The son of Walter Doughty of Hull , a member of the prominent Lamplough Wesleyan insurance broker family and his wife Sarah, nee Lamplough. Educated at Hymers College, Hull, he was accepted for the ministry in 1904, serving a pre-collegiate year in the Isle of Man before training at Richmond College. He travelled widely, serving prosperous suburban churches in Sutton Coldfield and London, and also places like Grimsby, Aberdeen, the North of Scotland Mission and Bangor. As a minister he made himself an expert on Wesleyana and became a prominent Methodist historian. His books included John Wesley in Lincolnshire (1938), John Wesley, His Conferences and His Preachers (the WHS Conference Lecture for 1944), Studies in Religious Poetry of the 17th Century (1946), John Wesley Preacher (1955) and Susannah Wesleys Prayers (1956).
He was President of the Wesley Historical Society from 1956 to 1963 and wrote many articles for the Proceedings and elsewhere. He married twice, firstly in 1911 the ex- Deaconess Marie Sayer formerly from Eastbourne, and secondly, in 1929 Phyllis Clay from Finchley.
He amassed a very significant collection of Wesleyana, which he left to his widow. When she died in 1974 it came into the possession of his two daughters, Mrs. Phyllis Anne Simmonite and Mrs. Judith Helen Lamplough Rutherford. It was his wish that it should be known as 'The Doughty Collection' and should be given to his old college. As Richmond College had closed, the Rev Dr John Bowmer advised his daughter Phyllis to contact Mr Dobinson the curator at Epworth Old Rectory. In 1975 the Epworth Old Rectory management committee agreed to accept and display the collection on a 'Permanent Loan' basis. On 25th February 1986 the daughters decided they wished to sell the collection. It was valued at £1,760. Mrs Simmonite gifted to the Epworth Old Rectory her half of the collection and by money donated from the 'John Roberts Halkes Settlement Trust' and private gifts the other half was bought. 'The Doughty Collection is now on permanent display at the Old Rectory.
Though sometimes seen as shy and retiring, Doughty made many friends and enjoyed corresponding with them. He died in September 1966.