February 12th, 1554.
457 years ago.
The death of one of England's leading Protestant Reformers.
The murder of a seventeen year old girl by her cousin.
The execution of a Queen less known, but who was and would have been better, than good Queen Bess herself.
457 years ago today, Queen Jane Dudley was executed. She is better known as Lady Jane Grey, Queen of England for nine days.
She read several languages and corresponded with several Reformers, including Johann Sturm, a friend of Martin Luther.
She was well educated, but conniving people used her because she was in line for the throne. Her father-in-law married her to his son, intending to have them crowned. He then intended to poison Jane, letting his son live a little longer, and then poison his son, so that he would have control of the kingdom. He attempted to poison Jane but it didn't actually kill her. However when Edward died, Mary Tudor was next in line. Jane Dudley accepted the throne without knowing this. Bloody Mary took the throne and imprisoned Jane. Jane was a favorite of hers. However she wanted to marry Philip of Spain so she could have a child who would rule so that England would remain Catholic. Philip insisted that she execute Jane, or he would not marry her. So on February 12th, 1554, Bloody Mary had Jane executed. My personal opinion is that she was traumitized by this and her guilt, and that is why she killed so many people, especially with Philip and others egging her on.
Excerpt from Lady Jane Grey's last address to the people:
"Good people, I am come hither to die, and by law am condemned to the same, for the fact against the Queen's highness was unlawful, and the consenting thereunto by me: but touching the procurement and desire thereof by me and on my behalf it was never of my seeking, but by counsel of others who seemed to have further understanding of things than me, which little knew of the law, and much less of the titles to the crown. I do wash my hands in innocency before God, and in the face of you, good people, this day.
I pray you all, good Christian people, to bear me witness that I die a true Christian woman. I do look to be saved by no other means, but only by the mercy of God, in the blood of his only Son Jesus Christ.
I confess that when I did know the word of God, I neglected the same, loved myself and the world; and therefore this plague is happily and worthily happened unto me for my sins; and yet I thank God, that of his goodness he hath thus given me a time and respite to repent. And now, good people, while I am alive, I pray you assist me with your prayers."
It would be a worthwhile pursuit indeed to learn more about this godly woman. I would highly recommend "Lady Jane Grey: Nine Day Queen of England" by Faith Cook.