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Jane Seymour (c. 1509 – October 1537) was the third wife of King Henry VIII. She died a couple weeks after giving birth to her only child, Edward VI. Jane was a lady-in-waiting to Anne Boleyn, before the latter's execution in May 1536.
Jane was born into the Seymour family sometime around 1509 and likely grew up at Wulfhall. Her father, John Seymour, was the sheriff of Wiltshire, Dorset, and Somerset. He did not come from aristocracy, and was only a "wealthy farmer." Jane had at least two brothers, Edward and Thomas, and one sister, Elizabeth.
1533 – 1537
At court, she served under Catherine of Aragon, before being placed in Anne Boleyn's household in 1533. By October 1535, King Henry VIII had taken an interest in her, which enraged his wife. She won Henry's love by remaining chaste, much like Anne before her. The day after Anne's execution on May 19, 1536, Henry and Jane were betrothed. They were married that following within two weeks.
During her short reign, Jane helped reinstate her stepdaughter, Mary in Henry's good graces. In December 1536, Jane was unable to attend the funeral of her father, because of duties as Queen. The following February, rumors circulated that Jane was pregnant, though it was not formally announced until April. She had her son, Edward, on October 12, 1537, after being in labor for three days. Jane died just over a week later and was buried at Windsor Castle on November 12.
Personality and traits
One of her fellow ladies-in-waiting, Elinor Valjean described Jane as plain and sensible, "which is probably why Henry likes her" since she was the direct opposite of Anne. Elinor also likened her to a sheep, "meek to look at, but knows exactly what it wants." Compared to Henry's first two wives, Jane was poorly educated and had no "wit to argue with anyone. Toward the end of her reign, she became "very bossy and unreasonable," though she was most likely stressed about the pregnancy.
Behind the scenes
- My Tudor Queen (Mentioned in the Historical Notes)
- Anne Boleyn and Me
- Henry VIII's Wives
- Elizabeth I: Red Rose of the House of Tudor (Mentioned only)
- Lady Jane Grey (Mentioned in the Historical Notes)
- Bloody Tower (Mentioned in the Historical Notes)
- The Queen's Spies (Mentioned in the Historical Notes)
|Tudor related books and characters|