Lady Jane Grey 1537 – 1554

Lady Jane Grey

 Family tree for Jane Grey showing:

Short Biography

Lady Jane Grey was born in October 1537 and executed for treason on 12th February 1554. She was the daughter of Henry Grey and Frances Brandon, the daughter of Henry VIII‘s younger sister Mary Tudor.  After the death of Henry VIII in 1547, his son, Edward became King Edward VI. As he was a minor the country was ruled by a council first headed by Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset and then John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland. In the summer of 1553 it became clear that Edward was dying. Next in line was Edward’s sister Mary. However, Mary, a Catholic, had vowed to restore England to the Catholic faith.

King Edward and John Dudley were staunch Protestants. Dudley had married his son, Guildford to Lady Jane Grey another Protestant and Edward signed the Devise for Succession which nominated Jane Grey as his successor. Jane herself was reluctant to become queen but had little choice. She was proclaimed Queen of England,on 10th July 1553, four days after Edward’s death. Jane and Guildford were housed in the Tower of London to await their coronation, but Jane did not have the support of the people. On 19th July 1553 Mary was proclaimed Queen. Soon afterwards, Jane and her husband Guildford were found guilty of treason. However, knowing they were innocent pawns, Mary did not sign their death warrants.

In February 1554 Jane’s father, Henry Grey, joined Thomas Wyatt’s rebellion against Mary’s planned marriage to King Philip II of Spain. Their plan was to overthrow Mary and put Jane back on the throne. Mary had no choice but to sign the death warrant. Jane Grey was executed by beheading privately within the walls of the Tower of London. 


Published Jul 2, 2020 @ 4:05 pm – Updated – Sep 23, 2021 @ 2:32 pm

Harvard Reference for this page:

Heather Y Wheeler. (2020). Lady Jane Grey 1537 – 1554. Available: Last accessed September 24th, 2021