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LADY JANE DOUGLAS

Graybill & Downs’ intertwined British and Southern heritage reaches far across the pond, deep into Scotland’s beautiful, southwestern coast at the majestic Douglas Castle (built in the 13 th century). Just like her father, the Marquess James Douglas, Lady Jane Douglas was born of noble heritage around 1698 at Douglas Castle to Lord Douglas and Lady Mary Kerr, daughter of Robert, 1 st Marquess of Lothian, Edinburgh, Scotland. Many years later, the Marquess of Douglas summoned Henry Downs, a noted builder from Chesire, England and a British Naval Captain (possibly son of Admiral Lord Downs), to repair the stately Douglas Castle. Lo and behold, Lady Jane Douglas crossed this English gentleman’s path one morning, and they consequently fell deeply in love, much to her aristocratic parents’ dismay. Her titled parents’ lack of approval unintentionally propelled Captain Downs’ and Lady Jane Douglas’ daring, romantic elopement and immigration to America, early in the eighteenth century.

After receiving their original 1,000-acre land grant in Virginia in 1728, the destiny-bound lovers bravely crossed the Atlantic, married, and began to create their illustrious, Southern legacy, starting with the receipt of a 58,000-acre land grant in Virginia and the Carolinas. Acting as a respected vestryman and church recorder of St. Thomas Church, Orange County, Virginia, Henry Downs also served as Sheriff, a member of the House of Burgesses and a Court Commission’s representative. Meanwhile, Lady Jane Douglas Downs regally presided over the family’s extensive land holdings and gave birth to ten children, including a captain of the colonial militia.

Lady Jane Douglas’ stunning portrait by Allan Ramsay depicts Lady Jane Douglas Downs as a gentle but formidable shepherdess seated in a bucolic landscape. Like her portrait, her powerful, guiding spirit steered her family to eventually migrate to the Carolinas, where Lady Jane Douglas Down’s romanticism and profound adventurousness provided living inspiration for unknown journeys. Now Graybill & Downs embarks on a stirring, sensory journey inspired by the great European perfume houses and infused with evocative, unforgettable memories that recall another time and place. We embrace Lady Jane Douglas’ compelling British and Southern legacy: her intrepid spirit continues to deeply influence our timeless, nature classics for today.

By Norma Poindexter


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