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TITLE
Jane Duchess of Gordon
EXTERNAL ID
QZP40_2126_P075
DATE OF IMAGE
1893
PERIOD
1760s
CREATOR
Reynolds
SOURCE
Highland Libraries
ASSET ID
31468
KEYWORDS
duchesses
nobility
Gordon Highlanders
regiments
army
marriages
Jane Duchess of Gordon

Lady Jane Maxwell was born at Monrieth in 1749. She was the fourth child of Sir William Maxwell and Magdalene Blair of Blair. Jane and her mother and two sisters lived in apartments in Edinburgh where the girls could further their education.

She grew into an intelligent and beautiful young woman. She fell in love with an army officer, probably a Fraser, when she was 16 but later learned that he had died. At 17 she was married to Alexander, Duke of Gordon. While on their honeymoon, Jane received a letter from Fraser, who was alive, asking her to marry him. She gave birth to her first son at the same time as her husband's mistress, Jane Christie, gave birth to a son. Both boys were called George, 'My George and the Duke's George' according to Lady Jane.

Jane spent much of her time organising and giving parties. Even when the family moved to London she gave parties with a distinctive Scottish flavour. She wore tartan while it was banned.

The Gordons' marriage was unhappy. The Duke kept his mistress, Jane Christie, at Gordon Castle while he built a house for his wife at Kinrara, on the River Spey. The marriage ended in 1805 but the Duke did not pay Jane all the money to which she was legally entitled and she was reduced to living in hotels. On her death in 1812 she was buried at Kinrara at her request. A monument was erected in her memory recording the marriages of her children.

This portrait can be found in 'Glimpses of Church and Social Life in the Highlands in Olden Times', by Alexander MacPherson

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Jane Duchess of Gordon

1760s

duchesses; nobility; Gordon Highlanders; regiments; army; marriages

Highland Libraries

Fraser Mackintosh Collection (illustrations)

Lady Jane Maxwell was born at Monrieth in 1749. She was the fourth child of Sir William Maxwell and Magdalene Blair of Blair. Jane and her mother and two sisters lived in apartments in Edinburgh where the girls could further their education.<br /> <br /> She grew into an intelligent and beautiful young woman. She fell in love with an army officer, probably a Fraser, when she was 16 but later learned that he had died. At 17 she was married to Alexander, Duke of Gordon. While on their honeymoon, Jane received a letter from Fraser, who was alive, asking her to marry him. She gave birth to her first son at the same time as her husband's mistress, Jane Christie, gave birth to a son. Both boys were called George, 'My George and the Duke's George' according to Lady Jane.<br /> <br /> Jane spent much of her time organising and giving parties. Even when the family moved to London she gave parties with a distinctive Scottish flavour. She wore tartan while it was banned.<br /> <br /> The Gordons' marriage was unhappy. The Duke kept his mistress, Jane Christie, at Gordon Castle while he built a house for his wife at Kinrara, on the River Spey. The marriage ended in 1805 but the Duke did not pay Jane all the money to which she was legally entitled and she was reduced to living in hotels. On her death in 1812 she was buried at Kinrara at her request. A monument was erected in her memory recording the marriages of her children.<br /> <br /> This portrait can be found in 'Glimpses of Church and Social Life in the Highlands in Olden Times', by Alexander MacPherson