There’s something weird going on with the number today! One Tudor king was born on this day in history, another died and another came to the throne, all with the numbers 1,4,5 and 7 in the year. Strange!

Yes, on this day in Tudor history, King Henry VII, the first of the Tudor monarchs, was born at Pembroke Castle to his thirteen-year-old mother (yes, that makes me flinch!), Lady Margaret Beaufort. He became king after his forces defeated those of King Richard III, the last king of the House of York, at the Battle of Bosworth Field on 22nd August 1485.

Click here to read more about King Henry VII.

And, fast-forwarding 90 years, on 28th January 1547, Henry VII’s son and successor, King Henry VIII died at Whitehall Palace. His death was kept secret until 31st January, giving the council time to discuss what was going to happen regarding the accession of his nine-year-old son, Edward, who became King Edward VI.

Click here to read more about Henry VIII’s death.

You might also enjoy this video from last year:

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3 thoughts on “1457 and 1547 – Dates concerning three Tudor kings”
  1. I may have mentioned this on YouTube awhile back. We have an interesting date anomaly here with two former presidents John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Our 2nd and 3rd respectively. Both were signers of the Declaration of Independence on July 4,1776 and both died on July 4,1826 exactly 50 years to the day later within hours of each other.

  2. It is a weird coincidence but that often happens in families, according to one historian Henry V11 was baptised Owain the Welsh name meaning the deliverer, it was as if from the minute he was born people viewed him as someone special, when William of Orange was born his nurse said she saw a vision of three crowns circling his head as he lay in his cradle, these crowns came to represent the Kingdom’s of England Scotland and Wales, as he did become as we know joint ruler of Great Britain with his wife Mary Stuart, Henry Tudors mother was only a child herself and we cannot begin to imagine what she went through, an incredibly selfish act on the part of her husband to get a son and heir, yet he placed his child wife in the utmost danger, it was also not acceptable as young wedded couples were not considered old enough to cohabit till they were about fourteen or fifteen, poor Margaret alone and frightened but she had her precious son and the support of her brother in law, Henry Tudor was a precious child and spent most of his life abroad, when he defeated the army of Richard 111 he must have believed that he was destined for greatness, he is known as the founder of the Tudor dynasty, but it is his mother the indefatigable Lady Margaret Beaufort who really was the driving force behind him, also the 28th of January is the day of Henry V111’s death, his name inspires wonder awe and at the same time shock and disgust and curiousity, he is an enigma like his daughter Elizabeth 1st, the Tudor dynasty was short lived and brilliant and remains one of the most exciting episodes in English history.

  3. I have said it before, the two dates are very coincidental, a weird coincidence but one that’s quite remarkable, one a birth on 28th January 1457 and 90 years later a death 28th January 1547. O.K we don’t need to go down the Da Vinci Code root but it’s odd.

    The two dates connect the first two Tudor Kings, father and son, Henry Vii and our beloved Henry Viii. Henry Vii was born in Pembrokeshire, in the home of his Uncle, Pembroke Castle, on a stormy night in January 1457,_to a petite 13_year old widow. The birth almost killed both mother and child and was a dangerous birth, but by morning Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond, wife of Edmund Tudor, had given birth to a healthy son, originally called Owen, but known to history as Henry Tudor. Margaret had lost her husband a few months earlier of the plague while he remained at Carmarthen Castle after he was freed from prison. Margaret and Edmund Tudor had been married for 18 months and she was pregnant by the time she was thirteen as he had not waited before consummation which was generally recommended. Sexual permission was allowed as 12_for girls and 14 for boys but sexual maturity was believed to be much later and it was recommended the couple wait a few years. Margaret was a member of one of the most prestigious, richest and influential families in England, a descendant of King Edward iii, via the children his son John of Gaunt had with his mistress, later made legitimate and herself a rich land heiress. Edmund would get her inheritance by marriage and couldn’t wait for that, so he consummated the marriage straight away. This was even frowned upon then and Margaret was under undeveloped and had not yet reached sexual maturity. It was inconsiderate and even if Edmund was gentle, frightening for such a young girl.

    Edmund Tudor was twenty six, so not an old man but still twice the age of his child bride and the couple had met no more than one or two times and their marriage was arranged by the King and Margaret’s mother, Lady Beauchamp. He was the King’s man in South Wales and was at first working with Richard, Duke of York, the Lord Protector for an ill Henry Vi, and the local magnate Sir William Herbert. However, Tudor stood on the wrong toes and ended up taken prisoner at Carmarthen Castle. It was here he died. This left Margaret a widow heavily pregnant and alone in the middle of Medieval Wales. She was under the protection of her brother by law, Jasper Tudor, Earl of Pembroke and was vulnerable. Within a couple of years, however, Margaret had taken part in arranging a more permanent protector, Henry Stafford, brother to Humphrey, Duke of Buckingham.

    Young Henry was raised by his family for a couple of years until his mother’s family backed the wrong side in the Wars of the Roses. Edward iv came to the throne after Towton and Mortimer Cross in 1461 and with Margaret and her family on the side of Henry vi, the House of Lancaster, young Henry was removed when he was about eight by the King’s representatives and moved into the custody of William Herbert at Raglan Castle. Henry was kept in style as a royal ward, two floors were added for his luxurious apartments and he was trained in arms. Over the next decade with the rise and fall of the York Dynasty and Margaret having her family on the wrong side, Henry Tudor was raised by Herbert, his mother, then his Uncle. Her husband sided with Edward iv at Barnet in 1471 and was badly wounded. Margaret was at his side when he died. After the final victory of Edward at Tewkesbury, Henry, now fourteen, waiting at Chepstow with Jasper Tudor, was forced to flee via Tunnels in Tenby and headed for France. However, they were shipwrecked in Brittany and held there as “guests” for fourteen years .

    Margaret now showed how savvy she was. Only the King could bring her son back and Margaret knew she had to find a way into the centre of power and someone with influence who could help her. She needed a Yorkist husband. Sir Richard Bray was sent for to advise her and he suggested Lord Thomas Stanley, who himself had just wandered into favour again, having failed Edward at Tewkesbury. He had three adult sons so could respect the wish of Margaret for no further children, and he could aid her at Court. The marriage was beneficial to both parties and Margaret was soon working for Queen Elizabeth Woodville and Princess Elizabeth and Princess Cecily, to whom she became close. By 1482 Margaret was close to a deal with Edward to restore Henry to his inheritance. Henry may style himself Earl of Richmond but it was an empty title, which had been given to the late Duke of Clarence. Margaret was close to an agreement that Henry could return home when Edward iv died in April 1483.

    I will skip over the affair of Richard, Duke of Gloucester and his Protectorate to Margaret and her involvement with EW in arranging the marriage between her daughter and Henry Tudor and his first attempt at invasion in October 1483. Margaret was plotting to replace King Richard and to raise a rebellion and became the subject of an Act of Attainder, which Richard refused to sign. She was given to the authority of her husband, Lord Stanley, whom for some reason wasn’t suspected of anything and worked secretly for Henry to return. Henry invaded in August 1485 and because of betrayal overcame Richard at Bosworth and was crowned King in October that year.

    Henry has a poor reputation as King which isn’t entirely deserved. He tried to balance the embitterment between the various factions by his marriage to Elizabeth of York, whom he had to restore to legitimacy first before he could marry her. However, married they were in January 1486 and were a good partnership until her death at 37 in 1503. Elizabeth was strong, graceful, good natured and a loyal Queen, was popular, virtuous and she stood by her husband, was obedient and dutiful, strong and enjoyed spending money. I don’t accept romantic notions that this was a love match, but they were clearly fond of each other and married love probably grew over the years. The couple had several children, four of whom lived to adulthood. Together Henry and Elizabeth faced challenges from a number of Yorkist claimants over the next two decades, Warwick, Lambert Simnel and John de la Pole, Perkin Warbeck and Edmund de la Pole and Elizabeth was at his side through it all. Margaret Beaufort was important in her son’s reign, he replied on her for much of the advice he sought. Margaret may even have played a part in a delay in the marriage of her granddaughter, Princess Margaret and James iv of Scotland.

    The Tudor regime was strengthened through an alliance with Spain, that of young Princess Catalina of Aragon and the Prince of Wales, fifteen years old Arthur. The wedding was celebrated in grand style in the public arena of the old Saint Paul’s Cathedral. Tragically however, Arthur died in 1502 and Elizabeth herself died in 1503. It’s her death which may have changed Henry Vii who became withdrawn, ore suspicious of everything and everyone and who controlled the citizens of London with fines and extortion and his nobles the same way. Henry was a shadow of his former self when he died on 22nd April 1509. Margaret went on to see the marriage of her favourite grandson, Henry Viii to Katherine of Aragon and their joint coronation. She died a few days later in her mid sixties.

    Winding on another 38 years and on 28th January 1547,_90 years after his father’s birth on the same date of the month, a great and gigantic King passed away in Windsor Castle, surrounded by a greedy Council and his friend, the Archbishop of Canterbury at his side. He was Henry Viii and his had been the most dynamic, most traumatic and most transformative reign in English history. Besides his six wives, two of whom he executed, Henry actually achieved rather a lot. I am sorry but I intend to set aside any discussion of his wives or this will take all night. Henry was rightly called the father of the English navy, he built 46 gunships, he built two naval colleges and two yards to accommodate them, he built foundaries for canons and the latest updates and technology was found on them. He built our defences from one end of the country to the other, some with weapons capabilities of blowing ships out of the water, many were also gunned during the last two World Wars. He was inventive and encouraging in architecture, the arts and science and culture. He took a personal interest in medicine and founded the medical professional bodies. He turned England into an independent nation and some may say the reforms he allowed were also achievements, others disagree. Henry also allowed the Bible to be issued in English and had a Court full of men of learning, he used Italian designs to build wonderful palaces and he encouraged education. However, he also turned into a tyrant and this is where he is highly criticised and rightly so.

    Henry Viii was a sporting superstar and one of the most remarkable young King’s to occupy the throne. He was tall, handsome, generous, charming and not known for ruthlessness. However, he was also obsessed by the sad fact that he had no male heir and the terrible lengths he went to in order to meet that objective transformed him into a monstrous legend. Henry was devoted to one woman for 18 years, Katherine of Aragon, but she couldn’t give him a son. He sought an annulment and fell in love with Anne Boleyn, his future second wife. Several years of being refused turned Henry into someone who could brook no opposition and when he broke from Rome and exiled Katherine, the legislation to protect his second marriage and future children was brutal. With both his claim to be Supreme Head of the Church and a new Treason Act anyone who would not swear an oath was condemned as a traitor and executed. Even his daughter, Mary was threatened and eventually had no choice but to agree her father was not lawfully married to her mother and his Supremacy. His friends and holy monks who refused were executed, even Thomas More, the man who was his mentor was executed for refusing. Anne wasn’t able to give Henry a son either and she too was executed on false charges of treason and adultery. Henry became more and more unstable and unpredictable and his temper was terrible. Family, friends and wives all fell by the wayside as he changed from a moderate enforcer of the law to a man who executed anyone who got in his way. He even closed every religious House in England and Wales and took over the land and property for his own pleasure. It was, however, much of the revenue that was used to build the many forts to protect our coastline.

    Henry Viii had been controversial and feared but he was also a man of rare accomplishments and was described once as the most original man to sit on our throne. He preserved the peace and security of the Kingdom from outside enemies and he was in the end larger than life and set England on a path towards her own independent Destiny. In some ways he was one of the greatest, if the most ruthless monarch in our history. He was certainly the most uniquely fascinating.

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