I must say I have found myself been most shockingly neglected this week, while Shehanne has pranced about editing her forthcoming book and showing photographs of herself
in her much younger days……obviously very much younger, you know I had no idea Shehanne had lived for centuries. However it allows me today to continue with my little set of posts on ladies. Lady Jean Graham of Claverhouse who was she and why have I chosen to feature her…apart from the fact that Shehanne there is attempting to be her? Oh, and here too…
…….in a red dress no less, which she well knows is my colour.
However I will overlook the affront to say that Lady Jean was the daughter of Lord Cochrane of Dundonald, who decided one day to get married. Nothing especially unusual in that apart from the fact she clearly needed her head looked at, except that Lord Cochrane of Dundonald was a leading Covenanting gentleman, indeed as strong and staunch a Presbyterian as could be found in Scotland.
And the man Lady Jean decided to marry was appointed to deal with such gentlemen.
Lady Jean’s mother, when she heard that her daughter was going to marry John Graham of Claverhouse, was beside herself with rage, rather like Lady Margaret when she heard I was to marry her son.
When Claverhouse’s mother was made acquainted with the proposed match and heard of the consummation of her son’s nuptials, it is said that she knelt and fervently prayed to God that “should He see fit to permit the unworthy couple to go out of the world without some terrible token of His indignation, He would be pleased to make her some special revelation, to prevent her from utterly disbelieving in His providence and justice.”
The Marquis of Hamilton tried to get the King to countermand the marriage — worse than ever Lady Margaret did. The latter action touched Claverhouse’ in such a tender place, and so stirred his blood’, he married Lady Jean anyway. A trifle like Thomas and myself.
Though one must say, that is as far as that goes. This was a love match although Milady Jean did indeed have another suitor.
The marriage was also short lived, oh not because Milady Jean did anything so unworthy as shove Milord Claverhouse down any stairs and put him in a box, as you can see from Shehanne trying to look dramatic here below in a play about Milord Claverhouse.
No. Milord Claverhouse opted to fight for the king and lose his life.
For quite a few years there had been no children…again rather like Thomas and myself. I have to say that had I been left a penniless widow with a 14 week baby, indeed had any husband of mine vamooshed from the christening, with a price on his head, I would not have been best pleased.
Of course he’d done the self same at the wedding reception except that time he was hunting rebels. These are the facts of Milady Jean’s life which are often overlooked in the grander story. You will of course be hoping that her story ended happily.
Alas, the mother in law’s curse did seem to have a certain potency. Without a penny to her name Milady Jean threw herself on her family’s mercy. A happy day for her, which was shortly followed by another even happier one when her baby son died.
I mentioned another suitor. And indeed there was…..
Colonel William Livingstone who had never forgotten her because she was ‘a feeling that comes to a man once in a life time, ‘ to quote the play. She must have been since he refused under torture to give her name up as someone who had actively aided a rebel–her husband in other words.
Milord Livingstone, both married her and took her abroad to escape the perfectly nasty things that were being said of them both. Him, being accused of shooting Claverhouse at Killiecrankie on her say so….Almost as bad as me being accused of murdering Lady Celia, Flint’s mistress, before me.
Alas, no matter where he took her, the mother-in-law’s curse followed.
‘Jean Cochrane, wife, and son of William Livingstone of Kilsyth. Deaths caused by falling in of roof, composed turf of a house in Holland. Mr Livingstone was with difficulty extracted. Lady, child, and nurse were killed , October 1695.’
What was more … A hundred years later this little tomb was opened to find that lady Jean had become a perfectly preserved….. mummy.
Leaving this world? Obviously not where her mother in law was concerned.
I don’t think I need say more on why I add Milady Jean to my collection. ,
- To the lords of convention….. (shehannemoore.wordpress.com)
- For Whom the Bell Tolls: John Graham of Claverhouse and East Kilbride (drmarkjardine.wordpress.com)
- ‘A devil of your own making.’ (shehannemoore.wordpress.com)