The Tudor Society
The Tudor Society
  • 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:

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  • 6 July 1553 – The king is dead, long live the queen!

    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.

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  • 21 June 1553 – Lady Jane Grey is heir to the throne

    On 21st June 1553, letters patent were issued stating that King Edward VI’s heir was Lady Jane Grey, eldest daughter of the king’s cousin, Frances Brandon, Duchess of Suffolk.

    Edward VI was dying, having been ill for a few months, and in the original draft of his “Devise for the Succession” he stipulated that the Crown would descend through the male heirs of Frances, Duchess of Suffolk, if Edward died childless. The problem was that there were no male heirs yet, so when Edward made a turn for the worse he decided to change the document to read: “To the Lady Fraunceses heirs males, if she have any such issue before my death to the Lady Jane and her heirs males.”

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  • Bradgate Park commemorates Lady Jane Grey – 8-16 July 2017

    Thank you to Tamise Hills of the Lady Jane Grey Reference Guide for sharing this bit of news on Facebook.

    The Loughborough Echo have reported that Bradgate Park, which is the location of the ruins of Lady Jane Grey’s family home, is commemorating the short reign of Lady Jane Grey, or Queen Jane, with events including dusk tours, ghost walks, a talk and book signing with Alison Weir and a remembrance service at the Chapel.

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  • 23 February 1554 – The Execution of Henry Grey, Duke of Suffolk

    On this day in history, 23rd February 1554, at nine o’clock in the morning, Henry Grey, Duke of Suffolk, was led out onto the scaffold on Tower Hill and beheaded. His daughter, Lady Jane Grey, or Queen Jane as I like to call her, had been executed eleven days earlier, along with her husband, Lord Guildford Dudley.

    Suffolk’s execution was down to his involvement in Wyatt’s Rebellion, a rebellion which sought to depose Mary I and replace her with her half-sister Elizabeth. The rebellion failed and Suffolk was arrested as he attempted to flee the country in disguise. He was tried for high treason on 17th February at Westminster Hall, having been charged with inciting war in the county of Leicester, posting proclamations against the Spanish marriage, and plotting the death of the queen. He was condemned to death.

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  • 12 February 1554 – The executions of Lady Jane Grey and Lord Guildford Dudley

    On this day in history, 12th February 1554, Lady Jane Grey, great-granddaughter of King Henry VII, and her husband, Guildford Dudley, were executed for treason

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  • Queen Jane or Lady Jane Grey

    In today’s Claire Chats video I discuss whether Lady Jane Grey should actually be called Queen Jane.

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  • 15 July 1553 – Queen Jane’s ships swap their allegiance to Queen Mary

    Lady Jane Grey had been chosen by Edward VI as his heir and became queen on his death on 6th July 1553. However, Edward’s half-sister Mary believed herself to be Edward’s true heir and so declared herself queen at her home at Kenninghall following news of Edward’s death. On 12th July 1553, Mary moved from Kenninghall to Framlingham Castle, where she began to rally support and between 12th and 15th July Mary’s supporters and forces grew. She was supported by men such as Sir Edward Hastings; Henry Radclyffe, Earl of Sussex; Sir Thomas Cornwallis; Thomas, Lord Wentworth; Sir Henry Bedingfield; John de Vere, Earl of Oxford; and many prominent families of eastern England such as the Rochesters, the Jerninghams and Waldegraves. Mary was proclaimed Queen in various counties and towns.

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  • 21 June 1553 – Edward VI chooses Lady Jane Grey as his heir

    On 21st June 1553, letters patent were issued stating that King Edward VI’s heir was Lady Jane Grey, eldest daughter of the king’s cousin, Frances Brandon, Duchess of Suffolk.

    Edward VI was dying, having been ill for a few months, and in the original draft of his “Devise for the Succession” he stipulated that the Crown would descend through the male heirs of Frances, Duchess of Suffolk, if Edward died childless. The problem was that there were no male heirs yet, so when Edward made a turn for the worse he decided to change the document to read: “To the Lady Fraunceses heirs males, if she have any such issue before my death to the Lady Jane and her heirs males.”

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  • June Expert – Conor Byrne – The Grey Sisters

    Conor Byrne

    conor_byrne_authorEnjoy this month's expert talk from Conor Byrne, author of "Katherine Howard", where he discusses his findings on the "infamous" Grey sisters. They've been immortalised in fiction, but do you really know about them?

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  • Gillyflowers for Lord Guildford Dudley

    The Dudley Carving in the Beauchamp Tower

    The Dudley Carving in the Beauchamp Tower

    Today has gone down in history as the anniversary of the execution of Lady Jane Grey, but she wasn't the only one executed that day, her husband, Lord Guildford Dudley, was also executed.

    Guildford was born in around 1535 and was the fourth surviving son of John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, and his wife Jane (née Guildford). Guildford's family had negotiated for him to marry Margaret Clifford, daughter of Henry Clifford, 1st Earl of Cumberland, but on 25th May 1553 he married Lady Jane Grey, in a triple marriage ceremony which also saw his sister Katherine marrying Lord Henry Herbert, son of the Earl of Pembroke, and Jane's sister Katherine marrying Lord Henry Hastings. They got married at the Dudley family's London residence, Durham Place.
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  • 12 February 1554 – Lady Jane Grey is executed

    On this day in history, Lady Jane Grey and her husband, Lord Guildford Dudley, were executed for treason.

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  • Mary I proclaimed Queen – 19 July 1553

    On 19th July 1553, thirteen days after the death of her half-brother Edward VI, Mary, eldest daughter of Henry VIII, was proclaimed queen in London in place of Queen Jane, who had been proclaimed queen on 10th July.

    The Chronicle of the Grey Friars of London records:

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  • News – Archaeologists prepare to reveal the secrets of Bradgate Park

    Archaeologists are starting a five-year project to reveal the secrets of Bradgate Park, the estate which was home to Lady Jane Grey and her family.

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  • Lady Jane Grey

    Queen Jane, commonly known as Lady Jane Grey, was born in 1537 (May or October) at Bradgate Park in Leicestershire. She was the eldest daughter of Henry Grey, Duke of Suffolk and Frances Brandon, daughter of Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, and Mary Tudor, Queen of France. She was an intelligent girl and received a top-class education. Her main tutor was John Aylmer but she also met the top scholars of the day during her time living with Thomas Seymour, as his ward, and his wife Dowager Queen Catherine Parr. She also met famous reformists and humanists. She loved Greek and was a linguist with a knowledge of Latin and Hebrew, on top of the usual modern languages.

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  • The Executions of Lady Jane Grey and Lord Guildford Dudley: A Primary Source Account

    A primary source account of the executions of Lady Jane Grey and Lord Guildford Dudley on 12 February 1554.

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  • Tudor Life February 2015 – Lady Jane Grey Special!

    Enjoy this amazing 82 page Lady Jane Grey Special Edition magazine.

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  • Lady Jane Grey Quiz

    This week’s quiz is on Lady Jane Grey.

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  • Lady Jane Grey Books

    A list of recommended biographies and books on Lady Jane Grey.

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