Sunday, June 28, 2009

Question from Nikki - Location of Jane Grey's execution scaffold

Another question from my David Starkey book from the previous post.

In Chapter 21, Retribution, Starkey states that the scaffold on which Lady Jane Grey would die upon was in front of the Chapel St. Peter ad Vincula.

"The scaffold on which she would die had been built on Tower Green, within the walls and directly in front of the chapel."

I thought in a previous post it was determined that the scaffold was in a different spot? If it was built in front of the chapel as Starkey states, then the memorial might be in the right place. I am so confused!!

1 comment:

PhD Historian said...

As noted in the previous discussion thread, Nikki, the modern memorial marker is placed on a site chosen in the Victorian era as the "most likely location." But because of the working and changing nature of the Tower, in all likelihood no two scaffolds were ever erected in precisely the same spot.

And in that same previous thread, there was discussion about the possibility that the scaffold for Jane's execution was placed to the south of the White Tower, based on a statement made to me in 2005 by the curator of the Tower.

But the author of the Chronicle of Queen Jane and of Two Years of Queen Mary, a man who lived and worked in the Tower and was an eye-witness to the events, states, "by this tyme was ther a scaffolde made upon the grene over agaynst the White tower, for the saide lady Jane to die upon."

In all likelihood, the scaffold for Jane's execution was literally against the wall of the White Tower, at its northwest corner. Thus it was about 100-150 yards due east of the present modern memorial ... and well to the southeast of the Chapel, not "directly in front of" it.