Tag Archives: Lady Jane Grey

On this day in 1560 – Francis Talbot, 5th Earl of Shrewsbury died

Francis Talbot was born in 1500 to George Talbot, 4th Earl of Shrewsbury and his wife Anne Hastings. Francis’ father, George, fought alongside King Henry VII during the uprising of Lambert Simnel and the Battle of Stoke and was godfather to Henry’s eldest daughter, Princess Margaret. In 1538 Francis inherited his father’s title to become 5th Earl of Shrewsbury.

Francis followed his father’s footsteps and was in favour with King Henry VIII during his reign, despite being a staunch Roman Catholic. Francis even received lands, including parts of Worksop Priory and Beauchief Abbey, from the dissolution of the monasteries.

On 30th November 1523 Francis married Mary Dacre, daughter of Thomas Dacre, 2nd Baron Dacre, the couple went on to have three children; George, 6th Earl of Talbot, Anne and Thomas. Mary died in 1538 and Francis went on to marry again to Grace Shakerley but they would not have any children.

Francis took little interest in politics however, in 1545 he was made a Knight of the Garter and Francis was also deemed a powerful figure in the north of England and was part of the troops that invaded Scotland in 1547 that ended in the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh.

During the reign of King Edward VI the Imperial Ambassador described Francis as ‘one of the most powerful men in the kingdom’ and when plots arose against the Lord Protector, the Duke of Somerset he attempted to recruit Francis to his side but instead Francis joined those that opposed his rule. In 1549 Francis replaced Robert Holgate, Bishop of Llandaff, as Lord President of the Council of the North.

When King Edward VI took to the throne Francis converted to the reformed religion but harboured sympathies to the Catholic faith. Francis, although not a politician he was a member of the King’s Council. Despite converting to Protestantism and not opposing the proclamation of Lady Jane Grey as Queen after the death of King Edward VI, it is likely that he would have worked to convince the Council to recognise Mary I as the rightful heir and was one of the first to openly support her claim. Due to his early support Mary rewarded him upon her ascension with a place on her Council.

Francis, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth was Lord Lieutenant of Yorkshire alongside his role as President of the Council of the North. In a letter from Francis to Sir William Cecil dated on 17th January 1559 from Ferry Bridge he stated that he was going to take some troops to Newcastle and whilst he was away he was appointing his Vice President, Sir Thomas Gargrave to do his job in his absence.

Francis Talbot died on 28th September 1560 in Sheffield Manor, Sheffield and was buried at St Peter’s in Sheffield.

Francis TalbotFrancis Talbot, 5th Earl of Shrewsbury

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On this day in 1513 – William Parr was born

On 14th August 1513 William Parr was born to Sir Thomas Parr and his wife Maud. Thomas had two sisters Anne and Catherine, the sixth wife of King Henry VIII.

On 9th February 1527 Parr married Anne Bourchier daughter of Henry Bourchier, 2nd Earl of Essex. The marriage was not an easy one and in 1541 Anne eloped with her lover John Lyngfield, the prior of St. James’s Church, Tanbridge and they had several children. As a result of this Parr was able to annul the marriage via an Act of Parliament and on 17th April 1543 and Anne’s children were declared illegitimate. As a result of the Act Parr obtained his wife’s lands and titles and as a result was created the Earl of Essex. Parr was able to achieve this due to his high position within King Edward’s court and the influence he held over many.

Parr went on to marry Elisabeth Brooke. Elisabeth had been married to Sir Thomas Wyatt, who had been implicated in Anne Boleyn’s downfall; they had a son with Wyatt who went on to be Sir Thomas Wyatt the younger. Elisabeth fell in love with Parr whilst still married to Wyatt and they lived in adultery and later married whilst Wyatt was still alive, therefore the marriage was bigamous The validity of the marriage was contested as during Henry’s reign a divorced man could not be allowed to remarry but this law was rescinded by King Edward and their marriage was legal. However, it was again overturned by Mary before once again being revoked by Elizabeth.

Parr had many titles bestowed upon him alongside the Earl of Essex in 1539 he was created Baron Parr of Kendal and in 1547 he was created the Marquess of Northampton.

After the death of King Henry VIII Parr being the King’s brother in law and therefore step-uncle to the new King, Edward VI, Parr was one of the most important men in the new Council. He served Edward loyally and when it was clear that the King was dying Parr along with his wife worked with John Dudley to place Lady Jane Grey as the successor to the throne. Upon Queen Mary’s ascension Parr was arrested on the charge of high treason and sentenced to death on 18th August 1553, however, he was instead released and eventually had his titles restored to him by Queen Elizabeth in 1559.

In 1565 his wife, Elisabeth, died aged 39 heavily in debt as she attempted to find a cure for her ailment which was believed to be cancer. Five years later Parr would marry Helena Snakenborg who was a lady in waiting from Sweden. This marriage would be short lived as Parr would die five months later at Warwick Priory. With no children his titles became extinct.

Queen Elizabeth paid for the funeral and burial of Parr and he was buried in St Mary’s Church, Warwick. His tomb is inscribed as followed;

William Parr, Marquis of Northampton; Died in Warwick 28 October 1571. [Buried] with the ceremonial due [of a] Knight of the Garter to the Order of Queen Elizabeth who bore the expense of the funeral, 2 December 1571.”

William ParrWilliam Parr, brother to Catherine Parr

On this day in 1553 – Mary Tudor proclaimed Queen of England

On 19th July 1553 Henry VIII’s first born child was declared Queen of England following the death of her younger half brother, Edward.

Mary route to the throne was not easy as Edward in his will declared Lady Jane Grey as his heir, contravening what Henry VIII had laid out in the Third Act of Succession. However, Mary strongly believed that she was the rightful heir and began gathering support.

On 18th July the Earls of Pembroke and Arundel had called a Privy Council meeting to convince fellow members that Mary had a legitimate claim to the throne and it was Mary not Jane that was the rightful Queen. It took until the following day to convince all the members that they should support Mary’s claim. Pembroke even went as far as drawing his sword and cried to the others “If the arguments of my lord Arundel do not persuade you, this sword shall make Mary queen, or I will die in her quarrel.”

With the rest of the council now backing Mary Pembroke went out amongst the people of London later that day and proclaimed;

“The xix. day of the same monyth, was sent Margarettes evyne, at iiij. of clocke at after-none was proclaimyd lady Mary be qwene of Ynglond at the crose in Cheppe with the erle of Shrewsbery, the earle of Arundel, the erle of Pembroke, with the mayer of London, and dyvers other lords, and many of the aldermen and the kynges schrffe master Garrand, with dyvers haroldes and trompettes. And from thens cam to Powlees alle, and there the qwene sange Te Deum with the organs goynge, with the belles ryngynge, the most parte alle, and that same nyght had the parte of London Te Deum, with bone-fyers in every street in London, with good church, and for the most parte alle nyght tyll the nexte daye to none.”

Mary was unaware of the change of support from the council and that they had proclaimed her the rightful Queen of England until the following day when William Paget and the Earl of Arundel arrived at Framlingham with the news.

Mary IQueen Mary I

On this day in 1553 – Lady Jane Grey is taken to the Tower of London

After being named as King Edward VI’s successor Lady Jane Grey was taken to the Tower of London on 10th July 1553 in order to be proclaimed Queen.

Lady Jane Grey arrived by barge and was accompanied by her husband, her parents and her husband’s mother. They had travelled from Syon and were greeted by Jane’s father in law, the Duke of Northumberland and councillors who escorted them into the Tower.

According to ‘The Chronicle of Queen Jane and of Two Years of Queen Mary’;

“The 10 of July, in the afternoone, about 3 of the clocke, lady Jane was convayed by water to the Tower of London, and there received as queene. After five of the clocke, the same afternoone, was proclamation made of the death of king Edward the sixt, and how hee had ordained by his letters patent bearing sate the 21. Of June last past that the lady Jane should be heire to the Crowne of England, and the heire males of her body.”

As Jane and her husband, Guildford, walked under the a canopy and upon reaching the Tower trumpets and a gun salute were used to silence the crowd and then two heralds proclaimed that Jane was the new Queen of England. Anyone disagreeing with this was found and punished as was noted by Henry Machyn who wrote in his diary what happened to one boy who supported Mary;

The xj day of July, at viij of the cloke in the mornyng, the yonge man for spkyng was sett on the pelere, and boyth ys heres (ears) cutt off; for ther was a Harold, and a trumpeter blohyn; and contenent he was taken downe.”

Upon arrival at the Tower it is believed that Jane felt faint trying on the crown as well as argued with her husband and his mother after she declared that she would not make him joint monarch but instead the Duke of Clarence. It was later in the evening that the letter from Mary arrived addressed to the Council declaring herself as Queen.

Just a few short days later Mary would be proclaimed the rightful Queen.

Lady Jane Grey signatureLady Jane Grey’s signature as Queen

On this day in 1553 – Lady Mary Tudor declared herself Queen

After King Edward VI’s death the country was left unsure of its future, the young King had declared just days before his death that he wished his cousin Lady Jane Grey to succeed to the throne upon his death, however, this contradicted his fathers, King Henry VIII, Third Act of Succession which declared if Edward died with no children then the throne would go to the Lady Mary, Henry’s daughter with Katherine of Aragon.

Mary had been informed of her half brother’s death on 7th July 1553 at Euston Hall, Thetford where she was staying with Lady Burgh. Mary travelled to her home at Kenninghall, Norfolk and declared to her household that the King had died and therefore “the right to the crown of England had therefore descended to her by divine and by human law.” Her household proclaimed Mary Queen of England, unaware of what Edward had done to alter the line of succession.

With the belief that Mary was the rightful Queen she wrote to the Privy Council informing them that she was to be recognised as Queen and to “casue our right and title to the crown and government of this realm to be proclaimed in our city of London and other places as your wisdom shall seem good.”

Little did Mary know that she would have to fight for her crown over the coming days.

Mary IQueen Mary I

On this day in 1533 – King Edward VI died.

On 6th July 1553 the 15 year old King Edward VI died at Greenwich Palace. Edward had fallen ill at the beginning of 1553 from a fever and cough. The Imperial Ambassador, Jehan Scheyfve, wrote about Edward’s early illness in a letter to the the Bishop of Arras;

the King of England is still confined to his chamber, and seems to be sensitive to the slightest indisposition or change, partly at any rate because his right shoulder is lower than his left and he suffers a good deal when the fever is upon him, especially from a difficulty in drawing his breath, which is due to the compression of the organs on the right side. It is an important matter for consideration, especially as the illness is increasing from day to day, and the doctors have now openly declared to the Council, for their own discharge of responsibility, that the King’s life is threatened, and if any serious malady were to supervene he would not be able to hold out long against it. Some make light of the imperfection, saying that the depression in the right shoulder is hereditary in the house of Seymour, and that the late Duke of Somerset had his good share of it among the rest. But he only suffered inconvenience as far as it affected his appearance and his shoulder never troubled him in any other way. It is said that about a year ago the King overstrained himself while hunting, and that the defect was increased. No good will he ever do with the lance. I opine that this is a visitiation and sign from God. “

This illness came just months after he had suffered from measles and smallpox so his immune system was already in a weakened condition. Edward had improved slightly but by June it was looking likely that the young King would not survive.

Edward VI 1546King Edward VI, aged 9.

On 30th May Scheyfve wrote again regarding Edward’s condition;

The King of England is wasting away daily, and there is no sign or likelihood of any improvement. Some are of opinion that he may last two months more, but he cannot possibly live beyond that time. He cannot rest except by means of medicines and external applications; and his body has begun to swell, especially his head and feet. His hair is to be shaved off and plasters are going to be put on his head. The illness is judged to be the same as that which killed the late Earl of Richmond.”

King Edward’s illness would come in stages and in April, Edward was seen walking through the park at Westminster before moving to his palace at Greenwich but by the end of April he was again weak and suffering. However, just days later on 7th May his doctors were expecting a recovery and Edward sat in a window overlooking the Thames watching the ships sail past the palace. Edward’s recovery was not long lived and on 11th June 1533 Edward relapsed.

With this the seriousness of Edward’s condition had become apparent and the likelihood of him surviving his illness was slim. Edward was soon bedbound after his legs began swelling and he was unable to stand up any longer.

With this news his council sought to change his father, King Henry VIII, will so that Mary would not inherit the throne and return England to Catholicism. Edward did not want to see the country returned to the old religion but also he felt that Mary and Elizabeth were both illegitimate and therefore illegible to take the throne. A document was drawn up entitled ‘My devise for the succession’ in which Edward overruled his father’s wishes in the Third Act of Succession and named Lady Jane Grey, Edward’s cousin, as his successor.

On 15th June Edward summoned his high rank judges to his sickbed and demanded their allegiance. He then called upon his lawyers and councillors to sign a bond that would ask them to perform his will faithfully. This would also see that Lady Jane Grey was placed upon the throne even if they believed the throne should pass to Mary. On 21st June the ‘Devise for Succession’ was passed to and signed by hundreds of councillors, peers, sheriffs, bishops and archbishops who all agreed to follow Edward’s wishes. Many would later claim that they had been bullied by John Dudley, 1st Duke of Northumberland and father in law to Lady Jane.

King Edward VI’s final appearance to his subjects was on 1st July 1533 when he appeared at a window at Greenwich Palace and it was noted how thin he looked. Crowds continued to gather in hope of seeing their king but after two days the crowds were told that the weather was too cold for Edward to appear.

On 6th July at 8pm King Edward VI died, the cause of Edward’s death has been debated ever since with suggestions of tuberculosis, bronchopneumonia and even poisoning. However, it is likely that tuberculosis was the most likely cause of death for the 15 year old King.

Historian Chris Skidmore documents that Edward prayers included;

“Lord God, deliver me out of this miserable and wretched life, and take me among thy chosen: howbeit not my will, but thy will be done. Lord I commit my spirit to thee. O Lord! Thou knowest how happy it were for me to be with thee: yet, for thy chosen’s sake, send me life and health, that I may truly serve thee. O my Lord God, bless thy people, and save thine inheritance! O Lord God save thy chosen people of England! O my Lord God. defend this realm from papistry, and maintain thy true religion; that I and my people may praise thy holy name, for thy Son Jesus Christ’s sake!”

Edward was buried at Westminster Abbey in the Henry VII Lady Chapel on 8th August with the ceremony presided over by Archbishop Cranmer.

Edward’s death would send England into division over the new rightful monarch.

Edward VI tombKing Edward VI tomb at Westminster Abbey

On this day in 1553 – Lady Jane Grey and Guilford Dudley were married.

On 25th May 1553 Lady Jane Grey was married to Guilford Dudley. Jane would have been around 16 years old at the time of her wedding and although there is no exact birth year for Guilford it is believed he was around the same age.

The wedding was attended by almost all English nobility with the exception of the King, who was ill and unlikely to live. The marriage was partly of convenience with the King dangerously ill; John Dudley feared that his position would be in danger if either Mary or Elizabeth took the throne so he moved to secure his position. The Dudley’s and Grey’s moved to arrange the marriages of their children. With Jane having a strong claim to the throne the Dudley’s arranged to marry her to their only unwed child, Guilford.

At the same time a two offer weddings took place between Katherine Dudley and Lord Henry Herbert and Lady Katherine Grey and Lord Henry Hastings. Each couple were dressed in silver and gold during the ceremony, as the weddings were rushed the outfits were borrowed from the Master of the Wardrobe.

In a letter from Jehan Scheyfve to the Emperor it was written;

“On the 25th of this month were celebrated the weddings of my Lord Guilford, son of the Duke of Northumberland, to the eldest daughter of the Duke of Suffolk; of the Earl of Pembroke’s son to the second daughter; and the Earl of Huntingdon’s son to the daughter of the Duke of Northumberland. The weddings were celebrated with great magnificence and feasting at the Duke of Northumberland’s house in town.”

With the death of King Edward VI, Jane was proclaimed Queen in place of Mary and was taken to the Tower of London to prepare for her coronation alongside her husband. Jane was unwilling to take the crown and was noted as saying; ‘The crown is not my right, and pleaseth me not. The Lady Mary is the rightful heir’.

Jane, Guilford and her family were all arrested upon Mary’s arrival in the city and imprisoned in the Tower of London where they awaited trial and eventually the executioner’s block. Jane would be known as the nine day Queen.

Jane Grey and Guilford Dudley