Lady Jane Grey


Lady Jane Grey
Lady Jane Grey was born in October 12, 1537 at her family home of Bradgate Park, Leicestershire, England.
Family.
She was the daughter of Henry Grey, Duke of Suffolk, and Lady Frances Brandon. Frances Brandon (July 16, 1517 ' November 20, 1559), the daughter of Henry VIII's sister, Mary. Jane had two younger sisters, Katherine (b. 1540) and Mary (b. 1545). Jane's exact date of birth is not known. She was probably named after Jane Seymour (c. 1508 or 1509 ' October 24, 1537)).
Early Life.
Jane's parents were very strict and often abused Jane at a young age. This was probably because they were disappointed that Jane was not a boy. Her bold and cruel mother, Frances was upset because Jane was calm, shy, and not interested in sports. Jane was educated at about four. But if she messed up on her studies or did other common problems her mother would slap her or beat her. She found love with her nurse Mrs. Ellen but otherwise lived a sad childhood.
In 1545 or 1546, when Jane was nine, she was sent to Court to learn manners with Henry VIII's sixth wife and eventual widow, Catherine Parr. Jane liked Catherine a lot and found love with her, which she had not received from her parents. It was obvious that Catherine liked Jane back.
Jane also found friendship with her cousin and king Edward VI. They often studied together.
Education.
Jane was well educated as a child and learned to read in Latin, Greek, French and Italian, as well as English. Later in her life, she also learned Hebrew.
In 1549, when Jane was 12 years old, John Aylmer became her tutor. (Before that, John Aylmer taught Jane but Dr. Harding served as her tutor.) Jane liked Aylmer a lot because he was nice and at times funny. This was a big change from her parents. Some scholars also believe that Aylmer fell in love with Jane while teaching her, because of what he wrote in some of his letters to her. This fact is unknown though.
Early uses.
Jane's parents also wanted to use her to gain power. This was especially true in her mother, who was greedy.
After the births of her sisters Catherine in 1540 and Mary in 1545, Jane's parents tried to marry her off to her cousin King Edward VI. They let Catherine Parr's new husband, Thomas Seymour try to arrange a marriage. It is likely that King Edward loved Jane. However, he decided to arranged a marriage with a foreign princess.
In 1548, Jane was sent to Chelsea to be with Catherine Parr and Thomas Seymour.Catherine Parr became pregnant that year and they went to Sudeley Castle in June of 1548. In August, Catherine Parr died of childbirth in 1548. Jane served as chief mourner in Catherine's funeral.
In 1549, Thomas Seymour was arrested on charges of treason (or being disloyal). Jane was sent back to her angered parents. They knew that their hopes of marriage to the king was gone. They punished her badly for this, even though it was not her fault.
Youth.
In 1551 Jane's mother, Frances, lost her two half-brothers (they died of the Sweating Sickness). Since Frances's father was dead, she became Duchess of Suffolk. Jane's father also became Duke of Suffolk. In the same year John Dudley was made the Duke of Northumberland and the chief councilor to Edward VI of England. This made Dudley a powerful man.
John Dudley's plot.
In April 1552 Edward became sick with the measles and soon caught tuberculosis as well. By next year, Edward was so ill that he was weak and spitting up blood or something that was greenish-yellow. It was obvious that he was going to die soon.
Dudley was an ambitious man and realised that if either of Edward's half-sisters, Mary or Elizabeth, gained the throne, he would not be powerful anymore and may be executed. Dudley plotted with Jane's equally ambitious parents and arranged that Jane became his ward, and also that she marry his son, Guildford Dudley. Jane's mother decided to give up her claim to be queen for Jane. This did not mean that Frances was any less greedy, however. This meant that Jane would become Frances and Dudley's puppet. Now Jane would be the next in line to the throne if the rights of the princesses Mary and Elizabeth were ignored.
Marriage.
When Jane's mother and father told her that Jane was going to get married, Jane refused. She said that Guildford was ugly, stupid, and arrogant. She also hated John Dudley. When Jane refused, Frances and Henry swore at Jane and slapped her. This did not work, so Frances gave Jane a brutal whipping. Finally, Jane agreed.
The wedding between Jane and Guildford took place on 25 May, 1553. This became a triple marriage because Jane's sister, Katherine, was married at this time to Lord Herbert and Guildford's sister, Katherine, was also married to Lord Hastings.
At first, they were all forbidden to "consummate" (or to have sexual intercourse) their marriages. This probably made Katherine Grey and William Herbert unhappy. It is not known if they liked each other, but it was obvious that they wanted to consummate the marriage.
On the other hand, Jane and Guildford hated each other. They ignored each other for most of the time. But they consummated the marriage later (Some scholars think that Guildford did it so violently that Jane described it as rape).
Accession.
On July 6, 1553, King Edward VI died. Dudley's plan to make Jane queen was starting to unfold. Edward's death was kept secret for a few days until Jane could be brought to be proclaimed queen.
Jane was told by her parents and John Dudley that she was queen. She became sick with fright and fainted. She refused to take the crown.
"The crown is not my right. It pleaseth me not. The Lady Mary is the rightful heir," Jane said. Her parents swore at her and John Dudley told her that she "doth wrong to herself and her house". Under pressure, Jane finally relented. But she never forgave herself for doing this.
Meanwhile, news was spreading the Jane had been proclaimed the new queen. Although the people liked Jane, they loved Mary and Elizabeth more. They also hated John Dudley. In East Anglia, Mary was gaining support and planning to march into London. Dudley tried to enforce a counter-attack but to no avail. On July 19 Mary became queen. Jane was queen for nine days.
Imprisonment.
Jane returned all the crown jewels and clothes. She was then brought into the Tower of London. There, she was kept in a cell for the next few months. She was allowed to walk in the garden, however. She wrote many letters and read many books while at the tower of London. She wrote a letter to Queen Mary saying that she never wanted the crown.
Queen Mary believed Jane and refused to execute her cousin. Many people pressured Mary, but she was stubborn. She still ordered that a trial be held for traditional purposes. Jane was found guilty but the Queen pardoned her.
But the next year, 1554, a group of rebels under Thomas Wyatt, including Jane's father Henry Grey, led a rebellion against Queen Mary because she was planning to marry prince Phillip II of Spain. It was quickly put down. Although Jane had nothing to do with it and Mary was didn't want to kill her cousin, her advisors told her that Phillip would only come if Jane was killed. So, with a heavy heart (sadly), Queen Mary signed the death warrant. Jane was going to be beheaded.
Effects.
When Jane was told that her head was going to be cut off, she was very scared. Nonetheless, she was happy that her "sad and woeful days" of life were finally coming to an end.
Meanwhile, Mary still didn't want to kill her cousin. So she sent a Catholic priest Dr. Feckenham to try to convert Jane to Catholicism. That way, Jane wouldn't be a threat. But Jane was a firm Protestant and refused to become a Catholic. Jane's execution was postponed from February 9 to February 12 to try and make her a Catholic. The night before the execution, Jane wrote many letters to her family and prepared her neck for the block. The next morning, her hair was tied back and she watched Guilford go very unwillingly to the block. Then, nervously, it was her turn.
Execution.
On February 12, 1554 at the Tower of London, Jane was sent to the scaffold. She calmly climbed the scaffold and said a speech. She said the Psalm 51 in "the most devout manner". She then knelt by the block and tied a piece of cloth around her eyes.
When the executioner told her to put her head on the block, she reached out but could not find the block since she was very nervous. She cried for help until someone grabbed her hands and helped her find the block. Jane then put her neck above the block and slowly lowered it onto the block, pressed her neck against the wood and fit her chin in the hold. Then she brought her arms around her. Before she was executed she cried out "Lord, into thy hands, I commend my spirit!"
Jane is beheaded.
The crowd watched as the executioner raised the axe high in the air. Jane was shivering badly but her neck stayed perfectly still. Then, the executioner quickly swung the axe down perfectly at the middle of Jane's neck, which was severed in a single stroke. Jane's severed head fell to the straw in front of the block while huge amounts of blood splattered across the scaffold. The executioner then grabbed Jane's head by her red hair and lifted it up to show the crowd. He shouted "So perish all the Queen's enemies! Behold the head of a traitor!"
Burial.
After the crowd left, the blood was removed, and Jane's body and it was brought to the church St. Peter ad Vincula. Since the church had just become Catholic and Jane was Protestant, they had to get permission from Queen Mary to bury her. Jane's headless body lay unexposed for four hours until her maids finally were allowed to prepare her body for burial. Jane's body was buried between former Queens Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard. It is unknown what happened to her severed head.


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