King Edward VI *Reign 1547-1553

King Edward VI

King Edward VI was the king of England from 28th January 1547 to 6 July 1553. He belonged to the House of Tudor and was the third Tudor monarch. He was the son of King Henry VIII of England and Jane Seymour.

Medieval Tudor Coat of Arms

Image of the medieval coat of arms used by King Henry VIII

King Edward VI was the 1st English king who was brought up as a Protestant. As King Edward VI was very young and never reached his majority, the kingdom was ruled by the Regency Council during his rule. There were all sorts of social and economic problems during King Edward VI’s short rule.

The Tudor period in England *1485 and 1603 was marked by the transition from the middle ages to the early modern period.

King Edward VI History

King Edward VI was very young during his rule and the kingdom was therefore ruled by a Regency Council, which was first led by Edward’s uncle and the first Duke of Somerset, Edward Seymour, and then by John Dudley, the first Earl of Warwick.

King Edward’s rule faced a rebellion in 1549 which was the result of social unrest and economic problems. King Edward VI’s history also included the war with Scotland. During King Edward VI’s rule, the church transformed into a recognisably protestant body.

Medieval Kings - King Edward VI in Ceremonial Costume

Medieval Kings -A Young King Edward VI in Ceremonial Costume

King Edward VI Timeline

  • King Edward VI was born on 12th October 1537.
  • He ruled England from 28th January 1547 to 6 July 1553.
  • His coronation took place on 20th February 1547.
  • Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset led the regency council from 1547 to 1549. John Dudley, 1st Earl of Warwick, from 1551 onwards.
  • His father, Henry VIII died on 28th January 1547.
  • The Battle of Pinkie Cleugh took place in September 1547.
  • A series of armed revolts broke out in 1549.
  • Edward fell seriously ill in February 1553.
  • King Edward VI died on 6th July 1553 at Greenwich Palace, Kent, England.
  • His burial took place on 8th August 1553 at Westminster Abbey England.

What Kind of Ruler was King Edward VI

At the time of his coronation, King Edward VI was still very young, before his death his father king Henry VIII had named sixteen executors to act as his council until he reached the age of 18. So the kingdom was basically run by the regency council.

King Henry Wearing Tudor Clothes

By 1950 King Edward VI started to understand more about his duties and government business. Whether he was indeed involved in the decisions is still unclear. He used to listen to the debates about the most important affairs of the realm in weekly meetings. King Edward VI’s greatest involvement was in religious matters and the council followed a strong protestant policy due to Edward.

What was King Edward VI Famous For?

King Edward VI was famous for being the first English king to be raised as a Protestant and for his contribution to transforming the church into a predominantly protestant body. He was also well known for his knowledge of geometry and music.

Medieval Kings King Edward VI and Thomas Seymour Denizot

King Edward VI & Thomas Seymour

Thomas Seymour was the younger brother of Somerset who schemed for power during King Edward VI’s rule. Somerset tried his best to manage his brother by offering him different things, but instead, Thomas stole the money of the King and wanted King Edward to go against Somerset.

He even married Henry VIII’s widow, Catherine Parr, in 1457, to gain King Edward’s support for his benefit. In 1458, Parr, while she was pregnant, found Seymour flirting with Lady Elizabeth. During childbirth Parr died and after that Seymour resumed his contact with Elizabeth and wanted to marry her. In 1459 Thomas Seymour was arrested on the basis of various charges and was subsequently executed.

King Edward VI Wars

There was an ongoing war with Scotland during King Edward VI’s rule that proved to be expensive. There was some success early on but it resulted in economic problems which soon turned into riots and rebellions. This came to an end with the withdrawal from Scotland as well as Boulogne-sur-Mer in return for the peace on 8th August 1549 the French, under Henry II, formally waged a war which ended with a peace treaty in 1950.

Medieval Kings Prayer Book Rebellion

Medieval Kings – Prayer Book rebellion during King Edward Vl reign

King Edward VI Rebellion

In 1949 many revolts broke out in England as a result of social unrest. These revolts were fuelled by many agrarian and religious grievances. The two most serious rebellions were the Prayer Brook Rebellion and the rebellion led by tradesman Robert Kett.

The Prayer Brook rebellion was caused by the introduction of prayer services in the church, whereas the other rebellion was due to unnecessary encroachment on common grazing grounds by landlords. Military intervention was required to put down these rebellions.

King Edward VI – Fall of Somerset

The continuous social unrest and the subsequent events caused the removal of Somerset from power and the process was known as a coup d’état. Somerset was alerted regarding a serious threat to his rule in 1549 and as a result, he moved to the fortified Windsor castle. A report about Somerset’s government mismanagement was published by the united council and he was removed from his position. John Dudley appeared as the new leader of the council in 1550.

King Edward VI Reformation

Northumberland followed the same religious reformation policy as followed by Somerset. As King Edward VI took a keen interest in religious affairs, so the church reformation was not only a religious but also a political policy. It was believed that the Church was ruined as a result of this reformation policy. By 1551 the reformation policy advanced further as King Edward VI took more interest in these affairs as the head of the church.

Medieval Kings - King Edward VI and Pope

Medieval Kings – King Edward VI in a meeting with the Medieval Pope

King Edward VI Succession Crisis

King Edward VI fell seriously ill in February 1555 and there was no hope of his survival. His catholic half-sister Mary was in line for succession, but she was anti-Protestantism and it was believed that she would jeopardize the whole reformation policy. King Edward nominated Lady Jane Grey for the Crown as she had married Lord Guilford Dudley, who was the younger son of Duke Northumberland.

King Edward VI Death & Illness

In January 1553 King Edward VI had become seriously ill and suffered from fever and cough. His condition worsened with the passage of time. Although his condition improved a little in April it worsened further as it was reported by doctors that the matter he was ejecting from his mouth was blood-like. King Edward made his final appearance in public on 1st July. On 6th July 1553, King Edward died at the age of 15. He died in the Greenwich palace in England and was buried at the Westminster Abbey in England on 8th August 1553.

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