The Tudor Society
  • 31 July – Henry Grey, father of Lady Jane Grey, is released from the Tower

    On this day in Tudor history, 31st July 1553, Henry Grey, Duke of Suffolk, was “discharged out of the Tower by the Earle of Arundell and had the Quenes pardon.”

    Suffolk had, of course, been imprisoned after Mary I had overthrown his daughter, Queen Jane, or Lady Jane Grey, and his release was down to his wife, Frances, interceding with the queen and begging for mercy.

    But who was Henry Grey and how did he go from being pardoned to being executed in 1554?

    Find out in today’s talk.

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  • 21 July – The arrest of John Dudley

    On this day in Tudor history, 21st July, 1553, just days after he’d left London with an army to apprehend Mary, half-sister of the late king, Edward VI, John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland was arrested near Cambridge.

    But how and why did the man who had ruled England on Edward VI’s behalf, as Lord President of his privy council, come to this?

    I explain his role in the accession of Lady Jane Grey as Queen Jane in July 1553 and what happened when Mary overthrew Queen Jane.

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  • The Summer of 3 Monarchs Crossword Puzzle

    The summer of 1553 was very eventful and saw three different Tudor monarchs rule England in just the month of July: King Edward VI, Queen Jane (Lady Jane Grey) and Queen Mary I.

    How much do you know about the events of summer 1553 and the struggle for the throne?

    Test those little grey cells with this week’s puzzle, a fun crossword puzzle. Simply click on the link or image below to open and print out. Good luck!

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  • 18 July – Queen Jane is betrayed and Queen Mary wins

    On this day in Tudor history, 18th July 1553, while her father-in-law and his forces made their way from Cambridge to Bury St Edmunds to stand against the forces of Mary, and Jane was busy writing to men requesting them to muster forces to support her, Jane was being betrayed by members of her council.

    William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke, and Henry Fitzalan, Earl of Arundel, called a council meeting and Pembroke was even said to have threatened council members with a sword! They then proclaimed for Mary.

    Find out more about what happened on 18th and 19th July 1553 in today’s talk.

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  • 13 July – Unease among Queen Jane’s councillors

    On this day in Tudor history, 13th July 1553, while John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, was preparing to leave London to apprehend the late Henry VIII’s daughter, Mary, members of the new Queen Jane’s council were meeting with the imperial ambassadors.

    What was the meeting about? What was the news from East Anglia? And why were councillors beginning to feel uneasy?

    Find out what was going on in today’s talk.

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  • 12 July – Men flock to Mary’s cause and Jane makes a mistake

    On this day in Tudor history, 12th July 1553, Mary (future Mary I) moved from Kenninghall to Framlingham and set about rallying support. Sir Thomas Cornwallis was able to intercept her on her journey and pledge his loyalty to her. He wasn’t the only one flocking to her cause.

    Meanwhile, back in London, the new queen, Queen Jane (Lady Jane Grey), made a serious mistake by refusing to send her father to go and apprehend Mary.

    Why was this a mistake?

    Find out what was going on back in 1553 in this talk.

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  • 11 July – Men change sides from Queen Jane to Mary

    On this day in history, 11th July 1553, in Ipswich, Suffolk, Sir Thomas Cornwallis, sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk, Lord Thomas Wentworth, and some other prominent Suffolk gentlemen declared for Queen Jane (Lady Jane Grey) and publicly proclaimed her the rightful queen. However, the following day, Cornwallis recanted and proclaimed Mary as queen.

    Why? What happened to make this sheriff change his mind so soon?

    Find out more about the situation in July 1553 in today’s talk.

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  • 9 July – Mary wants to avoid bloodshed and vengeance

    On this day in Tudor history, 9th July 1553, three days after the death of her half-brother, King Edward VI, and the day after she’d proclaimed herself queen at her estate at Kenninghall, Mary (future Mary I), daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, wrote to the late king’s privy council regarding “some evil” that she’d heard.

    But what was going on? What had Mary heard and what was she going to do about it?

    Find out more about the situation and Mary’s letter in today’s talk.

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  • 21 June – Lady Jane Grey is Edward’s heir

    On this day in Tudor history, 21st June 1553, letters patent were issued stating that the dying King Edward VI’s heir was Lady Jane Grey, eldest daughter of the king’s cousin, Frances Grey (née Brandon), Duchess of Suffolk.

    Why was Lady Jane Grey his heir when Edward had two half-sisters, Mary and Elizabeth, and who else was listed in his “devise for the succession”. Find out more about Edward VI’s plan for the succession in today’s talk

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  • 13 November – Lady Jane Grey is tried for treason

    On this day in Tudor history, 13th November 1553, in the reign of Queen Mary I, the former queen Jane, or Lady Jane Grey, was tried for treason at Guildhall in London. She wasn’t the only one tried, her husband Lord Guildford Dudley, his brothers Ambrose and Henry Dudley, and Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, were also tried for treason for their parts in putting Jane on the throne.

    In today’s talk, I explain what happened at their trial and also what happened to these Tudor people after they were found guilty and condemned to death.

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  • The Events of July 1553 Quiz

    July 1553 was a month of three monarchs: King Edward VI, Queen Jane (lady Jane Grey) and Queen Mary I – what a month for the citizens of London! It was definitely eventful. But how much do you know about the events that led from Edward’s death to Mary’s accession? Let me test your knowledge with this fun little quiz – good luck!

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  • 19 July – Mary I is proclaimed queen

    On this day in Tudor history, 19th July 1553, the reign of Queen Jane (Lady Jane Grey) was brought to an end when Mary, the late King Edward VI’s half-sister, was officially proclaimed queen in London.

    In today’s talk,I share contemporary sources which tell us of how this news was celebrated in London. I also give brief details of another significant “on this day” event.

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  • 15 July – The tide turns from Jane to Mary

    This day in Tudor history, 15th July 1553, was a key point in the events of summer 1553. For it was on this day that royal ships, ships that were supposed to be Queen Jane’s and who were guarding the coast off East Anglia to stop Mary fleeing England or any of her supporter invading England, swapped sides and gave declared for Queen Mary. Oh dear!

    I explain the context, the lead-up to this day, and also what happened to make the crews of these ships swap sides.

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  • 8 July – Mary declares herself queen

    On this day in Tudor history, 8th July 1553, two days after her half-brother King Edward VI’s death and one day after hearing news of his death, Mary, daughter of King Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, declared that she was Edward VI’s heir and so was queen – Queen Mary I.

    In today’s talk, I explain what had led Mary to this point and why Mary had fled London.

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  • Tamise Hills Live chat – Lady Jane Grey

    Thank you to everyone who came to Friday’s live chat and a big thank you to Tamise Hills for answering all of our questions on this fascinating Tudor queen. It was a fun chat.

    If you missed the chat, you can have a read of the questions and Tamise’s answers in this transcript:

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  • 25 May – A triple Tudor wedding

    On this day in Tudor history, 25th May 1553, Lady Jane Grey got married to Lord Guildford Dudley, son of John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland.

    They weren’t the only couple to get married in the ceremony at Durham House, Jane’s sister, Katherine, and Guildford’s sister, Catherine, also got married.

    In today’s video, I give more details and consider who was behind this triple Tudor wedding.

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  • 12 February – The executions of Lady Jane Grey and Lord Guildford Dudley

    In today’s “on this day in Tudor history”, I take us back to the reign of Queen Mary I.

    On 12 February 1554, Lady Jane Grey, formerly Queen Jane, and her husband Guildford Dudley were executed. Guildford was beheaded on Tower Hill and Jane was beheaded at the Tower of London. I explain what led to their executions and relates what happened at them.

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  • Lady Jane Grey’s Final Days – Claire Chats video talk

    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.

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  • Project Grey Noise – An audio drama about Lady Jane Grey

    Michael Bayus is the writer, producer and director/actor of an audio drama about Lady Jane Grey which he describes as “27 plays that are told in sound only”. Michael’s goal in producing his drama “is to remember the Lady Jane Grey as she wanted to be remembered”. He goes on to say:

    “In my story, Lady Jane is trapped in the 21st century, but willingly. Because she knows that in order to affect change, and to accomplish her goal, she must act. It’s hard for her, because she knows that if she were to tell people that she really is Lady Jane Grey from 1554, people would think she is crazy. So she plays Miss Jane Dudley, and she oversees an exhibit about herself and dresses up in Tudor costume, and enjoys being herself twice a day, morning and afternoon) for her show….

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  • Henry Grey’s head

    As today is the anniversary of the execution of Henry Grey, Duke of Suffolk and father of Lady Jane Grey, I thought I’d talk about his execution and a mummified head discovered in the 19th century that is said to be the duke’s.

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  • 12 February 1554 – Lady Jane Grey and Lord Guildford Dudley are executed

    On this day in history, 12th February 1554, Lord Guildford Dudley, son of John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, was executed on Tower Hill. Not long after, Guildford’s wife, Queen Jane, or Lady Jane Grey as she is more commonly known, great-granddaughter of King Henry VII, was executed at the Tower of London.

    You can find out more about Jane and Guildford’s executions in the following articles:

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  • Lady Jane Grey or Queen Jane Quiz

    As tomorrow is the anniversary of the execution of Queen Jane, or Lady Jane Grey as she’s more commonly known,
    we thought we’d mark the occasion by making Jane the subject of our Sunday quiz.

    Are you sitting comfortably? Then let’s begin. Good luck!

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  • Lady Jane Grey Resources

    Lady Jane Grey is a hot topic at the moment with Helen Castor’s programme having recently aired in the UK. I thought it would be useful for members if I created this list of useful resources to find out more about Queen Jane, who was a fascinating Tudor woman.

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  • A review of England’s Forgotten Queen: The Life and Death of Lady Jane Grey

    Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of last week were treats for us Tudor history lovers with access to British TV because BBC Four was airing “England’s Forgotten Queen: The Life and Death of Lady Jane Grey” followed by Lucy Worsley’s “Fit to Rule: How Royal Illness changed History”. I think “Fit to Rule” had been on before, but I’d missed it and so enjoyed catching up on that. Two hours of history for three nights – bliss!

    So what was “England’s Forgotten Queen: The Life and Death of Lady Jane Grey” like and would I recommend it?

    The simple answer is yes, but let me tell you a bit more about it.

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  • England’s Forgotten Queen: The Life and Death of Lady Jane Grey

    I am so looking forward to this 3-part TV programme from the BBC presented by historian Helen Castor. It’s on in the UK on BBC Four at 9pm on 9th, 10th and 11th January and as well as Helen Castor, it features historians like John Guy, Leanda de Lisle, J Stephan Edwards and Anna Whitelock.

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  • Robert Wingfield’s Vitae Mariae – A first-hand account of the events of July 1553

    In today’s Claire chats video talk, I delve into the “Vita Mariae Angliae Reginae”, Robert Wingfield of Brantham’s account of Mary I’s successful coup d’état in July 1553. It is a fascinating primary source as it gives us details of Mary’s side of things, what was happening in East Anglia then.

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  • The Last Tudor and The Sisters Who Would Be Queen

    “The battle for the throne isn’t over yet” is the tagline of Philippa Gregory’s latest Tudor novel, “The Last Tudor”. Released yesterday, this novel focuses on the Grey sisters: Jane, Katherine and Mary, who, of course, had claims to the throne through their grandmother Mary Tudor, daughter of Henry VII.

    The lives of these three young women were explored in one of my all-time favourite history books, “The Sisters Who Would Be Queen” by Leanda de Lisle. It is a wonderful book. It’s meticulously researched and highly readable, a winning combination, and deserves pride of place on every Tudor history lover’s bookshelf. Philippa Gregory’s novel is actually inspired by Leanda’s research so I’m looking forward to reading this novel. To celebrate the release of Philippa’s novel, Leanda has kindly shared the following excerpt from “The Sisters Who Would Be Queen” with us today:

    “On 10 October 1562, when Elizabeth was at Hampton Court, she had begun to feel unwell, with aches and pains in her head and back. She had decided to have a bath and take a short walk to shake it off. When she returned to her chambers, however, she became feverish. A physician was called. To Elizabeth’s irritation he diagnosed the potentially deadly Small Pox. Since there were as yet no blisters, she refused to accept the diagnosis, but sickness and diarrhoea followed and she became delirious. By 16 October the Queen could no longer speak. On the 17th she was unconscious.

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  • Stephan Edwards talks about Lady Jane Grey

    Dr. Stephan Edwards was interviewed on the radio all about Lady Jane Grey. Here’s the recording!

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  • Claire Chats video – A timeline of the events of 1553

    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.

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  • 10 July 1553 – Queen Jane!

    On this day in history, 10th July 1553, the new monarch, Queen Jane, formerly Lady Jane Grey, was received at the Tower of London, accompanied by her husband, Lord Guildford Dudley, and proclaimed queen.

    Merchant-taylor of London and diarist Henry Machyn records this event in his diary:

    [Read More...]
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