Lady Jane Grey was born late 1536/early 1537. She was the daughter of Henry Grey, 1st Duke of Suffolk and Lady Frances Brandon – King Henry VIII’s niece.
Jane was sent to live with Catherine Parr as her ward in 1546, aged just 10 years old. Catherine Parr died in 1548 and the wardship of Jane passed to her widow, Thomas Seymour. He was Catherines ward for just 1 year. In that year he attempted, unsuccessfully, to arrange a marriage between Jane and King Edward VI. He was charged with treason and executed.
Janes wardship was then passed to John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, who became chief councilor to King Edward VI and subsequently making him the most powerful man in England, barring the King himself.
In 1552 Edward became unwell and Dudley worried that he may die without heir, thus leaving the throne to either Mary or Elizabeth. As Jane had a legitimate claim to the throne through her maternal lineage he arranged for her to marry his son Lord Guildford Dudley. The wedding took place on 25th May 1553.
John Dudley persuaded Edward to alter the line of succession to exclude Mary and Elizabeth due to their illegitimacy and for the line of succession to pass to any heirs of Mary Tudor – King Henry VIII’s sister and Janes maternal grandmother. Janes mother, Frances decided to forgo her claim to the throne, therefore making Jane heir to the throne.