Lady Jane Grey


Lady Jane Grey (1537-1554 CE) was briefly declared Queen of England for nine days in July 1553 CE following the death of her cousin Edward VI of England (r. 1547-1553 CE). Then only 16 and never officially crowned, Lady Jane was first an unknowing and then an unwilling pawn in a political coup orchestrated by John Dudley, the Earl of Northumberland (l. 1504-1553 CE) who was, in effect, Edward VI's regent. Neither Dudley or Edward had wished to see the king's half-sister Mary become queen as she was a staunch Catholic and would undo the progress of the English Reformation and likely execute Dudley. As it turned out, both the nobility and commoners preferred a daughter of Henry VIII of England (r. 1509-1547 CE) as their queen; concern for legitimacy triumphed over religious matters. Mary I of England (r. 1553-1558 CE) imprisoned Lady Jane Grey in the Tower of London where she was executed in February 1554 CE.

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