The Birth of Lady Jane Grey
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)