Lit.Org - a community for readers and writers Advanced Search

Average Rating

(0 votes)

You must login to vote

I was reading the history of Lady Jane Grey who Edward VI nominated to succeed him. She possessed niether the character nor stamina to be worthy of inheriting the throne, but otherwise appeared a virtuous individual of integrity & humility.
After only nine days she willingly gave up the crown in favour of Mary I (Bloody Mary) & was soon crossed to the executioner. With the exception of Norfolk's intention that his son (her husband) be proclaimed King, Jane had comitted no crime & indeed refused to grant her husband kingship.
Can anyone explain to me the mindset of the time that declared Lady Jane Grey had to be executed & more over that Lady Jane herself expected to go to the scaffold & held no animosity toward Mary or the Council for her fate?

Coming from an Anglo-Celtic backgroud I have an interest in English history though being of a working class environment my interest is higher than general knowledge but not so accute as to be termed historian.
I can be somewhat political & playing the Devil's Advocate on occasions gives people a false perception of my ideals.


The following comments are for "Lady Jane Grey"
by ozpink

Lady Jane
Hi ozpink, I'm wondering if it had to do with the religion of the time. Bloody Mary we know executed hundreds if not thousands for their religion. Or maybe Lady Jane was accused of something. Somehow I remember reading about one woman who was accused of having incestual relations with her brother. Could this be it. Back then death would be the punishment.

Best of luck in your search.


( Posted by: kimberly bird [Member] On: December 28, 2003 )

Anne Burlin
Thanks to Kimberly & Penelope for your efforts. It was Elizabeth I's mother Anne Burlin (not 100% on the spelling) who was wrongly accused of having sex with her brother & many others. She had fallen out of favour with Henry for failing to give him a son & one of his Ministers wanted a treaty with Spain, but as Anne was the downfall of Henry's first wife (the Spanish Anne of Aragon)Anne Burlin had to go.
Not so much looking for the grounds for a charge of treason, legitimate or not, but rather the perception that it was to be expected even though Lady Jane Grey gave up the crown to Mary willingly? Like going to the Block singing "Kay-Sara-Sara"!

( Posted by: ozpink [Member] On: December 29, 2003 )

Why Lady Jane, Penelopy? > Monarchs > House of Tudor > Lady Jane Grey.
Simon Schama's 'A History of Britain' did not mention Lady Jane, so I was curious & read what the above site had to say & was impressed with her virtuous 'resignation' of her fate. Perhaps this account is just one historians slant on things & maybe another historians interpretation would have her going to the scaffold kicking & screaming.
Perhaps this is one of those, "always wanted to know, but couldn't be bothered asking" questions, but thats me. Political history may be the thing that inspires books & movies, but it is often the little quirks that get my attention in a quest to understand the mentality that drives it.
I'm the sort that wants to know the change in custom & fashion that inspires someone named Egbert to name his sons Aethelwulf, Aethelbald, Aethelbert & Aethelred?!

( Posted by: ozpink [Member] On: December 30, 2003 )

Thanks Pen...
...for your leniency on a site where spelling errors could almost be a capital crime. I have not seen the movie you are refering to. As with music, we are only exposed to that which Europe & America wish to market here & as for Art, the road to fame requires you to paint like a five year old.
Perhaps that is a bit harsh. I am just frustrated by the lack of support for those who have the skill to paint photo quality images. When what's his names' 'Blue Poles' was stolen some years ago, public astonishment was not at the lack of security, but what the gallery paid to aquire it to begin with!

( Posted by: ozpink [Member] On: January 1, 2004 )

Good deductive reasoning, yes, Oztralia. Can you deduct the 'Pink' reference?
My avatar doesn't reduce to 70 pixels as well as I'd hoped. Not so much a 'V', how well do you recognise one zodiac imposed on another?
More humility than velocity, my monogram is incomplete as there is always room for improvement. What of your avatar, cute & cuddly or vicious when wounded?
I feel I should try to contribute more than conversation on this site, but where to start & what subject? No author by any stretch of the imagination..., I will see what I can do.

( Posted by: ozpink [Member] On: January 2, 2004 )

Lady Jane
oz, did you ever figure out the Lady Jane character that you were looking for? When I read up on her, I see she was very young and was at least the six or seventh in line for the crown. She was used by another to gain the crown.

Just curious.


( Posted by: kimberly bird [Member] On: January 6, 2004 )

Not as yet Kimberly
It seems your resources offer more detail than mine. I was unaware of the possibility she was used by another. I knew she & her sister were named by Edward in the line of succession & that Northumberland had it in his mind to have his son declared king as Lady Jane's husband.
Is there any evidence to suggest Northumberland's plan was so well planned that he inspired Edward to make that declaration way back when he knew he was dying?

( Posted by: ozpink [Member] On: January 7, 2004 )

Lady Jane
ozpink, the info below was taken out of a book called; Kings & Queens of England & Scotland, by Allen Andrews. I hope it answers a bit? I have a few on the Plantagenet Dynasty as well. I'm working on my third manuscript that deals a lot with Eleanor of Aquitaine, so these books will be opened for a while if you need anything. I love this era. I also have a Historical page on my website that may interest you, give you some leads at least.


As a devout puritan, Protestant, Edward VI sanctioned the promotion of his mother’s brothers, the Seymours, to the highest offices of the state, but acquiesced in their subsequent liquidation. Power was then taken by John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, who married his son Guildford to Edward’s cousin Jane Grey, and persuaded Edward to nominate Jane as his heir. Mary, daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, and Elizabeth, daughter of Henry and Anne Boleyn, had been declared illegitimate by Act of Parliament of 1536. The nomination of Lady Jane Grey, who was Henry VII’s great granddaughter was designed to secure the succession of a Protestant. It also served to further the ambitions of Northumberland, for arranging the marriage of his son to Lady Jane, he was maneuvering for dynastic power.

Shorty before the death of Edward VI, the Duke of Northumberland, controlling the government, persuaded the king to sign a will which passed over six possible claimants to the throne and assigned the succession to Northumberland’s daughter-in-law, Jane. On the death of Edward, Northumberland tried to kidnap the heir with the strongest claim, Mary, eldest child of Henry VIII. Mary evaded him, and the country rose against him. He was taken prisoner at Cambridge on the day of the proclamation of Mary as queen. Within five weeks, Northumberland had been executed, and Jane and her husband were prisoners in the Tower. Five months later, after a revolt occasioned by Mary’s announcement that she would marry Philip of Spain, Jane was executed, along with her husband and father and some 60 others. Rather than demonstrating any personal ambition of her own, Jane was the unfortunate victim of the dynastic power game.

( Posted by: kimberly bird [Member] On: January 7, 2004 )

Much appreciated
Thanks very much for that information. It answers both my original questions, not altogether by what is written, but much can be assumed from the facts.

It would have been clear to all including Jane that she would have been a plyable monarch. Despite her self will to refuse Giuldford kingship, she could not hope to stave off the influences of future power brokers within the kingdom.
No matter how much a Puritan, Edward VI would have, by his upbringing, been a monarchist first & a Protestant second. Jane on the other hand being of humbler beginnings & modest temperament would have been a child of God first & foremost. She could not have sat still holding a crown so corrupted by the intrigues of less godly individuals. Not only would she have needed to meet God with a clear conscience, she may have put Protestant - Catholic rivalry aside in the belief the country needed a strong ruler.

The whole saga does pose another question. If Mary could send a modest individual as Jane to the Block, how is it a strong willed Elizabeth managed to survive? Since Mary's long roll call of victoms & a most unpopular chioce of husband suggests she would rather England descend into anarchy than allow another Protestant succession.

( Posted by: ozpink [Member] On: January 7, 2004 )

Queen Elizabeth
Ah, see now oz, you answered the question yourself reagrding Elizabeth and Lady Jane. Elizabeth was turtored at a very early age in life to accept the crown someday. She was a Magnovian bear all the way in the sense that piety was her belief too but she would use all her powers to gain and keep the throne. The people that surrounded and visited her at an early age kept that wheel of fortune and bith oiled all the way. This woman was completely opposite of Lady Jane, that in itself speaks volumes.

I'm but her humble servant ;)


( Posted by: kimberly bird [Member] On: January 9, 2004 )

spelling mistake
I meant birth.

( Posted by: kimberly bird [Member] On: January 9, 2004 )

Lady Jane Grey vs Elizabeth
I am in the process of writing a dissertation on Lady Jane Grey.
To try and answer the question of why Mary was willing to execute her cousin Jane, and not her sister is difficult, mainly because she actually seemed very reluctant to do so.

The revolts that followed after her intended marriage to Philip II all re-iterated the danger of keeping Lady Jane Grey alive. It meant that through out Mary's reign all uprisings, particularily Protestants ones, would use Jane as a figurehead. Added to this Philip II was pushing for the execution, however even this didn't seal Jane's fate. What seemed to be the deciding factor(and this is the major difference between Elizabeth and Jane) is that Mary offered her cousin her life if she denied her Protesant faith and embraced the Catholic church, she even sent distinguished theologians to debate with her. However Jane was incredibly devoted and staunchly refused.

Elizabeth on the other hand, kept far more to herself and was not open about her religious beliefs, even in her own reign she was of a more moderate Protestant leaning then her cousin. Yes, Elizabeth was a severe and great women but I don't think Jane was as passive and weak as often suggested and I respect her all the more for it.

( Posted by: Karmen [Member] On: March 24, 2004 )

Lady Jane Grey

I would highly recommend the following book to all those interested in the Lady Jane Grey. It is a very entertaining read and yet very accurate. If you get the book by Allison Plowden, I would recommend reading with a 'grain of salt.' Her facts are sound but she doesn't understand Jane as a person. There are also several decent websites dedicated to her.

The Nine Days Queen: A Portrait of Lady Jane Grey
by Mary Luke, published William Morrow and Company Inc., 1986.

(last time I checked this book was available from

( Posted by: RGray [Member] On: January 14, 2005 )

Add Your Comment

You Must be a member to post comments and ratings. If you are NOT already a member, signup now it only takes a few seconds!

All Fields are required

Commenting Guidelines:
  • All comments must be about the writing. Non-related comments will be deleted.
  • Flaming, derogatory or messages attacking other members well be deleted.
  • Adult/Sexual comments or messages will be deleted.
  • All subjects MUST be PG. No cursing in subjects.
  • All comments must follow the sites posting guidelines.
The purpose of commenting on Lit.Org is to help writers improve their writing. Please post constructive feedback to help the author improve their work.