Comparing Anne Askew and Lady Jane Grey
Lady Jane Grey and Anne Askew by Tonya M.
Posted by Tonya, 11/21/00 at 4:16:24 PM.
Jane Grey and Anne Askew were remarkable women.
Common characteristics of Anne and Jane: 1. Lady Jane and Anne were forced into marriage- unhappy 2. well educated 3. had schemes in their lives Jane- lost the throne Anne- executed to "get at" the queen, Katherien Parr 4. Both faced other important factors Jane- tudor name being more important than religion (why Mary got the throne) Anne- being a hereitc is more important than being a woman 5. executed 6.tried and convicted 7. felt they would have immmortal felicity after their death
Differences between Anne and Jane:
1. forms of execution. Anne was burned adn Jane beheaded 2.Jane didn't die as dignified. She had trouble finding the execution block, but her death was quick 3.Jane was named in honour of the queen, Jane seymour, who produced a male heir for Henry VIII 4. Jane became queen out of obedience. The following is a paper that compares the two women throughout their lives: Lady Jane Grey and Anne Askew were different people, yet they experienced many similarities throughout their life and leading up to their deaths. These women have not been remembered for their literary works, but more so for their influence in history. It is important to know about these women because of their influence on history, but these women might not have been remembered if they had not been of royal blood like Jane or included in John Foxe's [base "]Acts and Monuments[per thou] like Anne was. I find these women to be interesting and respected for their courage and strong faith. Each of these women was executed, but the manner of the executions depended greatly upon their social class. Anne Askew was born into a politically active family and was well educated. The same is true for Jane Grey. She was the grandniece of Henry VIII through her maternal line. [base "]Jane was also named in honor of the queen, Jane Seymour, who produced a male heir for Henry VIII[per thou]( Halligan 1). There is a considerable more amount of information known about Jane's childhood and life when compared to Anne's. This may be in part because of Jane's connection to the throne and the documentation of the royal bloodline. In my opinion, Jane had more teacher-student type education than did Anne. [base "]Jane had a tutor named John Alymer whom was also the tutor of Elizabeth[per thou](Morton 1). She was well educated in [base "]Greek, Hebrew, and Latin, and strongly Protestant (Morton 1)[per thou]. It has been said that she was [base "]the most intelligent woman in England besides Elizabeth[per thou] (Morton 1). Anne, on the other hand, was not given the amount of opportunities as Jane was. Although, I can infer that Anne was well educated based upon her responses during her examinations by the church. She was an intelligent woman that knew the Bible well and used it as she had seen fit. Both women were forced into marriages that they would not have chosen for themselves. [base "]Anne was forced to marry Thomas Kyme due to the death of her sister Martha, whom was arranged to marry Thomas[per thou] (Martin 58). This marriage produced an unhappy environment for Anne and Thomas. It is never stated exactly why Anne was unhappy, but I assume Anne was unhappy because she didn't love Thomas and he was very authoritarian. Thomas was unhappy because of Anne's Protestant beliefs. Anne was also concerned with religious matters that were generally reserved for men, which could have contributed to Thomas' unhappiness with Anne. [per thou]Jane Grey, on the other hand, was forced to marry Guildford Dudley by her parents and the Duke of Northumberland[per thou] (Morton 2). [base "]Jane protested her parents by saying that she was already promised to Edward, Lord Heftford[per thou] (Halligan 3). Jane may have protested this marriage because she didn't want to move away from her parents or she didn't like Dudley. Jane's education was very important to her and she didn't want it to be disrupted. [base "]Her parents assured her that her life would go on as before, but this promise was broken[per thou] (Halligan 3). One must recall that women were married for political and social reasons. Daughters were used from time to time to make peace between countries or families. Marriages also allowed for rise in social status. Marriages were not based upon love as Americans view it today. I suggest that the lives of these two women were taken from them because of others ignorance and self-centeredness. Both Jane and Anne had schemes in their lives. They were martyrs and heretics on the surface, but victims underneath. Jane and her bloodline were used to manipulate those in power into making Jane queen, who would make Northumberland and her parents more prominent in their society. However, Anne was used in a different way. She was examined out of hopes that she would give more names of Protestants. The examiners wanted to get to the queen, Catherine Parr, whom was Anne's friend. Even though the tactics were different at using these two women, the motives were somewhat similar. Both women were used to threaten the throne and authority. [base "]Jane was used so that Mary wouldn't become queen, which would force Northumberland to lose his power and status[per thou] (Halligan 4). And, Anne was used as a way to expose the queen with intentions of removing her from power, but Anne never exposed any incriminating evidence against anyone else. Other factors were also important. The Tudor name was more important than religion, which is why Mary got the throne. As the nine days queen, Jane was Protestant, but a movement arose to have Mary as queen. According to Morton, Dudley used the following to have Jane take the throne against her will: And forasmuch as[sigma]the said Lady Mary and Lady Elizabeth, being illegitimate and not lawfully begotten[sigma]We have weighed and considered[sigma]what the ways and means were most convenient to be had for the stay of our succession[sigma]And calling to our remembrance that the Lady Jane, the Lady Catherine, and the Lady Mary, daughters of our entirely beloved cousin of Lady Francis, now wife to out loving cousin and faithful counsellor, Henry, duke of Suffolk...being very nigh to our whole blood, of the part of our father's side, and being natural-born here within the realm, and have been also very honorably brought up and exercised in good and godly learning and other noble virtues[sigma]WE THERFORE[sigma]do declare[sigma]that the said imperial crowns[sigma]shall for lack of issue of our body, remain, come and be unto (1) THE ELDEST SON OF THE BODY OF THE SAID LADY FRANCIS (Jane)[sigma]or (2) TO THE LADY JANE[sigma]and to the heirs male of the said Lady Jane[sigma] (2) After this letter, Jane became Queen. [base "]She did not want to take the throne and fainted upon the announcement that she was queen[per thou] (Morton 2). As queen, Jane was forced to [base "]publicly announce that Edward was dead and she was now Queen of England[per thou] (Morton). Northumberland was scheming her along the entire time. Jane was a victim. She was very innocent and wanted to do the right thing. She said [base "]If to succeed to the throne was indeed my duty and my right, that he would aid me to govern the realm of His glory[per thou] (Halligan 5 ). Jane spoke these words right after she admitted that she didn't want the throne and Northumberland reminded her of her bloodline and duty to the people. Once again, her parents reinforced what was said and [base "]demanded that she accepted the throne[per thou] (Halligan 5). Lady Jane Grey was schemed just like Anne was but both of the scheming parties lost with the cost of two victims. The examiners of Anne never received the information they wanted either and Nortumberland didn't receive the power he wanted. Both Jane's father and Northumberland were executed, but Catherine Parr never was. After Northumberlands speech at Jane's coronation, a letter was sent to Mary stating that she had been called illegitimate. This letter forewarned Mary allowing her to escape capture. A day later, the Lord High Treasurer brought the crown to Jane to see how it fit. [base "]Jane refused saying that she had not asked to see the jewels and she was told to take it boldly[per thou] (Halligan 6). She may have started to realize the extent of Northumberlands plan. At this point, she [base "]announced that she would not grant Guilford the kingship, but instead, grant him the Dukedom of Clarence, which made Guilford, Northumberland and her parents furious[per thou] (Halligan 6). Jane did not want to offend anyone and she was full of respect for the death of the King. She was humble in my opinion, but was easily taken advantage of. This is seen when she "laments his death[per thou] (Halligan 6). Anne on the other hand didn't care if she offended anyone. She said what she felt boldly. She never used her own words though but rather quotes from the Bible, which was considered to be the supreme guide. However, in her second examination, quotes from the Bible didn't save her life. Because of fear of threatening Jane's throne and Northumberlands power, Northumberland was obsessed with capturing Mary and while he was gone to capture her with Jane's father, the council proclaimed Northumberland a traitor, and Mary, Queen (Halligan 6). Once Mary was queen, she imprisoned her enemies just like Northumberland was trying to do to her. The same is true for Anne, imprisonment allowed the examiners to keep a close watch on her and torture her at their will. I believe that Mary realized Jane was a pawn and intended to set her free, but once again, Jane's father ruined her chances. [base "]Sir Thomas Wyatt raised a small band of protesters, angered at Mary's choice of husband in Philip of Spain. Henry Grey took part in this rebellion, making Jane's execution inevitable[per thou] (Halligan 8). Jane and Guilford, her husband were tried and sentenced to death. [base "]Northumberland was already executed for treason.[per thou] (Halligan 8). Jane wrote in her prayer book before her execution. [base "][sigma]mine enforced honor never agreed with mine innocent heart[sigma][per thou] (Morton 3). Some of Jane's Protestant beliefs are displayed in her letter to her father. She says: I have opened unto you the state in which I presently stand, my death at hand, although to you it may seem woeful, yet to me, there is nothing more welcome than from this vale of misery to aspire to that heavenly throne of all joy and pleasure, with Christ our savior[sigma]Your obedient daughter [OE]til death (Halligan 9). Jane remained calm at her execution and wanted to die a good Christian. She believed that she was going to end up in a better world after she died. Anne also believed this. According to Martin, Anne says: I Anne Askew, of good memory, although God hath given me the bread of adversity and the water of trouble, yet not so much as my sins have deserved, desire this to be known[sigma] forasmuch as I am by the law condemned for an evildoer, her I take heaven and earth to record that I shall die in my innocency[sigma] God will perform his works in me (76,79) As Jane's execution drew near, Jane watched her husband being led to Tower Hill for his execution from the tower window. About an hour later, it was her turn. [base "]Jane gave her gloves and handkerchief to her lady-in-waiting, Mrs. Ellen, and her prayer book to Brudges. The executioner stepped forward to help her untie her gown, but she brushed him aside[per thou] (Halligan 11). There was silence at the execution. Maybe there was a hope that a reprieve would come but it never did. [base "]Jane was blindfolded and unable to find the block. Until that point, Jane was very calm[per thou] (Halligan 11). But then, she asked the executioner [base "]if he would take her head off before she lie down and he answered no, but kept calling out, Where is it, What shall I do? A stander by, climbed the scaffold and helped her to the block as the others were unsure of what to do[per thou] (Halligan 11). Jane was beheaded and treated more kindly than Anne was. [base "]Anne was tortured after she had been condemned which supports the idea that Anne's interrogators were attempting to implicate Catherine Parr because torture of a condemned person was unheard of[per thou] (Schluetere 7). It is also true that because of Anne's torture, she was unable to walk to her death. Anne was [base "]bound upright because of dislocated legs and burned[per thou] (Blain) It is to my knowledge that burning a person was an outright sign of the hell-fire they were in and about to endure for life. It is better know as Hell. Unlike Jane, Anne never shows any weakness. Even when she was tortured, she remained firm. I believe that Jane didn't want to show weakness, but she was very young. It is expected for a 15-year-old girl. She did very well under those circumstances. In today's society, one cannot comprehend the full mentality of an event like a beheading or burning. Today, we have executions, but they are private, quick and not painful. They 're what we consider to be humane eventhough it is not humane. In Jane and Anne's society, executions were accepted and part of the society. They were commonly practiced during the reign of Henry the VIII. In my opinion, both these females should be remembered. They endured what we cannot imagine today. It was humbling and final, but they didn't try to escape it either. Both women had connections that probably could've allowed them to flee, but neither person chose to do that. These women were victims.
Blain, Virginia, Clements, Patricia, Isabel Grundy. The Feminist Companion to Literature in English: Women writers form Middle ages to present. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1990.
Halligan, Jennifer. Jane Grey.Britannia Online (OCLC). 1999. 4 Nov. 2000. http://www.britannia.com/history/ladyjane/janedex.html (Note: the page numbers were taken from the text as it was printed out from online. The source was taken from OCLC and the pages in the text online are probably different than when they are printed. I simply counted the pages as printed.)
Martin, Randall., ed. Women Writers in renaissance England. London and New York: Longman, 1997.
Morton, Melissa. Lady Jane Grey. 1998. 4 Nov.2000 http://humlink.humanities.mcmaster.ca/~morton/jane.html. (Note: the page numbers were taken from the text as it was printed out from online. The source was taken from OCLC and the pages in the text online are probably different than when they are printed. I simply counted the pages as printed.)
Schluetere, Paul, and Jane Schluetere., ed. AnEencyclopedia of British Women writers. New York and London: Garland, 1988.
For pictures see: Jane: http://www.britannia.com/history/ladyjane/janedex.html
This site will give you a list of other link about her life. They are as follows:
http://www.britannia.com/history/ladyjane/oct.html http://www.britannia.com/history/ladyjane/earlylife.html http://www.britannia.com/history/ladyjane/queenjane.html http://humlink.humanities.mcmaster.ca~morton/jane.html
There are very few pictures of Anne Askew, but here are more sources to consider:
Beilin, Elaine V. "A Challenge to authority: Anne Askew." In Redeeming Eve: Women Writers of the English renaissance. Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1987.
McQuade, Paula. "Except that they had offended the Lawe': Gender and Jurispredence in the Examinations of Anne Askew." Literature & History, 3d ser.3 (1994): 1-14. Enjoy the inforamtion. If you need further information please contact me at Tmpetunia@aol.com (2000)
Last update: Wednesday, December 13, 2000 at 9:29:17 AM.
|Dr. Janet Wright Starner || Writing Center Director || Assistant Professor/English || Wilkes University|