Monday, October 12, 2009

Birth of the Boy King

On October 12, 1537, a baby born was born, the first male heir of King Henry VIII. England rejoiced at the birth of Edward VI, and though his life was brief, he shined brightly as England's first Protestant king (as some describe him).

He died at the age of 15 having left an example of personal piety and having steered his country and his church away from Romanism and towards developing Anglicanism. His Literary Remains include for example a poem on the Eucharist that shows forth his Protestant conception of the Lord's Supper.

Among his papers is a treatise that he wrote identifying the Pope as Antichrist. He wrote this treatise against the supremacy of the Pope in French, having commenced it in December 1548 and completing it on August 31, 1549 at the age of 11. It can be read in French and English translation online here.

When he died on July 3, 1553, Protestant England had great fears for the future, despite Edward's specific appointment of Lady Jane Grey to the throne in his stead, and her brief 9-day reign, followed by her arrest and execution by Queen 'Bloody' Mary, and the failure of Wyatt's Rebellion, led to a reign of terror that grieved the hearts of god-fearing people in England and elsewhere. But, like Camelot, for one brief shining moment, a godly boy king ruled England, and indeed his light still shines.

1 comment:

  1. This week I have book club and we're discussing Innocent Traitor, the story of Lady Jane Grey. Too bad it wasn't tonight on Edward's birthday!