The Will of Mary Grey

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On April 20, 1578, Mary Grey, the youngest daughter of Henry Grey, Duke of Suffolk, and Frances Brandon, died at her house in St Botolph’s-without-Aldersgate in London. Unlike her older sisters, Jane and Katherine, Mary died a free woman. In 1565, while at …

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Myths About Lady Jane Grey’s and Guildford Dudley’s Executions

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On February 12, 1554, Lady Jane Grey was executed on Tower Green, shortly after her husband, Guildford Dudley, was executed on Tower Hill. The tragic deaths of the young people have spawned countless books and paintings, several films–and a number …

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Christmas at Tilty: 1549

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In November and December 1549, the Marquess and Marchioness of Dorset, Henry and Frances Grey, were on the move.  On November 24, 1549, ten gentleman came from London to escort Frances and her three daughters, Jane, Katherine, and Mary, to …

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The Real Adrian Stokes

Following the execution of her first husband, Frances Grey, Duchess of Suffolk, married a commoner, Adrian Stokes. Stokes has usually been depicted in nonfiction and fiction as a poorly educated boy-toy, who disappeared into obscurity following the death of his …

Posted in Grey Family, Tudor England | 10 Comments

The Horsey Master Stokes and the Gullible Mr. Marples

Where would the history of Lady Jane Grey and her family be without the intrepid Victorians? I came across this gem today while looking up a reference for Adrian Stokes. It’s from a piece in the 1885-86 Proceedings of the …

Posted in Books and Book Reviews, Grey Family | 3 Comments

More on Frances Brandon’s Portraits

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After writing my last post, I thought I would mention some of the various portraits that have been identified as depicting Frances Grey (née Brandon), Duchess of Suffolk. None has been authenticated as a portrait of her, but here’s a …

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Mary Boleyn or Frances Brandon?

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In her new book on Mary Boleyn, Alison Weir devotes an appendix to the subject of portraiture, including the identity of the sitter in this well-known painting, usually identified as one of Mary Boleyn: Weir writes that because the sitter …

Posted in Grey Family, Tudor England | 19 Comments

Frances Grey’s Date of Remarriage, Revisited

A while back, I wrote a post about the myths about Frances Grey, Duchess of Suffolk. One of those I mentioned was the date of her remarriage to Adrian Stokes. Recently, as I noted, historians have leaned toward the idea …

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Did Jane Grey’s Parents Resent Her Because She Was Not a Boy?

Firmly enshrined in the pages of popular nonfiction about Lady Jane Grey is the notion that her parents resented her and her sisters because they were not sons. Hester Chapman writes that the “Dorsets were disappointed at not having a …

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The Death and Burial of Frances, Duchess of Suffolk

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In 1559, the chronicler Henry Machyn, a merchant and a parish clerk who faithfully recorded details of heraldic funerals, wrote, “The v day (of) Dessember was bered in Westmynster abbay my lade Frances the wyff of Harec duke of Suffolke, with …

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