Fact of the day: 10th July

On this day in 1553 Lady Jane Grey took the throne of England.

The King, Edward V, died on 6 July 1553. On 9 July Jane was informed that she was now queen, and according to her own later claims, accepted the crown only with reluctance.

The next day, she was officially proclaimed Queen of England after she had taken up secure residence in the Tower of London, where English monarchs customarily resided from the time of accession until coronation.

Jane refused to name her husband Dudley as king by letters patent and deferred to Parliament. She offered to make him Duke of Clarence instead.

Northumberland faced a number of key tasks to consolidate his power after Edward’s death.

Most importantly, he had to isolate and, ideally, capture Lady Mary to prevent her from gathering support.

As soon as Mary was sure of King Edward’s demise, she left her residence at Hunsdon and set out to East Anglia, where she began to rally her supporters.

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Northumberland set out from London with troops on 14 July; in his absence the Privy Council switched their allegiance from Jane to Mary, and proclaimed her queen in London on 19 July among great jubilation of the populace.

Jane was imprisoned in the Tower’s Gentleman Gaoler’s apartments, her husband in the Beauchamp Tower.

The new queen entered London in a triumphal procession on 3 August, and the Duke of Northumberland was executed on 22 August 1553.

In September, Parliament declared Mary the rightful queen and denounced and revoked Jane’s proclamation as that of a usurper.

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