Saturday, 9 February 2013

Jane Seymour

Jane Seymour was born as the daughter of Sir John Seymour and Margery Wentworth. Not much is known of her childhood but she had not received a great education (she read and wrote a little but was better at household management and needlework) and was not nearly as intelligent as Catherine of Aragon or Anne Boleyn had been.
Jane Seymour served as a lady-in-waiting first to Queen Catherine and then to Queen Anne. It is possible that she had already been introduced as a lady-in-waiting to Catherine of Aragon in 1527. Jane is said to have had a "childlike face" and a modest personality. She probably had blond hair and is reported to be very pale and kind of nature.

Jane Seymour became Queen of England just 11 days after Anne Boleyn's execution - Jane had chosen her wedding-clothes on the day of Anne's execution. She was very compassionate about the Lady Mary and succeeded in getting the King to call her back to court. She was never actually crowned Queen of England which would later become an argument against the succession of Edward VI over Mary I. She was very close with her female relations; counting Anne Stanhope and her sister, Elizabeth. She formed a strong friendship with Lady Mary Tudor.
Jane was determined to stand out from Anne Boleyn and demanded that all her ladies-in-waiting must no longer wear the French fashion that Anne had introduced. She even changed an entire wardrobe of a lady-in-waiting because it was in the French fashion. Unlike Anne, Jane possessed no political power.

Death of Jane Seymour
Jane became pregnant in the early months of 1537 and the King was excited as always about the possibility of an heir, had quarrel eggs imported for his Queen. During her pregnancy she participated in no public arrangements and she went into confinement in September. In October she gave birth - to a son. The King was eustatic about his long longed-for son who was christened Edward in a ceremony that Jane could not attend.
It became clear that Jane was seriously ill. The birth had been very difficult because the child had not been in the right position. Jane died on October 24th 1537.

It is often said that Henry loved her the most of all his wives. However, this statement is not likely. To Henry Jane had fulfilled everything she had to do in giving him a son which instantly raised her in Henry's opinion. That Jane had died before he could tire of her caused him to idealize her but it is unlikely that she was his favourite wife.

Motto: Bound to Obey and Serve

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