The Nine Day Queen

This is a play in two acts. It chronicles the life of Lady Jane Grey who died Lady Jane Dudley. She was the great granddaughter of Henry 7th. She was also the first cousin of Edward VI, the son of Henry the 8th.

When the 15-year-old King lay dying in June of 1553, he nominated Jane as successor to the Crown in his will. He subverted the claims of his half-sisters Mary and Elizabeth under the Third Succession Act.

Jane was imprisoned in the Tower of London when the Privy Council decided to change sides and proclaim Mary Queen.

Jane was convicted of high treason in November 1553, which carried a sentence of death. Queen Mary initially intended to grant a pardon to Jane and Guildford until the Wyatt rebellion in January. The purpose of the rebellion was two-fold. First, to re-establish Jane Queen once again, and secondly, to protest Mary’s plans to marry Phillip of Spain. Jane’s father, the Duke of Suffolk and his two brothers had joined the rebellion, which caused the government to go through with the verdict against Jane and her husband Guildford.

Lady Jane Grey had an excellent humanist education and a reputation as one of the most learned young women of her day. She was a committed Protestant. She was posthumously regarded as not only a political victim, but also a martyr.

Her execution was first scheduled for 9 February 1554, but was postponed for three days so that Jane would have a chance to be converted to the Catholic faith. Mary sent her chaplain, John Feckenham, to Jane. She was not initially pleased about this. Though she would not give into his efforts to save her soul and life, she became friends with him. He escorted her to the scaffold.

Lady Jane Grey was finally executed on 12 February 1554. Her husband Guildford was executed the hour before on Tower Hill. They were laid to rest in the Chapel of St. Peter ad Vincula at the North side of the Green Tower.