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Tudor Minute October 15: Prince Edward is Christened (and Jane is healthy)

Today in 1537 Henry and Jane Seymour’s son Edward, the future Edward VI, was christened in Hampton court. Thomas Cranmer performed the rites in front of a crowd of several hundred. Henry’s daughter with Catherine of Aragon, Mary, was godmother.

There was a great procession starting from the Queen’s apartments, and then after Cranmer performed the rites, Edwards titles were read aloud, and a Te Deum was sung. Then the prince was taken back to Jane Seymour, who, it should be noted, was in no sign of ill health at this time. This is something that the movies and fiction often gets a bit wonky – Jane was sitting up in bed, signing birth announcements, and no one seemed at all worried about her health. She received the Christening gifts, and there was no sign that she was anything other than healthy – as much as you can be after childbirth. Of course, within two weeks she would be dead, but we will save that story for another day.

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 – there’s an episode there that’s an interview with Alison Weir about her fictional account of Jane Seymour, and the theories behind her death that is fascinating to listen to.

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