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Author Topic: Primogeniture for the unborn  (Read 597 times)
Last Hussar
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« on: 10 March 2019, 12:13:08 AM »

Here's a conundrum .

Edward VI was the youngest of Henry's children but became king because he was the only male.

What if Henry had died after conception but before birth? Would they have had to hold off until his gender was known?
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Dr Dave
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« Reply #1 on: 10 March 2019, 08:10:11 AM »

You mean stillborn right  Sad ?

They’d have waited surely?
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Ithoriel
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« Reply #2 on: 10 March 2019, 08:13:38 AM »

Given the times, I suspect Edward Seymour would have found some way to exclude Mary and Elizabeth and place the infant on the throne regardless of sex. Seymour would, naturally, have to act as regent for the new monarch.
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Leman
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« Reply #3 on: 10 March 2019, 08:21:11 AM »

Would he really have put a dead baby on  the throne?
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Ithoriel
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« Reply #4 on: 10 March 2019, 08:26:52 AM »

Would he really have put a dead baby on  the throne?

? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

Jane Seymour is pregnant, her husband, Henry VIII, dies. Does the state wait to see if the child is a boy, and therefore first in line to inherit, or does Mary become queen?

I say, boy or girl, Edward Seymour (Jane's father) would have found a way to disinherit Mary and Elizabeth and place the newborn on the throne.
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Techno
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« Reply #5 on: 10 March 2019, 08:34:28 AM »

You mean stillborn right  Sad ?

I don't think LH means stillborn, Doc.

On the same lines...

What would have happened if Henry had died before it was known that Anne Seymour was carrying the, as yet, unborn Edward ?

From my pitiful knowledge of this period I imagine there would have been some unseemly 'throne grabbing', from those after power...and when Edward was born, he'd have been denounced as an illegitimate heir....and probably met his fate in the Tower.

All completely hypothetical....But an interesting question from LH.

I would think Mike's theory holds a 'lot of water' for the original question.

Cheers - Phil





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Leman
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« Reply #6 on: 10 March 2019, 08:37:38 AM »

Like Dr Dave I misread the opening. Henry dies, not Edward whilst still in the womb, so Mary’s chief supporters would probably have staged a coup and done away with the Seymours. Phil’s just got in before me on the same lines. Would still have made good BBC drama though.
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Ithoriel
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« Reply #7 on: 10 March 2019, 08:47:39 AM »

Who knows, of course, but I don't think Mary's supporters are strong enough or organised enough at that point.

If the child is a boy, Mary is out of the frame.

Further hypothetical.

If the child is a girl and Jane Seymour dies 12 days after the birth, as happened historically.

Seymour accuses Mary of killing the queen to advance her own cause (The Catholics are coming, the Catholics are coming!), with Elizabeth's connivance.

False accusation, kangaroo court, false testimony ... Mary and Elizabeth go to The Tower to languish or vanish as circumstance dictates.

Seymour "reluctantly" allows himself to be proclaimed Shogun ... errr, I mean, Regent Smiley
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Last Hussar
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« Reply #8 on: 10 March 2019, 09:32:33 AM »

Sorry if the writing was unclear.

Basically Henry dies, which nominally puts Mary on the throne. But Seymour supporters say "hold on, if the baby is a boy, he would inherit if Henry had lived to see him".

I hadn't considered if it was a girl, because I assumed Mary as heir presumptive would be recognised, with the queen at the time not being figured in. It differs from Lady Jane Grey when Edward died, because Mary was a surviving child and next in line.

Maybe people can use this as the background to a Tudor AVBCW! The politicking/fighting could star 6 months before birth, maybe with a 50/50 chance of the baby being a girl.

Of course WotR were only 50 years before a would there have been the appetite for another civil war?
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steve_holmes_11
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« Reply #9 on: 10 March 2019, 09:32:42 AM »

Based on my limited knowledge of Europe and the Ottomans, this is where a steward gets appointed.
The steward may often seize power of become a powerful kingmaker.

In a handful of cases a duarchy (usually sister and brother) is established - typically an older sister has attained adulthood and the brother is quite young.
This usually ends with the brother bumped off or exiled.

Occasionally the young lads party will cite salic law.
This invariably leads to civil war, national war (of succession) where externaly dynasties are involved, or the creation of a new state or principality (Luxemborg).


Whatever the outcome, it provides plenty of scope for what-if and imaginations for the types who enjoy that sort of thing.


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sunjester
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« Reply #10 on: 10 March 2019, 12:02:23 PM »

It's a really interesting one and not as obvious as you might think.

If Henry had died 10 years earlier the political situation was quite different. Edward Seymour wasn't in the same position of power back then and Catholics like the Duke of Norfolk were less excluded from power. Remember Henry wasn't a Protestant, he still regarded them as heretics, and in 1537 Protestants did not control the apparatus of state in the way they did 10 years later.
That said the previous year (1536) had seen the Second Succession Act introduced, which said that Henry's children by Jane Seymour would be next in the line and both Mary and Elizabeth were illegitimate, which excluded them from the throne.

It would undoubtedly have led to bloodshed, but whether that was simply a palace coup removing the prominent supporters of either Mary or Jane Seymour (depending on who got the knife in first), or all out battle I can't say. If the latter, it would still have probably been on a much smaller scale that the York/Lancaster feud or Charles' cock up a century later.
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Last Hussar
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« Reply #11 on: 10 March 2019, 10:08:22 PM »

I'd forgotten Mary and Elizabeth were legally declared bastards because the marriages "never happened".

What other kings have been born after a sister so this situation could happen?
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Techno
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« Reply #12 on: 11 March 2019, 07:53:17 AM »

Is it right that it should be the three wives of Henry VIII ?....Not the six ?

I was under the (almost certainly false) impression that only two of the marriages were 'null & void."

That would muck up the titles of two of that nice Mr Wakeman's albums.

Cheers - Phil
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sunjester
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« Reply #13 on: 11 March 2019, 08:14:37 AM »

I'd forgotten Mary and Elizabeth were legally declared bastards because the marriages "never happened".

What other kings have been born after a sister so this situation could happen?

Not that often in Britain, off the top of my head Richard I had an older sister who was skipped over for the crown. As did Edward the Black Prince, but after he died the succession ignored her and went to his son. I,m not so sure on our continental neighbors.
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Leman
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« Reply #14 on: 11 March 2019, 11:10:27 AM »

Queen Victoria could not take the crown of Hanover owing to Salic law. Apparently if we’d had Salic law the next king after William IV would have been Earnest.
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