the TUDOR TUTOR

Your cheeky guide to the dynasty

Tudor Ghost-du-Jour: Lady Jane Grey

Lady Jane Grey, engraving

Image via Wikipedia

Lady Jane Grey’s story is a sad and complicated one. I detailed it here if you would like a recap (and if you’re wondering how this chickadee became queen to begin with, voilà). This poor teenager showed up for centuries as a white shimmering figure around the Tower of London’s battlements and also around Tower Green, where she was executed.

It wasn’t bad enough to have been beheaded, but poor Jane had a stressful last few minutes of her life as well. She was blindfolded and then worriedly asked the executioner, “Will you take it off before I lay me down?” His answer was no, so she attempted to lay her head down.

Not that she could see where the block was, being blindfolded and all. The crowd was still as she waved her arms around in the air, feeling for the block and in a panic asking, “What shall I do? Where is it??” A kind bystander guided her hands to it and that was the last Jane knew of this life. (This is a popular 17th century painting of the scene by Paul Delaroche.)

Jane would reportedly appear at the Tower on the anniversary of her death (these ghosts have twisted ways of celebrating anniversaries). The last time she showed up, she was spotted by two Tower guards on February 12, 1957, the 403rd anniversary of her execution. What has she been doing since then? Vacationing? Catching up on “Grey’s Anatomy”? No one really knows.

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2 Comments

  Abigail Rogers wrote @

Oooh, spooky!

  Kathleen Mary Muthig wrote @

poor little girl


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