The Tudor Society

22 July – The death of Henry Fitzroy, Henry VIII’s illegitimate son

1536 was an eventful year for Henry VIII! Just over two months after the fall of his second wife, Queen Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII's only son, his illegitimate son by Elizabeth Blount, died on 22nd July 1536 at St James's Palace. It was a huge blow for the king.

In today's "on this day" talk, I give details of Fitzroy's illness, death and burial, and also just how much of a favourite he was with his father.

Also on this day in history:

  • 1437/8 – Birth of John Scrope, 5th Baron Scrope of Bolton, soldier and a Councillor of Richard III. He was imprisoned after supporting pretender Lambert Simnel in 1487, but was pardoned in 1488.
  • 1549 – Robert Kett and protesters stormed Norwich and took the city, during Kett's Rebellion.
  • 1576 – Baptism of playwright and pamphleteer, Edward Sharpham, at Colehanger, East Allington, in Devon. He is thought to have written the plays “The Fleire” and “Cupid's Whirligig”.
  • 1581 – Death of Richard Cox, Bishop of Ely, at Downham in Cambridgeshire. He was buried in Ely Cathedral.

There are 4 comments Go To Comment

  1. L

    Henry Fitzroy seems interesting, I’ll have to try and find out a little more about him.

  2. M

    Is it true that he was buried without ceremony? At night, or something? If so, why?

    1. R

      I doubt he was buried without ceremony. His tomb was originally in the Thetford Priory in East Anglia but when that was threatened with dissolution after 1537,_Norfolk being unable to save it, he had his son in law moved to the Chapel at Framlingham Castle in Suffolk and a wonderful tomb made. His wife was laid at his side, that is Mary Howard in 1555. Henry heard rumours that Norfolk didn’t see him properly buried but Norfolk refuted that. It was highly unlikely for anyone to be buried without ceremony, even a simple one, unless they were excommunicated or an executed felon and even then sometimes prayers and Mass was said or the burial rituals. The Tomb was reconstructed and studied in three D and we know it originally had gold on it and was very fine. Norfolk was not a man to see the Kings son poorly treated in death. Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond and Somerset was given every ceremonies required in death.

      1. M

        Ok, thanks, Real Tudor Lady!

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22 July – The death of Henry Fitzroy, Henry VIII’s illegitimate son