The Last Moments of Lady Jane Grey

(c) Historic Royal Palaces

Artist: Hendrik Jacobus Scholten (Dutch 1824-1907)

Year: Unknown

Title: The Last Moments of Lady Jane Grey

Materials: oil on canvas

Size: 60.8 x 78 cm


A painting depicting one of the events from the morning of the 12th Feburary 1554. Written among the description of Lady Jane Grey’s execution in the sixteenth century “Chronicles of Queen Jane and The First Two Years of Queen Mary” is a reference to two events which apparently took place on the morning, prior to Jane’s own death.   Both events involved Jane’s seeing her husband Lord Guildford Dudley, once prior to his execution and the next time on completion of the event, when his body was being returned to the Tower for burial.  The book in which these details feature was apparently written by a resident at the Tower of London at the time of Jane’s death, it was republished during the nineteenth century.  The writer refers to the events as

The lady Jane, who’s lodgings were in Partridge House, did see his dead carcass taken out of a cart, as well as she did see him before on leaving going to his death. A sight to her no less than death.[1]

Jane is seen dressed in black, standing at the window of her room on the left-hand side of the painting.  She appears to be watching events taking place outside, whilst her two ladies stand behind weeping.  The male figure seen in the room is supposedly that of John Feckenham.   Scholten appears to have used the Van da Passe engraving for the basis of his depiction of Jane.

This painting has been in the collection of Historic Royal Palaces since 1989, when it was bequeathed by a Mrs Eleanor Long.  It is currently held at The Tower of London, however, is not on public display.

(c) Amsterdam Museum

A second version produced by the same artist, however, is created using watercolour on paper is also in the collection of the Amsterdam Museum.  No evidence has been located as yet, to suggest that both paintings were ever exhibited.

Digital Resources:

[1]Nicolas, John Gough. Chronicles of Queen Jane and The First Two Years of Queen Mary, 1850, page 55