JANE SEYMOUR Biography - Actors and Actresses


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Name: Jane Seymour                                                                           
Born: 1508                                                                                   
Died: 24 October 1537                                                                       
Jane Seymour (1507/1508–24 October 1537) was the third wife of Henry VIII. She             
died of post-natal complications following the birth of her only child, Edward               
Jane Seymour was the daughter of Sir John Seymour of Wiltshire and Margaret                 
Wentworth, and was King Henry VIII's fifth cousin three times removed. Her exact             
birth date is debated; it is usually given as 1509; however, it has been noted               
that at her funeral 29 women walked in succession. Since it was customary                   
for the attendant company to mark every year of the deceased's life in numbers,             
this implies she was born in 1508. She was not educated as highly as Catherine               
or Anne: she could only read and write her name. Instead she was taught in                   
needlework and household management, which was popular at that time for women.               
She became a lady-in-waiting in 1530, in the last year of Catherine of Aragon's             
reign. After Catherine was divorced and Anne Boleyn became queen, she served her             
instead. Jane caught the king's eye in September 1535 when Henry was returning               
from a march and he stayed at the Seymours' stately home. His love for her was               
not confirmed until February the following year when his marriage to Anne was               
falling rapidly apart. His desire to marry her may have predisposed him to                   
believe the false accusations of adultery and witchcraft against Anne.                       
Henry became betrothed to Jane on 20 May 1536, the day after Anne's execution,               
and married her on 30 May. Jane was publicly proclaimed as queen on the 4 June.             
She was never officially crowned, due to a plague epidemic in London where the               
coronation was to take place after the of the birth of her son. It has also been             
suggested that Henry was reluctant to crown Jane before she had fulfilled her               
duty as a queen by bearing him a son and a male heir.                                       
As queen consort, Jane was strict and formal. She was close only to her female               
relations, Anne Stanhope (her brother's wife) and her sister, Elizabeth Seymour.             
The glittering social life and extravagance of the queen's household, which had             
reached its peak during the time of Anne Boleyn, was replaced by a strict                   
enforcement of decorum in Jane's time. For example, the dress requirements for               
ladies of the court were detailed down to the number of pearls that were to be               
sewn into each lady's skirt, and the French fashions introduced by Anne Boleyn               
were banned. Politically, Jane appears to have been conservative. However, her               
only involvement in national affairs, in 1536, when she asked for pardons for               
participants in the Pilgrimage of Grace rebellion, was abandoned after the                   
King reminded her of the fate the other queens met with when they "meddled in               
his affairs".                                                                               
The Six Wives of                                                                             
King Henry VIII                                                                             
Catherine of Aragon                                                                         
Anne Boleyn                                                                                 
Jane Seymour                                                                                 
Anne of Cleves                                                                               
Catherine Howard                                                                             
Catherine Parr                                                                               
In early 1537, Jane became pregnant. During her pregnancy, she developed a                   
craving for quail, which the King ordered for her from Calais and Flanders. Jane             
went into seclusion in September 1537 and gave birth to a male heir, the future             
King Edward VI of England on 12 October at Hampton Court Palace. After she                   
participated in the prince's christening on October 15, it became clear that                 
Jane was seriously ill. She had contracted puerperal fever and died on 24                   
October at Hampton Court. She was buried at Windsor Castle after a funeral in               
which her stepdaughter, Princess Mary (later Queen Mary I), acted as chief                   
Above her grave, there was for a time the following inscription:                             
Here lieth a Phoenix, by whose death                                                         
Another Phoenix life gave breath:                                                           
It is to be lamented much                                                                   
The world at once ne'er knew two such.                                                       
After her death, Henry wore black and did not remarry for three years. Henry                 
always remembered her with affection, forgetting the youthful days he spent with             
Catherine of Aragon and his obsession with Anne Boleyn. Historians have                     
speculated that it was Jane's "achievement" of securing Henry a male heir that               
made her so fondly remembered, that, or dying before he had tired of her. When               
he died in 1547, Henry was buried beside her.                                               
Jane's two ambitious brothers, Thomas and Edward, used her memory to improve                 
their own fortunes. After Henry's death, Thomas married Henry's widow, Catherine             
Parr, and also had designs on the future Queen Elizabeth I. In the reign of the             
young King Edward VI, Edward Seymour set himself up as protector and effective               
ruler of the Kingdom. Both brothers eventually fell from power, and were                     
disgraced and executed.