I’d never heard of Lady Jane Grey until I found this book, but after reading the summary I knew I had to learn more. Over the past few years I’ve developed a growing interest in English history, especially the period of the English Reformation.
Lady Jane, used as a pawn by those around her who wished to control England and grab power for themselves, was Queen for just nine days, between Edward VI and Mary I, two children of her great-uncle, Henry VIII. She neither sought nor wanted the crown, but paid the price for the crimes of those around her. The one hope of survival she was offered was to denounce her Protestant faith and return to the Roman Catholic church. She refused.
It’s been a while since I cried while reading, but the story of Lady Jane, especially the final days of her life, pulled tears from my eyes. Her resolute faith in Christ alone, and the emotional maturity with which this sixteen year old girl faced her execution, innocent of the crimes committed in her name, are humbling. With God’s grace and strength, she faced what grown men feared and fled. They turned their backs on her and their beliefs when it suited them best.
Lady Jane’s story needs to be more known. This bright girl took her faith seriously, and impressed learned theologians of her time with her understanding of the faith. Yet, she was just a girl. A girl of noble birth, who could make few decisions for herself. One decision she did make was to trust her God to the end of her short life.