Facts About King Henry VIII's Wives: Jane Seymour
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Facts About King Henry VIII's Wives: Jane Seymour

Facts about the life of Queen Jane Seymour, third of King Henry VIII's six wives

King Henry VIII is the best-known of the English Kings, a man who turned from a talented and admired renaissance prince to an autocratic, fat, tyrant. He is also well-known for being the only King with more wives than mistresses, marrying an astonishing 6 times.

So who were the women King Henry VIII married? Read on to find out the crucial facts about Henry VIII's third wife, Jane Seymour, the woman who finally gave King Henry the son and heir that he craved.

Name: Jane Seymour

Parents: Sir John Seymour and Margery Wentworth

Birth: Jane's exact date of birth was not recorded. She was born in either 1508 or 1509

Siblings: Jane Seymour had three older brothers, two younger brothers, and 3 younger sisters. Two of the older brothers and one sister became well-known.

Edward Seymour was the oldest of the nine Seymour children. He was born in about 1506. Just after the birth of Jane Seymour's son, Edward VI, he was made Earl of Hertford. When King Henry VIII died in February 1547, Hertford became one of the Regency Council, and was appointed Lord Protector in March 1547, and became the Duke of Somerset. He was arrested in October 1549 and deprived of the Protectorship, and executed at the Tower of London in early 1552.

Thomas Seymour was born in about 1507. Shortly after Henry VIII's death, Thomas attempted to marry first Mary, and then Elizabeth, Henry's two daughters. Having failed in both attempts, he married Queen Catherine Parr, Henry VIII's sixth wife and widow, in April 1547. Catherine soon became pregnant in 1548, and Thomas Seymour seems to have made sexual advances to Princess Elizabeth, who was living with Catherine Parr. He was then about 40, and Elizabeth was only 14. Catherine Parr died in childbirth in August 1548, and Thomas Seymour was arrested in January 1549, after he tried to kidnap the boy King. He was executed for treason.

Elizabeth Seymour was born in about 1513. She married three times, and had five children by her second marriage to Gregory Cromwell, son of Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII's chief advisor in the 1530s. Her first and third marriages were childless. She was chief lady-in-waiting to her sister, Jane Seymour, and to each of the three Queens who followed Jane – Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard, and Catherine Parr.

Appearance: Jane Seymour was of average height, with very pale skin and blue eyes.

Religion: Jane was Catholic, in contrast to the Queens before and after her (Anne Boleyn and Anne of Cleves).

Marriages: King Henry VIII appears to have started to show an interest in Jane Seymour in about January 1536. The couple became engaged on 20th May 1536, the day after Queen Anne Boleyn was executed at the Tower of London. They married on 30th May, and Jane was proclaimed Queen on 4th June, but never crowned.

Children: Jane Seymour gave birth to her only child, and Henry VIII's only son, Edward, on 12th October 1537 at Hampton Court.

Marriage end and death: Jane Seymour was in labour for 2-3 days before Edward VI was born. Although she initially appeared to recover slowly from the birth, some type of post-natal infection developed. Jane died, probably from childbirth fever, on 24th October 1537. Henry VIII regarded his marriage to Jane Seymour as his first valid marriage (he only accepted one other as being valid, that to Catherine Parr).

Sources:

Photos and images relating to Jane Seymour - http://tudorhistory.org/seymour/gallery.html

Death and terror: executions at the Tower of London - http://www.webhistoryofengland.com/?p=86

Henry VIII's six wives - love, marriage, and children - http://hubpages.com/hub/King-Henry-VIII-and-his-six-wives—love–marriage–and-children

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