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

9 thoughts on “28 June 1491 – Birth of King Henry VIII”

  1. Louise says:

    Sly, sneaky sideways looking little eyes. Yes, it could definitely be Henry.

    1. Mary the Quene says:

      I did find it interesting that the child is not looking straight-on. Louise, you’ve made such a funny comment about it!

  2. Kim says:

    Hey…Happy Birthday, Henry! (You rascal, you.) Thanks for all the fine exploits – giving those who followed a rich history to study.

    1. Laila nellemoes says:

      Kim ..so true! I am from Denmark but Henry Vlll have facinated me all my life and have studyet him more than the Danish kings 🙂

  3. BanditQueen says:

    Happy Birthday to Henry VIII! May the soul of KIng Henry VIII live forever more: England’s greatest King! Vivat! Vivat! Rex!

  4. ranplon says:

    Happy Birthday to Henry VIII! May the soul of KIng Henry VIII live forever more: England’s greatest King! Vivat! Vivat! Rex!

    I agree with you BanditQueen 😉

  5. TheHighEmpress says:

    I often wonder how differently events would have played out, had King Henry VII had the wisdom to give young Henry the exact same bringing up, and doting apon as he had with Arthur. I believe that being spoiled, and most of his life (I say ‘most’ , because he did have about 8 short years to learn a little from his father, before Henry VII died) he missed the very important lessons in ‘grooming’ a future king. I equally believe that, had Arthur survived, he would have become a great, fair, and revered king to his subjects, the total opposite of his spoiled little brother. How differently would England be today? .. I also wonder if Arthur and Catherine had fallen in love in such a short time before he died. Did she grieve for him? I wonder how he felt knowing that the illness was killing him and he would have to leave his newlywed bride behind.

    1. Mary the Quene says:

      Pretty sure Catherine did most keenly grieve for Arthur; they seem to have been fairly well-matched. After his death, she was dropped into an abyss of nothing – no status, no recognition, no money for food or clothes. Her ability to withstand and endure that time in her life gave her the fortitude to hold out against Henry VIII when he decided to cast her off. She was so strong and so incapable of being brought low. No wonder Spain had such a beef with England for years afterward.

      1. TheHighEmpress says:

        Very true, Mary! I agree, she was a very strong woman with steel in her veins.

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