Jane Seymour

Henry's 3rd Wife -Mother of Edward VI

Jane Seymour, the third wife of King Henry VIII, was born around 1508, in a noble but relatively minor family. She served as a lady-in-waiting to both Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn. Her devout Catholicism and reputation for gentle diplomacy caught the eye of King Henry VIII, who was increasingly disillusioned with Anne’s failure to produce a son.

Eleven days after Anne Boleyn’s execution in May 1536, Henry and Jane were married.  Kind-hearted, she advocated religious moderation and the well-being of Henry’s daughters, Mary and Elizabeth. In October 1537, Jane gave birth to a healthy son, Edward. She succumbed to puerperal fever just twelve days later, leaving Henry heartbroken and Edward motherless.

Despite being later portrayed as a staunch Protestant by her Protestant son and his advisors, Jane’s true religious convictions remain a subject of debate. Raised a devout Catholic, she likely adopted a more conciliatory stance during her time at court, navigating the treacherous currents of Henry’s evolving religious policies. Her relationship with Protestantism is a complex and nuanced one, and the extent of Jane’s direct influence on the English Reformation remains debatable.