Lady Jane

Is This the Childhood Home of Lady Jane Grey, England’s Nine-Day Queen?
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By , the young King was dying. Edward and Dudley were now making hasty plans to stop Mary from ever succeeding to the throne. There were compelling reasons for this. Dudley wanted to remain in power. He could only do that if England had a monarch who would bow to his rule, and Jane was the only member of the royal House who was suited for that role. But Jane proved not to be the meek, biddable little yes-girl that Dudley thought her to be. Clever and outspoken, she was not afraid to stand up to him. Guildford was tall, fair and good looking, but also spoilt and surly. Jane did not want to marry at all: she wanted to be left alone with her books. She hated the Dudleys, and told her parents she would not have Guildford for a husband, but after being beaten for her defiance, she had no choice but to submit.

The marriage went ahead, but — contrary to what popular films would have us believe — it was not a happy one.

Lady Jane Grey – Facts, Biography, Information & Portraits

Jane was indifferent to her husband. Nor would she name him king when the time came. When she saw all the court waiting for her, she began to shake with fright. Dudley led her to the throne and told her, to her horror, that Edward VI had named her his heir.

As every person in the room knelt before her, Jane fainted. No one hastened forward to help her. When she recovered her senses, she resolved to make a stand. It pleases me not. Mary is the rightful heir. Dudley, her parents and Guildford coerced her to do their will, and in the end, she had to give way. But she was not at peace with herself. Soon afterwards, according to custom, Jane was taken to the Tower of London to await her crowning. But her reign was to prove the shortest in English history. The country rallied to Mary, the rightful Queen by law.

No one wanted Jane; the people of England barely knew who she was. As Mary I was proclaimed to great celebrations and acclaim, Dudley was committed to the Tower. He would soon lose his head on Tower Hill. Jane was at supper on the day Mary was proclaimed. She was aware of how quiet it was, and that the councillors and servants had deserted her. Then suddenly her father bounded in and tore down the royal canopy of estate above her chair. Her father did not answer, but left her there and fled from the Tower, leaving her to her fate. Soon, the guards came for her.

She was moved from the palace to the house of Master Partridge, the Gentleman Gaoler. She was housed in some comfort and allowed her books. She took her meals with the jailer and his family, sitting at the head of the table. It was not a bad life, and she did not complain. Jane had not wanted the throne, but in taking it she had been guilty of treason, and Mary was right to fear that she would remain a focus for Protestant plots.

So she kept Jane in the Tower, well looked after, but still a prisoner.

Royal Residences: St James's Palace

She did not wish her harm, and meant quietly to set her free one day, as soon as she herself had a Catholic heir to rule England after her. It was just a formality, they were told: Mary would spare them the axe. But Mary had now restored the Catholic faith in England. Within months, she would revive the heresy laws that would sanction the burning of those who did not accept it. Having fallen in love with his portrait, she was bent on marrying Prince Philip of Spain, an ardent Catholic, but her subjects did not want a foreign prince to rule over them.

Early in , a Kentish gentleman, Sir Thomas Wyatt led a major revolt against the proposed marriage. Mary came close to losing her crown, but she made a brave stand, and the revolt was suppressed. It had been a near thing, and the Council was in a panic. On the morning of 12 February , the authorities took Guildford from his rooms at the Tower of London to the public execution place at Tower Hill , where he was beheaded.

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A horse and cart brought his remains back to the Tower, past the rooms where Jane was staying. Seeing her husband's corpse return, Jane is reported to have exclaimed: "Oh, Guildford, Guildford. According to the account of her execution given in the anonymous Chronicle of Queen Jane and of Two Years of Queen Mary , which formed the basis for Raphael Holinshed 's depiction, Jane gave a speech upon ascending the scaffold:. Good people, I am come hither to die, and by a law I am condemned to the same.

The fact, indeed, against the Queen's highness was unlawful, and the consenting thereunto by me: but touching the procurement and desire thereof by me or on my behalf, I do wash my hands thereof in innocency, before God, and the face of you, good Christian people, this day.

While admitting to action considered unlawful, she declared that "I do wash my hands thereof in innocence".

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The executioner asked her forgiveness, which she granted him, pleading: "I pray you dispatch me quickly. Jane then failed to find the block with her hands, and cried, "What shall I do? Where is it? With her head on the block, Jane spoke the last words of Jesus as recounted by Luke : "Lord, into thy hands I commend my spirit! No memorial stone was erected at their grave.

She died in During and in the aftermath of the Marian persecutions , Jane became viewed as a Protestant martyr for centuries, featuring prominently in the several editions of the Book of Martyrs Actes and Monuments of these Latter and Perillous Dayes by John Foxe. The tale of Lady Jane grew to legendary proportions in popular culture, producing romantic biographies, novels, plays, operas, paintings, and films. Jane Grey is the only English monarch in the last years though whether her short reign was legitimate is disputed of whom no proven contemporary portrait survives. Painted 40 to 50 years after Jane's death, the " Streatham portrait " so called after the area of London in which it resided for decades depicts a young woman dressed in a red gown, adorned with jewels and holding a prayer book.

David Starkey is sceptical, "It's an appallingly bad picture and there's absolutely no reason to suppose it's got anything to do with Lady Jane Grey". The following chart illustrates Jane's relationship to the House of Tudor and other claimants to the English throne. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Jane Grey disambiguation. Queen of England and Ireland. The Streatham portrait , discovered at the beginning of the 21st century and believed to be a copy of a contemporaneous portrait of Lady Jane Grey [1].

Lord Guildford Dudley m. See also: Third Succession Act. Main article: Cultural depictions of Lady Jane Grey. The Guardian. Retrieved 11 May National Portrait Gallery Publications. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford : Oxford University Press.

Pegasus Books — via Google Books. In Nichols, John Gough ed. Gloucester: A. The History of England. London: Longmans, Green. The Daily Telegraph. Yale Alumni Magazine. The decision would result in her execution. Lady Jane and Edward were the same age, and they had almost been married in The same day, Jane was imprisoned in the Tower of London.

Her father-in-law was condemned for high treason, and on August 23 he was executed. On November 13, Jane and her husband, Guildford Dudley, were likewise found guilty of treason and sentenced to death, but because of their youth and relative innocence Mary did not carry out the death sentences. While suppressing the revolt, Mary decided it was also necessary to eliminate all her political opponents, and on February 7 she signed the death warrants of Jane and her husband.

On the morning of February 12, Jane watched her husband being carried away to execution from the window of her cell in the Tower of London, and two hours later she was also executed. Behold, the head of a traitor! But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us!


On this day in , the year-old actress Rebecca Shaeffer is murdered at her Los Angeles home by Robert John Bardo, a mentally unstable man who had been stalking her.