King Edward VI

Facts about King Edward VI

King Edward VI died at 15 years old
Died: July 6, 1553
Birthplace: Molesey, England
Best known as: King Henry VIII's son, boy heir to the throne


King Edward VI Biography

The son of King Henry VIII and Jane Seymour, Edward VI was on the throne from the age of 9 until his death at the age of 15.

Henry’s only legitimate son, Edward was raised to be king and was said to be a savvy youth with a keen interest in matters of finance. His father died in 1547, and the boy was crowned king, despite having two older sisters, Mary and Elizabeth.

During Edward VI’s brief reign his uncle, Edward Seymour, took the reins of power from a regency council that had been established by Henry VIII. Financial instability and unrest in Scotland ruined Seymour’s career, so he was replaced by John Dudley, Earl of Warwick, and eventually beheaded by the king’s order.

Edward VI went down in history as a sickly boy king, but recent scholarship has challenged that notion and argued that he was shaping up to be as skilled and ambitious as his father — until he succumbed to a lung disease (perhaps tuberculosis).

Edward VI was the first English king to be born a Protestant, and anti-Catholic church reforms under his reign were extreme.

In part to deny his sister Mary the throne (she was Catholic), Edward named as his successor Lady Jane Grey, the granddaughter of Henry’s sister.

Lady Jane Grey was deposed nine days later by Mary I.

Extra credit

Edward VI’s mother, Jane Seymour, died twelve days after giving birth to him… At one point, Edward was betrothed to Mary Queen of Scots — when he was four years old and she was seven months old. It didn’t work out.


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