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The Children of Henry VIII by John GuyBehind the facade of politics and pageantry at the Tudor court, there was a family drama.
Nothing drove Henry VIII, Englands wealthiest and most powerful king, more than producing a legitimate male heir and so perpetuating his dynasty. To that end, he married six wives, became the subject of the most notorious divorce case of the sixteenth century, and broke with the pope, all in an age of international competition and warfare, social unrest and growing religious intolerance and discord.
Henry fathered four living children, each by a different mother. Their interrelationships were often scarred by jealously, mutual distrust, sibling rivalry, even hatred. Possessed of quick wits and strong wills, their characters were defined partly by the educations they received, and partly by events over which they had no control.
Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond, although recognized as the kings son, could never forget his illegitimacy. Edward died while still in his teens, desperately plotting to exclude his half-sisters from the throne. Marys world was shattered by her mothers divorce and her own unhappy marriage. Elizabeth was the most successful, but also the luckiest. Even so, she lived with the knowledge that her father had ordered her mothers execution, was often in fear of her own life, and could never marry the one man she truly loved.
Henrys children idolized their father, even if they differed radically over how to perpetuate his legacy. To tell their stories, John Guy returns to the archives, drawing on a vast array of contemporary records, personal letters, and first-hand accounts.
Edward VI - The Boy King (British Monarchy Documentary) - Timeline
How Henry VIII’s Divorce Led to Reformation
He was crowned King on 20th February , aged just nine, and he reigned for only six years until his death in February , possibly from tuberculosis. The regency was next led by John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland who as the young King aged, worked more with him but still only really allowed the King any control over matters of religion and reformation. By February , Edward became ill. In this, Edward disowned his sisters and outlined his plan to pass the reign to his cousin Lady Jane Grey. He was defeated by his illness on 6 July , aged just Mary I source: Wikimedia, Museo del Prado. After falling ill in May , she died aged 42 on 17th November
Big, bold and brash, he is the epitome of 'Merrie England'. Ruling between and , his marriages to a succession of six women became something of a Tudor soap opera and probably his most talked-about legacy. A male heir was crucial to continuing the royal line and securing the kingdom. Henry was only the second Tudor monarch, and it was a dynasty founded primarily on conquest rather than heritage. Catherine of Aragon, his first wife, became pregnant six times. Only one pregnancy produced a child that survived to adulthood — a daughter, Mary. This became intolerable to Henry.
Would Henry VIII's life be nearly as interesting to historians, writers, screenwriters, and television producers -- and to readers and viewers -- without all these fascinating female connections? While Henry VIII is the epitome of the Tudor dynasty, and is himself a fascinating figure of history, women play a very important part in the history of the Tudors of England. The simple fact that women gave birth to heirs to the throne gave them a central role; some Tudor women were more active in shaping their role in history than others. Henry VIII's marital history holds the fascination of historians and historical fiction writers alike. At the root of this marital history is a very real concern of Henry's: having a male heir for the throne.
He was seventeen years old and in good health. His father, Henry VIII , ordered the quick and private funeral because, according to one historian, he wanted his "dead son's corpse taken far away from him". The wooden coffin was hidden in straw and taken in secret to be quietly laid to rest some distance from the capital and he was buried at Thetford Priory.
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Henry Tudor June 28, to January 28, was the king of England from until his death in He married six times, beheading two of his wives, and was the main instigator of the English Reformation. His only surviving son, Edward VI, succeeded him after his death. Public Domain via Wikipedia. The pope conceded, but the official marriage of Henry and Catherine was postponed until the death of Henry VII in His philandering ways were tame by the standards of his contemporaries, but they nonetheless resulted in his first divorce in Because Catherine was now 42 and unable to conceive another child, Henry set on a mission to obtain a male heir by configuring a way to officially abandon his marriage with Catherine.
Through his mother he was the elder half-brother of the 4th Baroness Tailboys of Kyme and of the 2nd and 3rd Baron Tailboys of Kyme. Henry FitzRoy was born in June FitzRoy was conceived when Queen Catherine was approaching her last confinement with another of Henry's children, a stillborn daughter born in November To avoid scandal, Blount was taken from the royal court to the Augustinian priory of St Lawrence at Blackmore near Ingatestone , in Essex. FitzRoy's birthdate is often given as 15 June , but the exact date is not known. Thomas Cardinal Wolsey was out of London from 9 to 18 June when he reappeared back at court in Windsor. The following day he was expected at Hampton Court , but he did not reappear at a council meeting at Westminster until 29 June.