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King Henry 9th?

Updated on August 28, 2012

King Henry the 9th

England didn't have a King Henry the 9th, as everyone knows, but it very nearly happened, as Henry the 8th was trying desperately to have his illegitimate son, Henry Fitzroy recognised as his heir. Henry named him Fitzroy, or Son of the King. If Henry Fitzroy had not died at the age of seventeen from consumption, who knows where his life would have led him. He was the image of his father, a big man with shocking red hair, bluff and hearty, and the King loved him because of this. King Henry was convinced that it was his duty to produce a male heir to keep secure the throne and to continue the Tudor Dynasty, as he firmly believed that the English people would never accept a female monarch. How wrong he was, as his daughter Elizabeth was to reign with the greatest respect and love of the people for many years, even fighting the great war with Spain and scattering the Spanish Armada to the four winds.

Elizabeth Blount

Henry Fitzroy's mother was Elizabeth Blount, a Lady-in-waiting to Henry's wife, Catherine of Aragon. She came to the palace in 1514 when she was in her teens, as a maid-of- honour to the Queen and Henry quickly took notice of her. She became his mistress and bore him a son in 1519.

Henry Fitzroy was well loved and his father spent time with him and saw to it that he was educated in a manner befitting a Royal Prince. Fitzroy was the only one of Henry 8th's illegitimate children that he publicly acknowledged, even though Henry had been married to Catherine of Aragon for ten years and with whom he had a 3-year-old daughter.
Born healthy, Fitzroy gave his father hope of a legitimate son with Catherine. This was the proof he needed that he could produce male heirs. The King doted on his son. His treatment of Fitzroy alarmed Catherine of Aragon so much that she reminded Henry that his legitimate daughter Mary was his heir. This outraged Henry and he rebuked her soundly.

Elizabeth's relationship with Henry lasted for eight years, unlike his other affairs, which were generally short-lived and unacknowledged. After the child's birth, the affair ended for some unknown reason.

Soon after the birth of Henry Fitzroy, the King began an affair with Mary Boleyn, the sister of the king's future wife Anne Boleyn. Mary may have been the reason for Elizabeth Blount's falling out of favour.

Even though Henry's mother's affair with the king was over, she was well looked after and she married well. She and her husband received grants of money and land from the king. Fitzroy was known as Lord Henry Fitzroy until 18 June 1525, when his father created him Duke of Richmond and Somerset and Earl of Nottingham. He was also granted several other appointments, including Lord High Admiral of England, President of the Council of the North, and Warden of the Marches towards Scotland, which in effect made him the governor of the north of England. All this honour for a boy of six was remarkable. It showed the high esteem that the king held in his son.

Fitzroy married Lady Mary Howard, daughter of the Duke of Norfolk on 28 November 1533.

With these titles, Henry Fitzroy earned a huge annual sum of money, enough to make him the second richest Duke in England. He enjoyed a status below only King Henry and his legitimate children.

Things were going extremely well for young Fitzroy, he had power, lands, a beautiful wife and the love of his father. However in 1536 he became sick, and to the King's horror, he wasted away and died. The King was beside himself with grief. All his hopes and plans of having his son follow him to the throne were dashed. At the time of his death an act of parliament was about to be passed that permitted the King to designate his successor, whether legitimate or not. It had long been the King's ambition to have his son crowned as his heir and he had worked hard towards that goal. Henry would not have it that a woman could rule the country. His subsequent marriages were all to one end. He would have a male heir.

Elizabeth was now a widow with three children to bring up, as her husband, Gilbert Tailboys had died before her son. Gilbert and Elizabeth had produced two sons and a daughter, George, Robert and Elizabeth. The widow then fell in love with a younger man, Edward Fiennes, the Earl of Lincoln. They were blessed with three daughters. Elizabeth went back to the palace to become Lady-in-waiting to Anne of Cleves, King Henry's fourth wife, but she started to ail and fell ill. Returning home to her husbands estate, she died.

King Henry went to his grave in 1547 secure in the knowledge that his son, Edward, presented to him by his third wife, Jane Seymour would reign in his place. Sadly, Edward 6th died in 1553, aged 16, ending the male line to the throne.
















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    • scarytaff profile imageAUTHOR

      Derek James 

      5 years ago from South Wales

      Thank you, mizjo. I'm glad that you were another hubber who liked it.

    • mizjo profile image

      mizjo 

      5 years ago from New York City, NY

      I found this very interesting indeed, like all your other well-researched hubs. If we believed in crime and punishment applying to Supreme Heads, I'd say that Henry was justly punished for his insane and abnormal treatment of women and for his self-worship.

    • scarytaff profile imageAUTHOR

      Derek James 

      5 years ago from South Wales

      Life would be a lot less interesting if we did not speculate and question what might or might not have been. Henry introduced a whole new religion so I'm sure changing the rules of accession would have been no problem at all. Hubs are meant to be entertaining and a lot of people found this one to their liking.

    • profile image

      camdenham 

      5 years ago

      Dear Scarytaff.

      Your writing is well worth reading, but this piece on King Henry the "9th" does need some urgent correction.

      On a purely script-based comment, Monarchs are ALWAYS written in Roman Numerals. This isn't some just an olde-worlde attempt to maintain standards that might have slipped elsewhere, but to read the words "Henry the 8th" as opposed to "Henry VIII" is just so absurd that it endangers anything else that you might write on the topic as being composed by an illeterate.

      With that aside, the piece on Henry VIII's illegitimate son Henry Fitzroy does require clarification upon the whole "what if he had lived" question.

      Legitimacy counts for everything when succession is concerned. Had Henry Fitzroy survived, the very nature of succession to the throne would have needed to be dispensed with should any notion of him taking a place of relevance be concerened. As a bastard ( no offence intended) he would have had ABSOLUTELY no claim whatsoever to the throne, and so your pondering on what might have been had he survived his father are entirely without any substance at all. If producing a surviving son was all that was required ( without the need for it's mother to inconviniently happen to be one's wife) then your "what-if" scenario might well be worth discussing, but forward-wind some centuries, and we find the finalyears of the Hanoverian Dynasty able to produce no end of male heirs, regretably non within wedlock, resulting in the reign of Queen Victoria, but perhaps we have gotten too ahead of ourselves and need a more Tudor-Stuart example....

      Our nation desperately sought a legitimate Protestant heir during the reign of King Charles II ( not the 2nd !!) and his recognized son, the Duke of Monmouth was so keenly desired as opposed to the King's Catholic brother, the Duke of York, that attempts were made to fabricate evidence that Monmouth's mother had been secrectly married to Charles during his time in exile. The King would take no part in this farce, firmly believing until his last breath that the rules of succession could not be altered, even if the disarsterous prospect of a Catholic dynasty where to be the result.

      Even Scotland had a perfectly decent male-heir to the late King to take the crown when an essentially young and somewhat silly French woman named Mary claimed that nation's crown, as she, and she alone had been born to the Kings wife.

      In conclusion, the very idea of wondering what might have been in the case of Henry's natural, but illegitamate son having survived him is seemingly a pointless point.

      Best wishes, Anton.

    • scarytaff profile imageAUTHOR

      Derek James 

      6 years ago from South Wales

      Thanks, joanveronica. Glad you enjoyed it.

    • joanveronica profile image

      Joan Veronica Robertson 

      6 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

      Hi, great hub! I enjoyed it, as usual, I vaguely recalled the son, Henry, but this was a good refresher. Voted up and interesting.

    • Earl S. Wynn profile image

      Earl S. Wynn 

      6 years ago from California

      Sure thing! :)

    • scarytaff profile imageAUTHOR

      Derek James 

      6 years ago from South Wales

      Thanks for commenting, Earl

    • Earl S. Wynn profile image

      Earl S. Wynn 

      6 years ago from California

      Interesting! There's not much I know about the history of the British royal family. Very enlightening!

    • scarytaff profile imageAUTHOR

      Derek James 

      7 years ago from South Wales

      Yes, how wrong they were. Thanks for reading it viking.

    • viking305 profile image

      L M Reid 

      7 years ago from Ireland

      A very interesting hub. I had forgotten about Henry 8th and this son. They were all proved wrong about a woman not being able to rule the Country!

    • scarytaff profile imageAUTHOR

      Derek James 

      8 years ago from South Wales

      Thanks, rope.

    • The Rope profile image

      The Rope 

      8 years ago from SE US

      ST - once again a great read. It's a nasty day out and your history hubs are the perfect way to read away the afternoon. Thanks!!

    • scarytaff profile imageAUTHOR

      Derek James 

      8 years ago from South Wales

      Thanks wag, yes I've seen the Tudors. Great series. Thanks for putting me on Digg.

    • profile image

      Wag The Dog 

      8 years ago

      Great hub. That era was one heck of a drama. Have you ever seen the Showtime special The Tudors? That show is great. I Think that it sticks pretty well to the true story line too. If you have not seen it, it is worth a look see. Just do not do so with kids around. Great hub and I rated it up and gave it a DIGG. See it here http://digg.com/d31CTh7 on Digg. Rate it up/Give it a Digg.

    • scarytaff profile imageAUTHOR

      Derek James 

      8 years ago from South Wales

      Thanks jayjay and paradise7, comments are always worth while.

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 

      8 years ago from Upstate New York

      Good hub. I like these, always interesting and to the point, and containing good information. Thank you!

    • jayjay40 profile image

      jayjay40 

      8 years ago from Bristol England

      Love your history hubs, keep them coming

    • scarytaff profile imageAUTHOR

      Derek James 

      8 years ago from South Wales

      Thanks MixtapeChick. Yeah I know what you mean.

    • MixtapeChick profile image

      MixtapeChick 

      8 years ago from Rialto, California

      Nice Hub! I read 'em all. Though I must say.. the song always pops in my head when I think of Henry the 8th haha!

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