Janet Douglas, Lady Glamis

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Janet Douglas

Also Known As: "Jonet", "The White Lady of Glamis Castle"
Birthplace: North Berwick, East Lothian, Scotland
Death: July 17, 1537 (33-42)
Castle Hill, Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland (accused of witchcraft, burned at the stake at Edinburgh)
Immediate Family:

Daughter of George Douglas, Master of Angus and Elizabeth Drummond of Glamis
Wife of John Lyon, 6th Lord Glamis and Archibald Campbell of Skipnish
Mother of John Lyon, 7th Lord of Glamis; Elizabeth Lyon; George Lyon; Margaret Lyon and John Campbell of Skipnish, Provost of Kilmun
Sister of Elizabeth Douglas of Angus; Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus; George Douglas of Pittendreich; William Douglas of Coldingham; Margaret Douglas of Angus and 1 other

Occupation: Lady Glamis
Managed by: Carole (Erickson) Pomeroy,Vol. C...
Last Updated:

About Janet Douglas, Lady Glamis


In 1514 Archibald, 6th Earl of Angus became the 2nd husband of the Scottish Queen Dowager, Margaret Tudor, and was responsible for the imprisonment of the young James V, during which he virtually ruled Scotland. James V escaped his captor in 1528 and Archibald was forced to flee to England in exile. King James V's hatred for the Douglases extended to Archibald's sister, Lady Janet Douglas of Glamis.

the 6th Lord of Glamis married Janet Douglas. They had one son John. They lived a peaceful and happy life at Glamis until the death of her husband Lord Glamis, in 1528.

Lady Janet was born into the Douglas Clan. Her brother was the stepfather of King James V. King James hated his stepfather, obsessed by a deep hatred for anyone who bore the Douglas name, King James would carry out a ruthless vendetta against them. Lady Janet became the center of King James' hatred. Lady Janet no longer had the protection of her marriage to Lord Glamis.

King James confiscated Glamis Castle for the crown by accusing Lady Janet of witchcraft and of making deadly potions with which to kill him. No one ever doubted that these accusations were not true, but Lady Janet and her son were imprisoned in the dark dungeons of Edinburgh Castle. Occupying Glamis, King James held court there from 1537 to 1542.

Throwing Lady Janet into prison was easy for King James, but convicting her of his trumped up charge of witchcraft would be difficult. Her character was impeccable, without blemish, and she was very much respected by everyone who knew her. In order to get the testimony he needed to convict her, the King resorted to torture. Her clansmen and servants were put on the rack and stretched to the point of agony. They finally gave false evidence against her.

John, her son, who was 16 at the time was forced to watch in horror, before being brutality tortured himself. Using these savage tactics the King got his confessions. Lady Janet was convicted of witchcraft, and she and her son were condemned to death. On July 17, 1537, almost blind from her long imprisonment in the dungeon, Lady Janet Glamis was burned alive at Edinburgh Castle. On lookers fell silent.

Lady Janet was a beautiful young woman. An eyewitness of the execution described her suffering with great commiseration. Being in the prime of her years, of singular beauty, she endured her suffering, and although being a woman, with a man like courage. Her innocence was never doubted. It is believed that she was not executed for witchcraft, but for the hatred James V had for her brother.

Her son John, the 7th Lord of Glamis was released after King James V died. Parliament restored Glamis back to him. Sadly upon his return to the castle he found that everything of value had been taken by James V. Before his death, it is said King James V had felt remorse for his actions.

Janet Douglas b. ? She died on 17 July 1537 at Castle Hill, Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland, burned at the stake for threatening the life of King James V with sorcery. Her ghost is said to haunt Glamis Castle.

She was the daughter of George Douglas, Master of Angus and Elizabeth Drummond.

Her ghost known as "The White Lady" has haunted Glamis Castle for hundreds of years. The Lady of Glamis who became Lady Campbell after her husband's death. A trumped-up charge of witchcraft was bought against her by the cruel and wicked Monarch James V. Although she was a woman of impeccable character and a very beautiful and popular lady she was imprisoned. After a long imprisonment in a dark dungeon, she was almost blind. She was burned alive at the stake outside Edinburgh Castle. Even her young son was condemned to death and imprisoned only to be released after the king had died. Secrets and Hauntings of Glamis Castle


From http://thepeerage.com/p10964.htm#i109632

  • F, #109632, d. 17 July 1537
  • Last Edited=12 May 2018
  • Consanguinity Index=0.13%

Janet Douglas was the daughter of George Douglas, Master of Angus and Elizabeth Drummond.

She married, firstly, John Lyon, 6th Lord Glamis, son of John Lyon, 4th Lord Glamis and Elizabeth Gray, before 12 December 1527.

She married, secondly, Archibald Campbell, son of Archibald Campbell, 2nd Earl of Argyll and Elizabeth Stuart, after 1528.

Children of Janet Douglas and John Lyon, 6th Lord Glamis

  • George Lyon d. a 1542
  • Margaret Lyon d. 15 Jun 1610
  • Elizabeth Lyons
  • John Lyon, 7th Lord Glamis+ d. b 18 Sep 1559

Child of Janet Douglas and Archibald Campbell

  • John Campbell


  • 1. [S8] Charles Mosley, editor, Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 106th edition, 2 volumes (Crans, Switzerland: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 1999), volume 1, page 1282. Hereinafter cited as Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 106th edition.
  • 2. [S8] Charles Mosley, Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 106th edition, volume 1, page 104.


From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janet_Douglas,_Lady_Glamis

Janet Douglas, Lady Glamis (died 17 July 1537) was a Scottish noblewoman accused of witchcraft, who was burnt to death during the reign of James V of Scotland.

Treason and charges of witchcraft

The Douglas family was far from favoured by King James V of Scotland; Janet's brother, Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus, was the King's stepfather, and Angus had imprisoned the young James. James's hatred for Angus extended to his whole family, including Janet. After James had broken free of the Douglas family, in December 1528 Janet was summoned for treason. She was accused with others for bringing supporters of the Earl of Angus to Edinburgh in June. However, James called her "our lovittis Dame Jonat Douglas" in a licence of 1529 allowing her and a co-accused Patrick Charteris of Cuthilgurdy to go on pilgrimage and be exempt from legal proceedings.

A recent historian, Jamie Cameron, thinks it unlikely that Janet went on pilgrimage, as she was the subject of a number of legal actions culminating in a charge of poisoning her husband John Lyon, 6th Lord Glamis who had died on 17 September 1528. This case was dropped and Janet was free to marry her second husband, Archibald Campbell of Skipness by the summer of 1532. However on 17 July 1537 Janet was convicted of planning to poison the King and communicating with her brothers, the Earl of Angus and George Douglas.[1]

James had Janet accused of witchcraft against him, although it was clear that the accusations were false. She was imprisoned with her husband (who escaped but was later killed) in a dungeon of Edinburgh Castle. It was easy for James to imprison Janet, but actually convicting her was more difficult. To gain "evidence", James had Janet's family members and servants subjected to torture. Janet was convicted and burned at the stake on 17 July 1537 on the esplanade of Edinburgh Castle, which her young son was forced to watch.

She was the daughter of George Douglas, Master of Angus and Elizabeth Drummond, daughter of John Drummond, 1st Lord Drummond. She married firstly to John Lyon, 6th Lord Glamis (1492–1528) and by him had issue:

  • John Lyon, 7th Lord Glamis
  • George Lyon
  • Margaret Lyon
  • Elizabeth Lyon, married 1st: John Forbes, Master of Forbes; married 2nd: Thomas Craig of Balnely; married 3rd: John Tulloch of Montcoffer; married 4th: John Abernethy.

Janet, Lady Glamis married secondly Archibald Campbell of Skipnish, second son of Archibald Campbell, 2nd Earl of Argyll.


  • Cameron, Jamie, James V, Tuckwell (1998), pp. 169-181, 204-05.
  • Balfour Paul, Sir James, Scots Peerage vol viii, pp.278-280, Edinburgh 1904 Archive.Org
  • Profile on Douglas Family History link
view all

Janet Douglas, Lady Glamis's Timeline

North Berwick, East Lothian, Scotland
October 1515
Forfar, Angus council, Scotland, United Kingdom
Glamis, Angushire, Scotland
July 17, 1537
Age 38
Castle Hill, Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland