Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Night Gaul, Aug 23, 2019.
What if Jane Seymour hadn't died of postnatal complications? How might things be different?
Well, Henry isn't marrying AOC, Kitty Howard or Kate Parr for starters. He'll never forsake the mother of his heir.
That being said, Jane isn't Henry's typical 'type'. He seems to have preferred educated women, given the choice - AOC was a political match and seems to have blossomed in England anyway, and Kitty was very much Henry's midlife crisis wife... Jane's chief attraction is that she's the opposite of Anne Boleyn. I'd say that, given a couple of years for the shine to wear off, Henry will soon be philandering again - and it is possible that, with Jane so much less of a strong character than either of Henry's first two wives, that his mistresses become something of a fixture of a Court within a court, wielding far more influence than the woman who wears the crown.
And of course, Henry will want another child out of Jane, if not more than one. So, of course, a lot hinges on whether Jane manages to produce a Duke of York (or even another Princess, Henry might be more willing to countenance a daughter this time around, if she already has an older brother...)
And of course Jane could later serve as a tempering influence on Edward and pre ent him going hardline Puritan
An English Court dominated by a educated mistress with Jane playing a more background role would be interesting. Especially since Jane would be pushing Catholic interests, and no way is Henry backing off on being supreme head of the English church, so the mistress might take the Protestant side. Also, there might be more Tudors and a few new FitzRoys.
For irony’s sake, you could have Catherine Parr as the erstwhile mistress, maybe before/instead/during her second marriage?
One question is if Mary and Elizabeth marry ITTL. Jane seemed keen to reconcile Mary with Henry and might have encouraged him to let the girl to wed (especially as Edward was fairly well accepted by Europe as Henry's heir given Jane and Henry married post-Catherine's death and, for the Catholics, the marriage to Anne didn't count). And with Elizabeth, you likely butterfly away the two moments that turned Elizabeth anti-marriage: Kathryn Howard's execution and her time after Henry's death with Catherine Parr and a creepy Thomas Seymour.
Let's say Jane and Henry have the following kids:
Edward, Duke of Cornwall (1537)
John, Duke of York (1539)
Henry, Duke of Richmond (1541)
How do you think they would marry? Let's assume Jane's survival butterflies away Edward's early death. I assume the Duke of York or Richmond is likely offered in Edward's place for Mary, Queen of Scots and the other (assuming Edward survives to marry Elisabeth of Valois) marries a lower level princess like a Vasa sister or (for maximum butterflies) Caterina of Portugal.
One issue with Edward’s marriage would be just how his religious feelings develop. Could Jane’s influences moderate his OTL Protestant feelings? Making him more Henry VIII’s “Catholic but I’m in charge”? Or just drive Edward further into the Protestant camp. Because I’d say it safe to bet that Edward inherited just a little of Henry’s VIII’s “I’m going to do the exact opposite of what’s you said, because you are not the boss of me”.
If Edward is super Protestant, I don’t see Elisabeth Valois being his bride. Since Henry VIII probably dies on schedule, Edward would be picking his own bride. So, I’d guess either Anna of Saxony or Cecilia of Sweden (pre scandal) (since she was apparently a looker, and if Edward takes after his father, that will matter to him more that it should).
I’d say John of York for Mary, Queen of Scots is a pretty safe bet. Though religion would be “fun” in that marriage. Though John’s religions feelings could swing pretty much any direction.
Henry of Richmond could probably get away with marrying locally, so I’d say pretty much any bride would be acceptable for him.
Two part response because I’m on a bus with spotting WiFi and don’t want to loose everything I typed up
I could see Jane becoming the champion of Mary and the still undecided mistress becoming Elizabeth’s champion. I don’t see Henry re-legitimatizing Mary either with Jane as champion; Jane just doesn't have the chops to handle Henry like Catherine Parr did.
Depending on the mistress, (side note, does anyone have an opinion or can I just declare Catherine Parr the mistress?) I could see Elizabeth being re-legitimized.
But, for fun, let’s say both get reconciled to Henry, but neither are re-legitimized. I could see local marriages, maybe Elizabeth gets to marry her Robert?
Any of those could make sense, I mainly said Elisabeth of Valois as I believe that is who Edward was betrothed to IOTL.
I could definitely see Dudley for Elizabeth (let Ambrose or Guildford marry Amy in Robert's place). As for Mary, maybe she's the unfortunate soul stuck with Thomas Seymour, or another noble like Henry Neville, Earl of Westmorland (who was a Mary supporter IOTL).
Let's make Catherine Parr the mistress, and have her champion legitimatizing Elizabeth under the theory that he has three sons by this point, so who cares if he sticks Elizabeth after them, as she's at least obedient unlike Mary.
Henry VIII will stil” likely try to get Mary Stuart for his heir (but here offering also his second son). In OTL Edward was super Protestant, get to choose his own bride and picked Elisabeth of France so is likely who will be much interested in marrying her also here
Considering the Pope’s extreme disapproval, I’m going to guess that Henry II (Elisabeth Valois’s Dad) would’ve backed out. But that’s just me since I think it would been interesting to have a Protestant bride for Edward.
Katherine Parr was a pious protestant, she was not going be #17 in the conga line of Henry VIII's mistresses. She'll marry Thomas Seymour as she wanted to in the first place and possibly have a couple of little Seymours to get into mischief in the next generation.
Jane: given her difficultly with delivering Edward, either he was breech or she lacked, what my friend often referred to as her own "German birthing hips" (wide pelvis). Second baby will be iffy and might kill her if the pelvis is the reason. Jane may well be the reason Mary weds. (Elizabeth will be the perpetual bastard under Jane.) But Jane will stay out of politics and perhaps religion as well - her family has had court connections long enough for her to know which way to trim her sails.
Catherine Howard: she's at court and a natural flirt, of course she'll be a mistress. But, if you look at her character, she was more of a girl who wanted people to have fun rather that be a champion for any real cause. She did her Howard elders told her.
Anne of Cleves will die a spinster unless that priggish brother of hers finds one of his friends to wed her.
After Anne Boleyn, mistresses (literally or just in title) will be dropped if they try to meddle in politics (and the marriage of his children, legitimate or not, is politics). Only his first real wife (Katherine of Aragon) and the one stalked into the marriage (Anne Boleyn) were the ones who away with politics. Remember Henry's verbal slap down of Jane? (Although, given that Jane served KoA, she might get away with suggestions for Mary.)
My shot at a Tudor Family Tree
King Henry VIII of England (b.1491: d.1545) m. Catherine of Aragon (b.1485: d.1536) (a), Anne Boleyn (b.1501 d. 1536) (b), Jane Seymour (b. 1508, d. 15??) (c); p. Elizabeth Blount (b.1498) (d), Catherine Parr (b. 1512 d. 15??) (e)
1a) Lady Mary Tudor (b.1516) m. Lord Thomas Seymour, 1st Baron Seymour of Sudeley (b. 1508)
1) Lady Jane Seymour (b. 1540 d. 1551)
2) Lord Henry Seymour (b. 1544)
2d) Lord Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond and Somerset (b.1519: d.1536)
3b) Lady Elizabeth Tudor, Marquess of Pembroke  (b. 1533) m. Robert Dudley, Earl of Warwick  (b. 1532)
1) Lady Eleanor Dudley (b. 1552)
2) Lady Catherine Dudley (b. 1555 d. 1559)
3) Lord John Dudley (b. 1558)
4) Lord Edmund Dudley (b. 1563)
3) Lady Cecily Dudley (b. 1567 d. 1585)
4c) Prince Edward Tudor of Wales / King Edward VI England (b. 1537) m. Princess Cecilia Vasa of Sweden (b. 1540 d. 1561) (a), Princess Dorothea Oldenburg of Denmark (b. 1546) (b); p. Lady (c)
1a) Princess Cecily Tudor (b. 1558)
2a) Prince Edward Tudor of Wales (b. 1561 d. 1583)
3b) Princess Dorothy Tudor (b. 1564)
4b) Prince Henry Tudor, Duke of York (b, 1570 d. 1577)
5b) Prince John Tudor, Duke of York / King John II Tudor of England (b, 1574)
6c) Lord Edward FitzRoy (b. 1584)
5c) Prince John Tudor, Duke of York (b. 1539 d. 1563) m. Queen Mary Stewart of Scotland (b. 1542)
1) King James Tudor of Scotland (b. 1560)
2) Princess Margaret Tudor of Scotland (b. 1563)
6e) Lady Margaret FitzRoy (b. 1540) m. Lord Francis Grey, 3rd Marquess of Dorset (b. 1544) 
1) Lord Charles Grey (b. 1563)
2) Lord Edward Grey (b. 1566)
3) Lord Thomas Grey (b. 1570)
4) Lord Henry Grey (b. 1574)
7c) Prince Henry Tudor, Duke of Somerset (b. 1541) m. Lady Ursula of Saxe-Lauenburg (b. 1545)
8e) Lord Edmund FitzRoy, Duke of Richmond (b. 1544) m. Lady Elin Ulfsdotter Snakenborg (b. 1548) (a); p. Lady Alice Cobbe (b. 1538) (b), Lady Frances Howard (b. 1578) (c)
1b) Lord Edmund FitzAlice (b. 1563)
2a) Lady Agnes FitzRoy (b. 1580)
3c) Lady Mabel FitzHoward (b. 1600)
 My thought was Catherine Parr wasn’t able to talk Henry into re-legitimatizing Elizabeth, but was able to get her awarded a title.
 Robert’s dad never fell from grace and is still a Duke. With the Duchy going to the older brother, Robert gets the old Earl title
 Butterfly so Mary Grey was born a boy
I could see Catherine Parr agreeing to be a mistress under some kind of “like Esther” logic. Like, ‘oh no, Queen Jane’s influences is driving Henry towards the Catholics, must save England’s soul.’
He'll still take mistresses, albeit more discreetly. This is Henry VIII we're talking about. I wouldn't be surprised if he grows bored of Jane anyway
Mistresses will come however the range of influence will not be particularly great. So i think that the catholic in all but name and head will be the dominant government. Now assuming edward still dies around the same time which is a big if. Then i do think that mary’s attempt to return england back to the fold will not be as much of a struggle. Especially as a lot of england would still be catholic and the english churches doctrine is pretty much the same so i would be too wild to assume that they move back to catholism relatively easily
Well considering who in OTL he do not backed out as Elisabeth was engaged to Edward until his death I do not think who Henry II will backed out with Edward surviving. Both England and France needed that wedding and alliance and the Pope can not change that. A French princess for Edward is a much better and much more prestigious match than any Protestant princess so he will not search another bride
Why would Mary marry locally and to a Seymour? She already submitted to her father's will, there's no reason for further humiliation. Before Jane died, Charles was pressing for Mary's marriage to Don Luis of Portugal. I think the Duke of Orleans was also offered after Jane's death?
Also, if Elizabeth was awarded her own title to hold but not her, Mary would be insulted.
Orleans is way too young for Mary (if you are talking about Charles) and the only French match was ever considered for her was the one with Dauphin Francis. In any case both the Portuguese and the French match require Mary being reinstated as Princess of England and legitimate daughter of King Henry VIII by his rightful Queen Katherine of Aragon (and that will happen only over the dead body of Henry VIII)
The logic, as discussed above, was Jane would champion Mary and since Jane doesn’t have the skills to do so doesn’t get very far. A marriage to her brother was the best she could get for Mary. While Elizabeth is being championed by the long time mistress Chatherine Parr who, as we see OTL, can totally handle Henry.
Even with a Church of England staying very much Catholic in form, I can’t see Henry ever backing down on the whole, “I am the head of the Church of England” thing. He hated to be wrong and loved to be in charge.
Thats my point england will be doctrinally catholic just different head and assuming this continues to influence edward then it likely goes the same as before catholic but with the king as head. Unless he dies llike otl in which england will have a smoother transition back ender mary with less die hard protestants. However if he continues to rule then more of the same.
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