Janet Kennedy, Countess of Orkney

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Janet Kennedy

Also Known As: "Jean Kennedy", "Jane"
Birthplace: Kirkmichael, Ayrshire, Scotland
Death: September 1598 (60-61)
Orkney Islands, Scotland
Place of Burial: London, Greater London, England, United Kingdom
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Gilbert Kennedy, 3rd Earl of Cassilis; Dame Margaret Kennedy, Countess of Cassillis and Margaret Sophia Kennedy
Wife of Robert Stewart, 1st Earl of Orkney
Mother of Mary Stewart; Jean Stewart; Henry Stewart, Master of Orkney; Patrick Stewart, 2nd Earl of Orkney; Sir Robert Stewart of Middleton and 3 others
Sister of Catherine Vans; Gilbert Kennedy, 4th Earl of Cassilis; Catherine Kennedy; Sir Thomas Kennedy, 1st of Culzean; David Kennedy and 1 other
Half sister of Sir John Wallace of Craigie; William Wallace and Sir Robert Wallace

Occupation: Countess of Orkney
Managed by: Gwyneth Potter McNeil
Last Updated:

About Janet Kennedy, Countess of Orkney


Evidence from the National Records of Scotland

18 September 1568: Charter of Sale by John Bellenden of Auchinnoull, Kt, Justice Clerk and feuar of the lands undermentioned, whereby, in implement of a contract dated at Edinburgh 17 Sep 1568, he sold to Dame Johanna Kennedy, spouse of Lord Robert Stewart, feuar of Orkney and Zetland, in liferent, and to Mary Stewart, daughter of said Robert and Johanna in fee, the lands of the south side of Birsay extending to 80 pennylands, with all quylandis and owtbrekis and other lands not having fixed names in the rental of the bishopric of Orkney and lying within the parish of Birsay, with the mill built there Also the lands of the north side of Birsay extending to 55 pennylands, with all other lands, 'quyland' and 'owtbrekland' not having fixed names in said rental lying in the north part of Birsay, also the lands of Birsay-abone-the-hill extending to 18 pennylands, also the lands of Skelden, Phea and Hundland in said parish, half barrel of butter for the scat of Twat, the lands of Salsister extending to 3 pennylands, a fardin-land in Isbister, a halfpennyland in Sabister, the lands of Marwik extending to 55 pennylands, with lochs and fishings, and the teind sheaves of all said lands always united to them, with mill lands, multures and suckin thereof, lying within the regality of said bishop and sheriffdom of Orkney, all incorporated by Adam, bishop of Orknay and Zetland and the chapter of Orknay into one tenandry; and that in excambion for the lands called Abbattisgrange, the lands of Newbigging and Ponderlandis, Bowhous, Luderis-aikeris, and Cowperland alias Coilheuchburn, with the mansion thereof, with the teinds sheaves of said lands included and united, lying in the barony of Kers, regality of Holyrood and sheriffdom of Striviling, now disponed by the grantees to granter in liferent and to Lewis Bellenden, his son and apparent heir in fee. To be held by said Johanna in liferent, said Mary and the heirs male of her body, whom failing, Henry Stewart, son of said Lord Robert, and Thomas, Henry brother german, and the heirs male of their bodies respectively and successively, whom failing, the heirs male of said Lord Robert's body, whom failing, Robert and James Stewart, his natural sons, and the heirs male of their bodies respectively and successively, whom failing, James, Earl of Murray lord Abernethie, Regent of Scotland, and the heirs male of his body, whom failing, Lord Francis Stewart, son and heir of umquhile John lord Dernling, and the heirs male of his body, whom failing, Robert Stewart, natural brother of said Lord Robert and the heirs male of his body, whom all failing, said Mary's heirs or assignees whomsoever, 'a me' of said bishop in feu. Rendering therefor yearly for each last of 20 lasts 4 mele 4 settines flesh 36s, in all £36 7s, and for each last of 12 lasts 1 mele 4 settines 16 marks victual called cost and one last twyis scheillit meill £6, in all £78 8s 11d, and for each of 25 score and 13 kain fowls 2d, in all £4 5s 6d, and for each of 18 faddomes peats 6s, in all £5 8s, also 47s 8d skatt-silver, and for each barrel of 17 1/2 barrels butter £3, in all £52 10s, as the old mail due before the infeftment herein of Gilbert Balfour and Margaret Boithwele, his spouse, the granter's predecessors, in all £179 7s 1d, and 52s 11d in augmentation of rental, in all £182 Scots, also 3 suits at said bishop's 3 head courts to be held at his palace of Kirkwall or elsewhere; and defending the bishop, his place, kirk and clergy according to their power; and doubling the feu duty the first year of each heir's entry; and in the event of 4 terms' duty remaining together unpaid, the lands shall revert to the superior. With Precept of Sasine directed to Walter Bruce. Provided that said Lord Robert, his heirs male or assignees, might redeem the fee of the above on payment of 100 gold crowns of the sun within the kirk of [-]. At Edinburgh Witnesses: John Towris, son and heir apparent of George Towris of Inverleith, John Grahame, parson of Sanday, James Menteith of Eister Saltcoittis, James Myllar and James Logane, notaries public, cum diversis aliis National Records of Scotland, Register House Charters, reference RH6/2129

From Darryl Lundy's Peerage page on Janet Kennedy

Lady Janet Kennedy [1]

  • F, #108335,
  • d. 1598
  • Last Edited=5 Oct 2013

Lady Janet Kennedy was the daughter of Gilbert Kennedy, 3rd Earl of Cassillis and Margaret Kennedy.[1]

She married Robert Stewart, 1st Earl of Orkney, son of James V Stewart, King of Scotland and Euphemia Elphinstone, on 14 December 1561 at Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland.

She died in 1598.[1]

She was also known as Jean Kennedy. From 14 December 1561, her married name became Stewart.


  • 1. [S11] Alison Weir, Britain's Royal Family: A Complete Genealogy (London, U.K.: The Bodley Head, 1999), page 242. Hereinafter cited as Britain's Royal Family.
  • 2. [S6] G.E. Cokayne; with Vicary Gibbs, H.A. Doubleday, Geoffrey H. White, Duncan Warrand and Lord Howard de Walden, editors, The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct or Dormant, new ed., 13 volumes in 14 (1910-1959; reprint in 6 volumes, Gloucester, U.K.: Alan Sutton Publishing, 2000), volume III, page 59. Hereinafter cited as The Complete Peerage.
  • 3. [S6] Cokayne, and others, The Complete Peerage, volume VIII, psge 2.


9 children (5 sons, 4 daughters) of Lady Janet Kennedy and Robert Stewart, 1st Earl of Orkney: (note: children & their marriages are based on The Scots Peerage, Vol Vl, as cited below).


  1. Henry Stewart, Master of Orkney d. a 1589.
  2. Patrick Stewart, 2nd Earl of Orkney b. a 1568, d. 6 Feb 1615. Married Margaret Livingston.
  3. John Stewart, 1st and last Earl of Carrick+2 d. fr 22 Jun 1643 - 3 Mar 1645/46. Married Elizabeth Howard.
  4. James Stewart+. Married Margaret Lyon.
  5. Robert Stewart.


  1. Marie Stewart+. Married Patrick, sixth Lord Gray, as his second wife.
  2. Jean Stewart+3 b. c 1563. Married 1) Patrick, 1st Lord Lindores 2) Robert, 1st Lord Melville of Raith, as his third wife.
  3. Elizabeth Stewart. Married James Sinclair of Murkle.
  4. Barbara Stewart. Said to have married Hugh or Harry Halcro of Halcro in Orkney. (note: Perhaps confused with Barbara Stewart of Burray (v "Ochiltree")


  • The Scots peerage : founded on Wood's ed. of Sir Robert Douglas's Peerage of Scotland; containing an historical and genealogical account of the nobility of that kingdom. by Paul, James Balfour, Sir, 1846-1931. Published 1904. Volume 6. "The Earls of Orkney" page 572 - 573, page 574 - 575


Slightly different list of children given here:

They had 6 sons (Henry; Thomas; Patrick, 2nd Earl of Orkney, Lord of Shetland; John, Lord Kinclaven, Earl of Carrick-in-Orkney; Sir James of Eday & Tullos, & Sir Robert of Middleton) & 3 daughters (Mary, wife of Patrick, 6th Lord Gray; Jean/Jane, wife of Patrick Leslie, 1st Lord Lindores, & of Sir Robert, 1st Lord Melville of Raith; & Elizabeth, wife of James Sinclair of Murchil (Master of Caithness)). (no Barbara)


  • 3. Douglas Richardson, Magna Carta Ancestry, 2nd Edition, Vol. III, p. 600.
  • 4. Douglas Richardson, Royal Ancestry, Vol. I, p. 679.

Burke's 2003 apparently omits Henry and Elizabeth and ascribes this daughter:

Katherine Stewart is the daughter of Robert Stewart, 1st Earl of Orkney and Lady Janet Kennedy.2 She married John Sinclair of Ulbster, son of William Sinclair and Margaret Mowat.1

http://www.thepeerage.com/p10834.htm#i108335 Citations

  • 1. BP2003 volume 3, page 3902. See link for full details for this source. Hereinafter cited as. [S37]
  • 2. BP2003. [S37]
  • 3. Edward Matthews, "re: Sinclair Family," e-mail message to Darryl Roger LUNDY (101053), 5 December 2014. Hereinafter cited as "re: Sinclair Family."
Sources ==

* 635. Birth Brieve of Mr. David Nairne, 1687 in The Scottish Antiquary, Vol. IX(1895), 119-24.

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Janet Kennedy, Countess of Orkney's Timeline

Kirkmichael, Ayrshire, Scotland
Orkney Islands, Scotland
Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland
November 3, 1566
Orkney, Orkney, United Kingdom
September 18, 1568
Orkney, Orkney, Scotland
Orkney, Orkney, Scotland, United Kingdom
September 1598
Age 61
Orkney Islands, Scotland
Age 61
London, Greater London, England, United Kingdom