Jane Seymour’s phoenix badge[/caption]Jane Seymour, third wife of Henry VIII and mother of Edward VI, died days after giving birth. An inscription above her grave read:
Here lieth a Phoenix, by whose death
Another Phoenix life gave breath:
It is to be lamented much
The world at once ne’er knew two such.
Childbirth is openly discussed in today’s society. Images of pregnant women appear in magazines and women giving birth can be seen on television and in movies. Yet during the medieval period, childbirth was deemed a private affair. Giving birth in the middle ages was a dangerous time for women and childbirth did not discriminate. Young mothers, older mothers, poor or rich mothers, all could die not only in childbirth but also due to complications afterwards. Sadly, more than one in three women died during their child-bearing years.
In this week’s Claire Chats video I talk about pregnancy and childbirth in Tudor times, and the superstitions, traditions and religious rituals surrounding them.