Confessions of a Nine Day Queen
By Autumn Faery

"I think that at the supper I neither receive flesh nor blood, but bread and wine; which bread when it is broken, and the wine when it is drunken, put me in remembrance how that for my sins the body of Christ was broken, and his blood shed on the cross. ...I ground my faith upon God's word, and not upon the church... The faith of the church must be tried by God's word, and not God's word by the church; neither yet my faith." --Jane Grey to John Feckenham, 1554

Part VI

The Duke of Northumberland tried to avoid his end by denying his Protestant beliefs, but no avail; he was given three days to "repent" before he was beheaded on August 23rd.

Meanwhile, my father was also arrested for treason. Word arrived from my younger sister Katherine that Mother had tried numerous times to beg the Queen for Father's release.

Yet she decided to abandon me.

Although my prison is comfortable and I am treated kindly, each day has been miserable for the past 6 months as I waited my fate. And my wait stops here, I suppose.

Ah, the flame is flickering and my candle burns low. My pen must hasten.

I suppose my tale ends here, for no more will there be me after tomorrow. Think, in but mere hours, the sun shall rise, Dr. Feckenham shall come, I shall watch from my window as Guildford march to his death and his body carted back, and then I shall go and—

Guildford had wanted to see me. He pleaded to the Queen, told her he loved me, received her consent—and which I declined.

Perhaps my bravado fails me here, but I cannot … cannot look into those eyes, those golden locks, that flexible mouth, that kind smile—and be able to bare it upon his parish. After we leave … maybe then I shall take his hands and examine my heart.

I wonder what people will think of me when I am gone? Will I be remembered? Will my name retain my essence? Will I be more in history than the Nine-day Queen?

Yet, even if generations after me think of me as the most glorious Queen and bravest of martyrs, I'd gladly exchange it all for a different life. A calm one; one where I may learn and be with my book; one without kings and queens; one without political intrigues; one without bloodshed—oh, how fortunate is the soul who possesses such a life! I—

I write of nothing. Words of regret and wistfulness are of no value. Instead, before I close this prayer book, in whose wide margins I have recorded my memoir, I shall leave a few thoughts on the conflict that brought upon my demise: the friction between Protestants and Catholics.

Why must there be bloodshed when we all believe in God and God alone? No doubt after my death, many, many more—innocent—souls shall fallow my path. And yet why do we allow such monstrosity? Don't the churches—both Catholic and Protestant—preach against murder and violence? Are we all but the very Pharisees Jesus condemned?

What I believe is this: the faith of the church must be tried by God's word, but not God's word by the church; neither should our faiths.

Perhaps the day I die shall be the day I am free, and whenmy earthly journey ends at last, I shall be granted peace.

And may God's peace be with us all.

—Jane


AN: Hm, how to leave a graceful note to the end of a completed story?

I think I'm going to make it short: my journey with Jane has been insightful and rewarding--and I hope it has been the same with you. Thank you for reading.

Oh yes, and please check out my other stories! (not much is posted right now, but I ensure you lots are coming!)

Stirling Project -- my most ambitious and big and complicated story. Takes place in the mordern world, and involves prodigies, dark intrigue, murders, secrets, romance, and human genetic engineering. I'm currently rewriting it all. Check soon for chapters!

The Imperial Robemaker -- my romantic fantasy adventure. This one's got an empire on the verge of revolution, a Imperial Robemake turned Empress, and the most marble-y perfect Lord Archmage. Adventures brewing, and you should check for chapter soon! (yet to be posted)