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Tudor Minute October 12 – Happy Birthday Edward

Hey, this is Heather from the Renaissance English History Podcast, and this is your Tudor Minute for October 12.

Today in 1537 Henry VIII finally got his longed-for son when Edward was born to Jane Seymour. He was born inside his mother’s room in Hampton Court.

Throughout the realm, the people greeted the birth of a male heir, “whom we hungered for so long”, with joy and relief. Te Deums were sung in churches, bonfires lit, and “their was shott at the Tower that night above two thousand gonnes”. Queen Jane, appeared to recover quickly from the birth, and sent out personally signed letters announcing the birth of “a Prince, conceived in most lawful matrimony between my Lord the King’s Majesty and us”. Edward was christened on 15 October, with his half-sisters, the 21-year-old Lady Mary as godmother and the 4-year-old Lady Elizabeth participating in the ceremony, and the Garter King of Arms proclaimed him as Duke of Cornwall and Earl of Chester.  But the Queen, however, became ill on 23 October from postnatal complications, and died the following night. Henry VIII wrote to Francis I of France that “Divine Providence … hath mingled my joy with bitterness of the death of her who brought me this happiness”.

Edward would become king after the death of his father in 1547, and ushered in an era of Protestantism that saw the whitewashing of churches, breaking stained glass windows, and the attempt to end any sign of traditional Catholicism in England. He died after only 6 years, and his sister Mary brought back the Catholic mass.

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.