Interview with Dr. Andre Gazal on Lady Jane Grey

Published on November 24, 2017 by Joshua R Monroe

Welcome back to Books At a Glance! I’m Fred Zaspel, and we’re continuing our discussions with Dr. Andre Gazal about the English Reformation. Today our topic is Lady Jane Grey.
Welcome again, Andre, and thanks for walking us through this fascinating chapter of history.

Gazal:
Thank you, again, Fred. It’s a pleasure to be on here with you

 

Zaspel:
Who was Lady Jane Grey? And how and why did she become Queen?

Gazal:
Lady Jane Grey was a cousin of Edward VI. When Edward VI was dying, he adjusted the order of succession, which was very controversial. Under the normal rules of succession, his half-sister, Mary Tudor, was the rightful heir to the throne. But Edward altered the order of succession for Jane Grey, who was something of a distant relative, to come to the throne in order to prevent a Roman Catholic from succeeding him. Jane Grey was an evangelical and had she been successful at being Queen, she would’ve continued, even further, the reforms that had been initiated by Thomas Cranmer under Edward VI with the approval of the regents at the time.

 

Zaspel:
How did that work out for her? How was she received? Tell us about that.

Gazal:
Not well. She was only Queen for about nine days. The majority of Parliament, the nobility, and the English populace as a whole were strongly opposed to this because of the rule of tradition by way, in this case, of the law of succession. Mary was the daughter of Henry and the sister of Edward; therefore, she was, from the standpoint of the law as they understood it, the rightful successor. Because of that, Mary was able to amass an army and that enabled her to easily take London. Jane’s uncle, the Duke of Northumberland, and other evangelicals who had supported her were all immediately arrested for treason, tried, and then executed.

 

Zaspel:
What were the implications of Lady Jane’s downfall for other evangelical leaders and the Reformation cause?

Gazal:
The evangelical leaders, specifically, Thomas Cranmer, Nicholas Ridley and Hugh Latimer, supported her. As a matter of fact, Nicholas Ridley preached a sermon in which he condemned both Mary and Elizabeth as bastards. He did this publicly in a sermon which certainly did not ingratiate him to Mary. Thomas Cranmer, also put himself in an unenviable position. From Mary’s standpoint, this is the guy who had affected Henry’s divorce from her mother. Thus, at least for a while, although Henry changed her status, but at least initially with having affected Henry’s divorce from Catherine of Aragon so that he could marry Anne Boleyn, Thomas Cranmer joined them in matrimony resulting in her mother, Catherine, being publicly humiliated and Mary, herself, carrying the status of a bastard, momentarily, until that had been changed. And now, to add insult to injury, he supported her opponent contrary to the traditional order of succession.

 

Zaspel:
So, when Mary wins, that doesn’t look good for him.

Gazal:
No. Therefore, Mary was able to use, later on, the charge of treason to remove a lot of these evangelical leaders, especially Cranmer, Latimer, and Ridley; and then have them tried and executed accordingly.

 

Zaspel:
We’re talking to Dr. Andre Gazal about the English Reformation. Will be back next time and he will carry on the story for us.