England’s Forgotten Queen: A Lesson in Sovereignty

by Annie Dieu-Le-Veut

I thoroughly recommend the television series England’s Forgotten Queen: The Life and Death of Lady Jane Grey as an object lesson in what happens when the spirit of Sovereignty rises up from the land and enters the hearts and minds of the people. The story about the two rival queens, Mary and Jane, shows that there is really is an unstoppable force which even uses the elements and the weather to achieve its aims, just as it did on the night of June 23rd 2016 when key Remainer seats in south-west London were flooded, preventing people from getting to the polls.

This royal event from our history is usually presented as a battle between Mary, the Catholic queen and Jane, the Protestant queen. However, the religious schism is just  window-dressing for a power struggle of greater forces, and I am certain that what really happened in the year 1553 is taught secretly to students of statecraft as they are prepared for rulership because it’s a classic textbook example of what can go wrong when a government gets out of touch with the spirit of Sovereignty and the people over which they rule.

The metropolitan elite in the palaces and castles of 16th century London were as removed from the rest of the country in their understanding as they are today. Back then, they also made the mistake of assuming that they knew what the country was thinking, and they based their plans and actions upon their own false assumptions and then were as surprised as the American television anchors were on the night of 8th November 2016 when Donald Trump was elected president over Hillary Clinton. In the same way, the governing elite at that time had all the money and all the power, with much more advanced weaponry and total control over the mainstream media with Caxton’s printing presses, and yet they still failed to stop their false queen from being toppled by a queen whose time had come.

The Law of Unintended Consequences was also at play and created a decisive turning point … all this, to me, points to the power of the spirit of Sovereignty in the works.

So I’ll break all this down, but first of all, I’ll give you a brief synopsis to get you up to speed:

When King Henry VIII died in 1547, he was succeeded by his sickly young son, Edward. After only six years, Edward was dying “without issue” – without an heir – and so the next in line to the throne began to ready herself to take the crown, his older sister Mary Tudor.

 

Mary tudor
Mary Tudor

Mary was the eldest daughter of Henry VIII, and although her father had once disinherited by dismissing her and her younger sister, Elizabeth, as bastards, he had later relented and named them both in an Act of Parliament to succeed to the throne, with Mary first, should Edward die without an heir.

However, Edward had a wily chief adviser, the head of his privy council who was a somewhat Machiavellian character – John Dudley, 1st Duke of Northumberland.

Dudley
John Dudley, 1st Duke of Northumberland

Northumberland wanted to install his son on the throne. So it seems that while Edward was on his death bed, he persuaded him to create a document which was written in such a way as to preclude his royal sisters from the succession and to give the throne to Northumberland’s son’s 16-year-old wife, Lady Jane Grey, who was the grand-daughter of Henry VIII’s younger sister.

Jane Sion
Lady Jane Grey

Until then, there had never been a queen on the throne of England, and so Northumberland assumed that Lady Jane would just be a titular queen, in name only, while the real power would be held in the hands of his son who would soon be made king.

Anyway, when king Edward finally died, nobody was told for a couple of days. But Princess Mary was tipped off that some sort of skullduggery was afoot to kill her and so she left London for one of her houses in East Anglia, Kenninghall Manor.

Meanwhile, Lady Jane Grey was quickly brought to Northumberland at Hampton Court where she was told that she was to be queen. Then Queen Jane was rowed down the River Thames to the Tower of London where Northumberland believed he could better protect her. The Tower was also the site of the country’s arsenal with more sophisticated munitions than the common people could ever muster like muskets, cannons and gunpowder. He also installed the queen’s privy council in the Tower, and so this became the seat of governance for the duration – which wasn’t to be long!

As soon as Princess Mary arrived at Kenninghall Manor, the local people started to flock into the grounds of her estate in their hundreds and, over the course of just a couple of days, the numbers swelled to more than ten thousand.

At first it was just her tenants and local landowners, but soon they were joined by the more gentry-types, who were starting to get wind of this quickly swelling grassroots revolt and wanted to be on the right side of history. Various local lieutentants, justices of the peace and sherrifs saw that the groundswell was so much that they’d have to change sides, or their lives would be in danger if they continued their support for Queen Jane. Then the noblemen, like the Earl of Oxford, discovered that their tenants wouldn’t fight for them, leaving them powerless, and so they also came over to Princess Mary’s side and brought their armies with them.

Although Princess Mary was a Catholic, many who supported her were Protestants because, to them, it wasn’t about religion; it was about right and wrong. Mary, in their eyes, was the rightful queen because she’d been named by Henry VIII. They were also a bit fed up with the established rulers’ Enclosures Act, which had been the cause of a Peasants Revolt.

So the numbers continued to swell at the manor until there was no longer room for them all. Thus, in just a few days, Princess Mary realised that she would have relocate herself and her forces to a much larger and more secure location – Framlingham Castle, a 12th century stout-walled fortress in Suffolk.

Framlingham Castle
Framlingham Castle, Suffolk

Queen Jane, on the other hand, was also trying to raise forces and despite offering them double the money that they would usually command, she  could only muster a few thousands.

So Princess Mary had the numbers of people – but she still could not match the fire power of Northumberland who, having heard about the “rebellion”, was by now marching his men and his munitions, including 30 cannons, through London towards Suffolk.

As they marched through the streets of the capital, crowds of people lined the route. But instead of the cheers that Northumberland expected, they just stood in silence and the silence grew ever more deafening as they approached the “enemy country”of East Anglia, where a Peasants Revolt had taken place only a few years before. They remembered Northumberland there alright. He was about as popular as Tony Blair is today, because he had used foreign mercenaries from Germany and Genoa to brutally massacre the ring-leaders.

Northumberland’s plan was to march to Cambridge where he would meet up with his son and his forces and then move eastwards towards Framlingham Castle. He had organised for five Royal Navy ships to sail up the coast, to block Princess Mary’s escape by sea. These ships had been equipped with the latest, state-of-the-art cannons, and this is where the elements and the Law of Unintended Consequences seemed to combine to support Mary’s bid for the throne.

On July 14th, a heavy north-easterly gale – quite unusual for that time of year – had driven the ships into taking refuge in the Orwell estuary. That night, one of Mary’s ardent supporters, Henry Jerningham,  just happened to be drinking in an Ipswich tavern where he met a sailor from one of those moored ships.

“…he [Henry Jerningham] had learnt in conversation that a squadron of five ships of the late King Edward VI, laden with soldiers and weaponry, had been forced into the safety of Orwell Haven by bad weather and was lying there, by some extraordinary chance, or rather, by a gale sent from heaven. The crews were in a state of great disturbance and had most courageously mutinied against their officers because of the disowning of Princess Mary; the officers were staying in this haven against their will because of the unrest among the men.”

(Wingfield, The Vita Mariae Angliae Reginae, 1554)

The crews hadn’t been paid. It always amazes me how often the payment or not of troops can decide a battle, and how often military leaders, who’ve been expensively educated at places like Sandhurst, don’t seem to realise that their troops cannot fight on empty stomachs.

Anyway, the next day, Henry Jerningham went down to the Royal Navy ships in the estuary and talked to the crews. The result was a full mutiny of all five ships in support of Mary, and the sailors came ashore tugging more than enough brand new, state-of-the-art cannons to drag to Framlingham Castle to outgun Northumberland’s, who was already outnumbered three to one.

Meanwhile, Queen Jane is feeling increasingly under seige in the Tower and her privy councillors are getting the wind up about the extent of Princess Mary’s forces and are starting to desert her.

So I’m going to leave the story here because I don’t want to spoil it if you’re watching the series on BBC 4 (England’s Forgotten Queen: The Life and Death of Lady Jane Grey).

If you know your history, you will know the outcome. But the purpose of this blog article is just to underline, celebrate and take heart from the power of the spirit of Sovereignty in this event from our history and to show that, when it rises from the land, how it causes the elements, the Law of Unintended Consquences and the people to combine in a real gut-felt grassroots revolution that cannot be quelled, which is what the governing elite fears more than anything.


Annie Dieu-Le-Veut is an author of books on shamanism, Earth magic, Sovereignty, the Grail Mysteries and sacred sexuality including Reclaiming Sovereignty which you can buy on Amazon here.

 

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