Sunday, 12 February 2012

The Execution of Lady Jane Grey

National Gallery, London, exhibit on DeLaRoche featuring his execution portrait of Lady Jane Grey
On this day in 1554: The execution of de facto Queen Regnant Jane Grey. Jane's cousin, King Edward VI, had changed the succession before he died to over-ride his deceased father's succession act which put his half-sister by Katherine of Aragon, Lady Mary, before the Protestant Lady Elizabeth. Instead of just cutting Mary out, he bi-passed BOTH Mary AND Elizabeth for the line Henry had designated as his successors if Mary and Elizabeth both died childless.. that of his younger sister, Princess Mary, Queen of France and Charles Brandon. Technically, the next in line was Princess Mary's eldest daughter, Lady Frances Brandon, Duchess of Suffolk, but Edward also bi-passed her for her daughter, Lady Jane Grey. The sudden burden was placed upon her daughter who never wanted to become queen, but none the less became the queen of nine days. Lady Mary's claim to the throne as a daughter of Henry VIII was more legit in the eyes of the English people and even Lady Elizabeth supported her half-sister in this decision and the two road into London together to take back the throne in the name of Mary who became Queen Mary I. Initially, Lady Jane's life was spared; but Sir Thomas Wyatt's rebellion in January and February 1554 against Queen Mary's plans of a Spanish match led to her execution at the age of 16 or 17, and that of her husband, Lord Dudley, brother of Elizabeth's favorite, Robert.
The execution of Lady Jane Grey, de facto Queen of England by Paul DelaRoche
Lady Jane Grey had an excellent humanist education and a reputation as one of the most learned young women of her day. She had stayed with the Queen Dowager, Katherine Parr, where she was tutored by John Aylmer, a close friend of Katherine's chaplain, John Parkhurst and her almoner, Miles Coverdale. Given the queen's leaning toward learning and her affection for Jane, it is probably that Katherine had some effect on the direction of Jane's education during the two years that she spent with the Dowager Queen. 
A committed Protestant, she was posthumously regarded as not only a political victim but also a martyr.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Favorite Moments in Tudor Period Productions

You just can't have one. If you've watched multiple Tudor era films, shows, etc. there are so many scenes that are unforgettable, truthful or not. Can I have more than one? Well I sure do.

 The Sword and the Rose (1953)

 A movie about Princess Mary Tudor, Queen of France; a funny movie by Walt Disney. Not very accurate, yet it is still a good laugh!

My favorite for the longest time was from Anne of a Thousand Days -- the "Tower Scene" with Anne. 

Elizabeth (1998)
Mary speaks with her half-sister, Elizabeth. "Your Majesty forgets that he was also my father."
"It is your death warrant, all I need do is sign it." -- "Mary, if you sign that you will be murdering your own sister!"

Dudley and Elizabeth dance a "Volta" and she says: "I am no man's Elizabeth. If you think to rule her, you are mistaken. I will have one mistress here and NO master."

Elizabeth: Why do you do this, Robert?
Dudley: Because I love you. And though you will not see me, I am the only one who would care for you.
Elizabeth: You love me so much you would have me be your whore?
Dudley: For God's sake, I do this for us. I ask you to save some part of us!
Elizabeth: Lord Robert, you may make whores of my Ladies but you shall not make one of me.

The last thing Elizabeth says to Dudley in the movie before she storms out. That ALWAYS makes me cry. The music and the speech.. wow! "He will be kept alive, to always reminds me of how close I came to danger." 

BBC: The Virgin Queen (2005)

Confrontation of Mary and Elizabeth.
Queen Mary I: "Is it not enough that my mother was left to die alone in exile while YOUR mother STOLE her place in our father's favor?" [resentment much?]


La Volta with Robert Dudley. [left]
The queen finds that Dudley has married Lettice Knollys; the queen confronts and insults Lettice.

The Tudors (series)

Katherine defends herself to Henry and walks out of the court.

Mary and Anne: "I recognize no queen but my mother." 

Henry visits Princess Elizabeth and stops to bow to the Lady Mary.

Mary takes care of the crying Princess Elizabeth 

Memories of Queen Katherine of Aragon

The miscarriage scene in The Tudors where Anne comes back with "You have no one to blame but yourself for this...." 

"One more chance.."
Anne Boleyn's last confession to Cramner

Henry and Mary are reconciled, for now.
Lady Mary Tudor is welcomed back to court thanks to Jane.

"Please God, in your mercy, don't take her away from me.. My son needs his mother and I need my queen."; Henry's speech at the deathbed of Jane Seymour

"And what about me?" 

The Earl of Surrey: "The Happy Life"
"Which of these, your grace, do you not have?"
Brandon: "All of them."
Surrey: "Then you are like me and all the Romans and all the barbarians and the generations before us and all those yet to come; for who does not wish, your grace, with all their heart for the quiet mind? Tell me a soul who has ever found it."

Katherine Parr's reign as queen.

Katherine Parr talks to Kat Ashley about Anne Boleyn.
"I believe that I can trust you, I think that your family are reformers?" -- Catherine Parr. "Yes, madame." -- Kat Ashley. "Lady Elizabeth's mother, Anne Boleyn, was also a Lutheran and a reformer. I suppose it is my duty therefore to bring the daughter up in her mother's faith. Would you have any objection to that Mistress Ashley?" -- Katherine Parr. "None, your Majesty, I would be proud to help the Princess thus honour the memory of her mother, who's life and thus faith too many have easily disparaged." -- Kat Ashley. "Good, then I will appoint as her tutor Roger Ascham, he is also one of us... oh, Mistress Ashley, this conversation never happened." -- Katherine Parr.
"Although Your Majesty's absence has not been long, yet the want of your presence means that I cannot take pleasure in anything until I hear from Your Majesty. Time hangs heavily. I have a great desire to know how Your Majesty has done since you left, for your prosperity and health I prefer and desire more than my own. And although I know Your Majesty's absence is never without great need, still love and affection compel me to desire your presence. Thus love makes me set aside my own convenience and pleasure for you at whose hands I have received so much love and goodness that words cannot express it. We hear word of ill weather and delays besetting you and though we thank God for your good health we anxiously await the joyous news of the success of your great venture and for your safe and triumphant return for which all England offers daily prayers. I fear am I but a poor substitute for Your Majesty in the matter of the guidance of your kingdom. I long for your return. I commit you to God's care and governance.
By Your Majesty's humble obedient wife, and servant,
Katherine, the Queen." - Episode 7.

Henry spares Queen Katherine Parr.  
I am but a woman, with all the imperfections natural to the weakness of my sex. And therefore in all matters of doubt and difficulty I must refer myself to your Majesty's better judgement as my Lord and Head." Henry forgives Catherine and proclaims that they are "perfect friend's again". He then promises that he will never doubt her again. His servant then asks if he should re-send the warrant tomorrow; Henry asks "why?"

Henry Dreams of Death...and the end of a King 

Henry says goodbye to his family.

There are many more that I would love to place on this page, but many of them are not caught on YouTube. These are the few that top my list for now.