Thursday, February 07, 2008

Question from Tanya - Jane Grey on "Wall of Monarchs"

I've recently returned from a visit to the Tower of London and was wondering why Lady Jane Grey (Queen for 9 days) does not feature on the "Wall of Monarchs" as you enter the tower where the Crown Jewels are kept. On asking one of the Beefeaters, I was told that she was never coronated and is not recognised as a past Queen of England. Some text that I have read indicate that she HAD been coronated and IS recognised as a past Queen of England. She is even listed on the Official Website of the British Monarchy as a Queen.

Do and historians know why she was not included on the Wall of Monarachs?

Thank you


Anonymous PhD Historian said...

It is true that various authorities within the United Kingdom are unsure whether to include Jane Grey Dudley in the list of "official" monarchs. The official website of the British monarchy does list her. More importantly, the National Archives at Kew, which is the repository of all official governmental records, maintains a section for the reign of Queen Jane. So the British government does recognize her as an "official" queen of England, even if her reign was brief. But because it was brief, many historians overlook her and her reign as either "not real" or not important. That she was not crowned is no reason to exclude her from the list at the Tower, however. Edward V and Edward VIII also were not crowned, but both are universally recognized as having been "official" kings of England. I hate to say it, but the officials of the Tower, including the Yeoman Warders ("Beefeaters"), are less interested in presenting meticulously accurate history than in entertaining the public with a watered-down version of history. I have spoken at length with the chief warder about this, and he explains that the warders are former military officers, not historians, and thus they are not experts on the subject. But rest assured that I am pressing the curator of the Tower to add Queen Jane to the list when the exhibit is next re-done. I am hoping that my own forthcoming book, "Quene Jane," (due later this year) will aid in restoring her to the line of monarchs.

February 07, 2008 12:25 PM  
Blogger T Saunders said...

Thank you for your response and information. I will be incredibly pleased to hear that Jane Grey will finally be been added to the exhibit. The sole purpose for my visit to the Tower was to see where Jane Grey had spent her last days and was disappointed not to see her name among the monarchs. I also look forward to reading your forthcoming book and supporting any endeavor to restore her to the line of monarchs. Thanks again.

February 07, 2008 2:38 PM  
Blogger Foose said...

phd historian, congratulations! I am very interested in reading your book and I am sure other posters are too. I hope you will keep us all updated on its progress and let us know where we can buy it when it comes out.

February 07, 2008 2:58 PM  
Anonymous PhD Historian said...

Thank you both for the good wishes. I plan to add a "count down" page to my own website as soon as my publisher gives me a publication date. Publishers tend to be pretty slow, though, so it will probably be October - December before it comes out. I will keep Lara updated and perhaps she can post a note on this site as well when the book comes out.

February 07, 2008 8:55 PM  
Blogger Lara said...

Oh definitely! Send me any links, press releases, jacket images, etc. and I'll put them on the main blog.

February 08, 2008 9:45 AM  
Blogger San Nakji said...

If that's the case, then are you pressing the curator to add Louis as well? He was proclaimed King of England, but not crowned...

February 10, 2008 6:36 PM  
Anonymous monica said...

Jane Grey actually was queen for those nine days, it was not simply proclaimed from a distance. She was in control of the government and London. I think therefore she should be counted.

Forgive my ignorance, but which Louis claimed the title king of England?

February 11, 2008 11:02 AM  
Anonymous PhD Historian said...

Presumably San Nakji means Louis Capet, Dauphin of France and later King Louis VIII of France. In 1216 the barons in revolt against King John offered Louis the English crown. He traveled into England and received the homage of a large portion of the English nobility at a ceremony in St Paul's Cathedral, though he was never crowned. For a brief time, he had effective control over much of the southern half of England. But when the barons reversed themselves and returned to John in 1217, Louis signed the Treaty of Lambeth, recanting his claim to the crown of England. Thus by Louis' own action he removed himself from any legitimate claim to being numbered among the monarchs of England.

February 11, 2008 9:28 PM  
Anonymous monica said...

Thanks, phd

February 12, 2008 10:39 AM  
Blogger Alysia said...

phd, do you currently have a webpage that we can go to? I'd love to keep an eye out for you book.

February 12, 2008 1:51 PM  
Anonymous PhD Historian said...

If Lara will post it, my website is Thanks.

February 13, 2008 12:44 AM  

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