Article Title

The Boy Who Would Be King: Court Revels of King Edward VI, 1547-1553


In lieu of an abstract, the first paragraph of the essay follows:

In the mean season, because there was a rumor that I was dead, I passed through London1

Many have commented on the coldness of the entries in the diary of the boy-king Edward VI, but few seem more chilling than this one (dated 23 July 1549). Partially because rumors were continually circulating about the precarious health of the king (rumors which were, shortly, to become fact), and partially because Londoners saw the young kind far less frequently than they had watched his flamboyant father, the king’s body was always a subject of concern. Indeed, at King Henry’s death when the duke of Somerset took physical possession of the prince’s body in order to ensure his own power, the performance of the “Protectorate” era began. Show the king, show the power. So when Edward needed to assure his people that his government was still functioning, his councillors put him on parade.


1 W. K. Jordan, ed., The Chronicle and Political Papers of King Edward VI (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1966), 13.

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