Just under a month after the death of Henry VIII, his nine-year old son Edward VI was crowned King of England.
Edward was the son that Henry had torn the country apart to get. For this son, Henry had first abandoned his wife of twenty years, Catherine of Aragon, then cast off (actually executed) the woman he had pursued for close to a decade, Anne Boleyn.
Edward’s reign would mark an interesting shift from Henrician policies. Specifically, Edward had been deeply influenced by his last stepmother, Katherine Parr. Katherine married Henry when Edward was five. For the next four years, she focused on bringing a family life to the royal children. She supervised their educations, and saw to it that Edward was well exposed to Protestant teachings.
Of course, Edward was not yet in a position to rule at this point. Henry’s will had contemplated a council of advisors who would share power during the boy’s minority. Instead, Edward Seymour (Henry’s brother-in-law and Edward VI’s uncle) seized power, appointing himself Lord Protector – and while he was at it, Duke of Somerset. That story ended badly, but at this point in time the world was hopeful…
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Was he worth it? I just can’t warm up to him or Queen Jane.
I would need a whole book to respond fully to that question! I initially agreed with you about Jane and Edward (amazing how writing a book about someone will change your perspective) but I came to find them truly tragic figures. Interestingly, my answer to you is entirely Elizabeth related: if you believe that Elizabeth I was one of England’s greatest monarchs (I do), then yes he/it was worth it. Elizabeth would have been a completely different person without the adversity she had to endure, she would have been a less effective ruler without the dangerous lessons she learned during the reigns of her brother and sister. Bottom line: when all else fails, blame Henry!
THE BRITISH JOSIAH ‘EDWARD VI, THE MOST GODLY KING OF ENGLAND” BY N.A. WOYCHUK, M.A.,TH.D. ISBN 1880-960-45-1 BRILLIANT LITTLE BOY, HELPED WITH HIS TEACHERS TO GUIDE ENGLAND TOWARDS BEING PROTESTANT NATION AND BROKE CATHOLIC CLERGY’ TIGHT HOLD ON PEOPLE. GREAT LITTLE BOOK ON SUCH A SHORT LIFE.
Thank you so much for this! Edward’s story will be the third book in my Seymour Dynasty trilogy (I’m a ways away from that, but have started the research!) and this sounds like a fascinating read
Thanks for another great historical delivery Janet! Best wishes to you Aquileana 😀
That whole period is fascinating – the contest between Seymour & Dudley for control of the young lad is so exciting treacherous and bloody! (I’ve just finished writing about the influence John Knox the Scottish Reformer had on the young Protestant king)
Oooh! I’d love to read that!
I deal with it in The Second Blast of the Trumpet, the second part of the Knox trilogy. Just released in hardback & Kindle. Will send you an ebook if you like!
Oooh! Yes please!
Not sure how to send it to you??