Friday, 22 February 2013

Did Queen Jane die from a C-section?

The greatest question that has surrounded the third wife of Henry VIII (and particularly her death) is whether or not a C-section was performed on Jane Seymour - and if so, did it kill her?

The death of Jane Seymour as imagined by
a later artist
When Jane Seymour went into labour it did not take long before the mid-wives knew that the birth would be long and very difficult. The poor Queen went through two days and three nights of labour before Prince Edward could be announced to the world. But ever since the birth ended - and especially after Jane died - rumours began circling, saying that a Caesarian section had been performed on the Queen.

It is therefore almost certain that there was no C-section performed on the Queen. A C-section was only performed on women who was either already dead during their labour. If it had only been this that spoke against a C-section for Jane Seymour then it would have been more likely. But the fact that Jane lived for twelve whole days after giving birth, makes it impossible. Due to the lack of knowledge of bacteria, anaesthesia and hygiene, there is no way that Jane would have survived such an extensive surgery.

However, the Queen may not have died of a C-section but she died of lack of care in her child bed. According to Antonia Fraser, Jane herself blamed her mid-wives and attendants when she realized that she was getting lethally weak. She would claim that they had not taken care of her in the right manner which resulted in her catching a cold and had failed to feed her what she needed. Besides, C-section, was prohibited by both the Catholic and Anglican Church. Whether Jane was right or not, it is widely accepted that she died of puerperal fever which was then known as "childbed-fever."  

No comments:

Post a Comment