Sir William Douglas, 1st Baronet (died 1809) was a Scottish landowner and industrialist, best known for founding the planned town of Castle Douglas in the Civil Parish of Kelston, Kirkcudbrightshire, within the now District Council Region of Dumfries and Galloway south-west Scotland.
He began life as a humble pedlar but soon became wealthy from dealings in an unspecified 'American trade'. He returned to Scotland in the late 18th century, where his major work was the development of cotton mills and a town next to Carlingwark Loch. This was a planned town set around a grid plan system of streets, similar to that of Edinburgh's New Town, planned at around the same time. This town was named Castle Douglas in 1792, having previously been known as "Carlingwark". Sir William also established cotton mills in Newton Stewart, which was temporarily renamed "Newton Douglas" in his honour, and a range of industries in Castle Douglas including a brewery, woollen mill, soap works and tannery.
Douglas was granted a baronetcy in 1801.
In 1805 he built himself a mansion at Gelston Castle, in the Civil Parish of Kelton, Kirkcudbrightshire which has been attributed to architect Robert Crichton.
The castellated mansion is currently a vacant shell
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