The Tudor Society

May 20 – Henry VIII moves on with Jane Seymour

A portrait of Jane Seymour by Hans Holbein the YoungerOn this day in Tudor history, 20th May 1536, just 24 hours after Anne Boleyn's execution, Henry VIII became betrothed to Jane Seymour, Anne's former maid of honour.

The imperial ambassador Eustace Chapuys wasn't impressed by Jane, describing her as medium height, “no great beauty”, “rather pale”, inclined to be “proud and haughty” and lacking wit. Her age and length of time at court also made him doubt whether she was a virgin! He did like the fact that she was sympathetic to Mary’s cause though – phew!

Jane and Henry married on 30th May 1536, but Jane died in October 1537 after giving the king the best gift she could – a living son.

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  1. D

    Elizabeth Norton’s interesting biography shows Jane was more than a cypher.

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May 20 – Henry VIII moves on with Jane Seymour