Henry VIII and Family

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.

Edward VI older

***Top image found on the site The Anne Boleyn Files at:
and the bottom image found via Google image search.*****


  1. After reading many books on the year 1553 I have realized Jane Grey was actually on the throne for 13 days;)

    Fabulous blog, as another Tudor obsessive fan, I love it.

  2. Thank you so much! I am so glad you are liking it! And, I very much appreciate the extra tip on Jane Grey!!! I have not done as much research on her as I would like, but she's such an intriguing figure I will most certainly be changing that very soon. :)

  3. Followed your link from 6wives--hello! :-)

    I don't think you can necessarily say that less lives would have been lost. Mary I was known for her persecutions because she targeted a particular group and because she was a woman, and it was believed that women didn't have the stomach for execution. In reality, her reign was no more bloody than that of many monarchs of the time. Therefore, there's really no way of supposing that there would have been less death under Edward.

  4. Hi! Glad you took a gander at my new blog! :)

    You have an extremely valid point. I was being extremely short sighted in that area.... after all, Henry killed thousands just during the Pilgrimage of Grace alone.

    Thank you for adding a good point of view. :)