Sunday, February 17, 2013
Question from Rike - Details of Jane Grey's reign
My interest as a writer is to come a bit closer to quotidian details of Queen Jane's life in the Tower. As far as I've learned, at her accession she went in by the Byward Tower. Did Jane Grey reside in Queen’s House during her reign? How many private rooms where at her own disposal? Whom was Queen Jane accompanied by most time of the day? Who had permission to visit Queen Jane in her private rooms and where did she commonly use to welcome official visits? Where was Guildford residing? Where did Jane and Guildford dine? Or did Queen Jane at times dine on her own, perhaps in the morning? What is the name of the chapel where Queen Jane’s liturgies took place? Did she like to take a walk outside (probably on her own, if possible) in the grounds of the Tower, and if so, where might have been that? On what official or private occasions might Queen Jane, resp. Lady Jane have left the Tower, and which route might she normally haven taken to leave? Where were wardens, resp. guards, resp. watchmen positioned, and how were they termed?
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I assume your question relates to the nine days during which she was de facto queen, and not to the later (and much longer) period of residency as a prisoner?
While the answers to your questions are not expicitly addressed by the surviving primary sources, we can safely assume that she resided during those nine days in the Royal Apartments. These were situated in the southwest corner of the Tower complex, but are no longer present. A privy garden was attached to the apartments, and Jane would have walked there. Her religious observances would have been conducted either in the private chapel incorportrated into the Royal Apartments or in the Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula (which still survives).
The rest ... details of her daily routine, her attendants, where and with whom she dined, what official visitors she received ... are not recorded. She seems NOT to have received any foreign ambassadors, since none of those men describe such a meeting. And there is no suggestion anywhere in the sources that she went outside the Tower at any time during her very brief reign. Indeed, she seems to have left the Tower only once after first entering it in July, and that was in November for a journey to the Guildhall for her trial.
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