One tale it tells is of Lady Janet Douglas, an innocent accused of witchcraft and burned at the stake by King James V, purely because of his deep hatred for her brother and desire for revenge.
A 'Well Bred Lady'
King James V had a bone to pick with Lady Janet – and all because the deep hatred he held for his step-father who had held him captive in order to claim rulership – and he was Lady Janet’s brother. She was fair game for the vindictive King and if James couldn’t get revenge on Archibald Douglas, he’d get it on his sister instead.
James set to work on Janet’s downfall with a passion. He accused Lady Janet of making potions of ill intent with which to assassinate him, by the use of witchcraft. In doing so, he confiscated Glamis Castle in the name of the Crown and decided to live there. Lady Janet, her husband and her 16 year old son John were thrown in the dark and dank dudgeons of Edinburgh Castle. On a side note, Archibald, Janet’s husband is said to have escaped the castle, but was later killed.
Over the next while, the King rounded up as many clansmen and servants as he could find, and put them on ‘the rack’, an instrument of torture which was like a flat bed table, but with rollers. The victim would be tied to each end, and a cinch would be turned which would stretch the victim upon it, ultimately dislocating the bones in their body, and if not ceasing, tearing the victim in half.
After a considerable amount of torture, they all ‘confessed’, claiming she was an evil witch who had it in for the King.
The final instrument of her undoing was when the King began on John, Janet’s 16 year old son. John had been forced to watch his friends, family and servants tortured and then became a victim of it himself. Of course there is only so much a human can deal with, physically and mentally, and poor John also confessed to witchcraft.
The King was euphoric! He had achieved is goal. With the evidence he had produced, both Lady Janet and her son John were convicted of Witchcraft and were sentenced to death.
Lady Janet was burned alive at Edinburgh Castle (and in some sources, at Glamis Castle). All of the onlookers watched in silence, tears in their eyes.
John, now the 7th Lord of Glamis, was not executed, and was released from prison after King James V died. Parliament also restored Glamis Castle back to him.
Lady Janet is said to roam the halls of Glamis Castle… she has been seen wandering the halls of the castle, kneeling in front of the alter praying in the chapel and above the clock tower.
Apparently, when in the chapel of the castle, people are overcome with a feeling of immense sadness and desolation. A seat is constantly kept empty for Lady Janet in the chapel, and it is said one hundred witnesses once saw her glide past them in the chapel, heading towards her allocated seat.
Lady Janet is known as one of the most tragic figures in Scotland.
Put together by Ashley Hall 2013