Alfred, son of James and Clarissa Douglass, was born on 14 March 1820 at Loughborough, Leicestershire, England. He arrived in Hobart, Tasmania on 9 March 1835 aboard the Wave. He gained valuable experience in the wool industry in Tasmania then came to Geelong in 1850 after a short stay in Melbourne. Soon after arriving he advertised his wool store business in Yarra Street.
When he noticed a shortage in housing in Geelong he advertised prefabricated houses which he brought from Sydney.
He went into partnership with John Wright and they built the Barwonside wool scouring works and the Barwonside Tannery in Horseshoe Bend Road, Marshall in 1851. Wright died at his residence, "Merlin Hill", St Albans on 25 July 1866. The tannery was leased to James Munday in 1869 then a Mr Pearson in 1878. Michael Bolger occupied it in 1880-1881, then Martin Hardyman 1883-1886 and Alex Boyd James Giffen in 1887, after which it appeared to have been unoccupied. In July 1885 Douglass sued the Department of Land and Works and recovered damages caused by the damming up of water from the defective construction of the railway bridge.
In 1867 Alfred Douglass and Co sold a 183 acre farm at Mount Duneed.
Alfred married Elizabeth née De Little, who was born on 4 July 1825 in Launceston, in 1853. In 1856 Alfred had Corio Villa erected at Eastern Beach. It was a prefabricated building, manufactured in Edinburgh and had remained unclaimed at the wharf. They had the following children:
Alfred Byerly — born 3 May 1854, died 12 April 1855
Alfred William — born 21 June 1855, died 14 October 1855
Charles Clipstone — born 2 September 1856, died 5 February 1858
Henry Percival (Percy) — born 9 June 1859 in London, married Enid Mary Webster, died 1927
Arthur Reginald — born 16 June 1860, died 14 February 1861
Emily Constance — born 16 June 1860, died 29 December 1860
Frederick Montague (Monty) born 31 March 1862, married Amy Elizabeth Thompson, died 1943
Charles Leslie — born 11 August 1863, died 1864
Edmund — born 6 January 1865, died 1865
Percy and Monty were the only children to survive to adulthood. Both were successful early Geelong Football Club players.
In 1861 Alfred purchased the Geelong Advertiser with his brother-in-law Joseph De Little. They traded under the name of Alfred Douglas and Co.
Alfred was a trustee of the Geelong Savings Bank for twenty eight years, terminating with his death on 30 October 1883 at the age of 65 years.
Elizabeth received recognition for her art, mainly miniature portraits on ivory, chalk drawings, watercolour, engraving and oil colour.
Elizabeth died on 25 December 1902 at the age of 77 years. They were buried together in the old Church of England section of the Geelong Eastern Cemetery.
The Landell mentioned in the advertisement above should have been spelt Landale
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