20 September 1486 – 2 April 1502
Arthur Tudor was first born son of Henry Vll and his queen, Elizabeth of York. He was older brother to Henry Vlll and first husband of Catherine of Aragon. His death came as a shock to the entire kingdom. Without Arthur, Henry Vll no longer had “an heir and a spare.” His son, Henry was now named Prince of Wales and was the only hope to carry on the Tudor dynasty.
Arthur Tudor was born shortly after midnight on September 20, 1486, just eight months after his parent’s marriage. King Henry was optimistic and insisted his son be born at Winchester, the legendary capital of King Arthur’s Camelot. Henry also required the child be named Arthur anticipating his reign and dynasty would bring back the golden age of the legendary king. Arthur’s christening took place at Winchester Cathedral. The baptism rites followed the etiquette observed for all of King Edward IV’s ten children. He was christened in front of the entire congregation, including the remaining members of the Yorkist nobility and their wives. His principal godmother was his maternal grandmother, Elizabeth Woodville.
The King was shocked and immediately sent for Queen Elizabeth. She saw her husband’s grief and did her best to comfort him. She reminded him that he was the only child of his mother and they had their son Henry and their daughters Margaret and Mary. She also reminded him they were still young and could have more children. She felt they needed to accept their misfortune. Henry thanked her for her words and Elizabeth returned to her apartments. Once Elizabeth was with her women, she broke down, weeping in the deepest grief. Her ladies called for the King to comfort her. He arrived and did his best to soothe her reminding her of her own brave words to him before.