Paul Delaroche, The Execution of Lady Jane Grey, 1833

Lady Jane was great-granddaughter to Henry VII and first cousin once-removed to Edward VI, who proclaimed her as his successor to the crown instead of his illegitimate half-sisters Mary and Elizabeth. Edward was crowned at the tender age of nine, and is credited for implementing Protestantism in the Church of England and throughout the kingdom. He didn’t want to see all his hard work undone by Roman Catholic Mary.
By age 15 Edward had fallen ill with fever and died on July 6th, 1553. 16-year-old Jane was proclaimed queen on July 10th, but Mary quickly gained massive support from conservative factions and had rallied an army of 20,000 at Suffolk by July 19th. The Privy Council got nervous and proclaimed Mary as queen. In February 1554 Lady Jane was executed on Mary’s orders. Jane is known as the ‘Nine Day Queen,’ while Mary is known as ‘Bloody Mary’ for the way she brutally tried to reverse to the Protestant Reformation.

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