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1622 [1560]

Quene Mary. The prayer and death of Lady Iane.

MarginaliaAn. 1554. February.seruaunt, and euen at midnight be waking, lest when death commeth and stealeth vpon you like a theefe in the night, you be with the euill seruaunt found slepyng, and lest for lacke of oyle, you be foūd like the fiue foolish women: and like him that had not on the weddyng garmēt, and then ye be cast out from the Mariage. Reioyce in Christ, as I doe. Followe the steppes of your Maister Christ, and take vp your Crosse: lay your sinnes on his backe and alwayes embrace him. And as touchyng my death, reioyce as I do (good Sister) that I shalbe deliuered of this corruption, and put on incorruption. For I am assured that I shall for losing of a mortall life, winne an immortal life: þe which I pray God graūt you, and send you of his grace to lyue in his feare, and to dye in the true Christian faith, from the which (in Gods name) I exhort you that you neuer swarue, neither for hope of life, nor for feare of death. For if ye will deny his truth to lenghthen your life, God will deny you, and yet shorten your dayes. And if you will cleaue vnto him, he will prolong your dayes to your comfort and his glory: to the which glory God bryng me now, and you hereafter whē it pleaseth him to call you. Fare you well good Sister, and put your onely trust in God, who onely must helpe you.

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¶ Here foloweth a certayne effectuall prayer made by the Lady Iane, in the time of her trouble.

MarginaliaA prayer of the Lady Iane.O Lord, thou God and father of my life, heare me poore & desolate womā, which flyeth vnto thee, only in all troubles and miseries. Thou O Lord art the onely defendour and deliuerer of those that put there trust in thee: and therfore I beyng defiled with sinne, encombred with afflictiō, vnquieted with troubles, wrapped in cares, ouerwhelmed with miseries, vexed with tēptations, and greuously tormented with the long imprisonment of this vyle Masse of clay my sinfull body: do come vnto thee (O mercifull Sauiour) crauyng thy mercy and helpe: without the which so litle hope of deliueraunce is left, that I may vtterly despayre of any libertie. Albeit it is expedient, that seyng our lyfe standeth vpon trying, we should be visited sometyme with some aduersity, wherby we might both be tried whether we be of thy flocke or no, & also know thee & our selues the better: yet thou that saydest that thou wouldest not suffer vs to bee tempted aboue our power, be mercifull vnto me now a miserable wretch, I besech thee: which with Salomon doe cry vnto thee, humbly desiryng thee, that I may neither be to much puffed vp with prosperity, neither to much pressed downe with aduersitie: lest I beyng to full, shoulde deny thee my God, or beyng to low brought should despayre and blaspheme thee my Lord and Sauiour. O mercyfull God, consider my misery best knowē vnto thee, & be thou now vnto me a strong tower of defence, I hūbly require thee. Suffer me not to be tempted aboue my power, but either be thou a deliuerer vnto me out of this great miserie, either els geue me grace paciently to beare thy heauy hand and sharpe correction. It was thy right hand that deliuered the people of Israell out of the handes of Pharao, which for the space of. iiij.C. yeares did oppresse them and keepe them in bondage. Let it therefore likewise seeme good to thy fatherly goodnes to deliuer me sorowfull wretch (for whom thy sonne Christ shed his precious bloud on the Crosse) out of this miserable captiuitie and bondage, wherein I am now. How long wilt thou be absent? for euer? MarginaliaPsal. 77.Oh Lord hast thou forgotten to bee gracious, and hast thou shut vp thy louyng kyndnes in displeasure? wilt thou be no more entreated? Is thy mercy cleane gone for euer, and thy promise come vtterly to an ende for euermore? why doest thou make so long tarying? shall I despayre of thy mercy O God? farre be that from me. I am thy workemanshyp created in Christ Iesu: giue me grace therfore to tary thy leasure, and paciently to beare thy workes: assuredly knowyng, that as thou canst, so thou wilt deliuer me when it shall please thee, nothyng doubtyng or mystrustyng thy goodnes towardes me: for thou wottest better what is good for me then I do. Therfore do with me in all things what thou wilt: and plage me what way thou wilt. Onely in the meane tyme arme me I besech thee, with thy armour, that I may stād fast, MarginaliaEphes. 6.my loynes beyng gyrded about with veritie, hauyng on the brest plate of ryghteousnes, and shod with the shoes prepared by the Gospell of peace, aboue all thynges takyng to me the shield of fayth, wherewith I may bee able to quench all the fiery dartes of the wicked, and takyng the helmet of saluation and the sword of the spirite, which is thy most holy word: praying alwaies with al maner of prayer & supplicatiō, that I may referre my selfe wholy to thy will, abidyng thy pleasure and comfortyng my selfe in those troubles that it shall

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please thee to send me: seyng such troubles be profitable for me, and seyng I am assuredly persuaded that it can not bee but well, all that thou doest. Heare me O mercifull father for his sake, whom thou wouldest should be a sacrifice for my sinnes: to whom with thee and the holy Ghost be all honour and glory. Amen.

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After these thyngs thus declared, it remaineth now, commyng to the end of this vertuous Lady, next to inferre the maner of her execution, with the wordes and behauiour of her in tyme of her death.

¶ These are the wordes that the Lady Iane spake vpon the scaffolde at the houre of her death.

MarginaliaThe wordes and behauiour of the Lady Iane vpon the scaffolde.FIrst when she mounted vpon the Scaffold, she sayd to the people standyng there about: good people I am come hether to dye, and by a law I am condemned to the same. The fact agaynst þe Queenes highnes was vnlawfull, and the cōsenting therunto by me: but touchyng the procurement and desire thereof by me or on my behalfe, I do wash my handes therof in innocency before God, and the face of you, good Christian people, this day: and therwith she wrong her handes, wherein she had her booke. Then sayd she, I pray you all, good Christian people, to beare me witnes that I dye a true Christian woman, MarginaliaThe sound confession & fayth of the Lady Iane.and that I do looke to be saued by no other meane, but onely by the mercy of God in the bloud of his onely sonne Iesus Christ: and I confesse that when I did know the word of God, I neglected the same, loued my selfe and the world, and therfore this plage and punishment is happily and worthely happened vnto me for my sinnes: and yet I thanke God of his goodnes that he hath thus gyuen me a tyme and respite to repēt: and now (good people) while I am alyue I pray you assiste me with your prayers. And thē kneling downe she turned her to Fecknam saying: shall I say this Psalme? and he sayd, yea. Then sayd she the Psalme of Miserere mei Deus in English, in most deuoute maner throughout to þe end, & then she stode vp and gaue her mayden Maistres Ellyn her gloues and handkerchefe, and her booke to Maister Bruges, and then she vntied her gowne, and the hangman pressed vpon her to helpe her of with it, but she desiryng hym to let her alone, turned towardes her two Gentlewomen who helped her of therewith, and also with her frowes past and neckerchefe, giuyng to her a fayre hādkerchefe to knyt about her eyes. Then the hangman kneeled downe and asked her forgyuenes, whom she forgaue most willyngly. Then he willed her to stand vpon the straw: which doing she saw the blocke. Then she sayd, I pray you dispatch me quickly. Then she kneled downe, saying: will you take it of before I lay me downe? and the hangman sayd, no Madame. Thē tyed she þe kerchefe about her eyes, and feelyng for þe blocke, she sayd, what shall I do? where is it? where is it? One of the standers by guidyng her thereunto, she layd her head downe vpon the blocke, and then stretched forth her body and sayd: Lord into thy handes I commend my spirite, and so finished her lyfe in the yeare of our Lord God. 1553. the 12. day of February.

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¶ Certayne prety verses wrytten by the sayd Lady Iane wyth a pynne.


Non aliena putes homini quæ obtingere possunt,
Sors hodierna mihi, tunc erit illa tibi.
Iane Dudley.


Deo iuuante, nil nocet liuor malus:
Et non iuuante, nil iuuat labor grauis.
Post tenebras spero lucem.  

Commentary  *  Close

Note that the translations of the Latin verses praising Jane Grey are eliminated from the 1570 and all subsequent editions (see textual variant 24 and textual variant 25). Again this seems to run counter to the argument that the later editions were more 'populist' and accessible to the general reader than the first edition.

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¶ Certayne Epitaphes wrytten in commendation of the worthy Lady Iane Gray.
De Iana Graia Ioan. Parkhursti Carmen.


Miraris Ianam Graio sermone valere?
Quo primum nata est tempore, Graia fuit. MarginaliaGraia being her surname, signifieth in Latin a Grecian.

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