April 20 – The Nun of Kent and a special oath, and Lady Mary Grey, sister of Lady Jane Grey

Posted By on April 20, 2022

On this day in Tudor history, 20th April 1534, Elizabeth Barton, a Benedictine nun who became known as “the Nun of Kent” or “the Holy Maid of Kent”, was hanged for treason at Tyburn along with a few of her supporters.

This young woman had experienced religious visions and people had even flocked to her on pilgrimages.

All was well until her visions concerned Henry VIII, his quest for an annulment and his marriage to Anne Boleyn…

On the very same day that Elizabeth was hanged, prominent Londoners were called to swear a special oath.

Just what was the Oath of the Act of Succession? What were people swearing to?

And on this day in 1578, Lady Mary Keys (née Grey), sister of Lady Jane Grey and wife of Thomas Keys, died at her home in the parish of St Botolph without Aldgate, London.

Like her sisters, Mary had a sad life. Her secret marriage led to Elizabeth I imprisoning her and her husband, and they never saw each other again.

Find out more about the tiny Mary who was described as “crook-backed”, her marriage to a man who was said to be 6’8, and what happened to Mary and Thomas…

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