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

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