Meet the Wives Handbook: Jane Seymour

King vs. Queen

Jane's religious convictions made her a popular figure among commoners and courtiers alike who hoped she would return the king to the Church. Jane, an ardent and pious Catholic, would try to do just that. First, she secured a reconciliation between Henry and his elder daughter, Mary, who shared her religious views (see Role as Queen). Then, in October 1546, just months after the reconciliation, rebellions rocked the kingdom. The Pilgrimage of Grace, as the series of riots were called, began in Lincolnshire and quickly spread all across England's North. The rebels demanded the king restore the pre-Reformation church. In addition, they wanted the monasteries that had since been dissolved re-established. Jane sympathized with the rebels and secretly adopted their cause. Ever pious, she reportedly went down on her knees and begged Henry to restore the monasteries, suggesting that God, angered by their destruction, had sent the rebellions as punishments. At this, Henry exploded with anger. He ordered Jane to get up and reminded her the fate of other queens who "meddle[d] in his affairs." It was a threat that Jane took to heart and she would never interfere again.

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