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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Historical Spotlight: Lady Frances Grey, Duchess of Suffolk

Lady Frances Grey, Duchess of SuffolkLady Frances Brandon - Lady Frances Grey - Lady Dorset - Duchess of Suffolk

Frances Grey was the mother of Lady Jane Grey - the Nine Day Queen of England. Frances was the daughter of the well known Charles Brandon and Mary Tudor (King Henry's sister). She married Henry Grey in 1533. They had three daughters: Jane, Katherine, and Mary.

During the reign of King Henry VIII, Frances was 4th in line to the throne, after Edward, Mary, and Elizabeth. She was the daughter of the King's younger sister. His oldest sister Margaret and her children were passed over in the line of succession because she was married to the king of Scotland and that was not what Henry wanted ruling England.

Frances is known for being a very harsh mother to her girls - partly because they did not have the son they desired and also because they had high aspirations in politics. She disliked the more quiet personalities of her girls. Her third daughter, Mary, was born with a hunch in her back and kept out of the public eye - not for her protection but to avoid embarassment of the family.

Frances was a schemer - her and her husband tried to have their eldest daugher, Jane, married to King Edward. This did not happen, but she became queen in her own right for nine days after Edward died. After Mary came to power, Jane and her father Henry Grey were executed in 1554. Despite this, Frances was able to secure a pardon from her.

Within a month of the loss of her husband and daughter she married again - Adrian Stokes. They had three children within the next 4 years, but all died in infancy. She lost political power during the reign of Elizabeth and died in 1559.

Copyright © 2009 by The Maiden’s Court

1 comment:

  1. Frances seemed to be quite unloving and without scruples when it came to flaunting her own status. She firmly believed to be better than everyone else due to her close familial relationship to Henry VIII. Innocent Traitor was a good look at Frances and Lady Jane during the Nine Day Queen period. I have In The Shadow of Lady Jane to read soon.


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