Jane Lumley, Baroness Lumley

Jane Lumley, Baroness Lumley (née Lady Jane Fitzalan; 1537 – 27 July 1578) was an English noble who was the first person to translate Euripides into English.[1]

She was the eldest child of Henry FitzAlan, 19th Earl of Arundel and his first wife, Lady Katherine Grey (died 1542). Arundel had Lady Jane and her sister Mary educated very well, and his library, later known as the Lumley Library, was central to this project. She married John Lumley, first Baron Lumley (c.15331609), between 1550–1553, when she was 12 to 15. They had three children, all of whom died in childhood. Himself a scholar, translator, and book collector, John Lumley supported the literary activities of his wife. The couple first lived at Lumley Castle in Durham, and then joined Arundel in Nonsuch Palace where Jane nursed her father through illness before predeceasing him. She is interred at Lumley Chapel.[1]

Lady Lumley's scholarship and learning gained her a considerable contemporary reputation. She translated selected orations of Isocrates from Greek into Latin, and Euripides's Iphigeneia at Aulis from the original Greek (or possibly, according to Caroline Coleman, from Erasmus's Latin translation) into English. Her manuscripts were preserved in her father's library, which was joined, after his death, to John Lumley's own considerable library and then passed into crown control in 1609. Her translation of Iphigenia is the first known dramatic work by a woman in English.[1]

Lady Lumley was first cousin to Lady Jane Grey.[2]


  1. Hodgson-Wright, Stephanie. "Lumley, Jane, Lady Lumley". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/47846.(Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  2. Messent, Trudie. "The Tragic Heroine as 'cõmoditie': Iphigeneia by Lady Jane Lumley and The Execution of Lady Jane Grey by Paul Delaroche" (PDF). University of Oxford. Retrieved 7 April 2017.
  • Buck, Claire, ed. "Lumley, Joanna Fitzalan (c. 1537-1576/77)." The Bloomsbury Guide to Women's Literature. New York: Prentice Hall, 1992. 764.
  • Coleman, Caroline. "Lumley, Joanna, Lady." British Women Writers: A Critical Reference Guide. London: Routledge, 1989. 427.
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