During the early part of the sixteenth century England should have been ruled by King Arthur Tudor, not Henry VIII. Had the first-born son of Henry VII lived into adulthood, his younger brother Henry would never have become King Henry VIII. The subsequent history of England would have been very different; the massive religious, social and political changes of Henry VIII’s reign might not have been necessary at all.
In naming his eldest son Arthur, Henry VII was making an impressive statement about what the Tudors hoped to achieve as rulers within Britain. Since the story of Arthur as a British hero was very well known to all ranks of the Crown’s subjects, the name alone gave the young prince a great deal to live up to.
Arthur’s education and exposure to power and responsibility, not to mention his marriage to a Spanish princess in Catherine of Aragon, all indicate that the young prince was being shaped into a paragon of kingship that all of Britain could admire.
This book explores all of these aspects of Prince Arthur’s life, together with his relationship with his brother, and assesses what type of king he would have been.
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About the Author
Dr Sean Cunningham has worked in the public services and research departments of The National Archives for over 15 years. He is currently the Head of Medieval Records within the Advice and Records Knowledge department.Sean has extensive experience of research into late medieval and early Tudor England, and has published widely on the reigns of Richard III and Henry VII, the politics and society in the north of England, and the records of late medieval government. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and co-convenor of the Late Medieval Seminar at London University’s Institute of Historical Research. You can find Sean on Twitter @SeanC1509.