What is it?
A ‘Jane’ graffito carved into the stone wall of a room which once served as a prison cell. Lady Jane Grey was famously imprisoned and executed at the Tower leading visitors to sometimes speculate as to whether the carving might have been done by the tragic queen…
What’s its story?
Lady Jane Grey was queen for nine days in 1553, a pawn in the political game of her family and one of the saddest figures in the history of the Tower.
Her powerful family insisted the 16-year-old lay claim to the English throne after the death of the boy-king Edward VI. Supporters of the rightful queen, Mary I, soon drove Jane’s family from power, and Jane was imprisoned in the Tower.
This graffito was not carved by Jane, as she was imprisoned elsewhere in the Tower. Her husband, Lord Guildford Dudley’s family were, however, imprisoned in the Beauchamp Tower and may have carved it.
Lady Jane Grey was executed on Tower Green in February 1554, as a traitor.