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"Am almost too dejected to write. How can I ever become the paragon of a daughter my parents desire? I dread each moment I spend in their presence. Nothing I do or say ever seems to please them. It is all, Jane, stand up straight, do not slouch, pray do not screw up your eyes when I talk to you."
—Lady Jane Grey[6]

Lady Jane Grey (October 1537 – February 12, 1554), later Jane Dudley, was the daughter of Frances and Henry Grey. She was the great-niece of King Henry VIII, and cousin of King Edward VI, Queen Mary I, and Queen Elizabeth I. In 1553, Jane was declared Queen and ruled England for nine days.


Early life

Lady Jane Grey was born in May[2] or October 1537[3] to Frances Brandon and Sir Henry Grey. Jane's grandmother, Mary Tudor, was the youngest sister of King Henry VIII. She was named after Henry's third wife, then Queen Jane Seymour. Jane spent part of her childhood at Bradgate Park in Leicestershire.

1547 – 1554

Following the death of Henry VIII, Jane's favorite cousin, Edward VI ascended the throne. Jane was sent to the household of Thomas Seymour, who planned to have Jane marry his nephew, the King. Shortly later, Thomas married King Henry's widow, Catherine Parr. Jane stayed at Seymour's house, until Catherine's death in September 1548.

Shortly after returning home, Jane was called back to Seymour's home. However, it was not long before Thomas was accused of treason and arrested. Jane was sent to her parents' home, Dorset Place in London, where the family stayed until after Thomas' execution. Later that year, Edward Seymour, the Lord Protector, was ousted from King Edward's favor by John Dudley. Jane's father was appointed Warden of the Northern Marches, but had resigned by September 1551. The following month, Jane waited on the Scottish Regent, Mary of Guise. In early 1552, Edward Seymour was imprisoned once again and later executed.

In May 1553, Jane was married to John Dudley's son, Guildford. The following July, King Edward passed away, shortly after naming Jane as his heir. Jane was declared Queen of England, a reign that lasted only nine days. Edward's sister, Mary won the people's support and had Jane imprisoned at the Tower of London. Jane was tried and found guilty of treason along with Guildford. Mary was inclined to pardon the couple, but sentenced them to death after Wyatt's Rebellion. On February 12, 1554, Jane and her husband were beheaded.

Physical appearance

Her appearance was described as similar to Elizabeth's "with the same red hair and arched eyebrows." Jane's short stature and overall smallness often confused others into thinking she was atleast two years younger than her real age. She also had noticeable freckles across her face.

Personality and traits

Jane prized books above all else, "Books are my safe place, my refuge from the ills of this world." Even at the age of ten, she chose reading over playing with toys. She was adept at studying and learning, and became a bit of a rival to Elizabeth. Jane was also proficient in Latin and Greek. She was extremely headstrong, even after years of her parents attempts to subdue her. Though, Jane often went along with their plans anyway.

She was a passionate Protestant, which she believed was the true religion. Therefore, she did not get along with Mary, a Catholic. Jane ignored all of Feckenham's attempts to "save [her] soul," but respected him, despite their contrasting beliefs.

Family tree

See also: Category:House of Tudor
The Tudor-Grey Family Tree[7]
Henry VII
Elizabeth of York
Stuart family
Margaret Tudor
Henry VIII^
(3) Mary Tudor"
Charles Brandon*
(4) Catherine Brandon
Mary I
Elizabeth I
Edward VI
Frances Brandon
(d. 1559)
Sir Henry Grey
(d. 1554)
Guildford Dudley
(d. 1554)
Lady Jane Grey
Lady Catherine Grey
Lady Mary Grey
♛ - King or Queen of England
^ - Henry VIII married six times.
" - Mary Tudor was first married to Louis XII of France
* - Charles Brandon had four wives with whom he had eight children.

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