Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 16.djvu/113

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with them, and she soon came to regard her husband's father and mother with deep detestation. The mental distress which she suffered in the month after her union led to a serious illness which nearly proved fatal.

On 6 July Edward VI died. No public announcement was made till 8 July. On the evening of the 9th Northumberland carried Lady Jane before the council, and Ridley preached in favour of her succession at St. Paul's Cross. Lady Jane swooned when informed by the council that she was Edward's successor. On 10 July she was brought in a barge from Sion House to the Tower of London, pausing on her way at Westminster and Durham House. After taking part in an elaborate procession which passed through the great hall of the Tower, Lady Jane retired with her husband to apartments which had been prepared for her. Later in the day she signed a proclamation (printed by Richard Grafton) announcing her accession, in accordance with the statute 35 Henry VIII and the will of the late king, dated 21 June. Orders were also issued to the lords-lieutenant making a similar announcement, and despatches were sent to foreign courts. These were signed ‘Jane the Quene.’ Public proclamation of her accession was, however, only made at King's Lynn and Berwick. On 9 July the Princess Mary wrote to the council declaring herself Edward VI's lawful successor. On the 11th twenty-one councillors, headed by Northumberland, replied that Lady Jane was queen of England. On 12 July Lord-treasurer Winchester surrendered the crown jewels to the new queen Jane (see inventory in Harl. MS. 611), and on the same day she signed a paper accrediting Sir Philip Hoby as her ambassador at the court of Brussels. Lord Guildford Dudley, Lady Jane's husband, claimed the title of king; but Lady Jane declined to admit the claim, and insisted on referring the matter to parliament.

Meanwhile Mary's supporters were in arms in the eastern counties. On 12 July it was proposed that Lady Jane's father should lead the force which was to be despatched against them; but by Lady Jane's express desire the Duke of Northumberland took Suffolk's place. On 16 July Ridley preached again in Lady Jane's favour, but the end was at hand. Three days later Mary had been proclaimed queen throughout the country. Northumberland's failure was complete. Suffolk, perceiving that resistance was useless, himself proclaimed Mary at the gates of the Tower (19 July). He told his daughter, whose health had suffered greatly from the excitement of the earlier part of the week, that she was a prisoner, and that her reign was over. She expressed herself resigned to her fate, and desirous of retiring into private life. Mary was doubtful how to treat Lady Jane. She pardoned her father and mother, and when the imperial ambassador pressed on her the necessity of summarily executing Lady Jane she denied the necessity. Lady Jane appears to have been confined in the house of the lieutenant of the Tower, Sir John Brydges [q. v.], and on 27 July an anonymous visitor dined with her there, and recorded her conversation. She spoke with respect of Mary, but with great bitterness of her father-in-law. In the following autumn she had liberty to walk in the queen's gardens and on the hill within the Tower precincts. She was arraigned at the Guildhall for high treason 14 Nov. in company with her husband, his brothers Ambrose [q. v.] and Henry, and Archbishop Cranmer. She walked to the hall wearing ‘a black gown of cloth, a French hood, all black, a black velvet book hanging before her, and another book in her hand, open’ (Chron. of Q. Jane, p. 32). To the charge of treason she pleaded guilty, and was sentenced to death. Execution, however, was suspended, and, like most of the Dudleian party, she might have received mercy but for the dangerous outbreak of Wyatt in the following winter, in which her father, Suffolk, was weak enough to participate. Friday, 9 Feb. 1553–4, was the date first fixed for her own and her husband's execution, but a respite till Monday the 12th was finally ordered. On the Friday Lady Jane was visited by John Feckenham, dean of St. Paul's, and discussed religion with him, strongly enforcing her protestant views. She refused to see her husband on the day of her execution, lest the interview should disturb ‘the holy tranquillity with which they had prepared themselves for death’ (Heylyn). Her last acts were to write pathetic letters to her father and sister Catherine, and to present to the lieutenant of the Tower an English prayer-book (now in the British Museum, Harl. MS. 2342) in which she had written an affecting farewell. Husband and wife were both beheaded on Tower Hill on 12 Feb. 1554, the young bride beholding the bleeding body of her husband as she herself went to the scaffold (see the pathetic account of her execution in Chron. of Q. Jane, p. 55). This ill-advised severity first stained the fame of Queen Mary. From the scaffold Lady Jane made a speech asserting that she had never desired the crown and that she died ‘a true christian woman.’ With her husband she was buried in the church of St. Peter ad Vincula within the Tower.