Review of The British Josiah “Edward VI the Most Godly King of England” by N. A. Woychuck, M.A., Th.D.

As I have learned bits of British history as an adult I have found that truth can be just as exciting as fiction. In fact, I prefer non-fiction.Here is a book that is great for the homeschooling crowd. You can learn about how the Protestant Reformation began to change the nation of England. I wish I would have known about it when I was homeschooling my kids. It is the fascinating biography of the Protestant King Edward VI, son of Henry VIII, who lived from 1537 to 1553. In his short life, Edward took a stand for the truth of God’s Word, making it available to the people, and salvation by faith in Christ.

Edward did not live a long life, nor did he reign long as England’s monarch, but he was a child prodigy. He was compared to the Old Testament King Josiah, the boy from Judah who reigned hundreds of years earlier. Henry, his father, provided the best Protestant tutors for his son even though he was Catholic. Henry died when his young heir was just nine years old. Edward made a special request on the day of his coronation for an additional sword, representing the “Sword of the Spirit.” Edward soaked in the Bible teaching from his tutor and at age 11, wrote a “Treatise against the Primacy of the Pope.” The entire treatise is printed in the back of the book as an appendix. I was amazed at Edward’s reasoning and logic in writing this hefty pamphlet against the established religion of his day . Also included in an appendix are prayers from an excerpt from the Edward VI Primer.

The author of this biography viewed Edward in a favorable light, especially with regard to his faith, in comparison with secular biographers. Surrounding young Edward were those who decidedly took advantage of him and because of his age, Edward was limited in what he was able to accomplish in his reign.

I will not give away how Edward’s reign was cut short, but it has some mystery surrounding it.Upon Edward’s death, another (tragic) short-lived reign followed, by Edward’s Protestant cousin the Lady Jane Grey. (Lady Jane Grey’s story is also quite interesting to read.) Grey’s reign was brought to an abrupt end by Bloody Mary, Edward’s oldest half sister, who seized power. After Bloody Mary’s reign ended, Edward’s other half sister, Elizabeth, continued the reforms that Edward started. It is fascinating history.

This book could be read by junior high age students or be used as a read aloud. The author also includes an extensive bibliography at the end of the book. It was published in 2001 by SMF Press.



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2 responses to “Review of The British Josiah “Edward VI the Most Godly King of England” by N. A. Woychuck, M.A., Th.D.

  1. Hi Megan, thanks for reading my blog. I liked this post of yours. I hadn’t realized Edward lived into his 20s. I thought the regents ruled for him the whole time he was king. Wasn’t he sickly all his life?

    • Hi Sarah,
      Thank you for reading mine as well! Edward did not live into his twenties, sorry if I didn’t make that clear. He died as a teenager. The regents did mostly rule for him, but he used his influence to help spread the Protestant Reformation. He was rather sickly as a child, you are right. His death was a bit suspicious, apparently. He may have been poisoned.

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