On this day in Tudor history, 7th July 1553, in the short reign of Queen Jane (Lady Jane Grey), Mary, eldest daughter of King Henry VIII, received news of her half-brother King Edward VI’s death.
Where was Mary when she received the news? What was she doing and what happened next?
Find out in this latest edition of #TudorHistoryShorts…
On this day in Tudor history, 6th July 1553, fifteen-year-old King Edward VI died at Greenwich Palace leaving the throne to his cousin’s eldest daughter, Lady Jane Grey.
I share details of Edward’s final illness and last days, his “Devise for the Succession”, and Lady Jane Grey’s reaction at being told that she was Edward’s successor.
July 1553 was a month of three monarchs – Edward VI, Queen Jane and Mary I – but how did this come about? In today’s Claire chats, I look at what led to the events of July 1553 and particularly the actions that Mary took to stage her successful coup d’etat.
On this day in history, 6th July 1553, between 8 and 9 o’clock in the evening, fifteen-year-old King Edward VI died in the arms of Sir Henry Sidney, one of the Chief Gentleman of his Privy Chamber, at Greenwich Palace. His last words were reported to be “I am faint; Lord have mercy upon me, and take my spirit”.
Edward VI had been ill for several months and on 21st June 1553 his “Devise for the Succession” had been issued as “Letters Patent for the Limitation of the Crown”. In his devise, Edward VI stipulated that his crown was to be passed on to “the eldest SONNE OF THE BODYE OF THE SAID LADY FRAUNCIS [Frances Brandon, Duchess of Suffolk], LAWFULLY BEGOTTONE, beinge borne into the world in our lyfetyme” and failing that the crown would pass on to Frances’ daughter, Lady Jane Grey, and her heirs male. When Edward died in July 1553, Frances did not have a son and so Jane became queen, being officially proclaimed such on 10th July 1553.
Between 8 and 9pm on 6th July 1553 King Edward VI lay dying at Greenwich Palace. He prayed:
“Lord God, deliver me out of this miserable and wretched life, and take me among thy chosen: howbeit not my will, but thy will be done. Lord I commit my spirit to thee. O Lord! Thou knowest how happy it were for me to be with thee: yet, for thy chosen’s sake, send me life and health, that I may truly serve thee. O my Lord God, bless thy people, and save thine inheritance! O Lord God save thy chosen people of England! O my Lord God. defend this realm from papistry, and maintain thy true religion; that I and my people may praise thy holy name, for thy Son Jesus Christ’s sake!”