ohn Dudley challenged the power of the Duke of Somerset, the protector of Edward VI. Somerset was sent to the Tower of London and Dudley took his role as Edward's governor. Dudley attempted to place his family in power by marrying his son Guilford Dudley to Lady Jane Grey. He then got Edward to sign an agreement that meant Jane would become Queen of England after his death rather than his sisters Mary and Elizabeth. When Edward died in 1553 Lady Jane Grey was proclaimed Queen but not crowned. Mary, the true heir to the throne, raised a large army and put an end to Dudley's ambitions.
Edward VI signed a change to his earlier will or 'devise' and nominated Lady Jane Grey as heir to the English throne. The change was orchestrated by the Duke of Northumberland and Sir John Gates. Lady Jane Grey had married the Duke's son Guilford Dudley a few months earlier and the will initially stated that Janes's male heirs would be next in line. This was altered when it was seen the Edward would die before she had children so that Jane herself could become Queen.
The Duke of Northumberland proclaimed that his daughter-in-law Lady Jane Grey was the next monarch of England. Jane was moved to the Tower of London. Although Northumberland controlled London many of the town's people supported Mary Tudor's claim to the throne.
The Duke of Northumberland and an army of some 3,000 men travelled to Cambridge in an attempt to stop Mary Tudor. Moving on to Bury St. Edmunds the Duke came up against a much larger army supporting Mary. Accepting defeat, Northumberland was arrested and taken back to London to be held in the Tower of London. ¹
Mary Tudor arrived at London to a huge welcome. Entering through Aldgate she was met by Elizabeth, Anne of Cleves and many others. Mary quickly ordered the release of her supporters that had been locked up at the Tower of London. The Duke of Northumberland and his supporters were placed in the Tower of London to await trial and execution.
John Dudley was executed along with others accused of treason.
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