Thursday, March 03, 2011

Question from Lauren - Illness of Prince Edward in 1541

Is it true that in 1541 Edward VI (then Prince of Wales) nearly died? Can anyone direct me to any sources on this?

Thank you

1 comment:

Susan Higginbotham said...

Jennifer Loach in her biography of Edward VI writes that he contracted a "quartan fever" in the autumn of 1541 and appeared to be in danger for about 10 days. She cites J. Kaulek, Correspondance politique de MM de Castillon et de Marillac (Paris 1885), p. 350-54 as her source. Marillac's report also appears in the Letters and Papers of Henry VIII (XVI, 1297, Oct. 29, 1541):

"The King, on his return from the North to Hampton Court, was surprised to hear that the prince of Wales, his only son, was sick of a quartan fever, an unusual malady for a child of three to four years, who is not of a melancholic complexion. He summoned all the physicians of the country to advise, and, after long consultation, they agreed, as one of them secretly told Marillac, that the fever would put him in danger. His informant added that, apart from this accident, the Prince was so fat and unhealthy as to be unlikely to live long."

Loach also notes, however, that Marillac described Edward during this period as "handsome, well-fed and remarkably tall for his age." (Loach, p. 11).