12th July 1553. Death of the Nine-Days-Queen: She was 17.

The young Edward VI of England was persuaded by John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, to name as his successor the, ‘Prettily shaped and graceful, gracious and animated figure’, Lady Jane Grey.

Daughter of Sir Henry Grey, 1st Duke of Suffolk, little did she know what fate awaited her.(1)

The 1547 Act had made it High Treason for anyone to interrupt the July 1543, 3rd Succession Act. This had stated that Jane would be queen if none of the children of Henry VIII had heirs, in effect she became 4th in line to the throne.(2)

Lady Jane

Lady Jane triumphant.

However Edward under pressure, by-passed this act, by his ‘Devise for Succession Act’ issued by Letters Patent (21.6.1553).

All was engineered by Edward’s chief administrator, the ambitious Duke of Northumberland, who as a Protestant, had arranged that his son, Lord Guildford Dudley marry Jane.(3)

So it was Today that The Crown Jewels were delivered to Jane on the Proclamation 12th July 1553 by Sir William Paulet as Lord High Treasurer.

Thus did Lady Jane Grey (senior granddaughter of Henry VIII’s sister Mary) become queen for nine days in 1553, after Edward’s  death, though she never did make her husband king.


Devise notice how 4th line has been altered as originally it didn't make Jane heir.

Edward’s Devise Notice shows how the 4th line has been altered, as mistakenly it originally  didn’t make Jane heir.

Jane was eventually to be overthrown by the rightful [Catholic] heir Mary I. Execution followed for Northumberland, Jane Grey and Guildford Dudley on 12th February 1554.

Jane might have avoided execution, but for her father stupidly joining the January 1554 rebellion against Mary, of Sir Thomas Wyatt, which proved one step too far.


It appears she is the only monarch since 1500 where no portrait survives. A picture in the National Portrait Gallery was once thought to be that of Lady Jane, but now attributed possibly to be that of Katherine Parr.

(1) Sir Henry Grey, 17th January 1515-23rd February 1554.

(2) The 3rd Act returned the succession to Mary and Elizabeth after Edward.(35 Henry c 1 England).

(3) John Dudley became Earl of Warwick in 1547 and Duke of Northumberland in 1551.

Ref: wikipedia.org/lady_jane_grey.

Ref: historytoday/lady-jabe-grey.

Ref: mary-tudor.blogspot.com/images reference.


On 16 January in 2006,  The Guardian, Charlotte Higgins Art Correspondent reported a re-discovered painting found at Streatham, London, supposedly of Lady Jane Grey.

Above her left shoulder can be faintly discerned the words ‘Lady Jayne’ and wearing the costume of the 1550s as well as the fashionable ‘black face’ patch.

Thomas Woodcock, Norroy and Ulster King of Arms at the College of Arms, who had discovered four possible contemporary Lady Jane portraits,  ruled it out on grounds of age and married status; historian, David Starkey also said the painting ‘doesn’t sing’.





About colindunkerley

My name is Colin Dunkerley who having spent two years in the Royal Army Pay Corps ploughed many a barren industrial furrow until drawn to the 'chalk-face' as a teacher, now retired. I have spent the last 15 years researching all aspects of life in Britain since Roman times.

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