ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Wives of King Henry VIII: Jane Seymour

Updated on February 17, 2009

A Quiet Life

Out of all of the wives of King Henry VII, Jane Seymour is matched only by Anne of Cleaves in her simpleness. She was not royal, she caused few problems, and she managed to die of natural causes rather than warranting execution or banishment. In fact, her one real acheivement was to produce a male heir, which was also her downfall. Let's venture down the road, however short, of Jane Seymour's life.

Life and Marriage

It is disputed, but Jane Seymour was thought to have been born in 1508, because there were 29 mourners in her train at her funeral. Traditionally the number of mourners in the train matched the age of the person at the time of death.

Seymour was born to Sir John Seymour of Wiltshire and Margery Wentworth. She was not highly educated as Queen Catharine and Anne Boleyn were. Instead she was taught all of the ins and outs of running a household, as well as skills like needlework. These were practical skills that were very popular for girls of the time.

In 1532 Jane became a maid-of-honour to Queen Catharine. This was the last year of Catharine's reign, and when she was disposed of Jane became part of Anne Boleyn's train. It was this proximity to King Henry that proved dangerous, for he married Jane Seymour just ten days after he his wife Anne Boleyn executed. It is disputed by historians, but some thought that she was part of the plot to have Anne executed. Certainly she had a lot to gain from it, having recently caught Henry's eye. Whether or not she wished Anne dead, once the Boleyn Queen was out of the way, Jane was free to take her place. Unlike Anne however, Jane was never officially crowned Queen. Some thought that Henry was holding back the privilege until she produced a male heir, as neither of his previous wives had done.

In contrast to the vibrant and sumptuous court of Queen Anne, Jane Seymour was a very conservative and demur woman. She banished the French fashions Anne had introduced, and restricted the dress of her ladies rigidly. She was quiet and obedient around her husband, in contrast to Anne who constantly threw fits around him. The only time she asked him for anything was when she asked for pardons for the participants in the Pilgrimage of Grace rebellion. His reply to her? Not to meddle in his affairs lest she end up like her predecessor.

In 1537 Jane became pregnant, and the court held its breath once more. She developed a hunger for quail, which Henry fulfilled by bringing in birds from as far away as France. She went in seclusion in September of the same year, and gave birth to the future King Edward VI of England on October 12th, 1537.

Death

During the little Prince's christening on the 15th of October is became very clear that Jane was ill. It is likely that she suffered from puerperal fever, an infection that was often the result of unsanitary conditions during childbirth. During the time it was one of the most common killers of women of childbearing age.

Jane worsened rapidly and died on the 24th of October. She was buried in St. George's chapel in Windsor Castle. When Henry VIII died in 1547, he was buried next to her.

Henry mourned Jane deeply, and did not marry for another three years. It is said that much of his fondness for her stems from that fact that she delivered a boy for him when others had not. In fact this was to be Henry's only son, and certainly not the most significant ruler to spring from his loins. Nonetheless, Jane Seymour had a profound effect on the King, and one wonders what would have happened had she survived. Would she have persevered where others failed? In truth, we shall never know.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Jaspals profile image

      Jaspal Singh 

      8 years ago from India / Australia

      Very Interesting as well Informative. Enjoyed reading.

    • Ladybythelake55 profile image

      Ladybythelake55 

      8 years ago from I was Born in Bethesda, Maryland and I live in Chicago,IL

      I PREFER ANNE BOLEYN TO JANE SEYMOUR. SHE WAS MUCH MORE COLORFUL AND GAVE BIRTH TO ONE OF THE MOST FAMOUS QUEEN'S IN ENGLISH HISTORY- ELIZABTH THE FIRST OF ENGLAND. I HAVE THE SIX WIVES OF HENRY THE VIII THE SIX PART SERIES BY BBC WITH ANNE STALLYBRASS AS JANE. THEY COULD HAVE CHOSE A BETTER ACTRESS THAN HER.

    • GarnetBird profile image

      Gloria Siess 

      8 years ago from Wrightwood, California

      His son with her died young, I believe. Poor jane Seymour-I just read a book on Tudor Birthing Methods in which they described her as being "tore open" during childbirth. Nice Hub!!

    • RRRood profile image

      RRRood 

      9 years ago from Sunny Florida

      The original Plain Jane, but she went down in history. Wonder how that history might have been changed had she lived longer.....

    • desert blondie profile image

      desert blondie 

      10 years ago from Palm trees, swimming pools, lots of sand, lots of sunscreen

      Love English history! Poor Jane ... but perhaps better to die of natural causes than the fates of Anne, or even Catharine. Enjoyed this!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)