Janet Kennedy, Lady Bothwell

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Janet Kennedy, Lady Bothwell

Also Known As: "Jane Kennedy", "Janet Gordon"
Birthplace: Dunure, Ayrshire, Scotland
Death: Died in Scotland
Immediate Family:

Daughter of John Kennedy, 2nd Lord Kennedy and Elizabeth Gordon
Wife of Alexander Gordon, of Kenmure
Ex-wife of John Ramsay, 1st Lord Bothwell
Partner of James IV of Scotland
Mother of Jean or Janet Gordon, of Kenmure and James Stewart, 1st Earl of Moray
Sister of Margaret Stewart; Elizabeth Rattray; Alexander Kennedy; John Kennedy; William Kennedy and 3 others
Half sister of David Kennedy, 1st Earl Of Cassillis; Katherine Kennedy and Lady Margaret Kennedy

Occupation: not married
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Janet Kennedy, Lady Bothwell


Janet Kennedy (c. 1480 – c. 1545), the first daughter of John Kennedy, 2nd Lord Kennedy and Lady Elizabeth Gordon. She became a mistress of King James IV of Scotland.

Through her father, she was a great-great-granddaughter of King Robert III. Janet Kennedy's mother, Lady Elizabeth Gordon, was a daughter of Alexander Gordon, 1st Earl of Huntly.

Originally she was married to the formidable Archibald Douglas, 5th Earl of Angus ("Bell the Cat"), they had a daughter, Mary, together.

She attracted the attention of King James IV around 1497. She bore the King three children. They included James Stewart, 1st Earl of Moray, Margaret and Jane Stewart.

The King had a number of mistresses, but this appears to have been his longest relationship, which continued even after his marriage to Margaret Tudor. After James IV's marriage by proxy, he met Janet at Bothwell Castle in April 1503, then she was sent to Darnaway Castle in August just before Margaret arrived.

It is not clear if she is the same as the "Janet bair ars" who received gifts from the king in 1505–12.

She also had relationships with two other men. Two of her partners died at the Battle of Flodden Field.

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Janet Kennedy, Lady Bothwell's Timeline

Dunure, Ayrshire, Scotland
May 10, 1496
Age 16
Age 20
Morayshire, Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland
August 8, 1503
Age 23
Holyrood Abbey,Edinburgh,Mid-Lothian,Scotland
Age 65