Jean Ker, Countess of Roxburghe

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Jean Ker, Countess of Roxburghe (née Drummond; c.1585–1643), was a Scottish courtier.

She was born Jean Drummond, the daughter of Patrick Drummond, 3rd Lord Drummond, and his first wife, Elizabeth. In 1603, on the accession of James VI of Scotland to the throne of England (as James I), she accompanied his queen, Anne of Denmark, to Stirling Castle to take custody of their son, the Duke of Rothesay, and then to London shortly after where she served as Mistress of the Robes.

In 1607/08, a marriage was arranged between her and Archibald Campbell, 7th Earl of Argyll, but amounted to nothing. Instead she became the second wife of Robert Ker, 1st Lord Roxburghe (later created Earl of Roxburghe), on 3 February 1614; the wedding was celebrated at Somerset House and attended by the king and queen.

In 1617, Queen Anne forced the countess to retire after it was discovered that her husband sought to be appointed Lord Chamberlain to Prince Charles (later Charles I), without either of them informing the queen. Her dismissal particularly alarmed the ambassadors of Spain and Venice, who had relied on the Catholic countess as a confidante to the queen.

In 1630, the by-now Charles I had wished to appoint the countess as governess to his son, the Prince of Wales (later Charles II) but this was objected to on the grounds of her religion and the Countess of Dorset was appointed instead. A year later however, Lady Roxburghe was appointed governess to Princess Mary and later to Prince Henry and Princess Elizabeth in 1641. In 1642, the countess accompanied Princess Mary to The Hague after the latter's marriage to Prince William of Orange. On the voyage back from the Netherlands a ship of the royal fleet sank in bad weather. A silk dress belonging to the countess was discovered in 2014 in the wreck off the Dutch island of Texel.[1]

On her return to England, the countess was replaced as the governess to Mary Princess Royal by Lady Stanhope. She resumed her governess-ship to Henry and Elizabeth and died the following year.


  1. ^ "400-year-old dress found in shipwreck sheds light on plot to pawn crown jewels". The Guardian. London. 21 April 2016. Retrieved 21 April 2016.