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Grey, Lady Jane

Lady Jane Grey, 1537–54, queen of England for nine days. She was the daughter of Henry Grey, marquess of Dorset (later duke of Suffolk), and Frances Brandon, daughter of Henry VIII's sister Mary. She became a ward of Baron Seymour of Sudeley, who tried unsuccessfully to bring about a marriage between her and Edward VI. After Seymour's execution (1549) for treason, she fell under the control of John Dudley, duke of Northumberland, who married (1553) her to his youngest son, Lord Guilford Dudley. Northumberland persuaded the boy king, Edward, to change the order of succession and name Lady Jane, a Protestant, to follow him on the throne. After Edward's death Lady Jane, only 15 years old, was proclaimed queen on July 10, 1553. The English people, however, rallied to the cause of Mary I, and Northumberland's army deserted. After nine days as nominal queen, Lady Jane was imprisoned. Because of her youth and innocence her life would probably have been spared had not her father joined the rebellion of Sir Thomas Wyatt (1554). Lady Jane, her husband, and her father were beheaded.

See J. D. Taylor, ed., Documents of Lady Jane Grey: Nine Days Queen of England, 1553 (2004); H. W. Chapman, Lady Jane Grey (1962); A. Plowden, Lady Jane Grey and the House of Suffolk (1986) and Lady Jane Grey: Nine Days Queen (2003); E. Ives, Lady Jane Grey: A Tudor Mystery (2009).

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Grey, Lady Jane

Grey, Lady Jane (1537–54). Jane was the eldest daughter of Henry Grey, marquis of Dorset, later duke of Suffolk, and a cousin of Edward VI. An intelligent and well-educated girl, she joined the household of Catherine Parr. After Catherine's death in 1548 she became a ward of Catherine's fourth husband, Thomas Seymour of Sudeley, who hoped for a marriage between her and Edward VI. After Seymour's execution in 1549, Jane returned to live with her parents. The duke of Northumberland then planned to use her to seize the succession when Edward should die. Against her own wishes, she was married on 21 May 1553 to Guildford Dudley, fourth son of Northumberland. After Edward's death on 6 July 1553, she was proclaimed queen and Guildford declared himself king. Mary Tudor's supporters rallied and on 19 July Jane's father admitted defeat and recognized Mary's succession. Lady Jane's reign had lasted a mere nine days. She hoped to return to private life but was held in the Tower and executed on 12 February 1554. She was the innocent victim of her family's heartless ambitions.

Sue Minna Cannon

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Grey, Lady Jane (1537–1554)

Grey, Lady Jane (15371554)

The reigning queen of England for nine days, Lady Jane Grey was the great-granddaughter of King Henry VII and the grandniece of King Henry VIII. She was born in Leicester, the daughter of the Marquess of Dorset, who sent her to the royal court when she was nine to tend to Catherine Parr, the sixth wife of Henry VIII. In July 1553, she was proclaimed as queenalthough never officially crownedafter the death of Edward VI, the young Protestant son of Henry who had passed the monarchy to Jane in his will. Under the protection of the Duke of Northumberland, she was supported by English Protestants who opposed the Catholic princess Mary, a daughter of Henry who was threatening to return property seized by the Church of England to the Catholics. When her accession was found unlawful, Grey was deposed from the throne. In 1554, a rebellion against Queen Mary broke out. Suspecting Grey of taking part in the plot against her, Mary had her young cousin arrested, imprisoned, and beheaded.

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Grey, Lady Jane

Grey, Lady Jane (1537–54) (Nine-Day Queen) Queen of England (1553). Great-granddaughter of Henry VII, she was married to the son of the Duke of Northumberland, regent for the ailing Edward VI. On Edward VI's death, she was proclaimed queen, but the rightful heir, Mary I, was almost universally preferred. Lady Jane and her husband were executed.

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