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Tudor Minute January 1

Hey, this is Heather from the Renaissance English History Podcast, and this is your Tudor Minute for January 1.

On January 1, 1511 Katherine of Aragon gave birth to a son, Henry, Duke of Cornwall. It had been less than two years since Katherine and Henry VIII had been married, and this was an auspicious beginning to the reign. London was filled with celebrations – bonfires, jousts, and cannons firing. He was christened a few days after his birth, in Richmond. The French king, Louis XII, was a godfather. Margaret of Austria was a godmother. Henry VIII made a pilgrimage to the Shrine of our Lady of Walsingham, an ancient shrine for mothers, to give thanks for the safe delivery. And little Henry was put under the care of four rockers who made sure that any time he cried he was put right back to sleep.

Of course, little Henry Duke of Cornwall wouldn’t survive to adulthood. He only lived for 52 days, and no one knows quite why he died, though this wasn’t an unlikely turn of events. Katherine and Henry were devastated, although at the time no one knew how hard it would be for Henry to have a son.

That’s your Tudor Minute for today. Remember you can dive deeper into life in 16th century England through the Renaissance English History Podcast at englandcast.com.

Pregnancy and Childbirth in Medieval and Renaissance England