Lady Jean Stewart

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Lady Jean Stewart (also known as Jane Stuart; c. 1533[1] – 7 January 1587/88) was an illegitimate daughter of King James V of Scotland by his mistress Elizabeth Bethune (sometimes spelled Betoun or Beaton).

Jean was born between 1528 and 1537. Her mother, Elizabeth Bethune or Beaton, was the daughter of John Bethune, 2nd Laird of Creich, and his wife Janet Hay. Elizabeth was married firstly to John Stewart, 4th Lord Innermeath, by whom she had two sons: John Stewart (died 1607) and James Stewart, 5th Lord Innermeath. Her mother married, secondly, James Gray, son of Patrick Gray, 4th Lord Gray.

The Scottish treasurer's accounts record purchases for the infant Lady Jean. In September 1538 she was given a canopy made with 27 ells of red, yellow and green cloth. By March 1539, she was housed with her half brothers, "Lord James of Kelso" and "Lord James of Saint Andrews" and had a black velvet and taffeta night gown lined with 'martrik' sable. In July 1540, at St Andrews, she was sent seven hanks of coloured silks and cloth to work samplers, and in December 1540 she was given a missal and a matins book.[2]

On 1 July 1553, Jean was married to Archibald Campbell, 5th Earl of Argyll. They divorced on 23 June 1573, the reason being desertion.

On the night of 9 March 1566, Jean Stewart, her mother Elizabeth, and her half-sister Mary, Queen of Scots, witnessed the murder of Mary's secretary, David Rizzio, at Holyrood Palace. After the siege of Edinburgh Castle in 1573, Lady Jean was taken prisoner.

Jean was buried next to her father in the royal vault at Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh.[3]


  1. ^ Marshall, Rosalind Kay. Queen Mary's Women: Female Relatives, Servants, Friends and Enemies of Mary, Queen of Scots. John Donald, 2006. ISBN 0-85976-667-5, ISBN 978-0-85976-667-8
  2. ^ Accounts of the Lord High Treasurer of Scotland, vol. 7, HM Register House (1907), 89, 148, 410 and see index.
  3. ^ RCAHMS, Inventory of Monuments in Edinburgh, HMSO (1951), p.136