John Sholto Douglas, 9th Marquess of Queensberry

John Sholto Douglas (1844-1900) was an eccentric Scottish nobleman, the 9th Marquess of Queensberry and Viscount Drumlanrig. He is remembered for lending his name to the "Marquess of Queensberry rules" that formed the basis of modern boxing.

He inherited the Queensberry title in 1858 from Archibald William Douglas. He was a famous patron of sport and a noted boxing enthusiast; he was one of the founders of the Amateur Athletic Club in 1860.

The boxing code was written by John Graham Chambers in 1865 and published in 1867 as "the Queensberry rules for the sport of boxing". This code of rules superseded the Revised London Prize Ring rules (1853), which had themselves replaced the original London Prize Ring rules (1743) of Jack Broughton. This version persuaded boxers that "you must not fight simply to win; no holds barred is not the way; you must win by the rules" (17, sect. 5, pt. 1).

In March 1895 the Marquess was sued for defamatory libel by Oscar Wilde, who Douglas had intimated was a "somdomite" (sic): Douglas made the accusation because he was angered over Wilde's relationship with his son, Alfred. Soon after the trial opened, the libel case was withdrawn, but Wilde was later convicted of gross indecency under the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1895.

Douglas died in London. He had married the daughter of Alfred Montgomery, and his title passed to his son Percy Sholto Douglas.

Preceded by:
Archibald William Douglas
Marquess of Queensberry Followed by:
Percy Sholto Douglas
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