JANE SEYMOUR

Although their marriage was cut short by her death, Jane Seymour is known as Henry VIII's favourite wife. Whilst she was the only one of the King's wives to deliver a male heir, she is mostly remembered for her relative boringness. Was Jane Seymour really that uninteresting or was it simply that her life was cut short, leaving no time for more exciting events to unfold? 

jane seymour portrait

JANE SEYMOUR'S EARLY LIFE

Jane Seymour was born around 1509, the same year Henry VIII became king, to a rich yet unimportant family. However, due to a connection on her mother's side, she was second cousin to Henry VIII's second wife, Anne Boleyn. Jane Seymour received little education in her early life, learning only how to write and read her own name. Yet she was by no means stupid, possessing qualities enough to entice King Henry VIII. 

HENRY'S PENCHANT FOR LADIES-IN-WAITING

Like Anne Boleyn before her, Jane Seymour served as a lady-in-waiting to Catherine of Aragon and, potentially, Anne Boleyn herself. The similarities between Jane and Anne don't stop there: Jane also refused the King's initial advances, luring him into marriage. However, unlike Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour was not considered a courtly beauty, but, instead, a plain Jane. Her gentle nature and the obvious differences from his previous is probably what attracted Henry VIII. 

henry viii portrait
keep your head book mockup

LOVE TUDOR HISTORY, PRE-ORDER KEEP YOUR HEAD 

LEARN HOW TO SURVIVE AS HENRY VIII'S WIFE

05.11.24
jane seymour portrait

JANE SEYMOUR AND HENRY VIII MARRY

Jane Seymour and Henry VIII were married in 1536, but she was never officially crowned as Queen after her coronation was cancelled due to a nasty outbreak of the plague. Whilst she remained as Queen Consort for the remainder of their marriage - and her life - Jane was unbothered, using her position to elevate her two brothers' social and political station.

HENRY'S FAVOURITE WIFE

Jane Seymour is said to have been Henry VIII's favourite wife, as shown by the deep depression he fell into upon her death. Henry likely enjoyed Jane's traditional Tudor female qualities, those that his previous wife did not possess, namely her dutifulness and subservience. And whilst Jane did once confront Henry on his Reformist views, favouring Catholicism, she did not meddle in politics again after her severely reprimanded her. Many believe that Henry only considered Jane as his favourite wife because she didn't live long enough to frustrate him.

Henry VIII, Jane Seymour, Henry VII, and Elizabeth York
prince edward

PRINCE EDWARD VI IS BORN

Aside from remaining subservient to the King throughout their relationship, Jane Seymour is also the only one of Henry's wives to have delivered a male heir. To the King's delight, on 12 October 1537, Prince Edward VI was born, finally giving Henry the male heir he so desperately desired. Thanks to the King's marriage to Jane Seymour, the Tudor line of succession was secured. Only, the birth of Edward came at a cost: Jane Seymour's life.

keep your head book mockup

LOVE TUDOR HISTORY, PRE-ORDER KEEP YOUR HEAD 

LEARN HOW TO SURVIVE AS HENRY VIII'S WIFE

05.11.24

THE DEATH OF JANE SEYMOUR

Jane Seymour died just twelve days after the birth of Prince Edward. It's likely that she died as a result of a post-natal infection after physicians failed to properly remove the remnants of her placenta. Traditionally, Jane should have been attended by a team of midwives, experienced with all matters of birth. However, due to his anxiety about securing a male heir, Henry VIII interfered with the birth, sending his own male physicians to oversee the delivery. At the time, male doctors were inexperienced with childbirth, meaning they likely didn't know the placenta needed to be removed. 

jane seymour portrait
the beheading of anne boleyn

HENRY GOES INTO MOURNING

Upon Jane Seymour's death, Henry VIII was inconsolable, locking himself away for several days. He wore black for the next three months and remained unmarried for the following three years. Despite their marriage lasting only a short time, the King maintained that they were the best months of his life and elected to be buried next to Jane when he died. However, there is some conjecture that two new ladies-in-waiting had caught Henry VIII's eye, potentially engaging in an affair with one of them a year after the Queen's passing.   

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

HOW DID JANE SEYMOUR DIE?

Jane Seymour died twelve days after giving birth to Prince Edward VI, likely due to an infection caused by remnants of the placenta. 

HOW LONG WAS JANE SEYMOUR MARRIED TO HENRY VIII?

Henry VIII and Jane Seymour were married between 1536 to 1537 for a short eighteen months. The marriage is said to have been Henry's favourite.

WHY DID JANE SEYMOUR MARRY HENRY VIII?

When the King of England approaches you for marriage, you have little choice in the matter. Whilst Henry VIII was looking to produce a male heir, it's possible that Jane fell for the King as the pair had a loving relationship. Alternatively, it's been suggested that, like Anne Boleyn, Jane had some political ambition for her family. 

WHERE IS JANE SEYMOUR BURIED?

Jane Seymour is buried in St George's Chapel, Windsor, next to Henry VIII. 

SIGN UP FOR UPDATES

This field is mandatory

The e-mail address is invalid

I hereby agree that this data will be stored and processed for the purpose of establishing contact. I am aware that I can revoke my consent at any time.*

This field is mandatory

* Indicates required fields
There was an error submitting your message. Please try again.
Thank you! We will get back to you as soon as possible.

We need your consent to load the translations

We use a third-party service to translate the website content that may collect data about your activity. Please review the details in the privacy policy and accept the service to view the translations.