Edward VI and Adoption

Portrait of Edward VI of England by William Scrots


Edward was the only son of King Henry VIII, by his third wife, Jane Seymour. His mother died of childbirth fever days after he was born, and his father died in 1547, leaving Edward King of England at the age of 9.

His guardian and Lord Protector was his mother's brother, Edward Seymour, who initially controlled the country, but he was ousted by the Duke of Northumberland and executed for treason.

Edward was a staunch Protestant and encouraged the Reformation in England and Wales. He also introduced the Book of Common Prayer as the service-book of the Church of England. This led to Catholic unrest and some uprisings. More serious trouble was caused by the enclosure acts, which the Lord Protector opposed. These deprived the landless peasants of their access to grazing and other use of previously common lands, and led to the Peasants' Revolt.

He died of TB or some other lung infection and was succeeded by Northumberland's daughter-in-law, Lady Jane Grey, who only ruled for a few days before being dethroned by Mary I, Edward's half-sister.


Loach, Jennifer. Edward VI. Edited by Penry Wiliams and George Bernard. (London: Yale University Press, 1999) (Yale English Monarchs) "Edward VI." Available at: Microsoft Encarta 98 Encyclopedia, 1993-97