Henry, Duke of Cornwall

Henry, Duke of Cornwall

Henry, Duke of Cornwall was the name of two sons of King Henry VIII of England and his first wife, Catherine of Aragon. Henry in total had six children by Catherine of Aragon; 2 girls, 3 boys, and 1 whose sex is unrecorded. Only one of their children, Princess Mary (later Queen Mary I) survived infancy.

The first Henry, Duke of Cornwall

The first Henry, Duke of Cornwall (1 January - 22 February 1511 [ [http://www.thepeerage.com/p10149.htm thePeerage.com] ] ) was the second child, oldest son and Heir Apparent of King Henry VIII of England and Catherine of Aragon. He was born on 1 January, 1511, eighteen months after his parents' marriage and coronation. His older sister, born 31 January 1510 was three months premature and stillborn. [http://www.thepeerage.com/p10149.htm#i101488]

Henry and his queen planned extravagant celebrations rivalling that of his coronation for the birth of his son and heir, who immediately became Duke of Cornwall and was scheduled later in adulthood to become Prince of Wales, King of England and third king of the House of Tudor. Henry carried Catherine's favour in a tournament, riding under the banner of "Sir Loyal Heart;" the relationship between the royal pair, already one of strong affection, had become even more of a love match because of Catherine's success in providing a male heir. Known as "Little Prince Hal" and "the New Year's Boy," the prince was almost instantly beloved by the entire realm. However on 22 February, 1511 the young prince died suddenly. The cause of Henry's death was not recorded.

Contemporary reports state that both parents were distraught at the loss of their second child and expected future king. The deeply religious Catherine spent many hours kneeling on cold stone floors praying, to the worry of courtiers. Henry distracted himself from his grief by unsuccessfully waging war against Louis XII of France with his father-in-law, Ferdinand II of Aragon.

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1= 1. Henry, Duke of Cornwall
2= 2. Henry VIII of England
3= 3. Catherine of Aragon
4= 4. Henry VII of England
5= 5. Elizabeth of York
6= 6. Ferdinand II of Aragon
7= 7. Isabella of Castile
8= 8. Edmund Tudor, 1st Earl of Richmond
9= 9. Margaret Beaufort
10= 10. Edward IV of England
11= 11. Elizabeth Woodville
12= 12. John II of Aragon
13= 13. Juana Enríquez
14= 14. John II of Castile
15= 15. Infanta Isabel of Portugal
16= 16. Owen Tudor
17= 17. Catherine of Valois
18= 18. John Beaufort, 1st Duke of Somerset
19= 19. Margaret Beauchamp of Bletso
20= 20. Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York
21= 21. Cecily Neville
22= 22. Richard Woodville, 1st Earl Rivers
23= 23. Jacquetta of Luxembourg
24= 24. Ferdinand I of Aragon
25= 25. Eleanor of Alburquerque
26= 26. Fadrique Enríquez, Count of Melba and Rueda
27= 27. Mariana de Córdoba
28= 28. Henry III of Castile
29= 29. Katherine of Lancaster
30= 30. Infante João, Lord of Reguengos
31= 31. Isabella of Braganza


The second Henry, Duke of Cornwall

The second Henry, Duke of Cornwall (December 1514) was the third son and fourth child of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon. Little is known about the prince, who died within one month of his birth.

Was there a third Henry, Duke of Cornwall?

Some sources claim that Henry VIII and his second wife, Anne Boleyn, had a son called Henry who died only a few hours after birth. If so, he would have been Duke of Cornwall for his extremely short life. However, most sources indicate that this pregnancy ended in a miscarriage or stillbirth.

Impact of Henry, Duke of Cornwall's death on history

Historians have speculated as to the course English history might have taken, had either of the two Henrys, Duke of Cornwall, or any of the other legitimate sons survived. Given that Henry's search for a male heir, after Catherine's failure to give birth to any more live sons, was the cited reason which led him to have their marriage annulled, a living male child may have at least forestalled, or even prevented, the marriage to Anne Boleyn and placed England in a different relationship with Roman Catholicism during the Protestant Reformation.

This theme has also been explored in some alternate history science fiction, such as Kingsley Amis' "The Alteration" (1976), in which another alternate history English Reformation is depicted, even without the succession crisis caused by the absence of a male heir until the birth of Edward VI to Henry and Jane Seymour. However, Amis' book within a book does not specify whether this alternate history Henry IX is any specific son of Henry VIII


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