Why couldn't Henry VIII have living male children (except Edward) and then, why did Edward die so young? Medical explanations?
I went on an extended Philippa Gregory kick over the holidays and now I'm curious about Henry VIII and his inability to sire an heir. So I did a whole bunch of googling last night and discovered that the syphilis theory, which I vaguely remembered from years ago, has been thrown out.
(scroll down; the text was actually taken from some other site I visited that I can't find now.) Apparently there was some talk that he and Katherine of Aragon were Rh incompatible, but then how did Mary make it to term? One site I found suggested that it was diabetes
(warning, geocities link, really horrible yellow background!) and pointed to the early deaths of Henry's male relatives (brother Arthur, Edward and Henry Fitzroy, Henry's illegitimate son with Bessie Blount) as proof. Can diabetes do that? Is it sex linked like that? Another website
(warning, guy may be a nut. Hard to say.) put forward a lot of the questions I'm curious about. Any takers for this old mystery? Any medical explanations? Is there a disease that is so sex linked it attacks males in utero and yet lets girls live? Although, of course, there weren't even as many girls as one might think, given Henry's number of women and assumed, um, predilections.