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Henry VII on his deathbed

Though he may not have been present, the Garter King of Arms, Sir Thomas Wriothesley (d.1534), wrote a detailed account of the proceedings surrounding the death of Henry VII and drew this picture of the King on his deathbed. 

The dying King is in his Privy Chamber, surrounded by his most intimate courtiers and household (clockwise round the bed): Richard Fox, Bishop of Winchester (d.1528); George, Lord Hastings (d.1544); Richard Weston, Esquire of the Body (a household officer in constant attendance on the king) and Groom of the Privy Chamber (d.1541); Richard Clement, Groom of the Privy Chamber (d.1538); Matthew Baker (or Basquer), Esquire of the Body (d.1513); John Sharpe and William Tyler, Gentlemen Ushers; Hugh Denys, Esquire of the Body; and William Fitzwilliam, Gentleman Usher (d.1542), who holds a staff of office and closes the King’s eyes. 

Also present are two tonsured clerics and three physicians holding urine bottles. It was possible to keep Henry’s death a secret, as he was out of the public eye, and it was Weston who is described by Wriothesley as keeping up the pretence that the old King was still alive until 23 April.

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