|Queen consort of England|
|Tenure||30 May 1536 – 24 October 1537|
|Proclamation||4 June 1536|
|Died||24 October 1537 (aged c.28-29)|
Hampton Court Palace, England
|Burial||12 November 1537|
St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, England
|Issue||Edward VI of England|
|Father||Sir John Seymour|
Jane Seymour (c. 1508 –24 October 1537) was Queen of England as the third wife of King Henry VIII of England from their marriage on 30 May 1536 until her death the next year. She became queen following the execution of Henry's second wife, Anne Boleyn. She died of postnatal complications less than two weeks after the birth of her only child, the future King Edward VI. She was the only wife of Henry to receive a queen's funeral or to be buried beside him in St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle.
Jane, the daughter of Sir John Seymour and Margery Wentworth, was most likely born at Wulfhall, Wiltshire,although West Bower Manor in Somerset has also been suggested. Her birth date is not recorded; various accounts use anywhere from 1504 to 1509, but it is generally estimated around 1508. Through her maternal grandfather, she was a descendant of King Edward III's son Lionel of Antwerp, 1st Duke of Clarence. Because of this, she and King Henry VIII were fifth cousins. She also shared a great-grandmother, Elizabeth Cheney, with his second and fifth wives, Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard.
Jane was not as highly educated as Henry's first and second wives, Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn. She could read and write a little, but was much better at needlework and household management, which were considered much more necessary for women.Her needlework was reportedly beautiful and elaborate; some of it survived as late as 1652, when it is recorded to have been given to the Seymour family. After her death, it was noted that Henry was an "enthusiastic embroiderer."
Jane became a maid-of-honour in 1532 to Queen Catherine, but may have served her as early as 1527, and went on to serve Queen Anne with her sister Elizabeth.[ citation needed ] The first report of Henry's interest in Jane was in February 1536, about three months before Anne's execution.
Jane was highly praised for her gentle, peaceful nature, being called as "gentle a lady as ever I knew" by John Russell and "the Pacific" by the Imperial Ambassador Eustace Chapuys, (who referred to her as Jane Semel in his letters,) for her peacemaking efforts at court. According to Chapuys, she was of middling stature and very pale; he also said that she was not of much beauty, but Russell said she was "the fairest of all the King's wives." Polydore Vergil commented that she was "a woman of the utmost charm in both character and appearance." She was regarded as meek, gentle, simple, and chaste, with her large family making her thought to be suitable to have many children.
Henry VIII was betrothed to Jane on 20 May 1536, the day after Anne Boleyn's execution. They were married at the Palace of Whitehall, Whitehall, London, in the Queen's closet by Bishop Gardineron 30 May 1536. As a wedding gift he granted her 104 manors in four counties as well as a number of forests and hunting chases for her jointure, the income to support her during their marriage. She was publicly proclaimed queen on 4 June 1536. Her well-publicised sympathy for the late Queen Catherine and her daughter Mary showed her to be compassionate and made her a popular figure with the common people and most of the courtiers. She was never crowned because of plague in London, where the coronation was to take place. Henry may have been reluctant to have her crowned before she had fulfilled her duty as a queen consort by bearing him a male heir.
As queen, Jane was said to be strict and formal.[ by whom? ] The lavish entertainments, gaiety, and extravagance of the queen's household, which had reached its peak during Anne Boleyn's time, was replaced by strict decorum. She banned the French fashions Anne had introduced.[ citation needed ] Politically, Jane appears to have been conservative. [ better source needed ] Her only reported involvement in national affairs, in 1536, was when she asked for pardons for participants in the Pilgrimage of Grace. Henry is said to have rejected this, reminding her of the fate her predecessor met with when she "meddled in his affairs". [ better source needed ] Her motto as a queen was Bound to obey and serve.
Jane formed a close relationship with her stepdaughter Mary. Jane put forth much effort to restore Mary to court and to the royal succession, behind any children she might have with Henry. She brought up the issue of Mary's restoration both before and after she became queen. While she was unable to restore Mary to the line of succession, she was able to reconcile her with Henry. [ citation needed ] While it was she who first pushed for the restoration, Mary and Elizabeth were not reinstated to the succession until Henry's sixth wife, Catherine Parr, convinced him to do so.Chapuys wrote to Emperor Charles V of her compassion and efforts on behalf of Mary's return to favour. A letter from Mary to her shows Mary's gratitude.
One non-contemporary source conjectures that she may have been pregnant and had a miscarriage by Christmas 1536. [ citation needed ] During the summer, she took no public engagements and led a relatively quiet life, attended by the royal physicians and the best midwives in the kingdom. She went into confinement in September 1537 and gave birth to the coveted male heir, the future King Edward VI, at two o'clock in the morning on 12 October 1537 at Hampton Court Palace. Edward was christened on 15 October 1537, without his mother in attendance, as was the custom.[ clarification needed ] He was the only legitimate son of Henry VIII to survive infancy. Both of his daughters, Mary and Elizabeth, were present and carried Edward's train during the ceremony.In January 1537, Jane conceived again. During her pregnancy, she developed a craving for quail, which Henry ordered for her from Calais and Flanders.
Jane's labour had been difficult, lasting two days and three nights, probably because the baby was not well positioned.After the christening, it became clear that she was seriously ill. She died on 24 October 1537 at Hampton Court Palace. Within a few weeks, there were conflicting accounts of the cause of her death. More recently, various speculations have been made. According to King Edward's biographer Jennifer Loach, her death may have been due to an infection from a retained placenta. According to Alison Weir, she may have succumbed to puerperal fever following a bacterial infection contracted during the birth. Weir has also speculated, after medical consultation, that the cause of her death was a pulmonary embolism.
Jane was buried on 12 November 1537 in St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle after the funeral in which her stepdaughter Mary acted as chief mourner. A procession of 29 mourners followed Mary, one for every year of Jane's life.She was the only one of Henry's wives to receive a queen's funeral.
After her death, Henry wore black for the next three months. He married Anne of Cleves two years later, although marriage negotiations were tentatively begun soon after Jane's death. He put on weight during his widowerhood, becoming obese and swollen and developing diabetes and gout. Historians[ who? ] have speculated she was his favourite wife because she gave birth to a male heir. When he died in 1547, he was buried beside her, on his request, in the grave he had made for her.
Jane gave the King the son he so desperately desired, helped to restore Mary to the succession and her father's affections, and used her influence to bring about the advancement of her family.Two of her brothers, Thomas and Edward, used her memory to improve their own fortunes. Thomas was rumoured to have been pursuing the future Elizabeth I, but married the queen dowager Catherine Parr instead. In the reign of the young King Edward VI, Edward set himself up as Lord Protector and de facto ruler of the kingdom. Both eventually fell from power, and were executed.
Anne Boleyn was Queen of England from 1533 to 1536, as the second wife of King Henry VIII. The circumstances of her marriage and of her execution by beheading for treason and other charges made her a key figure in the political and religious upheaval that marked the start of the English Reformation. Anne was the daughter of Thomas Boleyn, 1st Earl of Wiltshire, and his wife, Lady Elizabeth Howard, and was educated in the Netherlands and France, largely as a maid of honour to Queen Claude of France. Anne returned to England in early 1522, to marry her Irish cousin James Butler, 9th Earl of Ormond; the marriage plans were broken off, and instead she secured a post at court as maid of honour to Henry VIII's wife, Catherine of Aragon.
Anne of Cleves was Queen of England from 6 January to 12 July 1540 as the fourth wife of King Henry VIII. Not much is known about Anne before 1527, when she became betrothed to Francis, Duke of Bar, son and heir of Antoine, Duke of Lorraine, although their marriage did not proceed. In March 1539, negotiations for Anne's marriage to Henry began, as Henry believed that he needed to form a political alliance with her brother, William, who was a leader of the Protestants of western Germany, to strengthen his position against potential attacks from Catholic France and the Holy Roman Empire.
Thomas Boleyn, Earl of Wiltshire, 1st Earl of Ormond, 1st Viscount RochfordKGKB, of Hever Castle in Kent, was an English diplomat and politician who was the father of Anne Boleyn, the second wife of King Henry VIII, and was thus the maternal grandfather of Queen Elizabeth I. By Henry VIII he was made a knight of the Garter in 1523 and was elevated to the peerage as Viscount Rochford in 1525 and in 1529 was further ennobled as Earl of Wiltshire and Earl of Ormond.
Jane Boleyn, Viscountess Rochford, was an English noblewoman. Her husband, George Boleyn, Viscount Rochford, was the brother of Anne Boleyn, the second wife of King Henry VIII. Jane had been a member of the household of Henry's first wife, Catherine of Aragon. It is possible that she played a role in the verdicts against, and subsequent executions of, her husband and Anne Boleyn. She was later a lady-in-waiting to Henry's third and fourth wives, and then to his fifth wife, Catherine Howard, with whom she was executed.
George Boleyn, Viscount Rochford was an English courtier and nobleman who played a prominent role in the politics of the early 1530s. He was the brother of Anne Boleyn, from 1533 the second wife of King Henry VIII, and thus the maternal uncle of Queen Elizabeth I. Following his father's promotion in the peerage in 1529 to Earl of Wiltshire and Earl of Ormond, he adopted his father's junior title Viscount Rochford as a courtesy title. He was accused of incest with his sister Anne during the period of her trial for high treason, as a result of which both were executed.
Elizabeth Boleyn, Countess of Wiltshire was an English noblewoman, noted for being the mother of Anne Boleyn and as such the maternal grandmother of Elizabeth I of England. The eldest daughter of Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk and his first wife Elizabeth Tilney, she married Thomas Boleyn sometime in the later 15th century. Elizabeth became Viscountess Rochford in 1525 when her husband was elevated to the peerage, subsequently becoming Countess of Ormond in 1527 and Countess of Wiltshire in 1529.
Elizabeth Blount, commonly known during her lifetime as Bessie Blount, was a mistress of Henry VIII of England.
Elizabeth Seymour was a younger daughter of Sir John Seymour of Wulfhall, Wiltshire and Margery Wentworth. Elizabeth and her sister Jane served in the household of Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII. The Seymours rose to prominence after the king's attention turned to Jane. In May 1536, Anne Boleyn was accused of treason and adultery, and subsequently executed. On 30 May 1536, eleven days after Anne's execution, Henry VIII and Jane were married. Elizabeth was not included in her sister's household during her brief reign, although she would serve two of Henry VIII's later wives, Anne of Cleves and Catherine Howard. Jane died 24 October 1537, twelve days after giving birth to a healthy son, Edward VI.
In common parlance, the wives of Henry VIII were the six queens consort of King Henry VIII of England between 1509 and his death in 1547. In legal terms, Henry had only three wives, because three of his marriages were annulled by the Church of England. However, he was never granted an annulment by the Pope, as he desired, for Catherine of Aragon, his first wife. Annulments declare that a true marriage never took place, unlike a divorce, in which a married couple end their union. Along with his six wives, Henry took several mistresses.
Agnes Howard was the second wife of Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk. Two of King Henry VIII's queens were her step-granddaughters, Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard. Catherine Howard was placed in the Dowager Duchess's care after her mother's death.
Events from the 1530s in England.
Alison Weir is a British author and public historian. She primarily writes about the history of English royal women and families, in the form of biographies that explore their historical setting. She has also written numerous works of historical fiction.
Sir Francis Bryan was an English courtier and diplomat during the reign of Henry VIII. He was Chief Gentleman of the Privy chamber and Lord Justice of Ireland. Unlike many of his contemporaries, Bryan always retained Henry's favour, achieving this by altering his opinions to conform to the king's. His rakish sexual life and his lack of principle at the time of his cousin Anne Boleyn's downfall led to his earning the nickname the Vicar of Hell.
Margaret Shelton was the sister of Mary Shelton, and was once thought to be a mistress of Henry VIII of England.
Anne Shelton née Boleyn was a sister of Thomas Boleyn, 1st Earl of Wiltshire, and one of the aunts of his daughter, Queen Anne Boleyn, the second wife of King Henry VIII.
Mary Shelton was one of the contributors to the Devonshire manuscript. Either she or her sister Madge Shelton may have been a mistress of King Henry VIII.
Katherine Howard, also spelled Katheryn Howard, was Queen of England from 1540 until 1542 as the fifth wife of Henry VIII. She was the daughter of Lord Edmund Howard and Joyce Culpeper, a cousin to Anne Boleyn, and the niece of Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk. Thomas Howard was a prominent politician at Henry's court, and he secured her a place in the household of Henry's fourth wife, Anne of Cleves, where she caught the King's interest. She married him on 28 July 1540 at Oatlands Palace in Surrey, just 19 days after the annulment of his marriage to Anne. He was 49, and she was between 15 and 18 years old.
Mary Scrope was the granddaughter of Henry Scrope, 4th Baron Scrope of Bolton, and the sister of Elizabeth Scrope, wife of John de Vere, 13th Earl of Oxford, and Margaret Scrope, wife of Edmund de la Pole, 3rd Duke of Suffolk. She is said to have been in the service at court of King Henry VIII's first four wives. As the wife of Sir William Kingston, Constable of the Tower of London, she was in attendance on Anne Boleyn during the Queen's brief imprisonment in the Tower in May 1536, and both she and her husband were among those who walked with the Queen to the scaffold. By her first husband, Edward Jerningham, she was the mother of Sir Henry Jerningham, whose support helped to place Queen Mary I on the throne of England in 1553, and who became one of Queen Mary's most favoured courtiers.
The mistresses of Henry VIII included many notable women between 1509 and 1536. They have been the subject of biographies, novels and films.
Henry VIII of England had several children. The best known children are the three legitimate offspring who survived infancy and would succeed him as monarchs of England successively, Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I.