The story that Jane Seymour delivered the future Edward VI by Caesarean section is an Elizabethan invention. It has been traced to Nicholas Sander, a Roman Catholic historian who lived during Elizabeth I's reign. C-section was considered an "unnatural" birth by sixteenth-century Catholics (and many Protestants). Suggesting that Henry VIII's sole legitimate male child, a boy who would himself spearhead a Protestant doctrinal and liturgical reformation in England and serve as the driving force behind the English Book of Common Prayer, was born "unnaturally" served Sander's desire to demonize Henry VIII's non-Catholic heirs. The story survived well into the twentieth century, and remains one of those legends that are most hard to debunk in the popular imagination. Edward was born by vaginal delivery, and Jane, his mother, most likely died from puerperal sepsis, a post-delivery infection that occurred fairly often in the era before antibiotics.
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