Henry, Duke of Cornwall

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Henry, Duke of Cornwall was the name of two sons of King Henry VIII of England and his first wife, Catherine of Aragon. Henry and Catherine had five children, but only Princess Mary (later Queen Mary I) survived infancy.

The first Henry, Duke of Cornwall[edit]

Henry
Duke of Cornwall

Father Henry VIII
Mother Catherine of Aragon
Born 1 January 1511
Died 23 February 1511 (aged 53 days)

The first Henry, Duke of Cornwall (1 January - 23 February 1511[1]) was the second oldest child and Heir Apparent of King Henry VIII of England and Catherine of Aragon. Catherine had already had a daughter who died aged 2 days old and remained unnamed.[2]

Birth and Christening[edit]

He was born on 1 January 1511, eighteen months after his parents' wedding and coronation. He was christened on January 5. His godfathers were William Warham, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Louis XII of France, and his godmother was Margaret of Austria, Duchess of Savoy. At the christening, the baby prince's great-aunt Anne of York, Countess of Surrey stood proxy for Margaret of Hapsburg, and Richard Foxe Bishop of Winchester stood proxy for the French King.

Celebrations and Death[edit]

Henry and his queen planned extravagant celebrations rivalling that of their joint coronation for the birth of his son and heir, who immediately became Duke of Cornwall and was expected to become Prince of Wales, King of England and third king of the House of Tudor. Henry carried Catherine's favour in a tournament, riding under the banner of "Sir Loyal Heart" the relationship between the royal pair, already one of strong affection, had become even more of a love match because of Catherine's success in providing a male heir. Known as "Little Prince Hal" and "the New Year's Boy", the prince was fondly regarded by Henry's court. However, on 23 February 1511 the young prince died suddenly. The cause of his death was not recorded.

Contemporary reports state that both parents were distraught at the loss of their second child and expected future king. The deeply religious Catherine spent many hours kneeling on cold stone floors praying, to the worry of courtiers. Henry distracted himself from his grief by unsuccessfully waging war against Louis XII of France with his father-in-law, Ferdinand II of Aragon.

Henry, Duke of Cornwall
Born: 1 January 1511 Died: 23 February 1511
English royalty
Preceded by
Margaret Tudor
Heir to the English Throne
as heir apparent

1 January - 23 February 1511
Succeeded by
Margaret Tudor
Peerage of England
Vacant
Title last held by
Henry VIII
Duke of Cornwall
1 January - 23 February 1511
Vacant
Title next held by
Henry Tudor

The second Henry, Duke of Cornwall[edit]

Henry
Duke of Cornwall

Father Henry VIII
Mother Catherine of Aragon
Born December 1514
Died December 1514 (aged <1m)

The second Henry, Duke of Cornwall (December 1514) was the third child of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon. After the first Henry, Catherine had another boy in 1513. Little is known about the prince, who died within one month of his birth. His parents would later have two daughters born to them: first, born in 1516, was Mary, later Mary I, Queen of England; and then an unnamed infant daughter who died within a week of her birth in November 1518.

Henry, Duke of Cornwall
Born: December 1514 Died: December 1514
English royalty
Preceded by
Margaret Tudor
Heir to the English Throne
as heir apparent

December 1514
Succeeded by
Margaret Tudor
Peerage of England
Vacant
Title last held by
Henry Tudor
Duke of Cornwall
December 1514
Vacant
Title next held by
Edward Tudor

Impact of Henry, Duke of Cornwall's death on history[edit]

Historians have speculated as to the course English history might have taken, had either of the two Henrys, Duke of Cornwall, or any other legitimate son survived. Given that Henry's search for a male heir, after Catherine's failure to give birth to any more live sons, was the cited reason which led him to have their marriage annulled, a living male child might have at least forestalled, or even prevented, the marriage to Anne Boleyn and placed England in a different relationship with Roman Catholicism during the Protestant Reformation.

This theme has also been explored in some alternative history science fiction, such as Kingsley Amis' The Alteration (1976), in which another alternative history English Reformation is depicted, even without the succession crisis caused by the absence of a male heir until the birth of Edward VI to Henry and Jane Seymour. However, Amis' book within a book does not specify whether this alternative history Henry IX is any specific son of Henry VIII

References[edit]

  • Weir, Alison (1999). Britain's Royal Family: A Complete Genealogy. The Bodley Head; London, U.K. page 152
  • Ashley, Mike (2002). British Kings & Queens. Carroll & Graf. ISBN 0-7867-1104-3. page 237

it:Enrico, duca di Cornovaglia mk:Хенри (војвода од Корнвол) pl:Henryk Tudor, książę Kornwalii pt:Henrique, Duque da Cornualha