On this day…21st August 1553


The Chronicle of Queen Jane and of Two Years of Queen Mary, and Especially of the Rebellion of Sir Thomas Wyat
p.19

‘Note, on mondaye the xxjst of August, it was appointed the duke with other shoulde have suffered, and all the garde were at the Tower; but howe soever it chaunced he did not; but he desired to here masse, and to receave the sacrament, according to the olde accustomed maner. So about ix of the clocke the alter in the chappell was arrayed, and eche thing prepared for the purpose; then mr Gage went and fetched the duke; and sir John Abridges and mr. John Abridges dyd fetche the marques of Northampton, sir Androwe Dudley, sir Herry Gates and sir Thomas Plamer, to masse…The lady Jane loking through the windowe sawe the duke and the rest going to the churche.’


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Books to look forward to in 2015…


History books to look forward to next year…


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Website Updated – 13th August


‘Slaughter of the Innocent’ by Leanda de Lisle (in The Story of the Tudors: The Rise and Fall of a Dynasty, from Henry VII to Elizabeth I) published by BBC History Magazine added to the Articles – Newspapers and Magazines section of the bibliography.

Entries added to the following: Primary Accounts – Spinola, Paintings – Delaroche and Engravings – Bourne.


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More books to look forward to in 2014


4 September – The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses and the Rise of the Tudors

‘The fifteenth century experienced the longest and bloodiest series of civil wars in British history. The crown of England changed hands violently seven times as the great families of England fought to the death for power, majesty and the right to rule. Dan Jones completes his epic history of medieval England with a new book about the Wars of the Roses – and describes how the Plantagenets tore themselves apart and were finally replaced by the Tudors.

With vivid descriptions of the battle of Towton, where 28,000 men died in a single morning, to Bosworth, where the last Plantagenet king was hacked down, this is the real story behind Shakespeare’s famous history plays.’

From Amazon.co.uk

Further details – Dan Jones (Facebook)

Further details – Amazon.co.uk


The Real Tudors: Kings and Queens Rediscovered (Paperback) by Tarnya Cooper and Charlotte Bolland

‘Who were the Tudor kings and queens and what did they really look like? Mention Henry VIII and the familiar image of the rotund, bearded fellow of Hans Holbein the Youngers portraits immediately springs to mind reinforced, perhaps, by memories of a monochromatic Charles Laughton wielding a chicken leg in a fanciful biopic. With Elizabeth I its frilly ruffs, white make-up and pink lips in fact, just as she appears in a number of very well-known portraits held in the Collection of the National Portrait Gallery in London. But the familiarity of these representations has overshadowed the other images of the Tudor monarchs that were produced throughout their reigns. During the sixteenth century the market for portraits grew and so the monarchs images multiplied as countless versions and copies of their likeness were produced to satisfy demand. Taken together, these images chart both the changing iconography of the ruler and the development of portrait painting in England. In considering the context in which these portraits were made, the motivations of the sitters and the artists who made them, the purposes to which they were put, and the physical transformations and interventions they have undergone in the intervening five centuries, the authors present a compelling and illuminating investigation into the portraiture of the Tudor monarchs.’

From Amazon.co.uk

Further Details – National Portrait Gallery

Further details – Amazon.co.uk


28 September – Eleanor of Castile: The Shadow Queen by Sara Cockerill

‘Eleanor of Castile has been effectively airbrushed from history, portrayed as the archetypal submissive queen. In fact Eleanor had perhaps one of the most fascinating lives of any of England’s queens. Her childhood was spent in the centre of the Spanish reconquest and was dominated by her famed military hero of a father (St Ferdinand) and her intellectual polymath brother. Married at the age of twelve and a mother at thirteen, she gave birth to at least fourteen children, most of whom died young. She was to live for extended periods in five different countries, venture on Crusade and endure destitution and captivity amid a civil war in which her husband’s life was in acute danger. As Queen of England she enjoyed, alongside Edward I, the full glory of returning Crusaders and conquerors. Personally she was a highly dynamic, forceful personality who acted as part of Edward’s innermost circle of advisers, and successfully accumulated a vast property empire for the English Crown. In cultural terms her influence in architecture, design and even gardening can be discerned to this day, while her idealised image speaks to us from Edward’s beautiful memorials to her, the Eleanor crosses, the most complete and ornate set of monuments to a beloved spouse ever seen in this country. The only biography of this fascinating woman.’

From Amazon.co.uk

Further details – Amazon.co.uk


2 October – Joan of Arc by Helen Castor

‘Acclaimed historian Helen Castor brings us afresh a gripping life of Joan of Arc. Instead of the icon, she gives us a living, breathing young woman; a roaring girl fighting the English, and taking sides in a bloody civil war that was tearing fifteenth century France apart.

Here is a portrait of a 19-year-old peasant who hears voices from God; a teenager transformed into a warrior leading an army to victory, in an age that believed women should not fight. And it is also the story behind the myth we all know, a myth which began to take hold at her trial: that of the Maid of Orleans, the saviour of France, a young woman burned at the stake as a heretic, a woman who five hundred years later would be declared a saint.

Joan and her world are brought vividly to life in this refreshing new take on the medieval world. Helen Castor brings us to the heart of the action, to a woman and a country in turmoil, a world where no-one – not Joan herself, nor the people around her, princes, bishops, soldiers or peasants – knew what would happen next.’

From Amazon.co.uk

Helen Castor

Further details – Amazon.co.uk


2 October – Witches: James I and the English Witch Hunts (Paperback) by Tracy Borman

‘September 1613.

In Belvoir Castle, the heir of one of England’s great noble families falls suddenly and dangerously ill. His body is ‘tormented’ with violent convulsions. Within a few short weeks he will suffer an excruciating death. Soon the whole family will be stricken with the same terrifying symptoms. The second son, the last male of the line, will not survive.

It is said witches are to blame. And so the Earl of Rutland’s sons will not be the last to die.
Witches traces the dramatic events which unfolded at one of England’s oldest and most spectacular castles four hundred years ago. The case is among those which constitute the European witch craze of the 15th-18th centuries, when suspected witches were burned, hanged, or tortured by the thousand. Like those other cases, it is a tale of superstition, the darkest limits of the human imagination and, ultimately, injustice – a reminder of how paranoia and hysteria can create an environment in which nonconformism spells death. But as Tracy Borman reveals here, it is not quite typical. The most powerful and Machiavellian figure of the Jacobean court had a vested interest in events at Belvoir.He would mastermind a conspiracy that has remained hidden for centuries.’

From Amazon.co.uk

Further details – Tracy Borman

Further details – Amazon.co.uk


9 October – Elizabeth: Renaissance Prince by Lisa Hilton

‘Lisa Hilton’s majestic biography of Elizabeth I, ‘The Virgin Queen’, provides vibrant new insights on a monarch who continues to compel and enthral readers. It is a book that challenges readers to reassess Elizabeth’s reign, and the colourful drama, scandal and intrigue to which it is always linked. Lisa Hilton uses new research in France, Italy, Russia and Turkey to present a fresh interpretation of Elizabeth as a queen who saw herself primarily as a Renaissance prince, delivering a very different perspective on Elizabeth’s emotional and sexual life, and upon her attempts to mould England into a European state. Elizabeth was not an exceptional woman but an exceptional ruler, and Hilton redraws English history with this animated portrait of an astounding life. Her biography maps Elizabeth’s dramatic journey from timid, newly crowned queen to one of the most powerful and vivid monarchs ever to rule England.’

From Amazon.co.uk

Further details – Lisa Hilton

Further details – Amazon.co.uk


28 October – The Six Wives & Many Mistresses of Henry VIII: The Women’s Stories by Amy Licence

‘For a king renowned for his love life, Henry VIII has traditionally been depicted as something of a prude, but the story may have been different for the women who shared his bed. How did they take the leap from courtier to lover, to wife? What was Henry really like as a lover? Henry’s women were uniquely placed to experience the tension between his chivalric ideals and the lusts of the handsome, tall, athletic king; his first marriage, to Catherine of Aragon, was, on one level, a fairy-tale romance but his affairs with Anne Stafford, Elizabeth Carew and Jane Popincourt undermined it early on. Later, his more established mistresses, Bessie Blount and Mary Boleyn, risked their good names by bearing him illegitimate children. Henry did not see that casual liaisons might threaten his marriage, until he met the one woman who held him at arms length. Anne Boleyn’s seductive eyes helped rewrite history. After their passionate marriage turned sour, the king rapidly married Jane Seymour. Her death in childbirth left him alone, without wife or lover, for the first time in decades. In the quest for a new queen, he scoured the courts of Europe, obsessed with the beautiful Christina of Milan, whose rejection of him spurred him into the arms of Anne of Cleves and soon after the lively teenager Catherine Howard. Henry’s final years were spent with the elegant and accomplished widow Catherine Parr, who sacrificed personal pleasure for duty by marrying him while her heart was bestowed elsewhere. What was it like for these women to share Henry’s bed, bear his children or sit on the English throne? He was a man of great appetites, ready to move heaven and earth for a woman he desired; their experiences need to be readdressed in a frank, modern take on the affairs of his heart. What was it really like to be Mrs Henry VIII?’

From Amazon.co.uk

Further details – Amy Licence

Further details – Amazon.co.uk


28 October – Katharine of Aragon: The Tragic Story of Henry VIII’s First Unfortunate Wife (Paperback) by Patrick Williams

‘Katharine of Aragon was a central figure in one of the most dramatic and formative events of Tudor history – England’s breach with Rome after a thousand years of fidelity. She lived through traumatic and revolutionary times and her personal drama was played out against dramas of European significance. The heroic and dignified first wife of Henry VIII, Katharine was cast aside for reasons of dynastic ambition but resolutely and unbendingly stuck to her principles and her dignity at enormous cost to herself. Katharine’s story tells so much about the exercise of power, and about being married to a lover who became slowly but perceptibly a tyrant in public life and a monster in his private affairs. Professor Patrick Williams has been immersed in Spanish history for over forty years and his monumental new biography is the first to make full use of the Spanish royal archives; he presents a very new portrait of Katharine, most notably in establishing that her marriage to Prince Arthur, elder brother of Henry VIII, was never consummated. This biography thus forces a radical reappraisal of Henry VIII, his marriages and his reign – and of the origins of the Reformation in England.’

From Amazon.co.uk

Further details – Amazon.co.uk


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Books 2014: On sale now – The Children of Henry VIII by John Guy (Paperback)


children of henry viii paperback


‘Behind the facade of politics and pageantry at the Tudor court, there was a family drama. Nothing drove Henry VIII, England’s wealthiest and most powerful king, more than producing a legitimate male heir and so perpetuating his dynasty. To that end, he married six wives, became the subject of the most notorious divorce case of the sixteenth century, and broke with the pope, all in an age of international competition and warfare, social unrest and growing religious intolerance and discord. Henry fathered four living children, each by a different mother.

Their interrelationships were often scarred by jealously, mutual distrust, sibling rivalry, even hatred. Possessed of quick wits and strong wills, their characters were defined partly by the educations they received, and partly by events over which they had no control. Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond, although recognized as the king’s son, could never forget his illegitimacy. Edward died while still in his teens, desperately plotting to exclude his half-sisters from the throne. Mary’s world was shattered by her mother’s divorce and her own unhappy marriage. Elizabeth was the most successful, but also the luckiest. Even so, she lived with the knowledge that her father had ordered her mother’s execution, was often in fear of her own life, and could never marry the one man she truly loved. Henry’s children idolized their father, even if they differed radically over how to perpetuate his legacy.

To tell their stories, John Guy returns to the archives, drawing on a vast array of contemporary records, personal letters, and first-hand accounts.’

From Amazon.co.uk

Further details – Amazon.co.uk


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Another look at…19th July 1553


July 19th was the 461st anniversary of the end of Queen Jane’s reign.


20140212_113054


In November last year, Dr Stephan Edwards announced on his website, Some Grey Matter, his discovery of two letters that mention Jane. Edwards writes that, ‘To my knowledge, neither of these letters has ever been published in English, and no historian writing on the subject of Jane Grey or the succession dispute of 1553 has ever cited them. They are presented here for what I believe is the first time in the modern era.’ (1)

The letters appear in the third volume of ‘Lettere di Principi’ a series of ‘a collection of letters to, from, or about a wide variety of early-sixteenth-century European rulers, noblemen, and princes of the Roman Catholic Church’ (2), which was published, in 1577 by Giordano Ziletti. According to Edwards, the author and recipient of the letters are unknown but he thinks that they were written by a member of the Venetian diplomatic embassy.

I thought that it would be a good time to look at what, if anything these new letters add to our knowledge of Jane at the Tower of London on the day her reign ended.

I have used sources that are available to me, so if I have missed any, please let me know.

This is the translation of a section of the first letter, dated or written on 24th July 1553.

‘The Duke of Suffolk made the same proclamation in the Tower unrestrained, [and] being commanded to come out without arms, to go to the house of the Lord Treasurer, he was obedient. Jane, Guildford, the Duchess of Northumberland, and a few others remained in custody in the Tower. When Jane was told by her father that she was no longer Queen, she responded, “This report is convenient to me, more than the other that you gave me before saying that it was agreed for me to become Queen, being, as I said to you at that time, undeserving and insufficient for that”.’ (3)

This letter tells us the following about Jane at the Tower.

• That the Duke of Suffolk told his daughter she was no longer Queen.
• Jane’s response to the news.
• That Jane, her husband and mother-in-law were left in the Tower.

Eric Ives writes that ‘unusually for a Tudor event, the one certainty is the timing and the circumstances of the ending of Jane Grey’s reign.’ (4) Contemporary accounts report how members of the Privy Council left the Tower of London and proclaimed Mary, Queen on July 19th. Although as Ives comments, few of these sources ‘even bother to mention’ Jane. (5)

The Grey Friars Chronicle, A London Chronicle by John Stow, The Wriothesley Chronicle, The Chronicle of Queen Jane and of Two Years of Queen Mary, the diarist Henry Machyn, and an anonymous report included in the Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 11: 1553, do not feature Jane in their description of the events of this day. Jane’s letter to Mary (written in August 1553) does not include the end of her reign.

However, unlike the public arrival of Queen Jane at the Tower of London on 10th July, the writers of these sources would not have been in a position to witness Jane’s reaction to the end of her reign and might not have had access to those who had this information.

The author of this new letter writes that ‘Jane was told by her father that she was no longer Queen…’ (6) The two other reports that mention Jane on 19th July, agree with this. The Spanish Ambassadors wrote the following to the Emperor Charles V on 22nd July.

‘We have been assured that when the Duke of Suffolk heard that the Council had decided to confirm Queen Mary in her right, he went to the Lady Jane, who was at supper, and tore down the canopy, saying no more than that it was not for her to use it, for her position permitted her not to do so.’ (7)

De Lisle writes that ‘According to Commendone, Jane did not lose her composure as her father delivered his grim news.’ (8) Giovanni Francesco Commendone (‘a papal secretary sent by Julius III’) (9) in his 1554 account of ‘Events of the Kingdom of England,’ wrote that:

‘But before leaving, he entered the room where his daughter was sitting in state, and removing the balachin from over her head, as clear demonstration of what had to follow, he told her to do homage to my Lady Mary as to her Queen, as she had been already proclaimed, and that this place did no longer belong to her, having to submit fortune as changeable and envious of its own gifts.’ (10)

This new letter also includes Jane’s alleged reaction to the news that her reign had ended.

When Jane was told by her father that she was no longer Queen, she responded, ‘This report is convenient to me, more than the other that you gave me before saying that it was agreed for me to become Queen, being, as I said to you at that time, undeserving and insufficient for that.’ (11)

This again supports the response reported by the Spanish Ambassadors to Charles V.

‘When the Lady Jane heard of the Council’s determination, she replied that she would give it (i.e. the royal dignity) up as gladly as she had accepted it; she knew that the right belonged to Queen Mary, and the part she had played had been prepared for her without her knowledge.’ (12)

Commendone has her saying:

‘And she answered him that these words were much more convenient than those he had told her not long before, when he persuaded and advised her to accept the crown and that many men would be deemed to be wise if their shrewdness could not be judged by the results, but the test which ensues from it, shows their hand and disabuses people.’ (13) P.19

Various accounts report that Jane, Guildford and his mother remained in the Tower of London. The writer of this letter states that:

‘The Duke of Suffolk made the same proclamation in the Tower unrestrained, [and] being commanded to come out without arms, to go to the house of the Lord Treasurer, he was obedient. Jane, Guildford, the Duchess of Northumberland, and a few others remained in custody in the Tower.’ (14)

The report of 20th July, ‘Advices from England’ (the unknown author wrote that, ‘I was yesterday at the (Imperial) ambassadors’) (15) says,

‘The other Queen has renounced all her honours, and has been shut up in the Tower with her husband and the Duke’s wife, though all the rest are outside.’ (16)

In their dispatch to the Emperor on 22nd July, The Spanish Ambassadors wrote:

The Duchess of Northumberland, Guilford, her son, and the Lady Jane of Suffolk are detained in the Tower as prisoners, and receive sour treatment, somewhat different from that meted out to them during their eight days’ reign.’ (17)

The Chronicle of Queen Jane and of Two Years of Queen Mary, states that the Duke of Suffolk left the Tower after proclaiming Mary, Queen.

‘The duke of Suffolk being at the Towere at the making of the proclamation, and as some saye did not knowe of it, but as soone as he herd of it, he came himselfe out of the Towere, and comaunded his mean to leave their wepones behind them, sayenge that hee him selfe was but one man, and himselfe proclaimed my lady Maryes grace queene on the Towere hille, and so came into London, levinge the leiftenaunt in the Towere.’ (18)

Edwards’ newly discovered letter (dated or written on 24th July 1553) gives us another account of Queen Jane on the day her reign ended. It supports other reports that the Duke of Suffolk told his daughter that she was no longer Queen. It also gives a similar version to other accounts of Jane’s reply and that Jane, her husband Guildford and her mother-in-law, the Duchess of Northumberland were left in the Tower.

The fact that the writer had access to a report of what happened in the Tower by the 24th, shows how quickly this version of events was in circulation. The anonymous report ‘Advices from England’ which was written on the 20th has details of how Jane and the others were left in the Tower, as do the Spanish Ambassadors on the 22nd. This letter supports the earlier report by the Spanish Ambassadors (dated 22 July) and the later one by Commendone about what Jane is supposed to have said to her father in response to the news that her reign had ended. According to Ives, Commendone arrived in London on 8 August and was back in Rome by 8 September.’ (19)

Jane’s response lays the blame on others, who persuaded her to accept a crown that she had not wanted. Leanda de Lisle has questioned the truth behind the version of events given elsewhere in this letter about Jane and her mother opposing Jane’s marriage to Guildford. Jane’s words could also be part of a ‘stratagem to get a pardon.’ (20)



Sources


1. Edwards, S.< a href= http://www.somegreymatter.com/lettereintro.htm>Some Grey Matter – Lettere di Principi, le quali si scrivono o da principi, o ragionano di principi. Libro Terzo – An Introduction to this Source Date accessed: 16 July 2014

2. ibid

3. Edwards, S. Some Grey Matter – Two Letters Concerning Lady Jane Grey of England, written in London in July 0f 1553 Date accessed: 16 July 2014

4. Ives, E. (2009) Lady Jane Grey: A Tudor Mystery, Wiley-Blackwell, p.214

5. Ives, E. (2009) Lady Jane Grey: A Tudor Mystery, Wiley-Blackwell, p.215

6. Edwards, S. Some Grey Matter – Two Letters Concerning Lady Jane Grey of England, written in London in July 0f 1553 Date accessed: 16 July 2014

7. ‘Spain: July 1553, 21-31′, Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 11: 1553 (1916), pp. 109-127. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88486 Date accessed: 16 July 2014

8. De Lisle, L. (2010) The Sisters Who Would Be Queen: The Tragedy of Mary, Katherine and Lady Jane Grey, HarperPress, p.123

9. Ives, E. (2009) Lady Jane Grey: A Tudor Mystery, Wiley-Blackwell, p.29.

10. Malfatti, C.V (translator) (1956), The Accession Coronation and Marriage of Mary Tudor as related in four manuscripts of the Escorial, Barcelona, p.19

11. Edwards, S. Some Grey Matter – Two Letters Concerning Lady Jane Grey of England, written in London in July 0f 1553 Date accessed: 16 July 2014

12. ‘Spain: July 1553, 21-31′, Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 11: 1553 (1916), pp. 109-127. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88486 Date accessed: 16 July 2014

13. Malfatti, C.V (translator) (1956), The Accession Coronation and Marriage of Mary Tudor as related in four manuscripts of the Escorial, Barcelona, p.19

14. Edwards, S. Some Grey Matter – Two Letters Concerning Lady Jane Grey of England, written in London in July 0f 1553 Date accessed: 16 July 2014

15. Spain: July 1553, 16-20′, Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 11: 1553 (1916), pp. 90-109. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88485 Date accessed: 16 July 2014

16. ibid

17. ‘Spain: July 1553, 21-31′, Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 11: 1553 (1916), pp. 109-127. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88486 Date accessed: 16 July 2014

18. Nichols, J. G (ed) (1850) The Chronicle of Queen Jane and of Two Years of Queen Mary and Especially of the Rebellion of Sir Thomas Wyatt, Written by a Resident in the Tower of London, Llanerch Publishers, p.12

19. Ives, E. (2009) Lady Jane Grey: A Tudor Mystery, Wiley-Blackwell, p.29

20. De Lisle, L. http://blog.leandadelisle.com/post/67943904298/this-is-a-good-close-up-of-frances-brandon-mother Date accessed: 27 May 2014


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Another look at…10th July 1553


Today is the 461st anniversary of Queen Jane’s arrival at the Tower of London.


Tower by boat


In November last year, Dr Stephan Edwards announced on his website, Some Grey Matter, his discovery of two letters that mention Jane. Edwards writes that, ‘To my knowledge, neither of these letters has ever been published in English, and no historian writing on the subject of Jane Grey or the succession dispute of 1553 has ever cited them. They are presented here for what I believe is the first time in the modern era.’ (1)

The letters appear in the third volume of ‘Lettere di Principi’ a series of ‘a collection of letters to, from, or about a wide variety of early-sixteenth-century European rulers, noblemen, and princes of the Roman Catholic Church’ (2), which was published, in 1577 by Giordano Ziletti.

According to Edwards, the author and recipient of the letters are unknown but he thinks that they were written by a member of the Venetian diplomatic embassy. It is not clear if the author actually witnessed the events of the 10th of July or if he received the details from an eye witness.

I thought that today would be a good time to look at what, if anything these new letters add to our knowledge of Jane’s arrival at the Tower.

I have used sources that are available to me, so if I have missed any, please let me know.

This is the translation of a section of the first letter, dated or written on 24th July 1553.

‘Came this Lady Jane on the 10th of July from Syon to the Tower of London by water, accompanied by great Lords, men and women. Entering into the Tower with the men ahead, the ladies proceeded. The most near to her among the Lords was Northumberland, and among the ladies the mother, who as greatest in precedence held the train of the gown. Now you say to me that this seems to you a monstrosity. To see a child Queen, [who] by certain reason came from the mother, father and mother living, and neither [one of them] King nor Queen. To speak with her and to serve her on bended knee. Not only all the others, but the father and the mother! To have a good husband without gifts other than beauty, his father living, and fourth born. The husband stood with hat in hand, not only in front of the Queen, but in front of father and mother, all the other Lords making a show of themselves putting the knee on the ground.’ (3)

This letter tells us the following about 10 July:

• Jane arrived by water from Syon to take possession of the Tower of London
• Jane’s mother, Frances, Duchess of Suffolk, carried the train of her gown in the procession.
• Jane’s parents were amongst those who were deferential in their behaviour towards her.
• Guildford Dudley’s behaviour is mentioned in detail.

It has been over four years since Leanda de Lisle announced that the famous description of Jane arriving at the Tower of London by Baptisa Spinola was a fake, created by Richard Davey. Stephan Edwards has also conducted his own research into the Baptisa letter and concurs with de Lisle. (4)

However, there are other contemporary accounts of Jane’s arrival at the Tower. These were by the Spanish Ambassadors, in an anonymous report included in the Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 11: 1553’, the writers of ‘The Chronicle of Queen Jane and of Two Years of Queen Mary’, the ‘Chronicle of the Grey Friars’ and the ‘Wriothesley’ Chronicle, as well as the diarist Henry Machyn and Jane herself.

All of these accounts (apart from those by the Spanish Ambassadors, who do not mention how Jane arrived at the Tower) agree that Jane and her party arrived at the Tower of London by water, although there are differences in the starting point of her journey. This new letter has her arriving from Syon, which is also implied by the report of 20th July, ‘Advices from England’ (the unknown author of which, wrote that, ‘I was yesterday at the (Imperial) ambassadors’) (5)

‘On Saturday the Duke—and when I say “Duke” you are to understand “Northumberland”—went to Sion House, whither all the other members of the Council repaired on Sunday to a great banquet attended by the two Duchesses and the Lady Jane, daughter of the Duke of Suffolk, who was afterwards proclaimed Queen. The Council fixed upon their plan of action, and on Monday, at two o’clock in the afternoon, there came in the royal barges the Duke of Suffolk; my Lord Guilford, son of the Duke and husband of the Lady Jane; the Lady Jane herself, the two Duchesses and other ladies attended by a great following, and landed at the Tower…’ (6)

Jane, in the letter she wrote to Mary in August 1553, states that she was at Syon on 9th July and ‘… as everybody knows, the following day I was brought to the Tower.’ (7) Jane does not mention going anywhere else before the Tower but this level of detail could have been considered insignificant by Jane in what, Ives calls ‘the one written appeal… that would have been allowed .’ (8)

The author of the ‘Chronicle of the Grey Friars’ however, writes that Jane ‘was browte that same afternone from Richemond un-to Westmyster, and soo unto the tower of London by watter.’ (9) The ‘Wriothesley’ chronicle has Jane being ‘brought by water from Grenewich to the Tower of London.’ (10)

The new letter also mentions that Frances, Duchess of Suffolk carried her daughter’s train in procession to the Tower.

‘The most near to her among the Lords was Northumberland, and among the ladies the mother, who as greatest in precedence held the train of the gown.’ (11)

This was noted in other accounts but is not mentioned by the Grey Friars Chronicle or in ‘The Chronicle of Queen Jane and of Two Years of Queen Mary.’ The Spanish Ambassadors wrote to Emperor Charles V on 10th July that,

At about four o’clock this afternoon the ceremony of the state entry was performed at the Tower of London with the accustomed pomp. The new Queen’s train was carried by her mother, the Duchess of Suffolk; and there were not many people present to witness the act.’ (12)

In the previously mentioned anonymous despatch (dated 20th July), it was written that,

‘…on Monday, at two o’clock in the afternoon, there came in the royal barges the Duke of Suffolk; my Lord Guilford, son of the Duke and husband of the Lady Jane; the Lady Jane herself, the two Duchesses and other ladies attended by a great following, and landed at the Tower where the Duke and the other Councillors were waiting to bid the Lady Jane, whose train was carried by her mother, welcome to the Tower.’ (13)

The London merchant taylor, Henry Machyn noted in his diary that,

‘The x day of July was reseyvyd in to the Towre [the Queen Jane] with a grett compeny of lords and nobulls of . . . . . after the qwen, and the duches of Suffoke her mother, bering her trayn, with mony lades…’ (14)

As Leanda de Lisle writes in ‘The Sisters Who Would Be Queen,’ this was ‘a striking visual reminder of how the correct order of things had been overthrown.’ (15) The writer of the letter also comments on this and the level of deferential treatment displayed to Jane by her own father and mother.

‘Now you say to me that this seems to you a monstrosity. To see a child Queen, [who] by certain reason came from the mother, father and mother living, and neither [one of them] King nor Queen. To speak with her and to serve her on bended knee. Not only all the others, but the father and the mother!’ (16)

Other sources only imply this level of treatment with the Spanish Ambassadors reporting that ‘the ceremony of the state entry was performed at the Tower of London with the accustomed pomp’ (17) and Francisco de Vargas wrote to Prince Philip that Northumberland made Jane, ‘take possession of the Tower and go through the usual ceremonies’ (18). The ‘Wriothesley’ Chronicle, the Spanish Ambassadors writing to Prince Philip, and the ‘Chronicle of Queen Jane etc’ all state that Jane was received as Queen. (19)

Jane herself had described in her letter to Mary how ‘all the Lords of the Council’ (20) had knelt to her as Queen at Syon House on 9th July but does not go into detail about her arrival at the Tower the following day.

The new letter also adds to our knowledge of Guildford Dudley’s behaviour on 10th July. Out of the other contemporary sources, only the anonymous report ‘Advices from England’ mentions Guildford’s presence, ‘my Lord Guildford, son of the Duke and husband of the Lady Jane.’ (21) The ‘Wriothseley Chronicle’ identifies Jane in terms of being ‘wyfe to the Lord Gilford Dudley’ (22) but does not comment on his presence. The ‘Diary of Henry Machyn’ only described ‘a grett company of lords and nobulls…with mony lades.’ (23)

The writer of the letter tells us that, ‘The husband stood with hat in hand, not only in front of the Queen, but in front of her father and mother, all the other Lords making a show of themselves putting the knee in the ground.’ (24) Guildford’s appearance is also commented on, with the implication that he was handsome, as he is described as ‘without gifts other than beauty.’ (25)

Edwards’ newly discovered letter (dated or written on 24th July 1553) gives us another view of Queen Jane’s arrival at the Tower of London on 10th July 1553. It supports the details given in anonymous report from 20th July, which implies that Jane came from Syon to the Tower (although both writers might not have been in a position to know the exact journey taken by the new Queen). This letter also reinforces three other accounts that state that the train of Jane’s gown was carried by her own mother. The writer emphasises how this went against what de Lisle calls ‘the correct order of things’ (26) and adds a detailed account of the Duke and Duchess of Suffolk’s deferential behaviour towards their daughter. The letter also gives us new details of Guildford Dudley as he arrived at the Tower with his wife and adds an opinion to our knowledge of his physical appearance.


Sources


1. Edwards, S.< a href= http://www.somegreymatter.com/lettereintro.htm>Some Grey Matter – Lettere di Principi, le quali si scrivono o da principi, o ragionano di principi. Libro Terzo – An Introduction to this Source Date accessed: 5 July 2014

2. Ibid

3. Edwards, S. Some Grey Matter – Two Letters Concerning Lady Jane Grey of England, written in London in July 0f 1553 Date accessed: 5th July 2014

4. Edwards, S. Some Grey Matter – The Spinola Letter Date accessed: 5th July 2014

5. ‘Spain: July 1553, 16-20′, Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 11: 1553 (1916), pp. 90-109. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88485 Date accessed: 05 July 2014

6. Ibid

7. Malfatti, C.V (translator) (1956), The Accession Coronation and Marriage of Mary Tudor as related in four manuscripts of the Escorial, Barcelona, p.48.

8. Ives, E. (2009) Lady Jane Grey: A Tudor Mystery, Wiley-Blackwell, p.19

9. ‘The Chronicle of the Grey Friars: Jane’, Chronicle of the Grey Friars of London: Camden Society old series, volume 53 (1852), pp. 78-80. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=51589 Date accessed: 05 July 2014.

10. Wriothesley, C. (1877), A Chronicle of England During the Reigns of the Tudors, Vol II, p.85. URL:http://archive.org/stream/chronicleofengla02camduoft/chronicleofengla02camduoft_djvu.txt Date accessed: 08 July 2014

11. Edwards, S. Some Grey Matter – Two Letters Concerning Lady Jane Grey of England, written in London in July 0f 1553 Date accessed: 5th July 2014

12. ‘Spain: July 1553, 1-10′, Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 11: 1553 (1916), pp. 69-80. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88483 Date accessed: 08 July 2014

13. ‘Spain: July 1553, 16-20′, Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 11: 1553 (1916), pp. 90-109. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88485 Date accessed: 05 July 2014

14. ‘Diary: 1553 (Jul – Dec)’, The Diary of Henry Machyn: Citizen and Merchant-Taylor of London (1550-1563) (1848), pp. 34-50. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=45512 Date accessed: 08 July 2014

15. De Lisle, L. (2010) The Sisters Who Would Be Queen: The Tragedy of Mary, Katherine and Lady Jane Grey, HarperPress, p.113.

16. Edwards, S. Some Grey Matter – Two Letters Concerning Lady Jane Grey of England, written in London in July 0f 1553 Date accessed: 5th July 2014

17. ‘Spain: July 1553, 1-10′, Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 11: 1553 (1916), pp. 69-80. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88483 Date accessed: 08 July 2014

18. ‘Spain: July 1553, 21-31′, Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 11: 1553 (1916), pp. 109-127. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88486 Date accessed: 10 July 2014

19. Wriothesley, C. (1877), A Chronicle of England During the Reigns of the Tudors, Vol II, p.85. URL:http://archive.org/stream/chronicleofengla02camduoft/chronicleofengla02camduoft_djvu.txt Date accessed: 08 July 2014

‘Spain: July 1553, 16-20′, Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 11: 1553 (1916), pp. 90-109. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88485 Date accessed: 05 July 2014

Nichols, J. G (ed) (1850) The Chronicle of Queen Jane and of Two Years of Queen Mary and Especially of the Rebellion of Sir Thomas Wyatt, Written by a Resident in the Tower of London, Llanerch Publishers, p.3.

20. Malfatti, C.V (translator) (1956), The Accession Coronation and Marriage of Mary Tudor as related in four manuscripts of the Escorial, Barcelona, p.46.

21. ‘Spain: July 1553, 16-20′, Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 11: 1553 (1916), pp. 90-109. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88485 Date accessed: 05 July 2014

22. Wriothesley, C. (1877), A Chronicle of England During the Reigns of the Tudors, Vol II, p.85. URL:http://archive.org/stream/chronicleofengla02camduoft/chronicleofengla02camduoft_djvu.txt Date accessed: 08 July 2014

23. ‘Diary: 1553 (Jul – Dec)’, The Diary of Henry Machyn: Citizen and Merchant-Taylor of London (1550-1563) (1848), pp. 34-50. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=45512 Date accessed: 08 July 2014

24. Edwards, S. Some Grey Matter – Two Letters Concerning Lady Jane Grey of England, written in London in July 0f 1553 Date accessed: 5th July 2014

25. Ibid.

26. De Lisle, L. (2010) The Sisters Who Would Be Queen: The Tragedy of Mary, Katherine and Lady Jane Grey, HarperPress, p.113.


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And the winners are…


Leanda de Lisle has picked three winners at random. Congratulations to:

Denise Duvall
Sarah Joy
Sarah Marshman

who have won a copy of ‘Tudor: The Family Story.’

Thank you to all those who entered the competition.


Tudor: The Family Story by Leanda de Lisle (Vintage, £8.99)

Tudor: The Family Story by Leanda de Lisle (Vintage, £8.99)

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And the winner is…


Congratulations to Michele Lawrence who won a copy of ‘George Boleyn: Tudor Poet, Courtier and Diplomat’.

Thank you to all those who entered the competition.

(c) GlobalMade Publishing

(c) GlobalMade Publishing

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The Real Tudors: Kings and Queens Rediscovered at the National Portrait Gallery


Major Paintings and Treasures of Tudor Monarchs Brought Together For The First Time


The National Portrait Gallery has announced a new free exhibition of Tudor portraits starting in September.

Highlighting groundbreaking new research undertaken as part of the Gallery’s ‘Making Art in Tudor Britain’ project and fully detailed in a major accompanying book, The Real Tudors: Kings and Queens Rediscovered (12 September 2014 – 1 March 2015) will allow visitors to rediscover the Tudor monarchs through the most complete presentation of their portraiture staged to date. This face-to-face encounter will be enhanced by the display of a single prized possession of each monarch, from a rosary to a ring.’ ( © NPG)


Alongside portraits of the Tudor monarchs, the following objects will be on display:

Henry VII – a Book of Hours ‘inscribed by the king to his daughter.’

Henry VIII – ‘his Rosary on loan from Chatsworth.’

Edward VI – ‘a page from his diary in which he reports his father’s death.’

Mary I – ’her Prayer Book loaned from Westminster Cathedral.’

Elizabeth I – ‘her locket ring, a rare loan from Chequers.’ (© NPG)


(c) NPG 6804; Lady Jane Dudley (nee Grey) by Unknown artist

(c) NPG 6804; Lady Jane Dudley (nee Grey) by Unknown artist

The exhibition also includes:

‘the search for a ‘real’ portrait of Lady Jane Grey in the sixteenth century will also be discussed through the display of a commemorative portrait of Jane that dates from the Elizabethan period.’ (©NPG)


‘Many of the portraits on display have been examined as part of the Gallery’s ‘Making Art in Tudor Britain’ project in which the use of scientific analysis has resulted in a new discoveries and insights into the dating technique and production of Tudor portraits. This important research has allowed the Gallery to ask fundamental questions about how, when and why portraits were made, and revealed new information about these familiar faces.’ (©NPG)

The book to accompany the exhibition will be published on 12th September.


(c) National Portrait Gallery

(c) National Portrait Gallery


‘This fascinating introduction to the portraiture of the Tudor monarchs explores how all five kings and queens of this famous English dynasty were represented. The authors also reveal the intriguing findings of recent research and explain how the technical analysis of these portraits has advanced our knowledge of how and when they were created.’ (© NPG)

Further details of the book can be found at the National Portrait Gallery website:

The Real Tudors: Kings and Queens Rediscovered

Further details of the exhibition can be found at:

The Real Tudors: Kings and Queens Rediscovered

The Real Tudors: Kings and Queens Rediscovered
Rooms 1-3
National Portrait Gallery



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