Monday, January 28, 2013

The Death of Henry VIII and the Birth of Henry VII

A portrait of King Henry VIII as he would have looked close to his death. Portrait after Hans Holbein, circa 1542. Image acquired through Wikimedia Commons. Image public domain.

On this day in Tudor history in 1547, the King who had struck both awe and fear into the lives of the English people for nearly 38 years, Henry VIII, died at Whitehall Palace. Years ago and on the very same day in 1457, his father, Henry Tudor, who eventually became Henry VII, had been born at Pembroke Castle.

A portrait of King Henry VII by an unknown artist, circa 1505. Image public domain through Creative Commons licensing, NPG, London.

14 years earlier, also in the very same week, King Henry VIII had married his second wife, Anne Boleyn, also in Whitehall Palace. It is frivolous to speculate what thoughts occurred, or what memories re-played through Henry VIII's mind as he lay dying; but I would like to think that the significance of being in these familiar surroundings within the same week in January was not lost on Henry.

"Henry's reconciliation with Anne Boleyn", an etching published by Cunningham & Mortimer in 1842. Picture acquired through Wikimedia Commons. Image public domain.

Most who study the Tudor period would agree that Anne Boleyn was the great love of King Henry VIII's life, and that their daughter, Elizabeth, was the greatest off the Tudor monarchs. 
The Whitehall Family Grouping, or, The Family of King Henry VIII, painted circa 1544. Discover the significance of this portrait here. Picture acquired through Wikimedia Commons. Image public domain.

Author Nancy Bilyeau wrote an article last year dispelling the myths that still prevail about King Henry VIII's final days and death. The article on the English Historical Fiction Authors blog, was shared via Facebook by Stephanie Tracy, The Tudor Enthusiast, and I highly recommend it.

~Dear readers, it should be mentioned that I am hard at work on three new articles for the BeingBess blog; two are almost at completion! I am also starting my second masters course today, entitled "Tudor England". The irony that the first seminar is held on the very day King Henry VII was born and King Henry VIII died is not lost on me!~