Tuesday, October 12, 2010

In Memoriam: Edward VI

Despite being physically slight, the boy who became Edward VI at the age of 9 was intellectually mighty; of course, as heir to one of Europe's most learned Kings, he had access to the best of tutors, including Bishop Richard Cox, Sir John Cheke and Jean Belmain. The first King of England to be Protestant from birth, he was also renowned as a humanist in the fashion of Erasmus.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketThe son of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour (whom Henry VII always described as his 'true wife', and whose death when Edward was 12 days old threw the King into a grief from which he never fully recovered), Edward VI had the great misfortune to come to the throne at a time of ambitious men, most of whom used their place on the 16-member Council of Regency stipulated by Henry VIII's will to advance their own interests above either the king's or their country's.

Among these was the Duke of Suffolk, whose machinations (possibly with Edward's approval) would have had his daughter Lady Jane Grey succeed Edward in lieu of the rightful heir, his half-sister the Catholic Princess Mary.

Edward VI died in July 1553, propelling Lady Jane Grey toward her grisly fate, raising Mary to the throne - where she would become known as Bloody Mary - and leaving the kingdom in much turmoil for five years, until Edward's other half-sister, the Protestant Elizabeth I ascended the throne and finally afforded England some stability.
share on: facebook

No comments: