Born: De­cem­ber 9, 1776, Green­ock, Ren­frew­shire, Scot­land.

Died: Oc­to­ber 1, 1862, Green­ock, Scot­land.

Buried: Green­ock Ce­me­te­ry, Green­ock, Scot­land.



Neil’s fa­ther, wheel­wright Neill Dou­gall, was draft­ed in­to the ar­my, and died in Cey­lon (now Sri Lan­ka) when his son was on­ly four years old.

Af­ter his fa­ther’s death, Neil and his mo­ther moved to Cart­sdyke, Glas­gow, liv­ing on a small in­her­it­ed prop­er­ty. He was kept reg­u­lar­ly at school un­til age 15.

Fond of boat­ing and the sea, like ma­ny boys brought up in sea­port towns, Dou­gall was de­ter­mined to be a sail­or, and in 1791 be­came an ap­pren­tice on the ship Bri­tan­nia.

In 1795, while load­ing a gun to fire the se­cond vol­ley of a sa­lute to com­mem­or­ate Lord Howe’s vic­to­ry ov­er the French, an ex­pl­osion blind­ed him and took his arm.

After re­cov­er­ing, Dou­gall be­gan his mu­sic­al ca­reer. In 1798, he at­tend­ed a sing­ing class un­der Ro­bert Dun­can, pre­cen­tor of the East Pa­rish Church in Green­ock.

In the fall of the next year he opened his own class, which he ran un­til 1844. He gave an­nu­al con­certs in Green­ock, 1800–60.