Edward VI’s diary
Shelfmark: Cotton Ms. Nero C x, f.12
Edward VI reveals here that he and his sister Elizabeth learnt of their father Henry VIII’s death from his uncle Edward Seymour, Earl of Hertford, at Elizabeth’s Enfield residence on 30 January 1547.
Although he writes that it caused great grief in London, he reveals nothing of his personal feelings. He describes the Privy Council’s choice of Edward Seymour as Protector and Governor of the King’s Person and mentions how his father’s officers broke their staffs of office and threw them into Henry’s grave at his burial.
Edward may have been prompted to write his ‘diary’ by one of his tutors. It begins with a description of his childhood until 1547. For the years 1547 to 1549 the ‘diary’ is a chronicle of past events that mostly refers to Edward in the third person. From March 1550 until November 1552, when it ends, it is more like a diary, with entries for individual days.