The Coronation of Lady Jane Grey, 1553

This account of Jane Grey’s coronation was written by Henry Machyn, a London undertaker.
Jane was the great-niece of King Henry VIII. She is famous as the ‘Nine Days’ Queen’, for she ruled for that small amount of time in July 1553. Her reign was the direct result of the duke of Northumberland’s ambition. When it was clear that King Edward VI was dying, Northumberland married Jane to his son, Guildford. As the leading Protestant nobleman, he could not accept the rule of Henry VIII’s Catholic daughter, Mary. Nor did he wish to lose the power he amassed during Edward’s reign. Under the term of Henry’s will, Mary was to follow Edward upon the throne. Northumberland urged Edward VI to write his own will, settling the succession upon his Protestant cousin Jane instead. The young king did so.

Jane and Guildford were executed in 1554.

On 6 July died the noble King Edward VI, in the seventh year of his reign, son and heir to the noble King Henry VIII. And he was poisoned, as everybody says, for which now, thanks be to God, there are many of the false traitors brought to their end, and I trust God that more will follow as they may be spied out.

On 7 July a proclamation was made that all penthouses should be no lower than 10 foot, and all private lights be condemned.

The same day an old man was set on the pillory for counterfeit, false writings.

The same day there came to the Tower the lord treasurer, the earl of Shrewsbury, and the lord admiral with others; and there they discharged Sir James Croft of the constableship of the Tower, and there they put in the said lord admiral, and he took his oath and charge of the Tower, and the next day after he conveyed into all places in the Tower and… great guns, such as the White Tower on high.

On 9 July all the head officers and the guard were sworn to Queen Jane as queen of England…. daughter of the duke of Suffolk, and served as queen of….

The following day queen Jane was received into the Tower with a great company of lords and nobles of… after the queen, and the duchess of Suffolk her mother, bearing her train, with many ladies, and there was a firing of guns and chamber such as has not often been seen, between 4 and 5 o’clock; by 6 o’clock began the proclamation on the same afternoon of Queen Jane, with two heralds and a trumpet blowing, declaring that Lady Mary was unlawfully begotten, and so went through Cheapside to Fleet Street, proclaiming Queen Jane. And there was a young man taken at that time for speaking certain words about Queen Mary, that she had the true title.

On 11 July, at 8 o’clock in the morning the young man was set on the pillory for speaking this, and both his ears were cut off. There was a herald and a trumpeter blowing, and he was quickly taken down. And the same day the young man’s master, dwelling at St John’s Head, whose name was Sandur Onyone, and another Master Owen, a gun-maker at London Bridge, living at Ludgate, were drowned.

On 12 July by night were carried to the Tower 3 carts full of all manner of ordnance, such as great guns and small, bows, bills, spears, morrish pikes, armour, arrows, gunpowder and stakes, money, tents and all manner of ordnance, a great number of cannon balls, and a great number of men at arms; and it was for a great army near Cambridge; and two days after the duke and various lords and knights went with him, and many gentlemen and gunners, and many men of the guard and men of arms towards Lady Mary’s grace, to destroy her grace, and so to Bury, and all was against him, for his men forsook him.

Link/cite this page

If you use any of the content on this page in your own work, please use the code below to cite this page as the source of the content.

Link will appear as Hanson, Marilee. "The Coronation of Lady Jane Grey, 1553", February 28, 2015