RIP Edward VI

Posted By on July 6, 2010

Edward VI as a toddler, by Holbein

On this day in history, the 6th July 1553, Edward VI, King of England and son of Henry VIII and his third wife, Jane Seymour, died aged 15 at Greenwich Palace. He had only been King for 6 years and had never had the opportunity to rule in his own right. It is thought that he died from tuberculosis (consumption) or bronchopneumonia with complications.

How ironic that it was not the son that Henry had been so desperate for who had a long and prosperous reign, but the daughter of Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth I!

Although his mother and father were laid to rest in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, Edward was buried at Westminster Abbey, beneath the original altar of Henry VII’s Lady Chapel. His grave was unmarked until 1966 when Christ’s Hospital inserted a stone in memory of their founder. Westminster Abbey report that a man named Dean Stanley saw the inscription on Edward VI’s coffin in the 19th century and recorded it as saying:-

“Edward the sixth by the Grace of God King of England, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith and on earth under Christ supreme head of the churches of England and Ireland and he migrated from this life on the 6th day of July in the evening at the 8th hour in the year of our Lord 1553 and in the 7th year of his reign and in the 16th year of his age.”

You can find out more about Edward VI, his life and his reign at our Edward VI Bio page.

Notes and Sources

7 thoughts on “RIP Edward VI”

  1. Angie says:

    The poor boy never actually got to rule really. RIP Edward

  2. TinaII2None says:

    I had forgotten that Edward and Thomas More died on the same day, albeit years apart. I have never been sure what to think of Edward, I suppose because he just didn’t live long enough. But I wonder if he would have become as fanatical a Protestant as his half-sister Mary was considered as a Catholic (I hate saying fanatical, but I’m tired and it’s the only word that comes to mind right now. I guess I should say they were both completely devoted to their faiths — that doesn’t have to mean fanaticism). But I do wonder about him — what he might have become had he lived. And I have a lot of “what ifs” — what IF the English hadn’t driven baby Mary Queen of Scots into the arms of her French relatives, and she and Edward had married? What IF Edward and Lady Jane Grey had married? Would Edward have ruled like Elizabeth eventually did…or more like his father or grandfather? Would he have been a Warrior King like his ancestor Henry V? A hopeless romantic? A womanizer? What do you all think?

    But my one memory of Edward was in Mary Luke’s bio “A Crown for Elizabeth” in which a very lonely little King goes to his bedchamber after the long day of coronation activities…and there is no one with whom he can share the excitement of his day. Or as Luke conjectured “No one that really cared.” I can’t imagine even a bright boy like him having such responsibilities thrust upon him.

  3. miladyblue says:

    Even though he was a youngster who never ruled in his own right, they put him in an unmarked grave? Is there any information on who might have given such an order?

  4. Carolyn says:

    Mary I had him buried. Maybe she meant to build him a proper memorial, but thought she’d have more time in which to do so, since she also never got around to moving her mother’s body to a grander tomb. In the end, she asked Elizabeth to do it (move her mother), but Elizabeth didn’t. And James I ‘shoveled’ Elizabeth in on top of Mary, etc.

    The moral of the story? If you didn’t get things taken care of in your own lifetime, you might be out of luck for a grand tomb to your liking. The Egyptian pharaohs knew that and started building their tombs immediately upon accession.

  5. Eliza says:

    I just feel so sorry for him… He must have lived a lonely short life. No mother or father to be ther for him. RIP

  6. Rose says:

    I personally think that, if he had lived long enough, Edward would not have been anything like his father. When you think about it, the two had such different childhoods; Henry had always been the spoilt second son, enjoying petty things such as hunting and so on; where as Edward was said to be a solem boy, would was over-protected by his father. Being raised in the Protestant would have also made Edward’s views differ to Henry’s; as well as the fact that he believed it was his divine right to rule, and so on. This description dosen’t paint a picture of a man like his father; personally I feel sorry for this lonely boy! R.I.P Edward the boy King of England!

  7. Kelsea says:

    Edward VI was orginally buried underneath an altar in the Lady Chapel of Henry VII in Westminster Abbey. A monument was made for him during his sister Mary’s 5 year reign, however it was destroyed during the English Civil War and left unmarked from then.

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