The Birth of Lady Jane Grey

Lady Jane Grey was born in October of 1537 at her family home of Bradgate Park. Her parents were Henry Grey, the marquees of Dorset and Frances Brandon, the daughter of Henry VIII's sister Mary. Jane's father later became the Duke of Suffolk. Jane had two younger sisters, Katherine, born in 1540 and Mary, born in 1545.

This is the only known picture of Bradgate before it was destroyed by fire. This etching was done around 1700, several hundred years after Jane's death. (From an engraving by L. Knyff)

The exact date of Jane's birth is not known, but using clues from surrounding events, many scholars believe she was born before Prince Edward, her cousin. Needless to say, the birth of Edward, the first and only male heir to Henry VIII on October 12, greatly overshadowed Jane Grey's own arrival into the world. Edward's birth also likely sparked the hope of Jane's parents, that she might one day be his bride and Queen of England.

Jane's baptism took place within forty-eight hours, as was the custom, in the parish church at Bradgate.

The name Jane was exceeding rare in pre-Reformation times, and so it is believed that she was named after Jane Seymour, the mother of Prince Edward.

Jane's parents, Frances Brandon, Duchess of Suffolk (1517-70) and her second husband, Henry Grey (?-1554) (Painting done by Hans Eworth)

Early Life

This page last revised on 7-25-03. Maintained by Jane Lambert
Copyright 2003.