The Real Tudors: Kings & Queens Rediscovered – National Portrait Gallery


‘The Real Tudors: Kings & Queens Rediscovered’ opened at the National Portrait Gallery on 12th September 2014 and runs until 1st March 2015.

This free display is in the usual Tudor Galleries on the third floor of the NPG. Each Tudor monarch has their own section, starting with Henry VII and Henry VIII in Room 1, Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I in Room 2 and Lady Jane Grey in Room 3.

Apart from seeing the Lady Jane ‘Streatham’ portrait back on display, the most fascinating objects in the exhibition for me, were the items that belonged to each Tudor monarch. It was great to see the Elizabeth locket ring again, to see Mary I’s Prayer book and to stand face to face with Henry VII.

As the gallery was quite crowded, I will have to wait for my next visit to read all the analysis of the paintings.

All italics are © NPG.




The crowne which it pleased God to give us.’

Will of Henry VII


The Henry VII section consists of:

1 portrait
Book of Hours belonging to Henry VII
Funeral effigy of Henry VII


Book of Hours belonging to Henry VII
c.1500
Ink and pigment on vellum

‘This book was given by Henry VII to his daughter Margaret before she left England in order to marry King James IV of Scotland. He inscribed it to her with the note, ‘Remember your king and loving Father in your prayers, Henry, King.’


Funeral effigy of Henry VII
Attributed to Pietro Torrigiano
Painted plaster and wood 1509

The head from the funeral effigy of Henry VII, was ‘modelled in plaster from the dead king’s face.’




The Rose both white and Rede/in one rose now dothe grow.’

John Skelton’s poem at Henry VIII’s coronation


The Henry VIII section consists of:

6 portraits
Henry VIII’s rosary


The portraits of Henry include ‘one of the earliest surviving portraits of Henry VIII.’


Henry VIII Unknown Artist Oil on panel, c.1520 (c) National Portrait Gallery

Henry VIII
Unknown Artist
Oil on panel, c.1520
(c) National Portrait Gallery


Henry VIII’s rosary
Carved boxwood 1509-27

‘This delicately carved rosary (a string of prayer beads) bears the Royal Arms of England and the letters ‘he8’ and ‘KA’ on the largest bead.’




What a King should England have had if God had given his his father’s age.’

Sir Richard Morison at Edward VI’s death


The Edward VI section consists of:

6 portraits
A page from Edward VI’s Chronicle


‘On this page Edward describes the moment at which he learnt of Henry VIII’s death and his own accession to the throne.’




A queen, and by the same title a king also.’

Bishop John White at Mary I’s funeral


The Mary I section consists of:


3 portraits + 1 miniature
1 miniature of Philip II
The Queen Mary Book of Prayers


The portraits include the Hans Eworth portrait of Mary.


Mary I Hans Eworth Oil on panel, 1554 (c) Society of Antiquaries of London

Mary I
Hans Eworth
Oil on panel, 1554
(c) Society of Antiquaries of London


The Queen Mary Book of Prayers
Illuminated manuscript on vellum c.1554
Unknown artist

These pages are from a manuscript containing instructions for two ceremonies that were usually performed by the monarch on Good Friday.’




Time stands still with gazing on her face.’

Verse praising Elizabth I set to music by John Dowland


The Elizabeth I section consists of:

7 portraits
3 miniatures
Locket ring


The miniatures include a coronation miniature of ‘Elizabeth I by an unknown English artist. Gouache on vellum laid on card, late sixteenth century.


(c) Chequer’s Estate

(c) Chequer’s Estate


Locket ring
Mother of pearl hoop, rubies, diamonds and enamel
c.1575

‘This exquisite ring opens to reveal two portraits beneath the diamond E: one of Elizabeth in profile, and the other of a woman in a French hood, who is probably Anne Boleyn.’




God and posterity will show me favour.’

Lady Jane Grey


The Lady Jane Grey section consists of:

1 portrait
1 engraving


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

(c) NPG 6804; Lady Jane Dudley (nee Grey)


The portrait of Lady Jane is labeled as:

Lady Jane Grey
By an unknown artist
Oil on panel, late sixteenth century


‘Lady Jane Grey was named as heir to the throne by her cousin Edward VI: however, she was imprisoned after only nine days’ rule when Mary successfully asserted her right to the crown. Highly educated and devoutly Protestant, it was only during Elizabeth’s reign that she became more widely known. This fuelled an interest in her portraiture and portraits such as this example were created to mark her place for an Elizabethan audience. However, no lifetime portraits of Jane appear to survive and it is possible that none were ever painted.

By 1620, one image had gained credence as a lifetime portrait and was used as the basis for an engraving. However, the sitter in this image wears a jewel that is very similar to one that belonged to Katherine Parr, and may be Henry VIII’s sixth queen.’


(c) NPG

(c) NPG


Magdalena and Willem de Passe’s engraving of Lady Jane Grey from Henry Holland’s Heroologia Anglica


Read more about the exhibition at National Portrait Gallery – The Real Tudors: Kings and Queens Rediscovered .


The other Tudor portrait usually on display in the Tudor Galleries

Portraits of Anne Boleyn, Richard III and Catherine Parr have been moved to Room 4. As the light in Room 4 is much better than in the Tudor galleries, you can really appreciate the colours on the Catherine Parr ‘Master John’ portrait.


You can buy the exhibition catalogue from the National Portrait Gallery shop.

The Real Tudors: Kings and Queens Rediscovered by Tarnya Cooper and Charlotte Bolland.

Posted in Edward VI, Elizabeth I, Exhibitions, Henry VII, Henry VIII, Lady Jane Grey, Mary I, National Portrait Gallery | Comments Off

Books 2014 – On sale today – The Real Tudors


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

(c) NPG

(c) NPG


‘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


Posted in Books 2014, National Portrait Gallery | Comments Off

Salisbury Cathedral


Salisbury Cathedral in Wiltshire is the final resting place of Lady Katherine Grey, younger sister of Lady Jane.

Salisbury Cathedral

Salisbury Cathedral


The foundation stones for Salisbury were laid in 1220 and ‘the church was consecrated in 1258.’ (1) According to the guidebook, ‘with its soaring pointed arches and slender columns, Salisbury is unique in being built almost entirely in one architectural style – Early English Gothic.’ (2)


Hertford Tomb

Hertford Tomb


Katherine Grey died in 1568 and was buried in Suffolk. Her husband, the Earl of Hertford, Edward Seymour died in 1621 and Leanda de Lisle writes that;

‘William, as his only surviving male heir, inherited the title and promptly had his grandmother, Katherine Grey, disinterred from her grave in Yoxford, Suffolk, and brought to Salisbury Cathedral to be buried with her husband. Their magnificent tomb still stands in the easterly corner of the south choir aisle. The long-legged and refined figure of Hertford lies on his sarcophagus with Katherine above him, as a mark of her royal status. The inscription, in Latin, celebrates the lovers, reunited at last:

Incomparable Consorts
Who, experienced in the vicissitudes of changing fortune
At length, in the concord which marked their lives,
Here rest together.’ (3)

Tomb Inscription

Tomb Inscription

The guide book says the following about the tomb:

‘The very large decorative marble tomb is the Hertford tomb. You will notice that unusually Lady Catherine Grey is positioned higher than her husband, Edward Seymour, because of her family status. Lady Catherine’s sister, Lady Jane Grey, was proclaimed Queen of England for nine days before being executed in 1554, aged 17.’ (4)


Katherine and Edward

Katherine and Edward


Detail of the tomb

Detail of the tomb


Salisbury Cathedral is also the burial place of Elizabeth I’s lady in waiting, Helena Snachenberg and her husband.


Tomb of Helena Snachenberg

Tomb of Helena Snachenberg


017


Sources

Ives, E. (2009) Lady Jane Grey: A Tudor Mystery, Wiley-Blackwell, p.183

1.Salisbury Cathedral: A Pocket Tour, Reef Publishing, p.1

2.ibid.

3. De Lisle, L. (2010) The Sisters Who Would Be Queen: The Tragedy of Mary, Katherine and Lady Jane Grey, HarperPress, p.302

4. Salisbury Cathedral: A Pocket Tour, Reef Publishing, p.9


Posted in Lady Katherine Grey, Places | Comments Off

September Update – The Children of Henry VIII by John Guy


‘The Children of Henry VIII’ by John Guy added to the Other Biographies section of the bibliography.

Entries added to the following:

Paintings – Teerlinc, Letters – Letter to Mary and Primary Accounts – Captivity .


Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

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.’


Posted in On this day, On This Day | Comments Off

Books to look forward to in 2015…


History books to look forward to next year…


Posted in Books 2015 | Comments Off

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.


Posted in Leanda de Lisle, Updates | Comments Off

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


Posted in Books 2014, John Guy, Lady Jane Grey | Comments Off

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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