Lesson 5 - Jane Seymour - faith-lyon

Jane was a lady in waiting for Anne Boleyn when she was queen. Do you see a pattern here?
Henry had his eye on her even before he started trying to dig up dirt on Anne, but didn’t act on
his feelings until Anne’s last miscarriage. She was the total opposite of Anne. So fair she was
almost pallid and not a beauty. Not witty like Anne or intelligent like Catherine, she received
the education for women of her time – needlework and household management. She could
only read and write her name. She was the ideal 16th century woman – silent, subservient and
sweet-tempered. While Anne would always be portrayed as a witch, Jane would be portrayed
as a saint.
Ten days after Anne’s execution, Henry and Jane were married. She never had a coronation.
Historians think perhaps Henry was waiting to see if she produced a son. He was hopeful since
her mother had delivered six sons. (Another stupid thought from Henry.) Two of Jane’s
brothers, Edward and Thomas, would gain great prominence at Henry’s court. You will hear a
lot about them later.
Jane had been raised a pious catholic and wanted to see the religion restored in the country,
but Henry was busy dissolving the monasteries. She implored the king to bring his daughter
Mary back to court in the hopes that her pious Catholicism would sway him to re-instate the
“true” religion. Then she threw herself on her knees and begged him to restore the
monasteries. Henry stormed at her and told her never to meddle in his affairs, reminding her
what had happened to the last wife. Honestly, was being Queen so cool that you could put up
with the likes of him? Mary was returned to court, but her title of Princess was not restored.
Less than two months after Henry and Jane were married, his bastard son by Bessie Blount,
died at the age of 17. His name was Henry Fitzroy and Henry had given him the title Duke of
Richmond. He died of consumption which was an old-timey name for pulmonary tuberculosis.
In early 1537, Jane became pregnant. The king was ecstatic. And, indeed, Jane did deliver a
son in October. Henry named him Edward. Jane was very weak after the birth, but was able to
attend Edward’s baptism. Mary and Elizabeth were also present and played a role in the
ceremony. But Jane died of childbed fever when Edward was two weeks old. Childbed fever is
known as septicemia these days. Doctors had not figured out yet that they needed to wash
their hands during medical procedures.
Henry was devastated by her death, but wait – there will soon be another wife.