Janet Douglas

Click here to 
Print this page

Biography finder

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

H

I

J

K

L

M

N

O

P

Q

R

S

T

U

V

W

X

Y

Z

 

 

Index of first names

Janet Douglas (died after 1678), was a Scottish woman who claimed to have second sight.She was apparently mute (the legends use the word "dumb").

During the 1670s, in the western islands of Scotland, Janet began publicly "demonstrating" said sight by seeking out "images", objects allegedly made by witches. The phenomenon of second sight was often considered witchcraft itself.

Among her exposes was the cause of the death of two sons of Douglas of Barloch.

The young serving girl arrived at the Pollok estate of Sir George Maxwell of Auldhouse (see painting), who had suddenly become seriously ill. She "miraculously" regained the power of speech, pointed the finger at five people, as well as a 14-year-old girl, accusing them of witchcraft, and therefore of being responsible for the Laird's sickness.

By the time she moved to Glasgow, travelling alone at the age of eleven, she was mobbed by people wanting to discover if witchcraft was the cause of their ill luck, given word already reached the city before her arrival. After she had told several members of the crowd where they could [see] the images, the crowd stirred itself into such a frenzy that the magistrates quickly put her under protective custody.

Soon the Privy Council of Scotland summoned her. Her arrival in Edinburgh in 1678 was as chaotic as her entrance into Glasgow — if not more so. She directly accused several members of the crowd of practicing witchcraft. Judicial officials and other notables unsuccessfully interrogated her as to her background, parentage, and how she performed.

After Edinburgh, Janet's race disappeared. She was eventually released, and rumour holds that she fled to the West Indies.



Any contributions will be gratefully accepted





Back to top

 



The content of this website is a collection of materials gathered from a variety of sources, some of it unedited.

The webmaster does not intend to claim authorship, but gives credit to the originators for their work.

As work progresses, some of the content may be re-written and presented in a unique format, to which we would then be able to claim ownership.

Discussion and contributions from those more knowledgeable is welcome.

Contact Us

Last modified: Wednesday, 18 July 2018