DESCRIPTION OFJANE GREY
Ascham described Jane Grey in a letter of 1550:
"Yet I cannot pass over two English women, nor would I wish, my dear Sturmius, to pass over anything if you are thinking about friends to be borne in mind in England, than which nothing is more desirable to me. One is Jane Grey, daughter of the noble marquis of Dorset. Since she had Mary, queen of France as grandmother she was related very closely to our King Edward. She is fifteen years of age. At court I was very friendly with her, and she wrote learned letters to me: Last summer when I was visiting my friends in Yorkshire and was summoned from them by letters from John Cheke that I should come to court, I broke my journey on the way at Leicester where Jane Grey was residing with her father. I was straightway shown into her chamber: I found the noble young lady reading (By Jupiter!) in Greek, Plato's Phaedo, and with such understanding as to win my highest admiration. She so speaks and writes Greek that one would hardly credit it. She has a tutor John Aylmer, one well versed in both tongues, and most dear to me for his humanity, wisdom, habits, pure religion, and many other bonds of the truest friendship. As I left she promised to write to me in Greek provided I would send her my letters written from the Emperor's court. I am awaiting daily a Greek letter from her: when it comes I will send it on to you immediately."
Jane's arrival at the Tower was later recorded by a spectator, Baptisa Spinola:
' Today I saw Donna Jana Graia walking in a grand procession to the Tower. She is now called Queen, but is not popular, for the hearts of the people are with Mary, the Spanish Queen's daughter.
This Jane is very short and thin, but prettily shaped and graceful. She has small features and a well shaped nose, the mouth flexible and the lips red; The eyebrows are arched and and darker than her hair which is nearly red. The eyes are sparkling and reddish brown in colour.
I stood so near her grace that I noticed her colour was good but freckled. When she smiled she showed her teeth, which are white and sharp. In all, a gracious and animated figure. She wore a dress of green velvet, stamped with gold, with large sleeves. Her headdress was a white coif with many jewels.
She walked under a canopy, her mother carrying her long train, and her husband, Guilfo, walking by her, dressed all in white and gold, a very tall strong boy with light hair, who paid her much attention. The new Queen was mounted on very high chopines to make her look taller, which were concealed by her robes, as she is very small and short.
Many ladies followed, with noblemen, but this lady is very heretical and has never heard Mass, and some people did not come into the procession for that reason.'
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