1491 c/o Glen Binger

Male Postpartum Depression

Today, the 28th of June 1491, my son, Henry VIII was born. I wanted to smother him. His mother, Elizabeth of York, kept talking about the greatness she saw in his eyes from the second she first looked at them. She never looked at me that way. I was jealous.

When she finally fell asleep, I took him to one of the hallway corridors leading to our bedroom. I wanted to stuff my nightgown down his throat and leave him to suffer beneath a table somewhere. But before I could walk through to the shadows cast by the candles across the way, John, one of our night servants, turned the corner and started shuffling towards us.

“King Henry,” he whispered, “sir, what are you doing up at this hour?”

I sighed and tucked away any facial expression that would illustrate my emotion. “Nothing, John. I had trouble sleeping.”

“I see, showing little Henry the tour?”


“May I get you something? Some tea?”

“No, I’m fine, thank you.” I nodded.

“Okay, well goodnight, sir.”

“Goodnight, John.”

He turned and walked back down the corridor. I held out little Henry. I still wanted to drop him out of the window or something. But for some reason, I did not. I walked him back into the bedroom and placed him in the manger next to our bed. Elizabeth awoke, still drained from the birth, and looked over at me just as I placed him down.

“Is everything okay?”

“Yes, dear. Just heard a noise.”

“Oh. Okay.”

I walked over to her and kissed her on her forehead. It was moist with a thin layer of sweat. She fell back asleep within a moment. I walked around to the other side of the bed and laid down next to her, stared at the ceiling for an hour and fell asleep feeling alone.