Henry VIII died in 1547, secure in the knowledge that he had left behind the male heir to the throne that he had longed for. Unfortunately, the boy was young, not even 10 years old, when he became king. His uncle, Edward Seymour became Lord Protector, and through Edward, sought to control England. Seymour's brother, Thomas, was made Lord Admiral and was an early influence on the life of the King's sister, the Princess Elizabeth.
Protector Somerset was later overthrown by John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, who then took control as Edward's chief advisor.
Protestants in England were happy for the young king's ascension to the throne, but feared what might happen if the boy died. It was common knowledge that Mary, Henry's eldest daughter and heir after Edward (according to Henry VIII's will), would return the country to Roman Catholicism. To prevent this from happening, several of the nobles plotted to bring another woman to the throne in her place. Some rallied behind the other heir of Henry VIII: Elizabeth. Others looked to the descendants of of Henry VIII's sister Mary. The oldest of these descendants was the Lady Jane Grey.