November 13 - 1553 - Lady Jane Grey and Archbishop Thomas Cranmer are Tried for Treason
Queen Mary I of England was not the obvious candidate for the throne when her half-brother Edward VI died at the age of 15. Although she was the oldest remaining child of Henry VII, Mary was also a Catholic in a Protestant nation. For this reason, Edward had excluded her from the succession and named his cousin Lady Jane Grey as his real successor. Propped up by Edward's allies the Dudleys, Lady Jane was proclaimed Queen of England. Meanwhile, Mary was building a power base and an army in East Anglia. This army would allow Mary to successfully take the throne herself. After some promises for reconciliation, Mary decided to arrest Lady Jane Grey and try her for treason. She also brought up Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, on charges of treason for promulgating the English Reformation. These trials and subsequent executions would be a preview of Mary's reign, which featured a number of executions of Protestant leaders, ill health, and dwindling popularity.