22 July – Death of Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond

Jul22,2011 #Henry Fitzroy

Duke of RichmondOn the 22nd July 1536*, Henry VIII’s illegitimate son, eighteen year old Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond, died at St James’s Palace, probably of tuberculosis. Burial arrangements were left to the Duke of Norfolk, who arranged for Fitzroy to be buried at Thetford Priory in Norfolk. He was later moved to St Michael’s Church, Framlingham, Suffolk, due to the dissolution of the priory, and joined there by his wife, Mary Howard, after her death in 1557. St Michael’s Church is also home to the tombs of Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, and Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey.

You can find out more about Henry Fitzroy in the following articles:-

News – On the 17th June, the BBC reported that laser imaging and X-ray spectrometers are being used to scan the tombs of Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, and Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond, at St Michael’s Church. It is believed that these two tombs were remodelled when they were moved from Thetford Priory to St Michael’s in 1540, and this 3D scanning will allow the tombs to “be virtually broken apart and reassembled into various possible configurations”. Exciting! You can read more about this in the BBC news report – click here.

* David Loades writes of Fitzroy dying on the 23rd July.

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4 thoughts on “22 July – Death of Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond”
  1. I see he died not long after Anne’s execution. I wonder when the King was alone though the night if he ever thought to himself if this was an act of divine punishment for his treatment and execution of Anne, and filling his son’s head with lies!!

    That laser imaging sounds wery interesting, I wonder if they would use it on other tombs, maybe Henry’s…. I hope so

    It seems to be a strange coinsidence that Henry VII, Authur, Richmond and EdwardVI,all died of lung related diseases, I wonder if there was a genectic impairment carried by the Tudors, they certainly seem to be the ‘weaker sex’ of the dynasty. .

  2. It is interesting to speculate what role Henry Fitzroy would have played in Tudor politics if he had lived longer. He was not only a Tudor by blood but by marriage was a member of the powerful Norfolk clan. If an opportunity had presented itself would the Duke of Norfolk have attempted to use Fitzroy as a tool to seize the throne ? Or would one of Henry’s half siblings have executed him before he even considered the possibility ?

    1. Good points Emma. Which ever way it went, if he lived, his life would have certainly been in the midst of all the twists and turns of plots and conspiracies in Tudor policitics. I would imagine there would be a high chance of him being locked in the tower, with a stronger possibility that he would take that short trip to the block…the price you usually had to pay for being born close to the throne, maybe his early death was a blessing in disguise, poor lad.

  3. Poor Fitzfoy, though he was treated quite well while living, he did not live long. Thatis always sad. I think it interesting that he attended Anne’s execution and then died just a little while afterwards–was he sick when he watched her die? problably.

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