Lady Jane Grey Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1537 - 1554 *** Full Name: Lady Jane Grey also known as Lady Jane Dudley *** Date of Birth: Lady Jane Grey was born in 1536/37 *** Place of Birth: Lady Jane Grey was born in Bradgate Park, Leicestershire in England *** Family background: Her father was Henry Grey the 1st Duke of Suffolk and her mother was Lady Frances Brandon. Her mother Lady Frances was the niece of Henry VIII and she also had two younger sisters, Lady Catherine and Lady Mary, all three girls were great granddaughters of Henry VII and consequently grandnieces to Henry VIII *** Early life and childhood: She grew up in Leicestershire with her family *** Education: Lady Jane Grey began her education at home with her father and various tutors who gave her a humanist education which consisted of the studying of Greek, Latin and Hebrew as well as Italian. Lady Jane Grey was also a devout Protestant ***
Lady Jane Grey Fact 1: Lady Jane Grey was born during the 16th century, a turbulent time in the worlds of politics and nobility, a time of exploration and adventure.
Lady Jane Grey Fact 2: Lady Jane Grey was a very well read young Lady, preferring her books to hunting parties, she was considered one of the most learned women of her time.
Lady Jane Grey Fact 3: At the age of ten years Lady Jane Grey was sent to live in the household of Thomas Seymour, Edward VI’s uncle and who would soon marry Catherine Parr, Henry VIII’s widow.
Lady Jane Grey Fact 4: Lady Jane Grey left the household after the sad death of Catherine during childbirth in 1548.
Lady Jane Grey Fact 5: At Catherine's funeral she acted as chief mourner and with Thomas’s keen interested in keeping her within his household, she would return for barely a couple of months before he himself was arrested in late 1548.
Lady Jane Grey Fact 6: It would be Thomas Seymour’s brother Edward, the Lord Protector for the young King Edward that would have his brother arrested. Suspicious of his brother, he felt he had his sights set on Lady Jane Grey as a prospective bride for the young King as this he could not have.
Lady Jane Grey Fact 7: Thomas Seymour was attainted and executed.
Lady Jane Grey Fact 8: Her father, Henry Grey, 1st Duke of Suffolk, was questioned on various occasions and managed largely to escape any harm. He proposed his daughter’s hand in marriage to that of Edward Seymour's son, Lord Hertford but nothing further came of this.
Lady Jane Grey Fact 9: Lady Jane Grey would however be betrothed to Lord Guildford Dudley the younger son of the 1st Duke of Northumberland, John Dudley who was also the most powerful and influential man in the country at the time.
Lady Jane Grey Fact 10: The affair would become a triple wedding with not only Lady Jane but her sister Lady Catherine and Lord Guildford’s daughter Katherine. The weddings took place at Durham House in London on May 25th 1553.
Lady Jane Grey Fact 11: Through the Third Succession Act of 1544 Henry VIII’s daughters, albeit illegitimate by law, were reinstated to the line of succession although in his Will, Henry had stipulated that if none of his three children left descendants the thrown would then pass to his youngest sister and her descendants, this including Jane but not her mother Frances, for reasons known only to Henry.
Lady Jane Grey Fact 12: With young King Edward dying in the summer of 1553 he drafted his will excluding his Catholic sister Mary by stating only male descendants of Frances Brandon or her daughters could succeed, of which there were none, and that would clearly put Lady Jane Grey, his Protestant cousin, on the thrown as his successor.
Lady Jane Grey Fact 13: Lady Jane Grey was informed on July 9th 1553 that the King was dead and that she was now Queen. She would however become a reluctant Queen.
Lady Jane Grey Fact 14: Lady Jane Grey was moved to the Tower of London as was customary between becoming Queen and the coronation.
Lady Jane Grey Fact 15: Lady Jane Grey would not have Dudley as her King but would instead make him Duke of Clarence.
Lady Jane Grey Fact 16: While Northumberland was trying to prevent Princess Mary from gathering supporters, the members of the Privy Council transferred their allegiance from Jane to Mary. On July 19th Mary was proclaimed Queen and Lady Jane Grey found herself imprisoned in the Tower.
Lady Jane Grey Fact 17: By August 22nd the Duke of Northumberland had been detained and was executed. Parliament declared Mary the rightful Queen.Lady Jane Grey Fact 18: Both Lady Jane Grey and Lord Guildford Dudley were charged with high treason along with Dudley's two brothers and Thomas Cranmer, former Archbishop of Canterbury.
Lady Jane Grey Fact 19: Their trial took place on November 13th by special commission in the City of London at the Guildhall.
Lady Jane Grey Fact 20: Although all parties were found guilty and sentenced to death, in Lady Jane Grey’s case, her life was spared.
Lady Jane Grey Fact 21: It would however, be Thomas Wyatt the Younger who would seal Lady Jane Grey’s fate. He raised a Protestant rebellion which Jane’s father and brother’s joined against Queen Mary’s plan to marry Philip II of Spain. Under these circumstances there was no choice but to proceed with Jane’s sentence.
Lady Jane Grey Fact 22: On February 12th of 1554 Lady Jane Grey was escorted to Tower Green where she was beheaded. The remains of both Lady Jane Grey and her husband were laid to rest in the Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula.
Influence & Legacy: Lady Jane Grey became an innocent pawn in the machinations of those who sought ultimate power and the struggle between Protestant and Catholic. She was a young girl barely sixteen yours of age and to be so used was not unusual.
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