Thursday, November 06, 2008

Lady Jane Grey... A GLARING Omission!

Trying to condense an entire life and martyrdom into one 45 minute paper is a bit of a task, but after delivering the story of Lady Jane Grey to GFC this past Sunday night, I observed one glaring omission.

Before Feckenham had his public debate with Jane, he had two other meetings. At the first meeting, arranged by Mary to convert Jane before her beheading, Feckenham made no progress. When he returned to inform Mary of this, he did indicate that with more time he might be successful. Thus, Mary delayed the execution by three days and to up the ante, offered Jane full reprieve if she would recant her evangelical views and return to the Roman Catholic Church.

When Feckenham rushed back to tell Jane this “good news,” he was stunned by the girl’s response:

“Alas sir, it was not my desire to prolong my days. As for death, I utterly despise it, and her Majesty’s pleasure being such, I willingly undergo it.
You are much deceived if you think I have any desire of longer life; for I assure you, since the time you went from me, my life has been so tedious to me, that I long for nothing so much as death. Neither did I wish the Queen to be solicited for such a purpose.”

The debate that followed (and that I quoted from in the paper) must be seen in this light. Heaped on to all the awful pressure of debating a skilled orator was the promise that a few little words of recantation would gain both her life and freedom. Not only that, her request for the beheading to proceed as planned on 9 February was now delayed until the 12th, with the Feckenham debate taking place on the 10th. Many thought she would wilt under the delay and finally give in. Of course, Jane held true to the Lord and lost her life.

How I left this out of the paper is a mystery to me! But, you get what you pay for!

1 comment:

  1. You may be interested in my forthcoming triple biog on Lady Jane Grey and her sisters, which is to be published in the UK (with Harper Press) January 2009 and in the US (with Ballentine) September 2009: The Sisters Who Would be Queen: The Tragedy of Mary, Katherine & Lady Jane Grey. Jane was certainly a Protestant martyr, best wishes, Leanda de Lisle