Henry VII's Children

Henry VII
Henry VII | Source

The Birth of the Tudor Era

When Henry VII, the Lancastrian King, took the English throne he made a very shrewd, political move.   Henry married Elizabeth of York which brought together the two warring factions in England and formed what was to become the Tudor dynasty.

 

Henry and Elizabeth had seven children in total and of these seven four survived childhood –

 

  • Arthur
  • Margaret
  • Henry
  • Mary

 

Arthur

Prince Arthur, Heir to the English Throne

Arthur was married to Catherine of Aragon (youngest daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain), but died a few months later with no children which left Henry as his father’s heir.


Margaret

Princess Margaret, Henry VIII's Eldest Sister

Margaret was married three times the first time was to James IV of Scotland. They had six children together, but only one of these survived childhood and that was James (who would become James V of Scotland).


After the death of her husband Margaret remarried secretly to Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus. Her marriage was to lose her custody of her two sons, one of whom would die while she was hiding in the north of England. Margaret had a daughter to Douglas – Lady Margaret Douglas.


Margaret’s second marriage was not a happy one and she petitioned Rome for a divorce which was granted and she promptly married again, this time to Henry Stewart who her son made Lord Methven upon taking his throne.


James V married twice the first time was to Madeleine of Valois with whom he had no children. His second marriage was to Mary of Guise and he had three children with her, two sons who died within the same month and a daughter who would become Mary Queen of Scotland.


Margaret married Matthew Stewart who was King Regent of Scotland from 1870-1871. She had two sons Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley who would marry his cousin Mary, Queen of Scotland and Charles Stuart, 1st Earl of Lennox.



Henry

Henry, the Future Henry VIII of England

Henry would succeed his father as King becoming Henry VIII and would marry a total of six times. Despite this he would only have three children – Mary, Elizabeth and Edward.


Mary would become Mary I of England and married Philip I of Spain but was unable to have children.


Elizabeth would not marry and obtained the title of Virgin Queen as she famously said that she was married to her country. She succeeded to the throne upon the death of her half-sister Mary. Her death ended the Tudor era in England and the throne went to her cousin’s son (and her godson) James VI of Scotland.


Edward succeeded his father on the throne becoming Edward VI, but died before he could marry or have any heirs leaving his sister Mary to ascend to the throne.


Mary

Princess Mary - Henry VIII's Favorite Sister

Mary was married twice, the first time was to Louis XII of France a marriage she really didn’t want to make as he was over 30 years her senior and also because she had already fallen in love. Despite being her brother’s favorite (Mary I was named after her) he insisted on the marriage, but Mary got him to promise that if she outlived the King then she could chose her next husband. Henry agreed, but it’s doubtful he ever meant to keep his promise.


Louis XII died within months of his marriage and a couple of months after his death when it was clear that Mary was not pregnant she was allowed to leave for England. Before she did she secretly married Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk. Charles was in the party sent to ensure her safe trip home, and was also the person she had fallen in love with before marrying Louis.


Charles and Mary had three children.


Henry would die as a young adult before being able to marry and have children.


Frances married twice, the first time was to Henry Grey, Marquess of Dorset and they had three children who survived childhood including Lady Jane Grey who attempted to take the English throne upon the death of Edward VI.


Frances married a second time to Adrian Stokes, but their two children died as babies.


Eleanor married Henry Clifford, 1st Earl of Cumberland with whom she had three children, although only one survived childhood.


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