David Loades has signed a contract with Amberley for a biography of Thomas
Cromwell due for publication in November 2013
Jane Seymour will be published by Amberley Press in
Jane was Henry VIII’s third
queen, and she was described by him as ‘his first true wife’, both his first two marriages having been annulled.
She was twenty-seven when he married her, and came of a solid gentry family with good court connections. She had served both
Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn as a Lady of the Privy Chamber, and her failure to find a suitable marriage is something
of a mystery. He was forty-four and desperate for the male heir who had so far eluded him, but which Jane’s placid disposition
and sexual availability seemed to promise. She was no great beauty, but came of a good breeding stock, and therein lay his
They married at the end of May 1536, and she became pregnant at about the end of the year, a condition which
advanced normally, but which caused the king acute anxiety as the summer of 1537 advanced. Then in October 1537 Jane performed
the great miracle, and bore Henry a son, who lived and flourished. Tragically she died of puerperal fever a few days later,
leaving the court in mourning and the king devastated. Her obsequies were elaborate and prolonged, and Henry stayed in mourning
for many weeks.
The king’s son, Prince Edward, was carefully nurtured, and probably did not miss the mother
he had never known. When the time came, his education was overseen by Henry’s sixth queen, Catherine Parr, and he seems
not to have had much of the Seymour in his make-up. He was very much his father’s boy.
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Loades gained his BA, Ph.D. at Emmanuel College, Cambridge and on the basis of his work was subsequently made D.Litt. After
teaching at St. Andrew’s and Durham universities, he was appointed to the Chair of History at the University of Wales,
Bangor in 1980. In 1993 he became Director of the British Academy John Foxe Project and Research Professor at the University
of Sheffield where the Project was based and which was completed in 2011. He is an Honorary Member of the University of Oxford,
History Faculty. David Loades is
a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, Vice-President of the Navy Record Society
and former President of the Ecclesiastical History Society. He is the author of over thirty books on the sixteenth century.
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