Edward VI of England

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Edward VI (12 October 1537 – 6 July 1553) became King of England and Ireland on 28 January 1547 and was crowned on 20 February at the age of nine.[1] The son of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour, Edward was the third monarch of the Tudor dynasty and England's first ruler who was raised as a Protestant.

During Edward's reign, the realm was governed by a Regency Council, because he never reached maturity. The Council was led by his uncle Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset, (1547–1549), and then by John Dudley, 1st Earl of Warwick, (1550–1553), who later became Duke of Northumberland.

Edward's reign was marked by economic problems and social unrest that, in 1549, erupted into riot and rebellion. A war with Scotland, at first successful, ended with military withdrawal from there and Boulogne-sur-Mer. The transformation of the Anglican Church into a recognisably Protestant body also occurred under Edward, who took great interest in religious matters. Although Henry VIII had severed the link between the Church of England and Rome, he never permitted the renunciation of Catholic doctrine or ceremony. It was during Edward's reign that Protestantism was established for the first time in England with reforms that included the abolition of clerical celibacy and the Mass and the imposition of compulsory services in English. The architect of these reforms was Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, whose Book of Common Prayer has proved lasting.

Edward fell ill in January 1553,and when it was discovered to be terminal, he and his Council drew up a "Devise for the Succession", attempting to prevent the country being returned to Catholicism. Edward named his cousin Lady Jane Grey as his heir and excluded his half sisters, Mary and Elizabeth. However, this was disputed following Edward's death and Jane was only queen for nine days before Edward's half-sister, Mary, was proclaimed Queen. She proceeded to reverse many of Edward's Protestant reforms, but Elizabeth's religious settlement of 1559 would secure his Protestant legacy.


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