I can’t quite believe how many anniversaries of Tudor events there have been in the past couple of weeks and here’s another!

Yes, on this day in history, the 20th February 1547, Edward VI was crowned King of England at the tender age of nine.

You can find out more about the boy king, who never ruled in his right, by reading our “Edward VI” page but here are some Edward VI facts:-

  • Edward VI was the son of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour, Henry’s third wife.
  • He was born on the 12th October 1537.
  • He never knew his mother because she died of puerperal fever less than two weeks after his birth.
  • Henry VIII set up a Council of Regency in his will to help his young son rule the country.
  • Both his uncles, Edward and Thomas Seymour, were executed.
  • Both of Edward’s half-sisters, Mary and Elizabeth, became Queens of England.
  • Edward VI went against his father’s will by writing his “Devise for the Succession”, naming Lady Jane Grey as his heir and excluding Mary and Elizabeth from the succession.

  • Edward was a Protestant.
  • It was once thought that he was a sickly child and weak boy but many historians now discount this view.
  • It is not known what Edward VI died of – theories include Tuberculosis (consumption) or bronchopneumonia which led to further complications. It was once rumoured that John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, had poisoned the boy.
  • Edward VI’s reign is known for heralding in the English Reformation – the Book of Common Prayer was introduced, along with Thomas Cranmer’s Forty-two Articles and the 1549 Act of Uniformity.
  • Edward VI has been called “The British Josiah” after the famous reformer John Calvin called him “our Josiah” in a letter in 1550. Calvin also likened Edward to Hezekiah, David and Joseph.
  • Edward died at the age of 15 on the 6th July 1553 at Greenwich Palace.
  • Edward was buried on the 8th August 1553 in the Henry VII Lady Chapel at Westminster Abbey – Mary I allowed a Protestant funeral, which was conducted by Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, but she attended a mass for him at the Tower of London.
Edward VI and the Pope: An Allegory of the Reformation
Edward VI and the Pope: An Allegory of the Reformation

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6 thoughts on “Edward VI Crowned King”
  1. Yes, another anniversary. Considering how cold it is, and how cold it must have been in Tudor times (colder than today) I don’t know how they got around to doing so much at this time of the year.
    Poor little Edward. Not much of a life. Though how many kids get to put their name to dozens of Grammar Schools all over the country, and to execute two of their uncles in a lifetime! (don’t try this at home kids).
    Manipulated all the way. I know some people like to say he took control of affairs and he was responsible for a lot of what happened with the will and so on, but at that tender age – surely not too much, not with big powerful men like the Seymours and John Dudley on the scene.

  2. it is sad.. he should’ve had a better life. His uncles didn’t care about him really, they just wanted the power. Dudley, I don’t know.. After reading Lady Jane Grey by Ives, you wonder if he really was as bad as claimed, or he was just doing what Edward wanted him to do. Edward wanted Jane to be queen, and Ives proves this very successfully. That being said, I think if he had known his mother, and had better men around him during his reign, he might have had a better life….

  3. If anyone is interested, Chris Skidmore wrote a great book about Edward VI. The book is title “Edward VI: The Lost King of England. It is one of few books that actually examines Edward’s reign, the people surrounding the King, the implications of “Devise ofor the Succession,” the introduction of the Book of Common Prayer and Cranmer’s Act of Uniformity. What I liked about Skidmore’s book was his ability to give Edward agency and power, even though he was a minor. While the book is fairly academic, the reading is easy and clear. Finally an historian who places Edward in his proper place in history as the first official Protestant King.

  4. Edward was born to Henry Tudor of England and his third wife Jane Seymour and was the second son born to King Henry VIII but the first illigitimate one he was also the one of the two to survive until his teenage years.Edward afterbirth grew up with nurses and tutors one of which was named Sybill Penn.During 1543 his father Henry had been planning on marrying his son off to Marie Queen of Scots but never happened as she was to be wedded to the french dauphin later on.This as a result became known as “The Rough Wooing”
    Edward became king of England on january 28th 1547 just after his father Henry died but was not crowned until february 20th which was a few weeks later as preperations needed to be made first.Edward suceeded to the throne at the age of nine years old which was a very young age to inherit the throne he had been eleven years younger than his father when he succeeded him to the throne.Understanderbly he could not rule alone so a protector was put in place to help him govern his rule.
    In his fathers will and testement it clearly stated that he wanted his son Edward to be taken care of by his uncle Edward the Earl of Hertford and later the Duke of Somerset.At this time his step mother Catherine Parr was betrothed to Edwards other uncle Thomas Seymour which produced a girl called Mary Parr/seymour.This resulted in death after birth for Catherine.Edward was fond of his stepmother Lady Parr as well as both of his sisters he often reffered of his little sister Elizabeth as “Sweet sister Temperence”
    The Duke of Somerset helped his nephew Edward rule from 1547-1549.The start of King Edward VI’s reign marked the beggining of economic problems as his father before him left the country bankrupt.As a result in 1549 the country went into a riot and henceforth a rebellion.The first revolt was called the prayer book rebellion and the second was called Ketts rebellion which was lead by a man named Robert Kett.Edwards reign also saw the transformation of the Anglican church turn into protestant form.It was at this time that protestantism was first introduced into England.The reform saw the result of clerical celibacy and mass banished.It was from here on that all church services were held in english rather than latin.Thomas Cranmer played a huge role in King Edwards reign aswell as being responsible for the changes in the country.
    During this time Edwards uncle Thomas Seymour was executed and then later on his protector Somerset was shortly to follow but this was not to happen until another three years later.Somerset after his brothers execution became worried and feared for his unpopularity as was the case when any member of nobillity was to fall from his/her power or to be executed the whole familly went down as a result with it.Somerset then left the palace for Windsor castle for his safety and it was not long after that the king and his council had him put in the Tower but he was to be shortly released and restored back to power and put back on the privy council only to try to bring King Edwards new protector down.It was from this time on the king was have a new lord protector.His name was John Dudley the Earl of Warrick and later the Duke of Northumberland.His governership would last three years.1550-1553.Somerset as a result tried but failed to do so and in 1552 he was executed for high treason.Northumberland would be his last protector until Edward died.
    When Edward fell ill and it was proved that he had little to no time left to live an “Act of succession” was drawn up between him and his council to stop the country returning back to catholicsm.Undoubtedly Dudley did all of the work on the boy kings behalf urging him on his deathbed to name Lady Jane Grey as Queen.The succession was finally written along with the will which named Jane as the rightful heir and the next queen of England along with Edwards half sisters Mary and Elizabeth exempt.
    Northumberland sent regular correspondence to Edwards half sister Mary informing her of his illness and that he was ill.The king seemed to be have suffering with smallpox or the measles.Edward at one point seemed to have felt better as he left Westminster for Greenwhich but within a month later the boy king fell gravely ill again but this time it would be for the worst.He contracted turburculosis and then died on the 6th of july1553.
    Edward’s death was kept secret for a while after his death by Northumberland.The reason being for this is that Dudley did not want to see a catholic ruling the throne of England and the whole country returning back to catholicism again.

  5. AND he wanted some time to get all his ducks in a row. He tried to trick Mary into coming to London so he could seize her, but she was tipped off and fled. He tried to get Elizabeth to give up her right to the throne in favor of Jane, but Elizabeth wisely pointed out that as long as her sister Mary lived, Elizabeth had no right to the throne, so maybe he should talk to Mary first. Busy trying to chase down Mary, he didn’t have time to deal with Elizabeth, too. When the people found out what was happening, they flocked to Mary, and she stopped fleeing, turned around and began marching on London with her spontaneous army that grew by the mile, while Dudley’s paid troops deserted in droves. By the time she reached London, London opened its gates to her and proclaimed her Queen without a shot fired.

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