Jane Seymour (born around 1509 ; † October 24, 1537 in Hampton Court Palace , London ) was the third of the six wives of King Henry VIII of England . Since she was never officially crowned, she was officially only a Royal Consort for the 17 months of their marriage from England and Ireland. Although she did not exert as much influence as her predecessors Katharina von Aragón and Anne Boleyn , as a devout Catholic she was the great hope of the Conservative Party at court to contain the Reformation and rehabilitate Princess Maria , and tried to promote the pilgrimage of grace for the rebels to enter. She is the mother of the only male heir to the throne of Henry VIII and later King Edward VI. and died of puerperal fever after his birth .
Introduction at court
Jane Seymour was the fifth of ten children and the eldest daughter of Sir John Seymour of Wiltshire († 1536) and Margaret Wentworths († 1550). She was the sister of Thomas Seymour and Edward Seymour . Not much is known from her early life.
It was introduced at the English court in 1529 or 1530. At first she was the maid of honor of Catherine of Aragón and later of Anne Boleyn . It is unknown whether she had to leave the court in the wake of the budget cuts for Katharina and was later hired by Anne Boleyn, or whether she served Anne from the start. All that is known is that by New Year 1534 she was one of Anne's ladies and received a present from her. Rumor has it that Jane Seymour's second cousin Francis Bryan recommended Anne to take over Jane from Catherine. Jane Dormer, a lady-in-waiting to Queen Mary I , later claimed Jane Seymour was brought to court by Bryan after negotiations about a marriage between her and William Dormer failed. However, there is no historically conclusive evidence of Bryan's involvement.
The Spanish ambassador Eustace Chapuys wrote about her and her family: "She is the sister of a certain Edward Seymour, who served His Majesty ( Charles V ), while she herself was previously in the service of the good queen ( Catherine of Aragón )." In 1535, King Henry VIII visited Wolf Hall, the Seymour's residence, during his summer voyage, and stayed there for five days. Contrary to popular legend, Heinrich did not meet Jane for the first time here. It is not even certain whether Jane was at Wolf Hall at all at the time.
Relationship with Heinrich
Chapuys also gave an initial indication of Jane's relationship with Heinrich. After Anne Boleyn had another miscarriage in January 1536, there was a heated argument between her and Heinrich, in the course of which she accused him that her miscarriage had happened because of her great love for him. “Her heart broke,” wrote Chapuys, “when she saw that he loved others.” The ambassador also recounts “a lady at court named Mistress Semel [Seymour] who, as many say, has received many presents recently . ”However, the king's love for her should initially have been nothing more than a violent crush.
Heinrich and Anne Boleyn already had a daughter, who later became Elisabeth I. The two subsequent births were male children, but they were born dead and too early. Heinrich's pressure on Anne grew to finally give birth to the longed-for heir to the throne. Since Anne became more and more desperate due to the increased pressure and the two stillbirths, she was no longer a pleasant or attractive partner for Henry VIII either. In addition, his divorced first wife, Katharina von Aragon, died at the beginning of 1536. During her lifetime, Heinrich had already obtained legal advice as to whether he would have to return to Katharina in the event of a divorce from Anne. The marriage to Anne Boleyn had taken place before Thomas Cranmer , Archbishop of Canterbury , officially declared the marriage to Catherine as invalid, which is why Heinrich had, strictly speaking, lived in bigamy for a while. Katharina's advocates argued that the king had been unable to enter into a final marriage under the circumstances and was still married to Katharina. Her death, however, gave him the freedom to choose a new wife after his marriage to Anne Boleyn ended. Contemporaries claimed Anne Boleyn caught Jane in the king's lap, which led to her final miscarriage. However, since Heinrich's interest in Jane only became apparent a month later - Chapuys called her “the young lady the king serves” in February - historians consider this scenario to be a legend.
Anne Boleyn's enemies, particularly Sir Nicholas Carew , assisted Jane in taking Anne's place. They encouraged her to refuse the king as mistress, as Anne Boleyn had once done. It is quite possible that the Conservative faction's main concern was to bring Princess Maria back into the line of succession, and that for them the king's love for Jane was merely a means to an end. According to Chapuys, Jane received regular tutoring from Nicholas Carew, and he himself, with Maria's consent, also assisted Jane. Even before her relationship with Heinrich, Jane Seymour had sent a message to Maria that the princess should “be of good cheer and her troubles would be over sooner than she suspected, and as soon as the opportunity arose, she [Jane] would prove to be a faithful and devoted servant prove. "
Carew instructed Jane "on no account to comply with the king's wishes except by marriage." When Heinrich Jane sent Seymour a gift of money and a letter in mid-March, Jane acted exactly as her friends had hoped. She kissed the letter and handed it and the wallet back to the messenger unopened.
“She asked to consider that she was a lady from the house of good and honest parents, without any blame, and that she had no greater riches in this world than her honor, which would not hurt her for a thousand deaths, and that she asked him if he wanted to give her a gift of money, to do so if God gave her a good match. "
Most historians consider their behavior to be calculated acting. Heinrich, however, was deeply impressed by Jane's virtue and declared that in future he would only speak to her in the presence of her relatives as proof of his honorable intentions. The Minister Thomas Cromwell made Jane Seymour's own chambers available to Jane Seymour at court, which were connected to those of the King by secret passages. Jane's brother Edward and his wife acted as custodians whenever the King wanted to see Jane. While the investigation into Anne Boleyn was ongoing, Jane was temporarily billeted at Sir Nicholas Carew's house and shortly before the trial she moved into Chelsea, the former home of Sir Thomas More . Immediately after Anne Boleyn's execution, the King proposed marriage to Jane and she accepted it.
Although Anne Boleyn had been very unpopular with the people, it would have been considered inappropriate to remarry the king too quickly. In addition, Jane Seymour was largely unknown and many wondered how she had won over the king. Chapuys wrote to Imperial Minister Antoine Perrenot de Granvelle on May 18, giving him a brief, somewhat cynical account of Jane Seymour:
“She is of medium height and no one thinks she is very beautiful. Their complexion is so white it could be described as pale. You can probably imagine that, as an Englishwoman and at court for so long, she might consider it a sin to be a virgin. She's not particularly smart, but she may have a pretty pubic area. It is said that she is proud and haughty. She seems to have a lot of goodwill and respect for [Maria], but I'm not sure the honors that will be showered on her won't change her mind. "
On May 30, 1536, the marriage followed in a private room of the Queen in the Palace of Whitehall and on June 4, 1536 Jane was proclaimed Queen of England. But she was never crowned queen, possibly because Heinrich wanted to wait for a son to be born first. In any case, the coronation was postponed to the last quarter of 1536 for cost reasons, then not carried out because of the outbreak of the plague and uprisings in the north of the country.
The Jane described as passive, friendly and submissive marked a stark contrast to the energetic, rebellious Anne Boleyn. As motto she chose "to obey and serve determines" (Engl. "Bound to obey and serve" ). While her father had a peacock as a heraldic animal, Jane preferred the phoenix, which was believed to be a symbol of self-sacrifice. Sir John Russell wrote to his friend Lord Lisle: “I assure you, my lord, she is the kindest lady I have ever known and the most honest queen in Christianity. The King came from Hell to Heaven because of the goodness in this one and the curse and misfortune in the other. "
Still, historians nowadays see a more nuanced picture of Jane. Her externally visible gentleness contrasts with her perseverance and strong nerves, which she demonstrated as Anne Boleyn's rival. Once again, she demonstrated these character traits when she stood up for the princess Maria, who had been declared a bastard. Despite his pejorative letter about Jane, Chapuys tried to get on good terms with the new queen in the hope that she would rehabilitate Maria. But when she brought the subject up to her husband, Heinrich snapped at her angrily. She was a fool and should rather take care of the advancement of her own children, not that of others. Jane replied that all she wanted was to ensure peace within the royal family and the country.
When Heinrich and Cromwell pressured Maria to officially recognize her own illegitimacy and the invalidity of their parents' marriage, Jane asked the king on her knees to forgive his daughter. Heinrich, however, rebuked her sharply. Maria was only allowed to return to court after she had completely submitted to her father's will. When they first met, Jane gave the princess a diamond. Nevertheless, she could not convince Heinrich to reintegrate his eldest daughter into the line of succession. Instead, Janes descendants received the first claim to the throne by parliamentary resolution.
As Queen, Jane is described as strict, conservative, and formal. The young Anne Basset, who was sent to court from Calais, was ordered by the Queen to wear the English gable hood instead of the French hood introduced by Anne Boleyn and after a few weeks her French clothes were no longer allowed. When riots broke out in the north, the royal family drew closer together. Both Maria and her half-sister Elisabeth were called to the court and a kind of family life arose for the first time. Jane also had a close and cordial relationship with her sister-in-law Anne Stanhope and her sister Elizabeth Seymour.
Usually Jane didn't interfere in her husband's politics. The exceptions were Princess Maria and the Pilgrimage of Grace . While Cromwell and the king tried to put down the rebellion, Jane begged her husband on her knees for mercy for the rebels. This, however, reminded her of the fate of the last queen who interfered in his politics.
"He ordered her to get up calmly enough and that he had told her several times not to interfere in his affairs, thereby referring to the last queen. It was enough to frighten a woman who doesn't feel very safe. "
Birth of the heir to the throne and death
Jane became pregnant in 1537. On May 27, her pregnancy was announced publicly and a Te Deum was sung in St Paul's Cathedral . Her step daughter Maria was called to court to assist Jane. Because of her pregnancy, Heinrich canceled his planned trip to the north on the grounds that she was too afraid to let him go in her condition. Perhaps it was just a pretext, as the uprisings in the north had only been draconically suppressed a few weeks ago. During her pregnancy, she is said to have developed a craving for quail , which the king ordered especially for her from Flanders. Maria, with whom Jane had developed a warm relationship, sent the queen herself quail and cucumber from her own garden.
In September, Jane began retiring from court life due to her advanced pregnancy. In the afternoon of October 9, 1537, the first labor began and it was not until October 12, 1537 that Jane gave birth to the heir to the throne, Edward, in the palace at Hampton Court. Jane was well after the birth and was able to welcome her son back on October 15th after his baptism . Due to the purity laws, she was not yet allowed to enter a house of God and so the baptism took place in her absence. On the occasion of the birth of a healthy son, Jane's brother Edward was named Earl of Hertford.
A short time later, Jane became very ill with puerperal fever and bleeding profusely. Another service was held at St Paul's Cathedral on Friday October 19th to pray for the Queen. She seemed to be feeling a little better during October 23rd, but the disease struck again that night. Jane Seymour died on October 24, 1537, twelve days after the birth of her son and less than 18 months after the proclamation as Queen of England. It is unknown whether Heinrich was on her deathbed as he had planned to travel to Esher on October 25th . Russell writes:
“When she recovers, he will go. If she doesn't recover, he told me today, he doesn't have the heart to linger. "
Heinrich ordered state mourning for the entire English court until January 2, 1538. Jane's body was embalmed and transferred in a lead coffin in a long procession to Windsor Castle to find her final resting place. On the coffin was a crowned statue of Jane Seymour in regal robes and equipped with a scepter. The funeral procession was led by Maria as Chief Mourner , and Henry's nieces Frances Brandon and Margaret Douglas also paid their last respects to the Queen. In Jane's epitaph, reference was made to her heraldic animal, the phoenix:
Phoenix Jana Iiacet, NATO Phoenice; dolendum,
- Secula Phoenices nulla tulisse duas.
The translation is accordingly:
Here lies Jane, a Phoenix, by whose death
Here lies Jane, a phoenix, through whose death
Henry VIII mourned Jane very much and fell into a deep depression. Even later he said that of his wives he loved Jane the most. Historians suspect that this statement is mainly due to the fact that Jane gave birth to the king the expected heir to the throne. It was not until 1540 that he married his fourth wife, Anna von Kleve . The search for a suitable new wife for Heinrich began as early as 1537/38.
In 1545, when Maria and Elisabeth were officially reassigned to the throne, Heinrich had a family portrait made to commemorate this event. In this picture, the king insisted on having Jane Seymour painted in the portrait in place of his current wife, Catherine Parr . When he died in 1547, he found his final resting place at Windsor Castle at the side of Jane. Even after her death, Jane's family was highly favored by the king and later by his son Edward. Her brothers Edward and Thomas Seymour in particular benefited from their relationship to the young king.
coat of arms
Jane Seymour badge
The marriage to Henry VIII produced an only son:
- Edward VI. (October 12, 1537 - July 6, 1553)
Jane Seymour appears in several film adaptations, including a. in The 1933 Personal Life of Henry VIII with Charles Laughton and the 1972 BBC television series The Six Wives of Henry VIII with Keith Michell.
In 2003, the life story of Henry VIII was remade for television at great expense: Henry VIII , played by Ray Winstone . Actress Emilia Fox plays the role of Jane Seymour .
In The Tudors , a British series about Henry VIII., Played by Jonathan Rhys Meyers , Jane Seymour is introduced towards the end of the second season. In season 2 she is portrayed by Anita Briem , but in the third season by Annabelle Wallis .
- David Starkey: Six Wives. The Queens of Henry VIII. HarperCollins Perennial, New York 2004, ISBN 0-06-000550-5 .
- Antonia Fraser: The six women of Heinrich VIII. Claassen Verlag, Berlin 1995, ISBN 3-546-00081-1 .
- Jean Plaidy: The queens. Henry VIII and his wives. Herder Verlag, 1983, ISBN 3-451-17331-X .
- Helga Thoma: Unloved Queen. Piper Verlag, Munich 2003, ISBN 3-492-23526-3 .
- Marita A. Panzer: England's Queens. Piper Verlag, Munich 2003, ISBN 3-492-23682-0 .
- Peter Wende: English kings and queens. From Heinrich VII. To Elisabeth II. 1st edition. CH Beck, Munich 1998, ISBN 3-406-43391-X .
- Uwe Baumann: Heinrich VIII. With self-testimonies and picture documents. Rowohlt, 2001, ISBN 3-499-50446-4 .
- Biography of Jane Seymour (English)
- Biography of Jane Seymour (English)
- The six wives of Henry VIII (English)
- ↑ a b Linda Porter: Mary Tudor. The first queen. Piatkus 2009, p. 110.
- ^ A b c Eric Ives : The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn. 'The Most Happy'. Blackwell Publishing, Malden 2004, p. 292.
- ↑ David Starkey: Six Wives. The Queens of Henry VIII. 2004 HarperCollins Perennial, p. 584.
- ^ A b David Starkey: Six Wives. The Queens of Henry VIII. 2004 HarperCollins Perennial, p. 554.
- ↑ Eric Ives: The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn. 'The Most Happy'. Blackwell Publishing, Malden 2004, p. 291.
- ↑ David Starkey: Six Wives. The Queens of Henry VIII. 2004 HarperCollins Perennial, p. 553.
- ^ HFM Prescott: Mary Tudor. The Spanish Tudor. Phoenix 2003, p. 86.
- ↑ a b c David Starkey: Six Wives. The Queens of Henry VIII. 2004 HarperCollins Perennial, p. 589.
- ↑ David Starkey: Six Wives. The Queens of Henry VIII. 2004 HarperCollins Perennial, p. 587.
- ↑ Eric Ives: The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn. 'The Most Happy'. Blackwell Publishing, Malden 2004, p. 300.
- ↑ David Starkey: Six Wives. The Queens of Henry VIII. 2004 HarperCollins Perennial, p. 588.
- ↑ Eric Ives: The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn. 'The Most Happy'. Blackwell Publishing, Malden 2004, p. 304.
- ↑ a b Anna Whitelock: Mary Tudor. England's first queen. Bloomsbury 2010, p. 78.
- ↑ David Starkey: Six Wives. The Queens of Henry VIII. 2004 HarperCollins Perennial, pp. 584-585.
- ↑ David Starkey: Six Wives. The Queens of Henry VIII. 2004 HarperCollins Perennial, p. 593.
- ↑ David Starkey: Six Wives. The Queens of Henry VIII. 2004 HarperCollins Perennial, p. 585.
- ↑ Linda Porter: Mary Tudor. The first queen. Piatkus 2009, p. 111.
- ↑ David Starkey: Six Wives. The Queens of Henry VIII. 2004 HarperCollins Perennial, p. 596.
- ^ Anna Whitelock: Mary Tudor. England's first queen. Bloomsbury 2010, p. 81.
- ↑ David Starkey: Six Wives. The Queens of Henry VIII. 2004 HarperCollins Perennial, p. 600.
- ↑ David Starkey: Six Wives. The Queens of Henry VIII. 2004 HarperCollins Perennial, p. 606.
- ↑ David Starkey: Six Wives. The Queens of Henry VIII. 2004 HarperCollins Perennial, p. 602.
- ^ Letter to the Cardinal du Bellay dated October 24, 1536 ( Memento of the original dated November 1, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. "he told her, prudently enough, to get up, and he had often told her not to meddle with his affairs, referring to the late Queen, which was enough to frighten a woman who is not very secure."
- ↑ David Starkey: Six Wives. The Queens of Henry VIII. 2004 HarperCollins Perennial, p. 605.
- ^ Anna Whitelock: Mary Tudor. England's first queen. Bloomsbury 2010, p. 94.
- ↑ Linda Porter: Mary Tudor. The first queen. Piatkus 2009, p. 127.
- ^ A b David Starkey: Six Wives. The Queens of Henry VIII. 2004 HarperCollins Perennial, p. 608.
- ^ Anna Whitelock: Mary Tudor. England's first queen. Bloomsbury 2010, p. 95.
- ↑ a b Anna Whitelock: Mary Tudor. England's first queen. Bloomsbury 2010, p. 96.
- ↑ The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 14, Issue 386, August 22, 1829, by Various
- ↑ David Starkey: Six Wives. The Queens of Henry VIII. 2004 HarperCollins Perennial, p. 612.
Queen Consort of England
|Anna of Kleve|
|ALTERNATIVE NAMES||Seymour, Johanna|
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||British lady-in-waiting, wife of Henry VIII.|
|DATE OF BIRTH||around 1509|
|DATE OF DEATH||October 24, 1537|
|Place of death||Hampton Court Palace , London|