1811 in Canada, to which Scottish families were invited to come and establish new lives.

Incredibly, Douglas's six brothers all died within quick succession and he inherited the family estate upon his father's death, using his wealth to establish more Scottish families in Prince Edward Island and Upper Canada.

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