Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales

Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales

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Henry Frederick Stuart, Prince of Wales (19 February 1594 – 6 November 1612) was the elder son of King James I & VI
James I of England
James VI and I was King of Scots as James VI from 24 July 1567 and King of England and Ireland as James I from the union of the English and Scottish crowns on 24 March 1603...

 and Anne of Denmark
Anne of Denmark
Anne of Denmark was queen consort of Scotland, England, and Ireland as the wife of King James VI and I.The second daughter of King Frederick II of Denmark, Anne married James in 1589 at the age of fourteen and bore him three children who survived infancy, including the future Charles I...

. His name derives from his grandfathers: Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley
Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley
Henry Stewart or Stuart, 1st Duke of Albany , styled Lord Darnley before 1565, was king consort of Scotland and murdered at Kirk o'Field...

 and Frederick II of Denmark
Frederick II of Denmark
Frederick II was King of Denmark and Norway and duke of Schleswig from 1559 until his death.-King of Denmark:Frederick II was the son of King Christian III of Denmark and Norway and Dorothea of Saxe-Lauenburg. Frederick II stands as the typical renaissance ruler of Denmark. Unlike his father, he...

. Prince Henry was widely seen as a bright and promising heir to his father's throne. However, at the age of 18, he predeceased his father when he died of typhoid fever
Typhoid fever
Typhoid fever, also known as Typhoid, is a common worldwide bacterial disease, transmitted by the ingestion of food or water contaminated with the feces of an infected person, which contain the bacterium Salmonella enterica, serovar Typhi...

. The heirship to the English and Scottish thrones passed to his younger brother Charles
Charles I of England
Charles I was King of England, King of Scotland, and King of Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649. Charles engaged in a struggle for power with the Parliament of England, attempting to obtain royal revenue whilst Parliament sought to curb his Royal prerogative which Charles...



Henry was born at Stirling Castle
Stirling Castle
Stirling Castle, located in Stirling, is one of the largest and most important castles, both historically and architecturally, in Scotland. The castle sits atop Castle Hill, an intrusive crag, which forms part of the Stirling Sill geological formation. It is surrounded on three sides by steep...

 and became Duke of Rothesay
Duke of Rothesay
Duke of Rothesay was a title of the heir apparent to the throne of the Kingdom of Scotland before 1707, of the Kingdom of Great Britain from 1707 to 1801, and now of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland....

, Earl of Carrick
Earl of Carrick
The Earl of Carrick was the head of a comital lordship of Carrick in southwestern Scotland. The title emerged in 1186, when Donnchad, son of Gille Brigte, Lord of Galloway, became Mormaer or Earl of Carrick in compensation for exclusion from the whole Lordship of Galloway...

, Baron of Renfrew, Lord of the Isles
Lord of the Isles
The designation Lord of the Isles is today a title of Scottish nobility with historical roots that go back beyond the Kingdom of Scotland. It emerged from a series of hybrid Viking/Gaelic rulers of the west coast and islands of Scotland in the Middle Ages, who wielded sea-power with fleets of...

 and Prince and Great Steward of Scotland automatically on his birth. His father placed him in the care of Alexander Erskine, Earl of Mar
Earl of Mar
The Mormaer or Earl of Mar is a title that has been created seven times, all in the Peerage of Scotland. The first creation of the earldom was originally the provincial ruler of the province of Mar in north-eastern Scotland...

, and out of the care of the boy's mother, because James worried that the mother's tendency toward Catholicism might affect the son. Although the child's removal caused enormous tension between Anne and James, Henry remained under the care of Mar's family until 1603, when James became King of England and his family moved south.

His tutor until he went to England was Sir George Lauder of The Bass
George Lauder of The Bass
Sir George Lauder of The Bass, Knt., , was a cleric, Privy Counsellor, and Member of the Scottish Parliament. He was also Tutor to Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales.-Family:...

, a Privy Counsellor — described as the King's "familiar councillor" — and he was also tutored in music by Alfonso Ferrabosco the younger
Alfonso Ferrabosco the younger
Alfonso Ferrabosco the younger was an English composer and viol player of Italian descent. He straddles the line between the Renaissance and Baroque eras.-Biography:...

The king "much preferred the role of schoolmaster than that of father", and wrote texts for the schooling of his offspring. James directed that Henry's household "should rather imitate a College than a Court", or, as Sir Thomas Chaloner wrote in 1607, His Highness's household [...] was intended by the King for a courtly college or a collegiate court" In 1605, Henry entered Magdalen College
Magdalen College, Oxford
Magdalen College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England. As of 2006 the college had an estimated financial endowment of £153 million. Magdalen is currently top of the Norrington Table after over half of its 2010 finalists received first-class degrees, a record...

, Oxford, where the witty, outgoing, popular young man became interested in sports. His other interests included naval and military affairs, and national issues, about which he often disagreed with his father. He also disapproved of the way his father conducted the royal court, disliked Robert Carr
Robert Carr, 1st Earl of Somerset
Robert Carr, 1st Earl of Somerset, , was a politician, and favourite of King James I of England.-Background:Robert Kerr was born in Wrington, Somerset, England the younger son of Sir Thomas Kerr of Ferniehurst, Scotland by his second wife, Janet, sister of Walter Scott of Buccleuch...

, a favorite of his father, and esteemed Sir Walter Ralegh, wishing him released from the Tower of London.

The prince's popularity rose so high that it threatened his father. Relations between the two could be tense and on occasion surfaced in public. At one point, they were hunting near Royston when James I criticized his son for lacking enthusiasm for the chase, and Henry initially moved to strike his father with a cane but rode off. Most of the hunting party then followed the son.

"Upright to the point of priggishness, he fined all who swore in his presence", according to Charles Carlton, a biographer of Charles I, who describes Henry as an "obdurate Protestant". In addition to the alms box that Henry forced swearers to contribute to, he made sure his household attended church services. His religious views were influenced by the clerics in his household who were largely from a tradition of politicized Calvinism. Henry listened humbly, attentively and regularly to the sermons preached to his household, and once told his chaplain, Richard Milbourne, that he esteemed most the preachers whose attitude suggested, "Sir, you must hear me diligently: you must have a care to observe what I say."

Henry is said to have disliked his younger brother, Charles, and teased him, although this derives from only one anecdote: when Charles was nine years of age, Henry snatched off the hat of a bishop and put it on the younger child's head, then told his younger brother that when he became king he would make Charles Archbishop of Canterbury, and then Charles would have a long robe to hide his ugly rickety legs. Charles stamped on the cap and had to be dragged off in tears.

Following his father's accession to the throne of England in 1603, Henry became automatically Duke of Cornwall
Duke of Cornwall
The Duchy of Cornwall was the first duchy created in the peerage of England.The present Duke of Cornwall is The Prince of Wales, the eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II, the reigning British monarch .-History:...

, and was invested Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales is a title traditionally granted to the heir apparent to the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the 15 other independent Commonwealth realms...

 and Earl of Chester
Earl of Chester
The Earldom of Chester was one of the most powerful earldoms in medieval England. Since 1301 the title has generally been granted to heirs-apparent to the English throne, and from the late 14th century it has been given only in conjunction with that of Prince of Wales.- Honour of Chester :The...

 in 1610, thus uniting the six automatic and two traditional Scottish and English titles held by heirs-apparent to the throne(s) ever since that date.

As a young man, Henry showed great promise and was beginning to be active in leadership matters. He was a friend of Sir Walter Raleigh. Among his activities, he was responsible for the reassignment of Sir Thomas Dale
Thomas Dale
Sir Thomas Dale was an English naval commander and deputy-governor of the Virginia Colony in 1611 and from 1614 to 1616. Governor Dale is best remembered for the energy and the extreme rigour of his administration in Virginia, which established order and in various ways seems to have benefited the...

 to the Virginia Company of London's struggling colony in North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...



Henry died from typhoid fever
Typhoid fever
Typhoid fever, also known as Typhoid, is a common worldwide bacterial disease, transmitted by the ingestion of food or water contaminated with the feces of an infected person, which contain the bacterium Salmonella enterica, serovar Typhi...

 at the age of 18. (The diagnosis can be made with reasonable certainty from written records of the post-mortem examination.) He was buried in Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, popularly known as Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English,...


Prince Henry's death was widely regarded as a tragedy for the nation. According to Charles Carlton, "Few heirs to the English throne have been as widely and deeply mourned as Prince Henry." His body lay in state at St. James's Palace
St. James's Palace
St. James's Palace is one of London's oldest palaces. It is situated in Pall Mall, just north of St. James's Park. Although no sovereign has resided there for almost two centuries, it has remained the official residence of the Sovereign and the most senior royal palace in the UK...

 for four weeks. On 7 December, over a thousand people walked in the mile-long cortege to Westminster Abbey to hear the two-hour sermon delivered by the Archbishop of Canterbury. As Henry's body was lowered into the ground, his chief servants broke their staves of office at the grave. An insane man ran naked through the mourners, yelling that he was the boy's ghost.

Charles immediately fell ill after Henry's death, but was the chief mourner at the funeral, which James I (detesting funerals) refused to attend. All of Henry's automatic titles passed to Charles, who, until then, had lived in Henry's shadow. Charles was created Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester four years later. Charles was not as well regarded as Henry had been, and after he assumed the throne following the death of his father in 1625 as King Charles I, his reign was marked by controversies, most notably conflicts with the English Parliament
A parliament is a legislature, especially in those countries whose system of government is based on the Westminster system modeled after that of the United Kingdom. The name is derived from the French , the action of parler : a parlement is a discussion. The term came to mean a meeting at which...

. Following several years of the English Civil War
English Civil War
The English Civil War was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations between Parliamentarians and Royalists...

, he was tried and convicted of treason and was beheaded in 1649.

Literature occasioned by the prince's death


Henry's chaplain, Dr. Daniel Price, delivered a series of sermons about the young man's death. (Price borrowed from John Donne
John Donne
John Donne 31 March 1631), English poet, satirist, lawyer, and priest, is now considered the preeminent representative of the metaphysical poets. His works are notable for their strong and sensual style and include sonnets, love poetry, religious poems, Latin translations, epigrams, elegies, songs,...

's unrelated The first Anniversary, published in 1611, and The second Anniversary, published in 1612, for some of his language and ideas.):
  • Lamentations for the death of the late illustrious Prince Henry [...] Two Sermons (1613; see 1613 in literature
    1613 in literature
    The year 1613 in literature involved some significant events.-Events:*English poet Francis Quarles becomes cupbearer to Princess Elizabeth....

    ): "Oh, why is there not a generall thaw through-out all mankinde? why in this debashed Ayre doe not all things expire, seeing Time looks upon us with watry eues, disheveld lockes, and heavie dismall lookes; now that the Sunne is gone out of our Firmament, the ioy, the beautie, the glory of Israel is departed?"
  • Spirituall Odours to the Memory of Prince Henry. In Four of the Last Sermons Preached in St James after his Highnesse Death (Oxford, 1613; see 1613 in literature
    1613 in literature
    The year 1613 in literature involved some significant events.-Events:*English poet Francis Quarles becomes cupbearer to Princess Elizabeth....

    ) From "Meditations of Consolation in our Lamentations": "[...] his body was so faire and strong that a soule might have been pleased to live an age in it [...] vertue and valor, beauty and chastity, armes and arts, met and kist in him, and his goodnesse lent so much mintage to other Princes, that if Xenophon were now to describe a Prince, Prince HENRY had been his Patterne. [...] He hath gon his Passover from death to life, where there is more grace and more capacity [...] where earthly bodies shalbe more celestiall, then man in his Innocency or Angels in their glory, for they could fall: Hee is there with those Patriarchs that have expected Christ on earth, longer then they have enjoyed him in heaven; He is with those holy Penmen of the holy spirit, they bee now his paterns, who were here his teachers [...]"
  • Teares Shed over Abner. The Sermon Preached on the Sunday before the Prince his funerall in St James Chappell before the body (Oxford, (1613; see 1613 in literature
    1613 in literature
    The year 1613 in literature involved some significant events.-Events:*English poet Francis Quarles becomes cupbearer to Princess Elizabeth....

    ): "He, He is dead, who while he lived, was a perpetuall Paradise, every season that he shewd himselfe in a perpetuall spring, eavery exercise wherein he was scene a special felicity: He, He is dead before us [...] Hee, Hee is dead; that blessed Model of heaven his face is covered till the latter day, whose shining lamps his eyes in whose light there was life to the beholders, they bee ecclipsed untill the sunne give over shining. [...] He, He is dead, and now yee see this [...]"

Prose memorials

Price also wrote two prose "Anniversaries" on the death:
  • Prince Henry His First Anniversary (Oxford, 1613; see 1613 in literature
    1613 in literature
    The year 1613 in literature involved some significant events.-Events:*English poet Francis Quarles becomes cupbearer to Princess Elizabeth....

    ): "in HIM, a glimmering light of the Golden times appeare, all lines of expectation met in this Center, all spirits of vertue, scattered into others were extracted into him [...]"
  • Another "Anniversary", published in 1614


Within a few months of the prince's death, 32 poets versified on it. In addition to those listed below, the writers included Sir Walter Ralegh (a friend), Edward Herbert
Edward Herbert, 1st Baron Herbert of Cherbury
Edward Herbert, 1st Baron Herbert of Chirbury was an Anglo-Welsh soldier, diplomat, historian, poet and religious philosopher of the Kingdom of England.-Early life:...

, Thomas Heywood
Thomas Heywood
Thomas Heywood was a prominent English playwright, actor, and author whose peak period of activity falls between late Elizabethan and early Jacobean theatre.-Early years:...

 and Henry King
Henry King (poet)
-Life:The eldest son of John King, Bishop of London, and his wife Joan Freeman, he was baptised at Worminghall, Buckinghamshire, 16 January 1592. He was educated at Lord Williams's School, Westminster School and in 1608 became a student of Christ Church, Oxford...


These poems were published in 1612 (see 1612 in poetry
1612 in poetry
Nationality words link to articles with information on the nation's poetry or literature .-Great Britain:* George Chapman, translator, Petrarchs Seven Penitentiall Psalms, Paraphrastically Translated...

  • Sir William Alexander
    William Alexander, 1st Earl of Stirling
    William Alexander, Earl of Stirling was a Scotsman who was an early developer of Scottish colonisation of Port Royal, Nova Scotia and Long Island, New York...

    , An Elegie on the Death of Prince Henrie
  • Joshua Sylvester
    Joshua Sylvester
    Joshua Sylvester was an English poet.-Biography:Sylvester was the son of a Kentish clothier. In his tenth year he was sent to school at King Edward VI School, Southampton, where he gained a knowledge of French...

    , Lachrimae Lachrimarum; or, The Distillation of Teares Shede for the Untimely Death of the Incomparable Prince Panaretus, also includes poems in English, French, Latin and Italian by Walter Quin
    Walter Quin
    -Life:Born about 1575 in Dublin, he travelled abroad and became a cultivated writer in English, French, Italian, and Latin. He was apparently studying at Edinburgh University, when, in 1595, he was presented to James VI, who was charmed with his manner...

  • George Wither
    George Wither
    George Wither was an English poet, pamphleteer, and satirist. He was a prolific writer who adopted a deliberate plainness of style; he was several times imprisoned. C. V...

    , Prince Henries Obsequies; or, Mournefull Elegies Upon his Death

These poems and songs were published in 1613 (see 1613 in poetry
1613 in poetry
Nationality words link to articles with information on the nation's poetry or literature .-Great Britain:* Nicholas Breton, anonymously published, The Uncasing of Machivils Instructions to his Sonne...

  • Thomas Campion
    Thomas Campion
    Thomas Campion was an English composer, poet and physician. He wrote over a hundred lute songs; masques for dancing, and an authoritative technical treatise on music.-Life:...

    , Songs of Mourning: Bewailing the Untimely Death of Prince Henry, verse and music; music by Giovanni Coperario (or "Copario"), said to have been John Cooper, an Englishman
  • George Chapman
    George Chapman
    George Chapman was an English dramatist, translator, and poet. He was a classical scholar, and his work shows the influence of Stoicism. Chapman has been identified as the Rival Poet of Shakespeare's Sonnets by William Minto, and as an anticipator of the Metaphysical Poets...

    , An Epicede or Funerall Song, On the Most Disastrous Death, of the Highborne Prince of Men, Henry Prince of Wales, &c., the work states "1612" but was published in 1613
  • John Davies
    John Davies
    -Politicians:*John Davies , British businessman and Conservative MP and cabinet minister*John S. Davies , Pennsylvania politician...

    , The Muses-Teares for the Losse of their Hope
  • William Drummond of Hawthornden
    William Drummond of Hawthornden
    William Drummond , called "of Hawthornden", was a Scottish poet.-Life:Drummond was born at Hawthornden Castle, Midlothian. His father, John Drummond, was the first laird of Hawthornden; and his mother was Susannah Fowler, sister of William Fowler, poet and courtier...

    , Tears on the Death of Moeliades


Both Prince Henry's Grammar School
Prince Henry's Grammar School, Otley
Prince Henry's Grammar School , also known as Prince Henry's, is a secondary school and sixth form established in 1607 in the historic market town of Otley, West Yorkshire, England. The school teaches boys and girls between the ages of 11 and 18 and has around 1,400 pupils and 84 teachers and...

 in Otley
-Transport:The main roads through the town are the A660 to the south east, which connects Otley to Bramhope, Adel and Leeds city centre, and the A65 to the west, which goes to Ilkley and Skipton. The A6038 heads to Guiseley, Shipley and Bradford, connecting with the A65...

, West Yorkshire
West Yorkshire
West Yorkshire is a metropolitan county within the Yorkshire and the Humber region of England with a population of 2.2 million. West Yorkshire came into existence as a metropolitan county in 1974 after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972....

, and Prince Henry's High School
Prince Henry's High School
Prince Henry's High School, also known as Prince Henry's, is a secondary school in Evesham, Worcestershire, England. It is a co-educational comprehensive high school, in which there are about 1260 students enrolled, aged between 13 and 18...

 in Evesham, Worcestershire
Worcestershire is a non-metropolitan county, established in antiquity, located in the West Midlands region of England. For Eurostat purposes it is a NUTS 3 region and is one of three counties that comprise the "Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Warwickshire" NUTS 2 region...

 in England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 are named after him.

The developments in North America were at an important stage as Henry grew up. In the southern portion of the Colony of Virginia, three important locations were named in his honor:
  • Cape Henry
    Cape Henry
    Cape Henry is a cape on the Atlantic shore of Virginia north of Virginia Beach. It is the southern boundary of the entrance to Chesapeake Bay.Across the mouth of the bay to the north is Cape Charles...

    , the southern point at which the Chesapeake Bay
    Chesapeake Bay
    The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the United States. It lies off the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by Maryland and Virginia. The Chesapeake Bay's drainage basin covers in the District of Columbia and parts of six states: New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and West...

     meets the Atlantic Ocean
    Atlantic Ocean
    The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

     was named on 26 April 1607 by the expedition led by Christopher Newport
    Christopher Newport
    Christopher Newport was an English seaman and privateer. He is best known as the captain of the Susan Constant, the largest of three ships which carried settlers for the Virginia Company in 1607 on the way to find the settlement at Jamestown in the Virginia Colony, which became the first permanent...

     which established Jamestown
    Jamestown, Virginia
    Jamestown was a settlement in the Colony of Virginia. Established by the Virginia Company of London as "James Fort" on May 14, 1607 , it was the first permanent English settlement in what is now the United States, following several earlier failed attempts, including the Lost Colony of Roanoke...

     on 14 May. Cape Henry Memorial
    Cape Henry Memorial
    The Cape Henry Memorial commemorates the first landfall at Cape Henry, in Virginia Beach, Virginia, of colonists bound for the Jamestown settlement. After landing on April 26, 1607, they explored the area, named the cape, and set up a cross before proceeding up the James River. A stone cross, set...

     is now located at the City of Virginia Beach
    Virginia Beach, Virginia
    Virginia Beach is an independent city located in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of Virginia, on the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay...

     adjacent to First Landing State Park
    First Landing State Park
    First Landing State Park offers recreational opportunities at Cape Henry in the independent city of Virginia Beach, Virginia....


  • Henricus
    The "Citie of Henricus" — also known as Henricopolis or Henrico Town or Henrico — was a settlement founded by Sir Thomas Dale in 1611 as an alternative to the swampy and dangerous area around the original English settlement at Jamestown, Virginia...

    , the ill-fated successor colony to Jamestown, was established in 1612 by Sir Thomas Dale
    Thomas Dale
    Sir Thomas Dale was an English naval commander and deputy-governor of the Virginia Colony in 1611 and from 1614 to 1616. Governor Dale is best remembered for the energy and the extreme rigour of his administration in Virginia, which established order and in various ways seems to have benefited the...

    , who had been recruited for the Virginia Colony through the efforts of Prince Henry. Henricus became the major point of Henrico Cittie
    Henrico City (Virginia Company)
    Henrico City was one of four incorporations established in the Virginia Colony in 1619 North America by the proprietor, the Virginia Company. The plantations and developments were divided into four "incorporations" or "citties", as they were called. These were Charles City, Elizabeth City, Henrico...

     (sic) in 1619. It was destroyed during the Indian Massacre of 1622
    Indian massacre of 1622
    The Indian Massacre of 1622 occurred in the Colony of Virginia, in what now belongs to the United States of America, on Friday, March 22, 1622...

    . The long-lost site of Henricus was rediscovered in the late 20th century in Chesterfield County
    Chesterfield County, Virginia
    Chesterfield County is a county located in the Commonwealth of Virginia, a state of the United States. In 2010, its population was estimated to be 316,236. Chesterfield County is now the fourth-largest municipality in Virginia . Its county seat is Chesterfield...

    , and is now part of a historical park.

  • Present-day Henrico County
    Henrico County, Virginia
    Henrico is a county located in the Commonwealth of Virginia, a state of the United States. As of 2010, Henrico was home to 306,935 people. It is located in the Richmond-Petersburg region and is a portion of the Richmond Metropolitan Statistical Area...

     was established by order of Henry's younger brother, King Charles I, in 1634, as one of the original eight shires of Virginia
    Shires of Virginia
    The eight Shires of Virginia were formed in 1634 in the Virginia Colony. These shires were based on a form of local government used in England at the time, and were redesignated as counties a few years later...

    . Henrico County remains extant today in its original political form.


Titles, styles, honours and arms


  • 19 February 1594 – 6 November 1612: The Duke of Rothesay (Earl of Carrick, Lord of the Isles)
  • 24 March 1603 – 6 November 1612: The Duke of Cornwall
  • 4 June 1610 – 6 November 1612: The Prince of Wales (Earl of Chester)


  • KG: Knight of the Garter
    Order of the Garter
    The Most Noble Order of the Garter, founded in 1348, is the highest order of chivalry, or knighthood, existing in England. The order is dedicated to the image and arms of St...

    , 14 June 1603 – 6 November 1612


As Prince of Wales, Henry Frederick bore the arms of the kingdom, differenced by a label argent of three points.