Edward VI

His Early Life

Henry VIII deepest wish came true on 12 October 1537 with the birth of his only son, Edward. Edward's mother died of child bed fever just days after the young prince was born. While he lived, Henry visited his son only on occassion, and with his death, the nine year old prince became king. But since he was only a minor, he was put into the protection of his uncle who would rule England for him until the boy came of age.

The Young King

Edward was a somber child, quite taken with the protestant religion, of high intelligence. But he was an unhappy child. His uncle, the Duke of Somerset, gave him very little money or priviledges and was very strict with him. Frustrated by feelings of 'unkinglyness,' Edward talked his advisors into letting him take control of England at his 16th birthday, two years short of the time he would have otherwise.

A Short Life

But in the beginning of 1552, Edward became sick with the measles and with small pox. Although he recoved, his illness seemed to seriously undermine his overall health. After a tour of England in the summer, his health began to rapidly decline in the fall. By his birthday, he was coughing up blood.
By this time, Edward was in the control of the Duke of Northumberland, a selfish man greedy for power. He pressured Edward into writing his two sisters, Mary and Elizabeth, out of the succession, replacing them with Jane Grey, his daughter-in-law.
On Thursday, 6 July 1553, Edward died.


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