Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Execution of the 'Nine-Day Queen'

The Execution of Lady Jane Grey. By Paul Delaroche, 1833. Picture acquired through Wikimedia Commons. Image public domain.

On this day in Tudor history in 1554, Jane Grey, a Tudor cousin who had ruled England for a little over a week, was executed at the Tower of London on the orders of Queen Mary I. Though this act may seem cruel and unnecessary to our modern sensibilities, Mary was the rightful Queen of England, and in order to secure her throne, she had to dispose of the usurpers, Jane and her husband Guildford Dudley, and their supporters. Jane and Guildford had been placed in power by Guildford's ambitious father, the Duke of Northumberland, who had persuaded the dying Edward VI to change the line of succession to pass to 'Jane Grey and her heir(s) male'. The Duke was also the father of Elizabeth's favorite, Robert Dudley, later Earl of Leicester. Robert, along with the other Dudley men, was imprisoned in the Tower, but his life was luckily spared.

'Iane/Jane', carved by one of the Dudley brothers in the Tower of London. Picture acquired through Wikimedia Commons. Image public domain.

To learn more about Jane, her life, and her family, please visit our Pinterest board, Jane Grey & Family.