King Henry VIII Children from different wives

The son of King Henry VII was Henry VIII(1491- 1547), the second king of the Tudor dynasty. He ruled over England for over 36 years. As a king, he played a very important role in the reformation of English, expansion of the Royal power as well as in provoking the break of England’s church from Rome.

King Henry VIII strongly believed that England would be unwilling to accept a woman as monarch and that it was, therefore, his responsibility to produce a son as heir to England’s throne. Through the production of a male heir, he could feel sure that the Tudor Dynasty would continue for many years to come.

How Many Wives did King Henry VIII Have?

Although being ranked as one of the best monarchs of England, he was very popular for having six wives. However, his first marriage lasted longer 25 years which is larger duration combined to all others. Here are the wives of King Henry VIII in the sequence of their marriage.

Family Tree of Legitimate Children's
Family Tree of Legitimate Children’s

First Marriage: Catherine of Aragon – She was the daughter of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain. Catherine was married to the elder brother Arthur for eight years before marrying King Henry. When Arthur died at the age of 15 in some illness, she was married to Henry.

The marriage lasted for 25 years which only added suffering to Catherine with many miscarriages and stillbirths. She gave the first son to king who died in 52 days only. Later they bore a daughter together, but as Henry wanted an heir of the throne a son, he canceled this marriage in 1533.

Second Marriage: Anne Boleyn – In the year 1526, Henry had fallen for one of the ladies in waiting who served Catherine and she was Anne Boleyn. They married in 1533 and kept it hidden. When she was pregnant with their first child she was crowned as the Queen of England. But she was also not able to bore him a son, So Henry fell for one of the ladies in waiting of Anne named Jane Seymour.

Third Marriage: Jane Seymour – Henry married Jane in May 1535 but she was never crowned, unlike previous wives. She gave the heir to the throne in 1537 and Henry then became a proud father of the son. Soon after the birth of the Prince, Jane suffered from illness and died leaving two weeks son. She was the only wife of Henry to be buried with honor at Windsor castle.

Fourth Marriage: Anne of Cleves – After the death of Anne, Henry remained unmarried for 2 years. But as England was in dire need of support from foreign allies, he married Anne, the daughter of Duke of Cleves.  However she brought some disaster along with herself, so after only a few weeks of marriage, Henry annulled it.

Fifth Marriage: Kathryn Howard – Next Henry married to one of the ladies in waiting to Anne of Cleves, Kathryn, a teenager. She was also the first cousin to Anne Boleyn.  Henry was by the time old, overweight and was bound to chair but flourished Kathryn with gifts. After two years in the marriage, Kathryn was blamed for unfaithfulness and was then beheaded.

Sixth Marriage: Catherine Parr – She was the last wife of Henry who was well educated and had an interest in learning new things. Catherine was even a good stepmother as well as took care of Henry in his illness. Although she was arrested because of her enemies in the court who were not in favor of Protestantism like her, She proved to be faithful to Henry.

After Henry’s death in 1547, the Widowed Catherine married her previous lover Thomas Seymour.

Did Henry VIII have Children’s?

Yes, Henry VIII had many children from different wives. Some were legitimate while many of them were illegitimate.  A book with proper description and fascinating detail about the children is given by Alison Weir in “The Children of Henry VIII”. Another book which lets us visit the childhood of these children is in the book by John Guy “The Children of Henry VIII”. Following represents King Henry VIII children’s family tree.

King Henry VIII Children’s Family Tree

However, King Henry VIII family tree of illegitimate children is not known.

How Many Children Did Henry VIII Have?

Through the course of his six marriages, many children were conceived, however only three survived. These children of King Henry VIII were Mary, Elizabeth, and Edward. These three children of Henry VIII all went to take the throne, with Elizabeth reigning the longest.

King Henry VIII with his Children's
King Henry VIII with his
Children’s

None of Henry VIII children had it easy, the daughters were for many years pushed away and removed from the line of succession by their father, and Edward was not the strongest of men.

While the three children then went on to rule the land after Henry’s passing are well known, Henry is also believed to have had at least two children outside of his many marriages.

Sadly for Henry despite both of these children being male, he was unable to name them as heirs to the throne. One of these children was believed to be Henry Fitzroy, the Duke of Richmond. There is also believed to have been another son by the name of Henry which was born to Mary Boleyn, the sister to Henry’s second wife Anne.

When Were Henry VIII Children Born?

Most of the legitimate children of Henry VIII were born in the Greenwich Palace and the Hampton Court. But the place of birth of his illegitimate children is unknown for most of them. Below is the description shown of the match of Henry VIII’s wives to their children.

Legitimate Children’s of Henry

Prince Edward

Born on 12th October 1537 at the Hampton Court Palace.

Mother: Jane Seymour

Edward son of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour was the much-anticipated heir Henry had been waiting for. Henry VIII son was his third child, who became king at the age of just nine years old following the death of his father. As a child, Edward was weak and sickly. It is thought now that he suffered from the disease tuberculosis. As a result of such ill health, Edward died young age of 15 being unmarried only.

Prince Edward
Prince Edward

Mary Tudor

Born on 18th February 1516 in Greenwich

Mother: Catherine of Aragon

Mary Tudor was Henry’s eldest child and took the throne in 1533. She earned a terrible reputation and due to her sentencing, more than three hundred people to their deaths throughout her reign earned the title of Bloody Mary. She died in November 1558.

Mary Tudor
Mary Tudor

Elizabeth I

Born on 7th September 1533 in Greenwich

Mother: Anne Boleyn

Elizabeth, the daughter of Henry and Anne Boleyn took the throne in 1558. She had a very unsettled childhood, losing her mother to the hands of the executioner when she was only two and a half years old. Throughout her youth, she observed the cruel behavior of her father to his subsequent wives and the way that he was happy to execute anyone that dared to oppose him.

Princess Elizabeth
Princess Elizabeth

Elizabeth’s reign is one of the most significant in English history as it was the era of exploration and new worlds were being discovered by some of the country’s greatest maritime heroes. She died in March 1603 after more than forty years as queen.

King Henry VIII Illegitimate Children

Henry Fitzroy

Born on 15th June 1519 in Blackmore of Essex

Mother: Elizabeth Blount

 Although illegitimate the only acknowledged son of Henry VIII was Henry Fitzroy. He was the first Duke of Richmond and Somerset. As he was born secretly, his birth was not praised by anyone. Fitzroy was designated as the Lord High Admiral of England as well as the Lord Council of the North. Until his father was alive, he never became the heir to the throne. He died at a very young age of 17 due to illness.

Henry Fitzroy
Henry Fitzroy

Other than Henry, there are many suspected illegal children of Henry that includes Catherine Carey, Thomas Stukeley, Richard Edwardes, Henry Carey, John Perrot, and Ethelreda Malte. But none of them came forward to claim on his father’s throne and none of them were even acknowledged by Henry. So there is no legal confirmation of these being his children’s.

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