28 June 1491 – Birth of King Henry VIII

Posted By on June 28, 2013

Laughing child thought to be Henry VIII by Guido Mazzoni c.1498

Laughing child thought to be Henry VIII by Guido Mazzoni c.1498

On 28th June 1491, Henry VIII was born at the Palace of Placentia  (Greenwich Palace). He was the third child of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York, coming after Prince Arthur and Princess Margaret. He was baptised at Greenwich’s Church of the Observant Friars by Richard Foxe, Bishop of Exeter and Lord Privy Seal.

As David Starkey points out in his book “Henry: Virtuous Prince”,1 nobody seemed to take much notice of the birth of the man who would become such an iconic king. This may seem strange to us but then we have the hindsight of knowing about the man this baby would become. For England and for his family, he was just “the spare”, his older brother Arthur was the heir to the throne, the apple of his father’s eye. While Arthur was “groomed for kingship”2 and brought up by Henry VII and those he chose for the task of educating the future King, Henry was brought up at Eltham Palace with his sisters, in his mother’s world. Nobody knew that Arthur would die young and that Henry would become King. Of course, everything changed in 1502 when Arthur died and when Henry VII died on 21st April 1509 it was his second son who became King Henry VIII.

You can read more about Henry in the following articles:

Also on this day in history…

  • 1461 – Coronation of King Edward IV at Westminster Abbey. His consort, Elizabeth Woodville, who he married in 1464, was crowned Queen on 26 May 1465.

Notes and Sources

  1. Starkey, David (2008) Henry: Virtuous Prince, p13
  2. Penn, Thomas (2011) Winter King: The Dawn of Tudor England, p27