Henry VIII and Edward VIOn Friday 28th January 1547 the fifty-five year-old King Henry VIII died at the Palace of Whitehall. His death was kept secret until 31st January, giving the King’s Council time to discuss what was going to happen regarding the accession of Henry VIII’s nine year-old son, Edward, who became King Edward VI.

Chroniclers Edward Hall and Charles Wriothesley recorded the King’s death:

“Now approched to thys noble kyng, that whych is God decreed, and appoynted to all menne, for at thys ceason in the monethe of Ianuary, he yelded hys spirite to almightie God and departed thys worlde, and lyeth buried at Wyndsore. And the laste daye of Ianuary was hys true, lawful and onely sonne Prynce Edwarde Proclaymed kyng, of all his fathers dominions, and the xix daye of February, was crouned and anoynted Kynge of thys realme, whome Iesu preserue, longe to reygne ouer vs.”1

“The 31 of Januarie my lord major was sent for to the Perliament Chamber at Westminster, before the lordes of the Kinges Majesties Privie Counsell, and their was declared to them by my Lord Chauncelor and other the death of the Kinges Majestie Henrie the Eight, our Soveraigne Lord, which deceased to Almightie God on Fridaie last, being the 28th of Januarie, and straig[ht]ly charging them to keepe the Kinges peace and to loke the savegarde of the Kinges Majesties Chambre of London, and so they departed.

Imediatlie, the said lordes in their ordre, with Garter, the King of Haroldes, and other, in their cote armors, came out of the Perliament Chambre into the Palace of Westminster Hall with a trumpett, and their proclamation was made by the said Garter under the Kinges brode seale. Edward the Sixth, sonne and heire of our late Soveraigne Lord, to be King of this realme of England, France and Ireland, Defendour of the Faith, &c., and of the churches of England and also of Ireland the Supream Head, ymediatlie under God on earth.”2

The King is dead! Long live the King!

You can read more about Henry VIII’s final days in my article 28 January 1547 – Henry VIII dies.

Beth von Staats, author of Thomas Cranmer in a Nutshell has written a moving fictional account of Henry VIII’s last days over on the Tudor Society website. Click here to read it now.

Today is also the anniversary of the birth of the Tudor dynasty’s founder, King Henry VII, in 1457 at Pembroke Castle – click here to read more about this.

Notes and Sources

  1. Hall, Edward (1809) Hall’s chronicle: containing the history of England, during the reign of Henry the Fourth, and the succeeding monarchs, to the end of the reign of Henry the Eighth, in which are particularly described the manners and customs of those periods. Carefully collated with the editions of 1548 and 1550, printed for J. Johnson; F.C. and J. Rivington; T. Payne; Wilkie and Robinson; Longman, Hurst, Rees and Orme; Cadell and Davies; and J. Mawman; London. p.868.
  2. Wriothesley, Charles (1875) A chronicle of England during the reigns of the Tudors, from A.D. 1485 to 1559, Volume 1, Camden Society, p. 178.

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7 thoughts on “28 January 1547 – The King is dead! Long live the King!”
  1. What was the discussion about, Edward was the next in line for king? I understand his tender age but it should have been a easy transition.

    1. He was in his minority and Henry VIII had left instructions for a regency council (of equals) to advise his son, but over the days that followed Henry VIII’s death, his instructions were put to one side and Edward Seymour became Lord Protector, governing England on behalf of his nephew. Henry VIII didn’t want that, he didn’t want one person in charge and influencing his son, he wanted a council of equals helping Edward.

  2. Henry had the right idea setting up a Council of sixteen rather than a Lord Protector with the power of a Regent. Henry was hoping to avoid the fates of earlier Protectors and or minority Kings. He also hoped to avoid a power grab, but that is exactly what happened here. Former Lord Protectors had been the brother of the former King or Uncle or other relative, with the support of the Great Council and the former Queen would have a ceremonial role to play. Henry excluded Queen Katherine Parr, probably because of the trouble with her heretical beliefs a year earlier and left clear instructions for his sons formal education. However, Edward Seymour took over and made himself Lord Protector, his brother Lord Admiral, probably on the fact that he was the new King’s oldest living male relative. The Seymour brothers had probably planned this take over for some time. Edward recruited others like William Paulet to gain backing for their take over and had manourvered the old guard out of the way over the previous couple of years, taking advantage to Henry’s susceptibility to paranoia and conspiracy theories to get rid of rivals for power. Just how they really got away with it is amazing but they pulled off a coup and for the next few years, effectively ruled as de facto Kings.

    1. This hits close to home for me. My father was killed in a staged suicide that was written off as an “accidental” suicide. He was born July 6 1961 and died January 6 2018. My uncle by marriage had something to do with it because he waa always jealous of my dad. He wanted his house,his mineral rights,his business, properties, and money.My uncle’s daughter named her son’s Edward and William. My older brother lives out of state and my younger half brother was picked up by a non related aunt to live out of state because my uncle paid her to get him out of here. These ppl had clerk of court records changed and everything. They took my dad,my birthrights, my brother,and my inheritance! No one will help because they are playing defense with my inheritance and they got corruption on their side. I miss my dad. I’ve been looking for his anscestors sense he died,but there’s no real records on him anywhere!!! I’m not even sure if Wayne Gerard Molaison is his real name and at his home after he died…I found his coffee canister with the letters GJB drawn over his initials. I think he was leaving a clue. My name is Megan Elizabeth Molaison by the way and it doesn’t look like I’m on any tree either.

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