Thursday, September 17, 2009

Question from Diane - Elizabeth I and the memory of Jane Grey and Guildford Dudley

How did Elizabeth deal with the memory of Jane Grey and Guildford Dudley after she became Queen? Did she allow any sympathy for them to be expressed in her presence because of their age and the reasons why Jane was compelled to take the throne? (Mainly, King Edward's Devise for the Succession)? Would her opinion of Guildford at least be softened by her friendship with his sister, Mary; her regard for his brother, Ambrose; and most importantly, her love for his brother, Robert?


  1. You might read Leanda de Lisle's The Sisters Who Would Be Queen, due out soon in the US and already available in the UK. She covers the period after Jane Grey's death much better than most, and discusses the position of Katherine and Mary Grey in the succession and how Elizabeth treated them.

    Certainly some small degree of sympathy for Jane's plight was expressed to Elizabeth in later years. Several poets penned tributes about Jane that were addressed to Elizabeth. But we do not know how Elizabath reacted to those poems. And the evidence presented by Ms de Lisle suggests to me that Elizabeth was not very "warm and friendly" toward her cousins. As for Guildford, I tend to suspect that he was not much thought of by anyone after his death, especially not by Elizabeth.

  2. I guess Elizabeth just dealt with Jane's memory and "cause" as she did that of her mother. She saw but said nothing. But she certainly had a lot in common with her cousin! Plots in her name that she had no knowledge of; family rejection... and much more.

    Another question. Weren't Jane and Elizabeth together at Chelsea with Katherine Parr and Lord Seymour? Are there any records of their relationship during that time?

  3. Yes, Jane and Elizabeth were present together in the Parr-Seymour household (which moved around but was centered at Sudeley) in 1547 and 1548. There are no surviving records to detail the character or quality of their relationship during that period, though there may have been some friendly competition and girlish jealousy, since both were admired as great intellects and both were of royal blood. Elizabeth famously became involved in a scandal with Seymour, which led to Elizabeth's removal from the Parr household and eventually to Seymour's downfall and execution, but Jane was not called to testify during the investigation into that matter. And Jane remained in the Parr household until Parr's death in September 1548.

  4. have you ever read "innocent traitor" and "the lady elizabeth" both by alison weir? because in those books, weir covers both girls days in Catharine Parr's household. in those books, they arent really portrayed as close friends, with about 4 years difference in age. but it does mention jane admiring elizabeth's beliefs and ideas. in the books, elizabeth didn't take a huge interest in jane until she was crowned queen instead of mary, and apparently took pity on her when she was executed at only 16, because she knew jane was used by the duke of northumberland. (sorry if i'm spelling things really wrong!!)

  5. Olivia, I don't mean to sound a little picky but in your post it's not particularly clear that "Innocent Traitor" and "The Lady Elizabeth" are fictitious accounts. Alison Weir (a very good historian) takes a LOT of creative license and puts forward some very controversial possible occurrences. The Sisters Who Would Be Queen as PhD Historian mentioned is a much better example of an actual source rather than an imagining.

  6. yeah thats a good point i just meant it was written like a ficticious book usually is, with charecters talking and such..sorry for not being specific!!


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