Janet Lady FlemingJanet Lady Fleming

Arriving to Scotland as part of Marie de Guise’s retinue, she married into the Scots nobility and would then become governess to Mary Queen of Scots. She was an attractive and vibrant young woman with the patience of a saint. Her role at court was to manage the daily life of the young Mary Queen of Scots.

She also had oversight of the royal crèche which consisted of the renowned ‘Four Marys’; Seaton, Beaton, Livingstone and Fleming. Mary Fleming was Janet’s own daughter and they would both eventually accompany Mary Queen of Scots to France.

As governess, she would have to make sure the children were clothed in the appropriate manner, fed from the Royal kitchens, behave themselves and assist in their formative education. Children were expected to fit into an adult world, boys would usually wear skirts up until the age of 7 when they would be ‘breeched’, given trousers.

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An attractive and vibrant young woman with the patience of a saint.
Although of high status her role dictated that she wore more practical clothing, for instance she may be expected to be the referee at a Royal football match.

When she arrived at the French court her beauty and persona stole the heart of the French King Henri II. After becoming pregnant with his love child, she caused one of the great scandals of the day and was forced to return to Scotland.


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