Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Lady Jane Grey

When out and about on my jaunts, I have found it very interesting that the same people  keep cropping up.  Lettice Knollys has turned up Greys Court, the Abbey Reading, Warwick.  Likewise Bess of Hardwick figures at Chatsworth, Hardwick Hall and the V&A.  There is even a link between the two women as Lettice's father, Sir Francis Knollys, and Bess of Hardwick both had to watch over Mary Queen of Scots.

Lady Jane Grey, the nine days Queen, also frequently crops up.  She is linked to Bess of Hardwick as the latter worked for Jane's mother Lady Frances Brandon Grey and also linked to Lettice whose husband Robert Dudley was the brother of Jane's husband Guildford Dudley.

I enjoyed an excellent trip to Syon House which now has a well stocked garden centre and cafe. Up came Lady Jane Grey's name again.

John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, was the father of Robert and Guildford (his mother's maiden name) and at this time lived at Syon House on the Thames in London.  It was there that Lady Jane Grey was offered the crown by the Duke following the death of Edward VI. She was the granddaughter of Henry VII and had been named as successor in Edward VI's will. She reluctantly accepted.

Syon House, to my mind, looks rather ordinary from the outside but is spectacular inside.  There's a beautiful Great Conservatory and grounds.  Here's the website.

Syon House was orginally a Bridgettine Abbey but following the dissolution of the Abbey, it came under royal control, then was passed in 1547 to Edward Seymour (brother of Jane) Duke of Somerset. In 1552 following the Duke's beheading by Edward VI, John Dudley acquired Syon House and then by 1594 it had been inherited, through marriage, by Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland, who was implicated in the Gunpowder Plot in 1605. 

Various significant events took place at the House.  As well as those mentioned above, Catherine Howard stayed there on her way to the Tower to be beheaded. King Henry VIII's coffin stayed there overnight on its way from London to Windsor for the burial - his bloated corpse erupting during the night and dogs were found licking up the mess in the morning.

Ludlow Castle


Even on holiday in Ludlow in the Welsh Marches staying in the De Greys B&B, we found that the Grey family had owned a lot of land around the area, including Powis Castle and even Mary Dudley, Jane's sister-in-law, had lived at Ludlow Castle!

Tudor Place Mary Dudley/Sidney and History on the net give more information about Mary and Jane.

It's a small Tudor world!

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