The Tudor Society
  • 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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  • Lady Jane Grey Primary Sources

    Links to primary sources for Lady Jane Grey, her short reign and execution.

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