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Edward VI - Young, Gifted and King.

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Introduction

Edward VI - Young, Gifted and King The traditional view of Edward VI is that of a sickly, pedantic child who had no weight or power as king. At the tender age of nine, Edward became king but even though young and fragile he could by no means be ignored. Before his unexpected death in 1553 at the age of 15, Edward was only four months away from outright kingship and was fully expected to assume this position. Edward commanded both reverence and respect. As a young contemporary of Edward's, Roger Ascham, wrote at the time - "The ability of our Prince equals his fortune, and his virtue surpasses both....he is wonderfully in advance of his years." Indeed with this revised view of Edward, the question must be 'when' and not 'if' Edward was at the fore of his governments and his countries policies. To be able to evaluate Edward's prominence in government, it is important to assess both his character and upbringing. Edward was born in 1537 and spent much of his early life being tended to by the women of the court. ...read more.

Middle

The comparison of Edward to a modern child of his age is often a mistake made by many historians. Edward's education, which was vitally important, is often overlooked. There is no doubt that Edward was a child and that at times he could be prone to childish behaviour. There is however one thing that we can be sure of and this is that with his intensive teaching, Edward was a child of much intelligence and awareness, and rather than a sickly bystander to others in his reign he would use his finely tuned skills to great effect. After Henry's death, Edward was crowned king, he was however not old enough to assume outright control until the age of eighteen. Henry intended a regency control until Edward became of age, but the Duke of Somerset had other plans. He took control of Edward and assumed the title of 'Lord Protectorate'. Immediately Somerset began isolate himself from the council and the boy king. Edward was isolated and was not permitted to attend court, and showed many urges for a more active role. ...read more.

Conclusion

Northumberland could see that Edward was quickly maturing and learning vital skills. He consulted Edward and involved him largely in Government business. Northumberland's title was a firm and final tribute to Edward's ever-increasing involvement in Government affairs. Instead of the 'Lord Protectorate' title, he was known as 'Lord President of the Council' and showed an ever-lessening influence as Regent. To say that Edward VI ruled England solely during his years as king is undoubtedly an exaggeration. It is however only as wrong at the traditional view of Edward as a sickly, unimposing boy who made no real impression on the regencies of his reign. Edward's six years had seen him mature from the small and serious nine year old who was bullied by his uncle to a clever, confident and forceful teenager about to assume kingship. Edward was, due to education and upbringing, more than ready to become King of England. As W.K.Jordan (Edward's biographer) wrote - " Few monarchs in History have been as well equipped for their task as Edward VI was." Edward's last years showed he was truly a monarch with much potential, time as they say got the better of him. ...read more.

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