Jane Seymour

Bound to Obey and Serve

Jane Seymour was the third, and with hindsight, most beloved wife of Henry VIII. Since she gave birth to Henry's only male heir, she kept her importance even after her death as the ancestress of a line of future kings. Since her son Edward never reached his majority or had children, this sense of her importance waned after Edward's death.

Often portrayed as docile and uninteresting, she definitely had her own political goals. Sympathizing with Catherine of Aragon and her daughter Mary, she was a quiet enemy of Anne Boleyn. When she attracted his ardour in 1535, she felt little remorse and used the same protestations of chastity and honor that Anne had used on him once. She married Henry only a few days after her predecessor's death and immediately started working for the reinstatement of Mary in the line of succession.

As a traditionalist, she also pleaded with Henry to preserve the monasteries, for which he terrified her by reminding her of Anne's fate. This was all unimportant when she found herself pregnant. After giving birth to her son, she attended festivities, but fell sick soon after. Much lamented by Henry, she died of puerperal fever.

Tropes associated with Jane Seymour include: