John Dudley, the Duke of Northumberland.
a gentler, less imposing character dead and in the ground for over a year, the young king was right to do so.
Northumberland, as Jane's father in law and Jane's parents, Francis and Henry Grey, were the epitome of grasping, self serving nobles who were not afraid to use and abuse their offspring if it meant getting what they desired.
In Northumberland's case his intention was to be chief puppeteer, with a wish to make England dance to his tune, and no
better way to start than organising marriages, to the benefit of himself, to high ranking nobles within the royal court.
Guildford, Catherine and Katherine were all married on the same day, the 25th May 1553.
With Edward's illness beginning in the February and three dynastic marriages taking place less than a
month before the king became ill, it's difficult to believe that Dudley's only concern was king and country. As the court
watched the king's life slipping away, Northumberland was quick to realise that the plans for his families rise to greatness
was heading for the grave along with his sickly king. It most certainly had not slipped Dudley's mind, that on Edward's
death, the Grey family members were at the top of Edwards list of heirs. It was still possible that Francis Grey could give Suffolk a son, and that would be disastrous for Dudley, he knew that whoever was at England's helm it would be Henry Grey who would be pulling the strings.
All Northumberland needed to do was to whisper in the kings ear that it was in 'countries' interest that he declare
Jane Grey his heir and then sit back and watch as the plans for his new 'dynasty', plans that had been in the making
since at least 1525, come to fruition.
The question has to be asked if Northumberland was a schemer, it has been said he was 'morally bankrupt'
and 'the subtlest intriguer in English history.' However, there are those who would argue that Dudley was the Tudor
dynasty's saviour in a time of in fighting, religious upheaval and rebellion, and if this was the case then perhaps the
Duke of Northumberland was the right man for the job, however Dudley had much to gain and for me, this counteracts everything else.
wasn't a pawn in the machinations of his protectors at all, but an intelligent, if somewhat sober, young man. However, at this point in time he was weak and vulnerable, would a boy so sick, whose body was swollen and covered in ulcers, who was suffering from a high fever and in great pain from bedsores, be able think about such a change? After all he had already made his decision and drafted it to his satisfaction, excluding his sister on the grounds of religion and illegitimacy, important
reasons to him. No, Northumberland saw an opportunity and he took it.
Edward made the changes to the succession, altering 'L Janes heires masles' to L Jane AND her heires masles' as you can see in the text below.
Jane Grey became queen. Never crowned, she 'reigned' for just nine days.
Jane's story is a tragic one, she along with her husband, Guildford Dudley were tried for treason in November 1553 and executed on the 12th of February 1554. Henry Grey was executed ten days later.
In August, just two weeks following Mary's triumphant ride through the streets of London, John Dudley was one of the
first to climb the steps of the scaffold.
What doe's that tell you?