As we're coming up to the anniversary of the execution of Lady Jane Grey on 12th February 1554, I thought it would be interesting to examine the time between 19th July 1553, when Mary I took the throne from Jane, and Jane's execution.
You can read more about Wyatt's Rebellion here.
You can read the record of the dialogue between Jane and Dr Feckenham in John Foxe's Book of Martyrs on Archive.org page 550 onwards. Her letter to her former tutor, Dr Harding, can be found on page 553.
My article sharing a primary source account of Jane and Guildford can be found here.
The Chronicle of Queen Jane and of two years of Queen Mary, and especially of the rebellion of Sir Thomas Wyat, a primary source, can also be found on Archive.org.
Thank you. What a courageous, strong willed girl. Amazing story. I’m interested in both books, thank you for mentioning them. I’m still curious about her, her childhood, the hurried marriage to the Dudley son, the rumours she was considered as a bride for Edward VI, well, I guess all of it really. Thanks for an awesome chat. Michelle t
Not sick of you at all!
Thank you! I’m glad!
Ambrose Dudley was let off and was spared.
Jane was not a martyr but she was a bold and brave young woman and stayed true to her faith.
Jane’s father was an idiot and caused his daughter’s death as her sentence was carried out after her fate was sealed with maybe her outspoken nature as well as her call to arms, together with the danger she was painted as by the Council all led tragically to her death.
Mary let Northampton and several other nobles and some 400 people condemned to death were pardoned.
I know Feckenham had a job to visit and convert Jane but he really did respect this young woman and they had a long and interesting exchange. He was with Jane at the end. Jane was a firebrand and she was probably in that mode as she died.
Jane would have been a firebrand against Catholics had she remained as Queen and a persecution would have followed. You can tell this by her terrible language against a faith she personally detested. She was no push over and she had said she would convict people as her enemies in her proclamation. She may or may not have been innocent, Mary felt she was but her family didn’t help her cause.
Frances Grey of course was back chums with the Queen and Mary spared some members of both families, notably the younger brothers, including Ambrose.
I think she was a martyr. Dr Feckenham was of the view that Mary would be merciful if Jane recanted, and so could no longer be seen as a figurehead for rebellion, but even though she was offered that chance and given the reprieve for Feckenham to persuade her, she stayed firm and so did die for her faith. Just my opinion, though.
I think Dr Feckingham was correct and he respected Jane and her choice. He may have been sad, though not for her to save her life as he saw how young and clever she was and I feel he felt her death a waste. She would see it as more important to save her soul and she was very brave to do so. I can see why she is regarded by some people as a martyr and I respect that. I suppose you can look at her in the same way as say Thomas More who was regarded as dying for his conscience. Mary Queen of Scots saw herself as a Catholic martyr and many people do today. It’s a matter of perspective, I guess, but yes, I can respect that. Jane Grey was regarded as a martyr by John Knox and others. Yes, she died for treason, but yes, she also made a commendable decision to stand by her by strong faith, even when she was offered her life if she recanted. That is the definition of a martyr.
It must have been so hard for him. He wanted to save her life but she just wouldn’t submit. He must have respected her strength, her faith and courage though.
Pingback: 12 February – The executions of Lady Jane Grey and Lord Guildford Dudley – The Tudor Society /