Lady Janet Douglas otherwise known as Lady Glamis, was a distant relative of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. She was herself of noble birth. Her father was George Douglas; Master of Angus and Drummond. Her mother Elizabeth was the daughter of 1st Lord Drummond; John Drummond. Despite her title and place in life she was accused of witchcraft by James V of Scotland. Lady Douglas was married twice, firstly to the 6th Lord of Glamis, John Lyon to whom she bore a son who was named after his father. Her second husband was a man named Archibald Campbell. On the whole the Douglas family was not seen in a favourable light by the royal court. Janet’s brother Archibald was the 6th Earl of Angus and was also step father to King James. James held a long grudge against him for imprisoning him in his youth. His grudge developed over the years into an intense hate that was directed at the whole of the Douglas family.
Accused of Witchcraft
Such was the hatred felt by James that once she became vulnerable for attack he made his move. Without her marriage to Lord Glamis to protect her James accused her of trying to kill him through the use of occult means. He claimed that she was in league with the devil and that she had been concocting potions with which she intended to poison him and send him to an early grave. It was clear not only to Janet’s clansmen and servants, but also to the members of the royal court that there was nothing to substantiate the charges. They knew that this was part of his personal vendetta against the family, but who was there that would confront the king? Unable to acquire any true evidence against her he resorted to torture, not only of Lady Glamis herself and also her son, but also of her servants and her clansmen. They were torn asunder on the rack to the point where they would claim anything in order to be spared any more agony. Armed with confessions and accusations he removed Lady Glamis and her sons from their castle and imprisoned them in the dungeons of Edinburgh Castle. James himself would occupy Glamis for a number of years, stripping it of all items of value before he left.
Lady Janet Glamis was declared a witch and burned at the stake in the July of 1597, her young son forced to witness his mother’s execution. Yet it seems that this was not the last to be heard of Lady Glamis. Soon after her execution there were reports of ghostly happenings at the castle and the appearance of a spirit simply known as the Grey Lady. Strange rapping and knocking noises have been heard which many believe are the sounds of the men building the scaffold on which she met her death. There are a number of psychics and mediums that have attended Glamis Castle and felt an unbelievable wave of sadness sweep over them. Such is the intensity of the emotion that members of the general public have also felt a sensation of sadness upon walking into the chapel.