Wednesday 14 July 2010

The Beginning of the End for Lady Jane Grey

“By this time news was brought that Sir John Williams was also proclaiming Queen Mary in Oxfordshire. From that time forward certain of the council, that is, the Earl of Pembroke and the Lord Warden sought to go out of the Tower to consult in London, but could not as yet.”
- From The Chronicle of Queen Jane, and of Two Years of Queen Mary

The Mary Tudor: Renaissance Queen blog continues its excellent anniversary posts on the rise to power of Mary Tudor in the summer of 1553, with an account of 13th July, when the first serious cracks in the regime of Lady Jane Grey (above) began to appear.


  1. What is your opinion of Jane Grey? I gather there has been quite a bit of scholarly controversy about her lately.

  2. Apart from any other element of the story that you might grieve over, what a totally gorgeous portrait of the teenager. Is it a miniature? Who might have painted it?

  3. Matterhorn, I'm not really sure what I think of Lady Jane, because I haven't done enough research on her personally. The one thing that frustrates me is that the current trend in historiography (the English Counter-Reformation was alive, kicking and popular, the Reformation an uphill struggle pushed by the elite) has impacted a little too much on Jane's historical reputation. She is now (rightly) described as a Protestant bigot, but suggesting that this makes her somehow "worse" than Mary I, is curious. We can't say that Catholic atrocities against Protestants were all part of the historical context of the 16th century, but that Protestant hatred of Catholicism made people downright unpleasant. One standard has to fit all! I think she was a very brave young lady, but misguided and unbending.

    Hels, I'm afraid I don't know where the portrait comes from, although it is lovely and thank you for commenting on it. It dates from the Victorian period, when the romanticised "cult" of Lady Jane Grey was at its peak.

    You are welcome, Little Miss Sunnydale, your blog is fantastic!


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