It’s a winter Monday in February 1554. The lieutenant of the Tower of London, Sir John Brydges, leads Lady Jane Grey from her cell in the Tower, her prison since the summer of the previous year. She’s dressed in black and holds a prayer book. And in a few moments, she will meet her cruel fate.
Lady Jane Grey is one of the more obscure figures in English history. There’s even some doubt about the place and date of her birth, but we know she came into the world in either 1536 or 1537. Her father was the First Duke of Suffolk, Henry Grey, and her mother was named Frances.
Through her mother Frances, Duchess of Suffolk, Jane had blood links to royalty. Jane was the great-granddaughter of Henry VII and grand-niece of Henry VIII. She was also the cousin of another English king, Edward VI. And these links to the royal lineage were to be at the center of Jane’s life when she was older.