Edward VI

Famous for being King of England
Born - 12th October 1537, Hampton Court Palace, London, UK
Parents - King Henry VIII, Jane Seymour
Siblings - Half sisters - Mary, Elizabeth
Married - No
Children - None
Died - 6th July 1553, Greenwich Palace, London aged 15 years probably from consumption (tuberculosis)

Edward VI was born on 12th October 1537. He was the son of Henry VIII and his third wife Jane Seymour. His mother died shortly after the birth of Edward but his father doted on him as his longed for son and heir.

Edward VI was just nine years old when his father died and he became King. His father had made provision for a Regency government comprised of 16 trusted men. However, Edward's uncle, Edward Seymour, seized the regency for himself and the title 'Protector of all the realms and dominions of the King's majesty.' Seymour placed Edward firmly under his control by removing him from his home and forbidding contact with his stepmother or sisters. He also gave himself the title Duke of Somerset.

Due to the break with Rome effected by Henry VIII, Edward had been educated by Protestant tutors, consequently he was a confirmed Protestant. Edward Seymour was also a Protestant and he encouraged Edward to make sweeping changes to the Church.

1547 - The changes began immediately with the dissolving of the Chantries and the seizing of the money for the Crown. The dissolving of the Chantries was an attack on the Catholic belief in Purgatory and the saying of prayers for the dead.

1549 - It was announced that priests would be allowed to marry. The Catholic religion demanded that priests remain celibate and forbade marriage.

1552 - A new Prayer Book was introduced that included the following:
Altars were abolished and replaced by simple tables.
Priests were not to wear elaborate vestments.
The Mass was abolished and replaced with Holy Communion - the difference being that the bread and wine now only represented Christ and did not become Christ.
Predestination - the belief that it was already decided if you were bound for heaven or hell - was accepted. It was not possible to buy a place in heaven through good works, donating money to the church or saying prayers.

These changes meant that many Protestants from Europe came to England.

Edward VI died in 1553 at the age of 15.