Spotlight: Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond

Name: Henry Fitzroy

Title/s: Earl of Nottingham / Duke of Richmond / Duke of Somerset

Birth / Death: 15 June 1519 – 23 July 1536

Spouse: Mary Howard 1519-1557

Children: None

Parents: Henry VIII 1491-1547 & Elizabeth ‘Bessie’ Blount c.1498-1540

Siblings: Mary I 1516-1558 / Elizabeth I 1533-1603 / Edward VI 1537-1553 (by Henry VIII) Elizabeth Tailboys c.1520-1563 / George Tailboys c.1523-1540 / Robert Tailboys c.1523-1541 / Bridget Clinton c.1536-? / Katherine Clinton c.1538-1621 / Margaret Clinton c.1539-? (by Elizabeth Blount)

Noble Connections: Fitzroy’s father was King Henry VIII. His mother became Lady Tailboys and then Lady Clinton. His wife was the daughter of the Duke of Norfolk. His half-siblings by Henry VIII each became monarch of England in their own turn.

Events of their Lifetime: Henry VIII’s great matter, the deaths of Katherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn, the marriages of Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn and Jane Seymour, the birth of Elizabeth I, Field of the Cloth of Gold, Mary Boleyn’s affair with Henry VIII.

Controversy: How did he die? Some people claim that he was poisoned by Anne Boleyn; others claim that he died of tuberculosis or the sweat, or a variety of other diseases.

Works of Fiction:
Katherine Longshore, Brazen (2014)

Portrayals on Screen:
Zac Jenciragic, The Tudors, 2007, 1 episode

Further Reading:
J. Duncan, ‘Henry Fitzroy and Henry VIII’s Scruple of Conscience’, Renaissance News, 16 (1963)
John Guy, The Children of Henry VIII (2013)
Kelly Hart, The Mistresses of Henry VIII (2009)
Philippa Jones, The Other Tudors: Henry VIII’s Mistresses and Bastards (2009)
B. Murphy, Bastard Prince: Henry VIII’s Lost Son (2001)
Elizabeth Norton, Bessie Blount: the Story of Henry VIII’s Long-time Mistress (2011)


Arms of Henry Fitzroy as Duke of Richmond and Somerset
Arms of Henry Fitzroy as Duke of Richmond and Somerset


Henry Fitzroy Duke of Richmond and Somerset c.1534 by Lucas Hornebout
Henry Fitzroy Duke of Richmond and Somerset c.1534 by Lucas Hornebout

Author: Helene Harrison

I have an MA in History, with a thesis entitled 'The Many Faces of Anne Boleyn: Perceptions in History, Literature and Film'. I have an interest in the Tudors and the Wars of the Roses along with my love of reading and literature.

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