Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Tudor Dynasty in Upheaval
Four hundred and fifty-seven years ago on this day in July, England lost the last male heir of the Tudor Dynasty.
Edward VI, son of King Henry VIII and his third wife, Jane Seymour, led a very sheltered childhood. However, by all accounts, he was always regarded as having a sweet temperament and a great deal of intelligence. At the age of nine, he was crowned King of England, with his uncle, Edward Seymour appointed as his Lord Protector.
Edward's short life was a turbulent one. His reign saw many economic issues, social unrest, riot and rebellion, and withdrawl of forces from both Boulogne and Scotland. He was very strongly Protestant, something that shaped how he ruled the country. It was a very difficult point of contention between the young king and his older sister, Mary Tudor.
Edward's death was also turbulent. Unfortunately for Mary, upon his death at a mere fifteen, he left the throne not to her, but to his cousin, Lady Jane Grey, preferring a Protestant queen over a Catholic one. After nine days, Mary rallied her forces at Framlingham castle and was declared the true queen of England by the Privy Council.
I find myself asking a lot of "what ifs" in reference to this young King. One wonders what sort of king he would have been had he actually lived out his life to an old age? Would he have turned into a tyrant like his father, ever changing and untrusting? Or would he have been a more fair and just ruler?
We do know for certain, there would have been a lot less lives lost, as Mary burned quite a few Protestants during her reign. Which begs another question.... would Elizabeth have reigned at all? And, what would have happened had she not? Would Edward have been as victorious in battle and politics as his older sister?
What sorts of questions would you have about Edward had he lived? I am curious to know other's thoughts on this topic.
***Top image found on the site The Anne Boleyn Files at:
and the bottom image found via Google image search.*****