Author Topic: Edward VI and Jane Grey  (Read 7822 times)

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Offline Velasco

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Edward VI and Jane Grey
« on: September 15, 2010, 01:22:09 PM »
I've always wondered why Edward VI didn't marry Lady Jane Grey, both in order to produce an heir of his own, and put her in a position that would facilitate her succession...ie, as Queen-Dowager and Regent during the interregnum after he died (to see if she was pregnant) and then either Regent for their child or Queen in her own right. It would have been the perfect solution IMHO.

Offline Silja

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Re: Edward VI and Jane Grey
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2010, 04:23:07 PM »
I think Edward was simply too young to marry. Why should he have married Lady Jane when as king he would have had the option of making a prestigious and favourable foreign alliance at some later time? Why should he have married so young in the first place? Nobody expected him to die that early, and by the time it was obvious he would die a marriage with Jane Grey would not have made any difference as obviously there would not have been a child.

Offline Velasco

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Re: Edward VI and Jane Grey
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2010, 05:45:44 AM »
Well, Edward VI was 16 when he died, so he was certainly of age to marry and father children. Lady Jane Grey was 16/17, and Catherine Grey and Margaret Clifford were both 13, when they were married off in order to quickly provide Edward with some suitably Protestant heirs. Their husbands Guildford Dudley was 16-18ish and Henry Herbert was 15, basically same age as Edward (Andrew Dudley's marriage to Margaret never took place I believe, and he was a far bit older anyways).

After the Rough Wooing failed and ended any chance of his marrying Mary Stuart, I wonder how great his chances of making a grand foreign marriage would have been. Certainly no Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian or Austria would agree, leaving basically the Scandinavian states and north German princess, la Anne of Cleves. A daughter of Christian III of Denmark-Norway or a daughter of Gustav Vasa, or Anna of Saxony. From what I can see there were no graaand fabulous foreign marriages available and ofc the necessity of securing the succession would come first.

Edward knew very well his sisters were both of questionable legitimacy and likely to revert England to Catholicism (since Elizabeth wouldn't dare usurp Mary's place); as such there was a certain desperation to beget properly Protestant heirs.

He could have married Lady Jane Grey and attempted to father a child from her. As Queen-consort she would be crowned and annointed and seated at the very pinnacle of power when he died, so if the young King's last exertions failed to impregnate her, it would be easier for her to slide into a new role as Queen-Regnant. He could even associate her on the throne with him like William III and Mary II later did, or at very least empower her as much as possible to ensure her succession as either Queen-Dowager & Regent for their unborn child or Queen-Regnant in her own right. At the same time he could have married off Catherine Grey and Margaret Clifford to loyal Protestant husbands in order to provide him & Jane a batch of nephews and nieces to serve as spare Protestant heirs in case both Edward VI and Jane's second marriage (whoever he might be - Edward Courtenay would be ideal LOL) were childless.

Offline jehan

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Re: Edward VI and Jane Grey
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2010, 08:56:47 AM »
Actually, Edward was only 15 when he died, and for the last year or so of his life was mortally ill.  That doesn't leave much energy or thought to marriage. 

And while it is true that Catherine Grey was 13 when she married, the marriage wasn't consummated and was later annulled (even Jane's wasn't consummated immediately).  As for Margaret Clifford- her children weren't born until several years after her marriage, so it is likely that it too was not consummated for at least a couple of years.  So this "rush" to Protestant heirs wasn't quite as desperate as it first appears.

As for the king's marriage- well we know it was  discussed at the time, so the powers that be at least considered it.  But it didn't happen, so no doubt they thought is wasn't a good idea at the time for political/personal/whatever reasons.

Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in. 
(leonard Cohen)

Offline Silja

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Re: Edward VI and Jane Grey
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2010, 05:36:50 PM »

After the Rough Wooing failed and ended any chance of his marrying Mary Stuart, I wonder how great his chances of making a grand foreign marriage would have been. Certainly no Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian or Austria would agree,


What do you mean by  "no would agree"? They might well have agreed at a later time. Alliances were being forged and undone all the time. Edward VI will surely have wanted to keep all options open. Why should he rush into marriage at the age of 15?

Offline ilyala

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Re: Edward VI and Jane Grey
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2011, 02:07:19 AM »
wasn't edward engaged to elizabeth of france?
'loving might be a mistake, but it's worth making'
ilya


Offline mcdnab

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Re: Edward VI and Jane Grey
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2011, 04:07:34 PM »
Edward himself showed no great desire to marry his first cousin once removed though he admired her learning - everything he wrote that has survived and was reported during his lifetime show a young man growing into the character of his father - he had an absolute determination to forge a foreign dynastic alliance - unlike his sisters there was no taint of illegitimacy and he was already King.
The rough wooing delayed early betrothals with anyone else religion was no bar - in fact it was in Charles V's and his son's interests to ensure Edward married someone amenable to Spain and the Hapsburgs as a block on France - equally the French would have happily seen Edward married to a French princess to avoid an anglo spanish alliance - Edward's religious preferences might have made a protestant german or scandinavian princess more suitable but in erms of poltical and dynastic prestige (with the failure of the rough wooing) France and the Hapsburgs were still the best game in town.
Northumberland was keen on Elizabeth Valois (who later married Philip II of Spain) and an alliance with France (once it was generally accepted that Mary Stuart was lost to France and Elizabeth's brother Francis.)

On the marriages of the three senior descendants of Edwards Aunt Mary Tudor - Jane Grey, Catherine Grey and Margaret Clifford - there is evidence that Northumberland was working on these alliances before Edward's illness and before it became clear that the young King was dying - and given Northumberland's power it would have been sensible for him to have tied up these individuals - Jane in her own right would in time be a great heiress irrespective of her relationship to the throne and Margaret Cllifford was also her father's heir. The only descendant of Henry VII that would have suceeded under the intial semi salic succession that Edward VI seemed to favour would have been Henry Lord Darnley (excluded under Henry VIII's will) which is why the device initially left the throne to the heirs male of Lady Jane Grey (on the grounds her mother was unlikely to have further children) - it was changed when it became apparent how close to death Edward was to the Lady Jane Grey and her heirs male and then to the heirs male of Lady Catherine, Lady Mary and Margaret Clifford.