Guildford Dudley

Father: John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland

Mother: Jane Guildford, Duchess of Northumberland

Born around 1534 and one of six brothers, Guildford was educated as an athlete and a scholar. He married Lady Jane Grey on 25 May 1553 ( the date may have been 21 May ) at nineteen years of age. Jane's biographer's have painted the picture of a precocious, spoilt young man, doted on by his parents and disinterested in his wife. Of the little information we have of Guildford Dudley we do know Jane referred to his aggressive temperament, and ill treatment of her when he learned she would not crown him King. Guildford was taken into custody on 20 July and imprisoned in the Beauchamp Tower. It was in this lodging that the inscription, 'Jane' (pictured below) was found etched in the stone wall. Many have seen this as a romantic gesture in reference to his young wife. While it is possible that Guildford did do the etching, it should also be remembered that his mother's name was also Jane.


'Jane' etched on a wall of the Beauchamp Tower.

Guildford was tried at Guildhall on 13 November 1553 and found guilty of treason. On the morning of his execution, 12 February 1554, he was refused the counsel of a Protestant minister and he turned down the offer made by Dr Feckenham to accompany him. Most of Jane's biographers report that Guildford wept on his way to Tower Hill.

At the scaffold, Guildford did not address the crowd. He knelt, said his prayers, held up his hands to God and asked the people to pray for him. Afterwards, his body was placed in a cart and taken back within the confines of the Tower. He was laid to rest in the Chapel Royal of St.Peter ad Vincula.

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