I thought I’d give my love of history an airing in this week’s 100 word challenge for grown ups. Here is my short story:
Take a leap of faith
“It is time.”
Lady Jane Grey bowed her head obediently but she was struck by the intoxicating thought that she could just refuse.
I shall not be queen!
“It is God’s will,” her father kept on telling her. But all she could see was the will of a greedy, ambitious man.
But who could she trust if not her father?
“What shall I do? Where is it?” cried Lady Jane Grey, the blindfold shielding her view as she fumbled for the block. Assisted by the Deputy Lieutenant of the Tower, she lay her down her head and was beheaded.
NB based on fact. Lady Jane Grey was the, “Nine days’ queen of England,” executed for treason in 1554 at the age of sixteen. Great grand-daughter of Henry VII, she was arguably an innocent victim of the political and religious struggles around her and her only desire was for her studies rather than her marriage to Guildford Dudley and led by his father, the Duke of Northumberland, her seizure the throne of England. After the Privy Council changed sides and supported Mary I’s claim to the throne, Lady Jane Grey’s father, the Duke of Suffolk, abandoned his daughter and proclaimed Mary queen in order to save himself.
Lady Jane Grey was imprisoned in the Tower and at first her life was to be spared. She was only giving the death sentence after a protestant rebellion the following year, which of course she had nothing to do with. Her father took part in this failed rebellion, thus securing his own execution the week after Lady Jane.
For me, nothing sums up the tragedy more than the frightened words of this blindfolded teenager’s composure momentarily slipping as she grappled for the block before she was able to recite the line with which she wished to end her days: “Lord, into thy hands I commend my spirit!”
Isn’t history fascinating!