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Tales of the Tower: Lady Jane Grey

How the Queen of Nine Days met her end at the Tower of London

She is more popularly known as the ‘Nine Days Queen’ though is also remembered for her untimely demise within the walls of the Tower of London.

Lady Jane Grey short-lived reign began on 10th July 1553 following the death of King Edward VI, who had personally named Lady Jane Grey as his successor in the ‘Devise for the Succession’.

Though Jane became Queen, the widespread support of Mary Tudor posed a threat to Jane’s reign and by mid-July, Jane’s own father had disowned her and in an attempt to save himself he proclaimed Mary Queen. Upon the insistence of her father, Jane relinquished the crown and the reign of Queen Mary I begun.

Queen Mary had Lady Jane imprisoned in the Tower of London, and while her father was pardoned, Jane and her husband were tried in November 1553 for high treason. Lady Jane Grey pleaded guilty and was sentenced to death. Before her execution, Jane had to witness the beheading of her husband and the sight of his body being brought back in a cart, his head wrapped in a cloth.

Lady Jane Grey, aged just 16, was beheaded on Tower Hill in February 1554 and was buried beneath the altar of the Tower’s Chapel Royal of St Peter ad Vincula.

In more recent times, the ghost of Lade Jane Grey has been spotted at the Tower of London numerous times. In 1957, a guard at the Tower saw a phantom lady standing above him on the battlements and after calling out to another guard, they both spotted the figure walking above them in the cold night air.

While the most famous of sighting of Jane came in 1957, she has been spotted a vast amount of times since her execution and not unsurprisingly, every sighting of her has been on or around the anniversary of her death.

So there we have another Tale of the Tower, Lady Jane Grey may have been a victim of circumstance or of a King’s cunning plan to keep his sister from the throne but don’t forget, this Halloween Lady Jane Grey might not let you forget that!

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