The Tudor Society

Richard Edwards – Henry VIII’s illegitimate son?

In today's Claire Chats I look at Richard Edwards: who he was and how he has become linked to Henry VIII.


  • “Edwards, Richard (1525–1566),” John R. Elliott, jun. in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, eee online ed., ed. Lawrence Goldman, Oxford: OUP, 2004, (accessed January 19, 2016).
  • ed. King, Rosalind (2009) The works of Richard Edwards: Politics, poetry and performance in sixteenth century England, Manchester University Press.
  • Cousin, John William, 1849-1910, A short biographical dictionary of English literature, p. 128.
  • Hart, Kelly (2009) The Mistresses of Henry VIII, The History Press, p.77-79.
  • Jones, Philippa (2009) The Other Tudors, New Holland, p. 300-302.
  • "Question from Shannon - Another illegit. son of Henry VIII" on and answer from “Halsangels” at

The book on the Edwards family in which the family legend is written of is The Edwardes Legacy by David Dean Edwards, Gateway Press, Baltimore, 1992.

There are 9 comments Go To Comment

  1. M

    Richard Edwards is my 15th great grandfather and his mother Agnes Blewett is my 16th great grandmother, however, i have no info or clue on the whole thing about henry viii. if i might be related to him in a way? i have no clue whatsoever. Agnes did married a man, named William Edwardes, who actually my real bloodline ( 16th great grandfather).

    This might seem complicated at first, i got confused and i really wish i had answer like real ones but i don’t know if there is a way for me get real answers.

    1. B

      I’m also of the blood line of Richard Edwards, from what I know and have studied,we are from the Tutor line, my last name is Edwards and Jonathan Edwards who started the great reformation in the 13 colonies was my fifth great grandfather.

    2. R

      Hello, I’m also related to him he is my 13th great-grandfather.

  2. J

    I’m trying to put it all together, too. What you may already know is that King Henry Vlll had 6 wives and many (other) ladies. One being Agnes Beaupenny Blewitt. William Edwards was good friends with the King and with ABB pregnant, set up an arranged marriage with Willy and Ag. They were given the Edwards Hall in or near Cardiff and the babies were born there. Richard, the first child, is said in secret, to be the Kings’ child but took the Edwards name, among other children that came with the Edwards blood/name, supposedly. They all could’ve been the Kings. Who knows for sure.

  3. T

    This is all very interesting as I’m also Richard’s 15th Great Grandson. I have him down on my Ancestry tree as the father although I do know that William and Agnes became the legal parents of Richard. I hope this legend is true because it would be very cool to know I have a closer descendancy to royalty. I’ve already found a line where I’m of direct descent from Edward I, so having a closer link would be amazing.

  4. s

    Rev Richard is my 12th g grandfather. As my husband has many Kings in his ancestry I am hoping this is my royal connection.

  5. R

    I have the Edwards family crest I have to take another look at it.

  6. J

    I understand that Henry VIII’s paternity of Richard Henry Blewitt ( Richard Blewitt Edwards), is DNA verified. Is this so?

  7. J

    Ancestry has also linked me to Richard Edwardes. I am beginning to think this is a case of shared confirmation bias as more and more Ancestry trees are subtly bent in his direction over time. Apart from the Tudor connection, his grandchildren also seem to have shown up in Jamestown Colony in 1622. I am more certain of my family connection to that part of the Edwards ancestors.

Leave a Reply

Richard Edwards – Henry VIII’s illegitimate son?