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William Douglas, 8th Earl of Douglas, 2nd Earl of Avondale (1425 – 22 February 1452), was a Scottish nobleman. He was the eldest son of James Douglas, 7th Earl of Douglas and Beatrice Sinclair.

The power of the 'Black' Douglases, lost after the execution of the 6th Earl, was restored by the 8th Earl, who recovered the lordships of Wigtown, Galloway and Bothwell by marriage (by papal dispensation) to his cousin, the Fair Maid of Galloway (daughter of the 5th Earl. He was soon high in favour with James II, and procured the disgrace of Sir William Crichton, presumed murderer of his kinsman the 6th Earl, by an alliance with his rival, Sir Alexander Livingstone.

James II raided the Douglas lands during his absence on a pilgrimage to Rome. Despite this, their relations seemed outwardly friendly. However, in 1452 the king sent one of Douglas's friends, Sir William Lauder of Haltoun, with an invitation to Douglas to come to Stirling Castle under a safe-conduct, in itself, however, a proof of strained relations. There James demanded the dissolution of a league into which Douglas had entered with Alexander Lindsay, the 'Tiger' earl of Crawford. Upon Douglas's refusal the king murdered him with his own hands -stabbing him 26 times - the courtiers helping to despatch him; his body was thrown out the window.

Dying without issue, his titles passed to his brother James.

References

Peerage of Scotland
Preceded by
James Douglas
Douglas Arms 3.svg
Earl of Douglas

1443–1452
Succeeded by
James Douglas
Preceded by
James Douglas
Earl of Avondale
1443–1452
Succeeded by
James Douglas
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