On 19th July 1553, Queen Jane’s reign ended.
The end of her reign has featured in several historical novels.
In A Dangerous Inheritance by Alison Weir, Katherine Grey learns that Jane’s reign will come to an end the evening before.
‘At supper, Pembroke announces that Queen Mary is to be proclaimed in London on the morrow. ‘There will be much rejoicing when the news breaks.’ But I am not rejoicing. The glorious days are done, all too soon. My sister is no longer queen, and the dread shadow of treason lies over us all.’
(c) Hutchinson, p.130 (hardback).
In Innocent Traitor by Alison Weir, the end of her reign is seen through Jane’s eyes.
‘My father, followed by three yeomen warders, bursts into the room and, without paying his respects to me, begins tearing down the cloth of estate above my head.
…I stare at him, half-comprehending.
‘Jane, you are no longer Queen, ‘ he tells me bluntly. ‘London has declared for the Lady Mary. Go to your chamber and stay there. You must put off your royal robes and be content to live henceforth as a private person.’
…I willingly relinquish the crown,’ I declare. ‘I never wanted it.’
He nods. The canopy is down, lying in a heap on the floor. For nine days it signalled my sovereignty. That is over now, finished.’
(c) Arrow, p.345 (hardback)
In The Last Tudor by Philippa Gregory, the end of her reign is also seen through Jane’s eyes.
‘In the quietness of the deserted rooms I can hear the cheering from outside the Tower gates. The fathers of the city have commanded that there shall be red wine flowing in the fountains and every fool and knave is getting drunk and shouting, ‘God save the queen.’ I go and look for my father. He will know what I should do. Perhaps he will take me home to Bradgate.
…He is not in the White Tower, and so I go outside and run across the green to the chapel of St Peter in case he is praying alone before the small altar; but he is not there either. It takes me a long time to walk to the stables and just as I enter I hear the bells of St Paul’s pealing over and over again, a jangle of noise, not the hour, not the chimes of the hour, just a full peal over and over, and then all the other bells join in, a cacophony as if all the bells of London were ringing at once. Beyond the walls of the Tower I can hear people shouting and cheering.
The ravens burst from the trees of the Tower gardens and from their hidden perches all over the Tower and swirl up at the noise like a dark cloud, a foreboding thundercloud and, and I clap my hands over my ears to block out the noise of the ceaseless shouting bells and my sudden fear of the cawing birds..’
(c) Simon & Schuster, p.68-69 (hardback)
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