King Edward VI of England, Wales and Ireland Timeline 1537-1553

Born – 12th October 1537
Died – 6th August 1553
Royal House – Tudor
FatherKing Henry VIII 1491 – 1547
MotherJane Seymour 1507 – 1537
Spouse – Not Married
Children – No children
King of England 1547 – 1553
Preceded byKing Henry VIII – 1509 – 1547
Succeeded byLady Jane Grey – 1553


1537 (12th October)
King Edward VI was born to Henry VIII and Jane Seymour at Hampton Court Palace. He was created Duke of Cornwall.
1537 (15th October)
Edward was christened at midnight at Hampton Court Palace. Edward’s godfathers were the Duke of Norfolk and Thomas Cranmer. His half sister, Mary, was godmother.
1537 (16th October)
Edward’s mother, Jane, was taken ill, possibly with puerperal fever.
1537 (17th October)
The Bishop of Carlisle administered last rites to Edward’s mother, Jane Seymour..
1537 (18th October)
Edward’s mother, Jane, seemed better and it was hoped that she would begin to improve.
1537 (23rd October)
Jane Seymour was taken ill again.
1537 (24th October)
Jane Seymour died of puerperal fever.
1537 (12th November)
Edward’s mother, Jane, was buried in St George’s Chapel, Windsor.
1538 (October)
Margaret Bryan was given overall charge of Prince Edward while Sybil Penne became Edward’s chief nursemaid.
1540 (6th January)
Edward’s father, Henry VIII, married Anne of Cleves in the Chapel Royal at Greenwich Palace. The ceremony was performed by Archbishop Cranmer.
1540 (9th July)
Edward’s father, Henry VIII, divorced Anne of Cleves.
1540 (28th July)
Edward’s father, Henry VIII, married Kathryn Howard at the Palace of Oatlands. The ceremony was performed by the Bishop of London.
1541 (26th October)
Edward was taken ill with quartan fever but recovered.
1542 (13th February)
Kathryn Howard was executed for treason.
1543 (1st January)
Edward performed his first public duty when he entertained a group of Scottish noblemen that were in London.
1543 (1st July)
Treaty of Greenwich
King Henry VIII signed this peace treaty with Scotland. The treaty was sealed with the betrothal of Edward to the infant Mary Queen of Scots. Henry asked that the infant Queen be brought up in England to prepare her for her future role as Queen of England.
1543 (12th July)
Edward’s father, Henry, married Katherine Parr in the Queen’s Privy Chamber at Hampton Court Palace.
1543 (after July)
Edward’s stepmother, Katherine Parr, oversaw Edward’s education.
1543 (12th October)
Edward began his formal education. He was taught classics, theology, languages, mathematics, geography, grammar and science as well as gentlemanly pursuits and sport. His tutors were Richard Cox, John Cheke, Roger Ascham and Jean Belmain.
1543 (December)
The Scots repudiated the peace treaty with England and renewed their alliance with France instead.
1543 (25th December)
Edward and his half sisters, Mary and Elizabeth, were at court to celebrate Christmas.
1544 (7th February)
Act of Succession
A new Act of Succession stipulated that Edward should succeed Henry to the throne with any children from his present marriage being next in line. Lady Mary and Lady Elizabeth were next.
1544 (April)
Henry VIII sent Edward Seymour, Earl of Hertford, to invade Scotland and burn Edinburgh to the ground in a bid to make the Scots honour the Treaty of Greenwich and send Mary to England. The Earl of Hertford’s harsh treatment of the Scots was coined ‘The Rough Wooing’.
1544 (13th July)
Edward, along with his half-sisters, Elizabeth and Mary, attended a supper party in Hyde Park on the eve of Henry’s departure for France.
1544 (14th July)
Henry VIII invaded France at the head of an army of 40,000 men.
1544 (early August)
Edward, his two sisters and Katherine Parr left London to avoid an outbreak of the plague. They stayed with the Countess of Rutland at Oakham.
1544 (30th September)
Henry VIII returned to England triumphant.
1546 (December)
King Henry was taken ill with a fever and severe pain in his legs.
1547 (23rd January)
Henry VIII declared that Edward Seymour should be head of a regency council to govern until Prince Edward reached his majority.
1547 (28th January)
KIng Henry VIII died at Whitehall Palace in the early hours of the morning. He was succeeded by his son as King Edward VI.
1547 (28th January)
Edward Seymour declared himself ‘Protector of all the Realm and Dominions of the King’s Majesty’.
1547 (30th January)
Edward Seymour rode to Hertford where he collected the young King Edward and took him to his half-sister Elizabeth’s residence at Hatfield. There he told the two children of their father’s death.
1547 (31st January)
Chancellor Thomas Wriothesley announced the death of Henry VIII in parliament and ordered proclamations that Edward was now King Edward VI. He was placed under the control of Edward Seymour and was prevented from seeing his stepmother or half-sisters.
1547 (during)
Barnaby Fitzpatrick was appointed to be Edward’s whipping boy. Because courtiers could not punish their King, if young Edward was naughty Barnaby would be punished instead.
1547 (1st February)
The leading nobles swore allegiance to Edward at the Tower of London.
1547 (16th February)
Henry VIII was buried in St George’s Chapel, Windsor next to Jane Seymour.
1547 (20th February)
Edward was crowned King Edward VI of England at Westminster Abbey. After the ceremony a banquet was held in Westminster Hall.
1547 (16th February)
Edward Seymour became the Duke of Somerset. His brother, Thomas Seymour became Baron Seymour of Sudeley Castle and was created Lord High Admiral.
1547 (March)
Edward signed a document giving Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset, the power to appoint members of the Privy Council and to consult with them at his own choosing. This effectively gave him full control of the country. This move was only opposed by Thomas Seymour and Thomas Wriothesley.
1547 (April)
Edward’s stepmother, Katherine Parr, secretly married Edward’s uncle, Thomas Seymour. Although Katherine was in love with Seymour it is likely that he married for power rather than love.
1547 (10th September)
English forces led by the Duke of Somerset defeated the Scots at the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh. Somerset hoped to persuade the Scots to make alliance with England and allow the marriage of Edward to Mary Queen of Scots to go ahead.
1548 (Summer)
Katherine Parr discovered her husband, Thomas Seymour, with Edward’s half-sister, Lady Elizabeth. Elizabeth was sent to live with Sir Anthony Denny.
1548 (August)
Mary Queen of Scots had been smuggled out of Scotland to France where she married the Dauphin, Francis.
1548 (7th September)
Katherine Parr died of puerperal fever after giving birth to a daughter, Katherine.
1548 (late)
Thomas Seymour began writing letters to Lady Elizabeth. It is likely that he hoped to marry her.
1549 (January)
Thomas Seymour was arrested and charged with embezzlement of crown funds. He was found guilty.
1549 (21st January)
Act of Uniformity
With Edward’s full approval, Edward Seymour introduced the Protestant Book of Common Prayer and outlawed many Roman Catholic practices. The clergy were given permission to marry.
1549 (20th March)
Thomas Seymour was executed by beheading.
1549 (April)
A number of revolts against the Book of Common Prayer broke out. The most serious rebellions were in Devon and Cornwall.
1549 (Spring)
There were revolts against changes that were made to common grazing ground.
1549 (July)
Members of the Privy Council began to complain to Somerset about his government of the country, blaming the rioting on his proclamations.
1549 (August)
Henry II of France realised that England was weak and lay siege to Boulogne.
1549 (early October)
Edward Seymour realised his position was in danger and took himself and King Edward to Windsor Castle.
1549 (11th October)
Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset, was arrested by the Council.
1550 (January)
John Dudley realised that England could not afford to continue war with France and sent a delegation to negotiate peace.
1550 (February)
John Dudley, Earl of Warwick became leader of the Council.
1550 (28th March)
Treaty of Boulogne
This Treaty, signed by John Dudley, Earl of Warwick, provided for the return of Boulogne to France for a ransom of 400,000 crowns. The French also agreed to remove troops from Scotland.
1550 (Spring)
Although Dudley believed that financially he had had no choice but to agree peace with France, many in the Council felt that he had sold England short.
1550 (December)
Edward was betrothed to Princess Elisabeth, daughter of Henry II of France.
1551 (during)
John Dudley became Duke of Northumberland.
1552 (22nd January)
Edward Seymour was executed by beheading on Tower Hill.
1552 (early)
The Book of Common Prayer was re-written by Thomas Cranmer to make matters of doctrine clearer.
1552 (April)
Edward was taken ill with smallpox. He survived but was weakened by the disease.
1553 (Spring)
Edward was taken ill and it became clear that he was dying.
1553 (25th May)
John Dudley married his son, Guildford Dudley to Lady Jane Grey, granddaughter of Henry VIII’s younger sister, Mary.
1553 (June)
Devise for the Succession
Edward opposed the succession of either of his half-sisters due to their illegitimacy and Mary’s Catholicism. This document passed the succession to Lady Jane Grey, granddaughter of Henry VIII’s younger sister, Mary in the event of of there being no legitimate male heir on his death.
1553 (15th June)
Edward summoned his leading councillors and made them sign a declaration to uphold the Devise for the Succession on his death.
1553 (6th July)
Edward died. He was succeeded by Lady Jane Grey, granddaughter of Henry VIII’s younger sister, Mary Tudor.
1553 (8th August)
Edward was buried in the Henry VII Lady Chapel at Westminster Abbey.


First published 2018; updated and republished Jan 8 2022 @ 6:20 pm – Updated – [last-modified]

Harvard Reference for this page:

Heather Y Wheeler. (2018 – 2022). King Edward VI of England, Wales and Ireland 1537 – 1553. Last accessed [date]


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