Jane Stewart (Douglas) (1697 - 1753)

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Birthdate:
Birthplace: Scotland
Death: Died in Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland
Managed by: James David STEWART
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About Jane Stewart (Douglas)

Lady Jane Douglas, b. 17 Mar 1698, d. 22 Nov 1753 at Crosscauseway, near the Windmill, Edinburgh, Scotland.

  • Parents: James Douglas, 2nd Marquess of Douglas (c.1646 – 25 February 1700) & Mary Kerr

Married

  1. 4 Aug 1746 at Drumsheugh, Edinburgh, to Sir John Steuart of Grandtully, Baronet (d. 14 Jun 1764 at Murthly).

Children

  1. Archibald James Edward Steuart Douglas, b. 10 Jul 1748, Lord Douglas of Douglas, d. 26 Dec 1827,
  2. Sholto Thomas Steuart, b. 10 Jul 1748, d. 5 May 1753.

Did She Buy Her Babies?

Lady Jane Douglas had born twins, Archibald and Sholto Stewart, under suspicious circumstance while in France in 1748 and at the age of 47. Her brother Archibald, Duke of Douglas, refused to acknowledge them as his heirs. Furthermore, he cut off his sister's allowance and subjected them to abject poverty. Lady Jane died in 1753 being preceded by the younger of the twins, Sholto. It seems that near the end of his life the Duke felt some remorse for his harsh treatment of his sister and in his last illness executed a deed admitting the right of his nephew, Archibald Stewart.

Considerable doubt was expressed over the births of the 'twins' and led to the legal case called The Douglas Cause - which was won by her son Archibald Stewart, later 1st Lord Douglas.

However it seems the twins really were bought.  Documents discovered, in summer 2008, in the archive of the present Earl of Home suggest that Lady Jane lied, that she connived in her husband’s planned deceit, and that she regretted the falsehood ever after. The writer Karl Sabbagh, who has been researching the Douglas Cause for several years, has unearthed a document in Lady Jane’s handwriting which, he says, suggests that she was guilty, and she was well aware of the enormity of her crime.

“In the light of the ambiguous results of the years of legal investigation and court hearings, I didn’t expect to find much more than picturesque detail in the archives,” Sabbagh said. “I came across various letters written in a firm and measured way by Lady Jane about aspects of the case. But one document in her own hand is very different. It is a litany of guilt, written hastily and full of emotion to her God, in a barely legible scrawl.” Links

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Lady Jane Douglas's Timeline

1697
March 17, 1697
Scotland
1748
July 10, 1748
Age 51
Paris, Paris, Île-de-France, France
July 10, 1748
Age 51
Paris, Paris, Île-de-France, France
1753
November 22, 1753
Age 56
Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland
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