The first Henry, Duke of CornwallEdit
The first Henry, Duke of Cornwall (1 January 1511 - 11 February 1511) was the second child, oldest son and Heir Apparent of King Henry VIII of England and Catherine of Aragon. He was born on 1 January 1511, eighteen months after his parents' marriage and coronation. His older sister, born 31 January 1510 was three months premature and had not survived.
Henry and his queen planned extravagant celebrations rivalling that of his coronation for the birth of his son and heir, who immediately became Duke of Cornwall and was scheduled later in adulthood to become Prince of Wales, King of England and third king of the House of Tudor. However on 11 February 1511 the young prince died suddenly. The cause was not recorded.
Contemporary reports state that both parents were distraught at the loss of their second child and expected future king. The deeply religious Catherine spent many hours kneeling on cold stone floors praying, to the worry of courtiers. Henry distracted himself from his grief by unsuccessfully waging war against Louis XII of France with his father-in-law, Ferdinand II of Aragon.
The second Henry, Duke of CornwallEdit
The second Henry, Duke of Cornwall (December 1514) was the third son and fourth child of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon. Little is known about the prince, who died within one month of his birth.
Henry's children by Catherine of AragonEdit
Henry in total had six children by Catherine of Aragon; 2 girls, 3 boys, and 1 whose sex is unrecorded. Only one of their children, Princess Mary (later Queen Mary I) survived infancy.
Henry's other sonsEdit
Henry had four subsequent sons:
In total Henry had ten children by his six wives and at least one illegitimate son. At least six of his legitimate children were sons. Only one, the future Edward VI, survived infancy.
Impact of Henry, Duke of Cornwall's death on historyEdit
Historians have speculated as to the course English history might have taken, had either of the two Henrys, Duke of Cornwall, or any of the other legitimate sons survived. Given that Henry's search for a male heir, after Catherine's failure to give birth to any more live sons, was the cited reason which led him to have their marriage annulled, a living male child may have at least forstalled the marriage to Anne Boleyn and placed England in a different relationship with Roman Catholicism during the Protestant Reformation.