The Prince and the Pauper – Conclusion – Historical Tidbit

In the Conclusion of The Prince and the Pauper, Mark Twain reiterates the importance of Edward’s short, but important reign. But was he really as merciful as he is described in the book? Our Historical Tidbit for the Conclusion examines…


Keep reading or watch the video below to learn more.

The description of Edward can be seen below:

“Yes, King Edward VI. lived only a few years, poor boy, but he lived them worthily. More than once, when some great dignitary, some gilded vassal of the crown, made argument against his leniency, and urged that some law which he was bent upon amending was gentle enough for its purpose, and wrought no suffering or oppression which any one need mightily mind…The reign of Edward VI. was a singularly merciful one for those harsh times. Now that we are taking leave of him, let us try to keep this in our minds, to his credit.” (p. 208)

Highlights of Edward’s Reign

  • Became king at age nine
    • A regency was established
    • Edward Seymour (his uncle) became Protector
  • The Church of England became stronger
    • Introduced the Book of Common Prayer (1549)
    • Got rid of Catholic practices (like rosaries, statues, and stained class) and allowed clergy to be married
    • These led to rebellions

Highlights of Edward’s Reign

  • Duke of Northumberland overthrew Seymour
    • Edward’s diary says “Today the Duke of Somerset had his head cut off on Tower Hill” in 1552
    • His brother was also killed
  • Northumberland’s son married Lady Jane Grey
    • Edward accepted Jane as his heir
  • Died of tuberculosis in 1553 at age 15 (Jane took the throne)

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