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The Birth of Edward VI and the Death of Queen Jane: The Arguments for and Against Caesarean Section

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Contemporaries and later historians have disagreed on the circumstances of Edward VI's birth and the death of his mother, Jane Seymour. Was his a normal, though difficult, birth and his mother's death the result of injuries or puerperal fever? Or did Henry VIII order a caesarean delivery, and therefore each death of his queen? An exploration of the evidence and arguments on both sides of the question shows strong but circumstantial evidence of caesarean delivery at the king's command on 12–13 October 1537, but responsibility for the queen's death twelve days later attributed to her son.

Keywords: Caesarean section; Childbirth; Death and Dying; Edward VI; England; Seymour, Jane

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 1990-12-01

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