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Sir Archibald Douglas
"North America and West Indies"
Douglas as caricatured by Spy (Leslie Ward) in Vanity Fair, July 1902
Born (1842-02-08)8 February 1842
Died 12 March 1913(1913-03-12) (aged 71)
Place of birth Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
Place of death Newnham, Hampshire, England
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  Royal Navy
Years of service 1856 – 1907
Rank Admiral
Awards Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order

Admiral Sir Archibald Lucius Douglas, GCB, GCVO (8 February 1842 – 12 March 1913) was a Royal Navy officer of the 19th century.

Naval career[]

Douglas was born in Quebec City in pre-Confederation Canada in 1842. Educated at the Quebec High School, he joined the Royal Navy as a cadet in 1856.[1]

He was selected to head the second British naval mission to Japan in 1873, and served as a foreign advisor to the fledgling Imperial Japanese Navy until 1875.[2]

Douglas was based at the Imperial Japanese Navy Academy, then located at Tsukiji in Tokyo, where he trained a class of 30 officers. During his tenure, his advice was called upon for the Taiwan Expedition of 1874, the first major overseas deployment for the Japanese navy.

During his stay in Japan, he is also credited with having introduced the sport of soccer to Japanese naval cadets.[3]

During the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878, Douglas commanded HMS Egeria on an intelligence gathering mission to Petropavlovsk in Kamchatka, which he found to have been abandoned by its Russian garrison.[4]

Douglas was promoted to Commander-in-Chief, East Indies Station in 1898[5] and Second Naval Lord in 1899. Promoted to Vice Admiral in June 1901,[6] he was appointed Commander-in-chief of the North American Station in 1902.[1] He went on to be Commander-in-Chief, Portsmouth in 1904[7] and retired from the service in 1907.[1]

In 1910 he was made an honorary LL.D. of McGill University; in 1902 he was created a KCB, in 1905 a GCVO, and in 1911 a GCB.[1]

Douglas died in Hampshire, England in 1913.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 W. Stewart WALLACE, ed., The Encyclopedia of Canada, Vol. II, Toronto, University Associates of Canada, 1948, 411p., p. 229
  2. Ian Gow, 'The Douglas Mission (1873-79) and Meiji Naval Education' in J.E. Hoare ed., Britain & Japan: Biographical Portraits Volume III, Japan Library 1999 ISBN 978-1-873410-89-9
  3. Embassy of Japan in the UK
  4. Cambridge Journals
  5. William Loney RN
  6. "No. 27325". 21 June 1901. 
  7. England's Share in Togo's Victory Ashburton Guardian, 1905
  • Douglas, Archibald C. Life of Admiral Sir Archibald Lucius Douglas, G.C.B, G.C.V.O, Commander of the Legion of Honour, Order of the Rising Sun of Japan, Spanish Naval Order of Merit, by his son. Mortimer Bros (1938) ASIN B001CO3IT8


United Kingdom

German Empire



French military mission to Japan (1867–68)
French military mission to Japan (1872–80)
French military mission to Japan (1884–89)
French military mission to Japan (1918–19)
Tracey Mission
Douglas Mission
Sempill Mission
Meckel Mission
Pels Rijcken
Pompeo Grillo
Military offices
Preceded by
Edmund Drummond
Commander-in-Chief, East Indies Station
Succeeded by
Sir Day Bosanquet
Preceded by
Lord Walter Kerr
Second Naval Lord
Succeeded by
Sir John Fisher
Preceded by
Sir Frederick Bedford
Commander-in-Chief, North America and West Indies Station
Succeeded by
Sir Day Bosanquet
Preceded by
Sir John Fisher
Commander-in-Chief, Portsmouth
Succeeded by
Sir Day Bosanquet

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