Proclamation of the Accession of
Queen Jane
issued 10 July 1553
 
 
 
     A large number of original printed copies of the official proclamation of the accession of Queen Jane, as well as of contemporary handwritten transcriptions, have survived. This is perhaps surprising in light of the brevity of Jane’s reign and Queen Mary’s immediate declaration that it was nothing more than a treasonous usurpation. The large number may simply be the result of various people saving copies as curious memorabilia. Alternatively, it may represent the tip of an iceberg of Protestant supporters of any claimant to the crown who was not Roman Catholic. It may also suggest that Jane’s accession was perhaps the first time court politicians fully recognized the value and utility of printed materials in shaping a public message and therefore they issued the proclamation in unprecedented numbers. While we do not know exactly how large the print-run was, the sheer quantity and geographic dispersal of surviving copies suggests that it was indeed large.

     The copy transcribed here is from an original printing issued in July 1553 by Richard Grafton, the King's Printer under Edward VI. As with other transcriptions presented on this website, I have reproduced exactly the spelling and lineation of the original.
 
 
 
  The Proclamation[1]:
Photographic image of the first lines of an original copy of the printed proclamation
Printed by Richard Grafton in 1553
Image obtained from
Early English Books Online database
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  Transcription:
 
I
Ane by the Grace of God Quene of England, Fraunce
and Ireland, defendor of the faith, & of the Church of England, &
also of Irelande under Christ in earth the supreme head. To al our
most loving, faithfull, and obedient subjects,and to every of them
greting. Where our moste dere cousin Edwarde the vi. late King of
Englande, Fraunce and Irelande, defendour of the faith, and in
earth the supreme head under Christ of the Church of Englande
and Irelande, by his letters patentes signed with his owne hand,
 
 
and sealed with his great seale of Englande, bearing date the xxi. day of June, in the vii. yere of his
reigne, in the presence of the most parte of his nobles, his counsailours, Judges, and diverse others
grave, and sage personages for the profite and suretie of the whole realme therto assenting, and sub-
scribing their names to the same, hath by the same Lettres Patentes recited, that forasmuch as
the Imperiall croune of this realme, by an Acte made in the xxxv. yere of the reigne of the late King
of woorthy memory King Henry the viii. our progenitor, and great uncle, was for lacke of issue of
his bodie lawfullie begotten, and for lacke of issue of the bodie of our saide late cosin King Edwarde
the vi. by the same act limited, and appointed to remaine to the Ladie Marie, by the name of the la-
dy Marie his eldest Daughter, and to the Heires of her body lawfully begotten, and for de-
fault of such issue, the remainder therof to the Ladie Elizabeth, by the name of the Ladie Elizabeth
his seconde Daughter, and to the heires of her bodie lawefully begotten, with such condicions, as
shoulde be limited, and appointed by the saied late King of woorthie memorie, King Henry theight
our progenitour, and great uncle by his letter patentes under his great Seale, or by his last wil in
writing signed with his hande. And forasmuch as the saied limitation of Thimperial croune of this
realme, being limited (as is aforesaied) to the said Ladie Marie, and Ladie Elizabeth being illegiti-
mate, and not lawfully begotten, for that that [sic] the mariage had betweene the saied late King,
King Henrie theight our progenitor, and great uncle, and the Ladie Katherine mother to the saied La-
dy Marie, & also the mariage had betweene the saied late King, King Henry theight our progenitor
and great uncle, and the ladie Anne mother to the saied ladie Elizabeth, were cleerely, and lawfully
undone by sentences of devorces, according to the woorde of God, and the Ecclesiastical lawes: And
which saied several devorcements have beene severally ratified, & confirmed by auctoritie of parla-
ment, and especiallie in the xxviii. yere of the reigne of King Henrie theight our said progenitor, and
great uncle, remaining in force, strength, and effect, wherby as wel the said Ladie Marie, as also the
said Ladie Elizabeth, to all ententes, and purposes, are, and been cleerely disabled, to aske, claime,
or chalenge the saied Imperiall croune, or any other of the honours, castelles, manours, Lordshippes,
lands, tenements, or other hereditaments, as heire, or heires to our said late cosin king Edward the
vi, or as heire, or heires to any other person, or persons whosoever, aswel for the cause before rehear-
sed, as also for that that the saied Lady Marie, and Lady Elizabeth were unto our saied late cosin
but of the halfe bloud, and therefore by the ancient lawes, statutes, and customes of this realme be
not inheritable unto our saied late Cosin, although they had beene borne in lawefull Matrimonie,
as in ded they were not, as by the saied sentences of devorce, and the saied statute of the xxviii, yere
of the reigne of King Henrie the eight our saied progenitor and great uncle, plainly appeareth.
     And forasmuch also as it is to be thought, or at the least, much to be doubted, that if the saied la-
die Marie, or Ladie Elizabeth should hereafter have, & enjoy the said Imperial croune of this realm
and should then happen to marry with any Stranger borne out of this realme, that then the same
Stranger having the gouernmente and the Imperiall crowne in his handes, woulde adhere and
practice, not onely to bring this noble free realme, in to the tirannie and seruitude of the Bishoppe
of Rome, but also to have the lawes and customes of his or their ownn native countrey or countreys
to be practiced, and put in use within this realme, rather then the laws, statutes, and customes here
of long time used, wherupon the title of inheritance of all and singular the subjects of this realme
dooe depend, to the peril of conscience, and the utter subversion of the common weale of this realme
wherupon our saied late dere cosin weighing and considering with himselfe, what waies and mea-
nes were most convenient to be had for the stay of the said succession in the saied Imperiall croune,
if it should please God to call our said late csoin out of this transitory life, having no issue of his bo-
dy, and calling to his remembrance that wee and the Lady Katherine, and the Lady Mary our si-
sters, being the daughters of the lady Fraunces our naturall mother, and then and yet wife to our
naturall & most loving father Henrie Duke of Suffolke, and the lady Margaret, daughter of the
lady Elianour then deceased sister to the said lady Fraunces, and the late wife of our cosin Henrie
Erle of Comberland, were very nigh of his greaces bloud, of the part of his fathers side our said pro-
genitour and great uncle, and being naturally borne here within the realme, and for the very good
opinion our said late cosin had of our, and our said sisters and cosin Margarets good education, did
therefore upon good deliberation and advise heerein had and taken, by his said Letters Patents de-
clare, ordre, assigne, limit, and appoinct, that is it should fortune himselfe our said late cosin king Ed-
ward the sixt to decease, having no issue of his body lawfully begotten, that then the saied Impe-
riall croune of England and Ireland, and the confines of the same, and his title to the croune of the
realme of France, and all and singular honors, castles, prerogatives, priviledges, preheminences,
aucthorities, iurisdictions, dominions, possessions, and hereditaments to our said late cosin King
Edward the sixt, or the the said Imperiall croune belonging, or in any wise appertaining, should
for lacke of such issue of his body remain, come, and be unto the eldest sonne of the body of the said
lady Fraunces lawfully begotten, being borne into the world in his life time, and to the heires ma-
les of the body of the same eldest sonne lawfully begotten, and so from sonne to sonne, as he should
be of auncienty in birth, of the body of the said lady Fraunces lawfully begotten, being borne into
the world in our said cosins life time, and to the heires males of the body of every such sonne
lawfully begotten: and for default of such sonne borne into the world in his life time, of the body of
the said lady Fraunces lawfully begotten, and for lack of heires males of every such sonne lawfully
begotten, that then the Imperial croune, and all & singular other premisses should remain,
come, and be to us, by the name of the lady Jane, eldest daughter of the said lady Fraunces, & to the
heires males of our body lawfully begotten, and for lacke of such heire male of our body lawfully
begotten, that then the sayd Imperial croune, and all other the premisses should remain, come, & be
to the sayd lady Katherine our sayd second sister, and to the heires males of the body of the sayd lady
Katherine lawfully begotten, with diverse other remainders, as by the same letters patents more
plainly & at large or may and doeth appere. Sithens the making of which letters patents, that is
to say, on Thursday, which was the vi. day of this instant moneth of July, it hath pleased God to
cal to his infinite mercy our sayd most dere & entirely beloved cosin Edward the vi. whose soule God
pardon, & forasmuch as he is now deceased, having no heires of his body begotten, & that also there
remaineth at this present time no heires lawfully begotten of the body of our sayd progenitor, and
great uncle king Henry theight, and forasmuch also as the sayd lady Fraunces our sayd mother,
had no issue male begotten of her body, and borne into the worlde, in the life time of our saied cosin
King Edward the sixth, so as the saied Imperiall croune, and other the premisses to the same belon-
ging, or in any wise appertayning, now be, and remaine to us in our actuall, and royall possession,
by auctority of the sayd letters patents : wee doe therefore by these presents signifie unto all our
most loving, faithfull, and obedient subjects, that like as we for our part shall, by Goddes grace,
shew our selfe a most gracious, and benigne Souuereine Queene, and Lady to all our good Sub-
iects in all their iust, and lawfull sutes, and causes, and to the uttermost of our power shal preserve
and maintaine Gods most holy word, christian policy, and the good laws, customes, and liberties of
these our realmes & dominions: So we mistrust not, but they, and every of them wil again for their
partes, at all times, and in all cases shew themselves unto us their naturall liege Queene, and La-
dy, most faythfull, loving, and obedient subjects, according to their bounden duties, and allegeaun-
ces, whereby they shall please God, and doe the thing that shalt tend to their own preservations, and
sureties: Willing, and commanding all men of all estates, degrees, and convictions, to see our peace,
and accord kept, and to bee obedient to our Lawes, as they tender our favor, and will answere for
the contrary, at their extreme perils. In witness whereof, wee have caused these our letters to bee
made patents. Witnesse our selfe at our Tower of London, the tenth day of Julie, in the first yeere
of our reigne.
 
     
God Save the Queene.  
 
 
 
 
  NOTES :      
 
[1]
 
British Library Landsdowne Manuscripts, Volume 198, folios 5-9. See also Society of Antiquaries of London; Shakespeare Trust Birthplace Record Office, DR 473/293, folios 97–98; Tudor Proclamations: Facsimiles of Proclamations of Henry VII, Henry VIII, Edward VI, and Philip and Mary, now in the Library of the Society of Antiquaries of London (Oxford: Printed for the subscribers by Horace Hart, printer to the University, 1897), folio 86-87; Giovanni Commendone, ‘Successi d'Inghilterra’ in The Accession, Coronation, and Marriage of Mary Tudor as related in Four Manuscripts of the Escorial, trans. C. V. Malfatti (Barcelona, 1956), 8–13; et al.
 
 
 
 
     
 
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