Today in 1553 Lady Jane Grey’s trial started at London’s Guildhall, along with her husband Guilford Dudley. She was, of course, being tried for having claimed the throne during the short period after Edward VI’s death, before the Catholic Mary I was able to take back control of the throne. Archbishop Thomas Cranmer was also charged with treason for having proclaimed Jane as Queen. A procession led them from the Tower to the Guildhall, led by a man carrying an ax pointed away from them, to show that they had not yet been convicted of treason. At first Cranmer pleaded not guilty, but after he was confronted with the evidence, he changed his plea to guilty. They were all found guilty, and Jane was sentenced to be either burned, or beheaded.
Jane would be executed in February 1554.
That’s your Tudor Minute for today. Remember you can dive deeper into life in 16th century England through the Renaissance English History Podcast at englandcast.com.