Archibald Douglas, 8th earl, and earl of Morton (1555-1588), was the son of David, 7th earl. He succeeded to the title and estates in 1558, being brought up by his uncle, the 4th earl of Morton, a Presbyterian. In 1573 he was made a privy councillor and sheriff of Berwick, in 1574 lieutenant-general of Scotland, in 1577 warden of the west marches and steward of Fife, and in 1578 lieutenant-general of the realm. He gave a strong support to Morton during the attack upon the latter, made a vain attempt to rescue him, and was declared guilty of high treason on the 2nd of June 1581. He now entered into correspondence with the English government for an invasion of Scotland to rescue Morton, and on the latter's execution in June went to London, where he was welcomed by Elizabeth. After the raid of Ruthven in 1582 Angus returned to Scotland and was reconciled to James, but soon afterwards the king shook off the control of the earls of Mar and Gowrie, and Angus was again banished from the court. In 1584 he joined the rebellion of Mar and Glamis, but the movement failed, and the insurgents fled to Berwick. Later they took up their residence at Newcastle, which became a centre of Presbyterianism and of projects against the Scottish government, encouraged by Elizabeth, who regarded the banished lords as friends of the English and antagonists of the French interest.
In February 1585 they came to London, and cleared themselves of the accusation of plotting against James's life; a plan was prepared for their restoration and for the overthrow of James Stewart, earl of Arran. In October they invaded Scotland and gained an easy victory over Arran, captured Stirling Castle with the king in November, and secured from James the restoration of their estates and the control of the government. In 1586 Angus was appointed warden of the marches and lieutenant-general on the border, and performed good services in restoring order; but he was unable to overcome the king's hostility to the establishment of Presbyterian government. In January 1586 he was granted the earldom of Morton with the lands entailed upon him by his uncle. He died on the 4th of August 1588. He was succeeded in the earldom by his cousin William, a descendant of the 5th earl. (For the Morton title, see MORTON, JAMES DOUGLAS, 4th EARL OF.)