Edward & Jane

I wept for two teenagers, this week. They had not died in one of those terrible, late-night car crashes which traumatise unfortunate high schools. I never knew the pair, and they died many years ago. Those who know my love of history may have guessed that ‘many years’ means centuries. The pair are Edward Tudor, better known as King Edward VI, and Jane Dudley, better known as Lady Jane Grey, who succeeded him for a mere nine days.

Edward died of natural causes, probably TB, and Jane was executed, though for no crime of her own. The tragedy of their deaths is not merely found in their tender ages (15 and 16 respectively). Their Christian, evangelical faith was genuine and vigorous. Jane in particular was offered her life if only she would forsake it. How little her killers knew her, nor the Lord who gave her strength. For this nation to have been led by two bright stars such as they, would have been a blessing we might still have felt these five hundred years later. Edward sought to complete his father’s lukewarm reforms, while Jane would have spared us the cruel persecutions of bloody Mary. If only our King Josiah and delightful Deborah had been permitted long life. Yet God took them. Faith Cook’s biography of Jane, which by her own admissions must include detailed explanations of the times, including the faith and health of little Edward, set me aweeping.

“O Lord, why did you have to take them?” I asked.

“Because they were mine to take”.

Image by BRRT from Pixabay