Admiral / Seymour, Thomas
Thomas Seymour, Baron Seymour
of Sudeley, held the post of Lord High Admiral
of England from 1547 to 1549. The brother of
Jane Seymour and uncle of Edward VI, he strove
to gain a share of the power and authority
enjoyed by his elder brother, Edward Seymour
the Protector. Immediately after the death
of Henry VIII in 1547, Thomas sought the hand
of the Princess Elizabeth but this was refused.
A few months later, he secretly married Henry’s
widow Catherine Parr. Following Catherine’s
death in childbirth the following year, Thomas
again sought to marry Princess Elizabeth. Once
more he was refused and Thomas received warnings
about his conduct. He was summoned to an interview
with the Protector but refused to attend. In
January 1549 he was arrested and sent to the
Tower. The bill of attainder against him was
passed in February, his execution being held
on 20 March 1549 on Tower Hill. He was buried
within the Tower.
Queen of England 1558-1603.
Elizabeth I was the daughter of Henry VIII
and Anne Boleyn. She was born at Greenwich
on 7 September 1533. Elizabeth was extremely
well-educated and was fluent in six languages.
As princess, she became a focus for Protestant
opposition during her half-sister Mary's reign
and as such was briefly held prisoner in the
Tower of London. Elizabeth came to the throne
on 17 November 1558. She is said to be one
of England's most popular monarchs. Elizabeth
never married and died at Richmond Palace on
24 March 1603. She was buried at Westminster
Henry II, King of France
1547-1559, born 1519. His wife was Catherine
The italic style of handwriting
was brought to England from Italy c1500.
It was instantly recognised for its easy legibility.
It was favoured in particular by Cambridge
scholars including Roger Ascham, a tutor of
Elizabeth I. It existed alongside secretary
hand and gradually replaced it.
Queen of England 1553-1558.
Mary I, a devout Roman Catholic, was the daughter
of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon. She
was born at Greenwich Palace on 8 February
1516. She ascended the throne on 19 July 1553,
aged 37 years, after the death of her half-brother
Edward VI. Mary restored Roman Catholicism
to England. She was given the nickname ‘Bloody
Mary' for the persecution of Protestants -
up to 300 Protestants being burnt in three
years. On 25 July 1554, Mary married Philip
who became the king of Spain in 1556. The marriage
and the persecution of Protestants made Mary
unpopular, and her Protestant half-sister Elizabeth
became a focus for rebellion. Mary died childless
on 17 November 1558 and was succeeded by Elizabeth.
Mary was buried at Westminster Abbey.
A period of intellectual,
cultural and economic change in western Europe
between the 14th and 16th centuries.
1st earl of Hertford, 1st
duke of Somerset, 1506[?] - 1552. ‘my lorde
of Sommerset' Document 1, line 31.
the brother of Henry VIII's third wife Jane
Seymour and uncle of King Edward VI, was
one of the most powerful nobles in the kingdom.
He was one of the executors of the will of
Henry VIII. Seymour's actions immediately
after the death of Henry in 1547 have been
described as a "coup d'etat". Henry's death
was kept secret for several days, during which
time Edward took charge of the new young king,
having himself declared Protector of the Realm
and Protector of the King's Person. Seymour
immediately began to introduce radical Protestant
reform in England.
In 1548, Edward's position
was threatened by the intrigues of his younger
brother Thomas, who was keen to share in
Edward Seymour's power. Edward reluctantly
assented to the bill of attainder against his
brother, who was executed on Tower Hill in
March 1549. In October 1549, Edward Seymour
was himself sent to the Tower when the tide
of political intrigue turned against him. He
was deposed from the protectorate in January
1550. Although freed in the following month,
Seymour was rearrested in 1551 and was returned
to the Tower after further plots against him.
He was beheaded on Tower Hill in January 1552.
Seymour was buried between Anne Boleyn and
Catherine Howard in the chapel of St Peter
ad Vincula in the Tower of London.
Tower of London
The Tower of London was
begun in the reign of William the Conqueror
(1066-1087), with successive monarchs including
Henry VII, the grandfather of Mary I and Elizabeth
I, making further additions. From the 1530s,
the Tower housed many religious and political
prisoners including Sir Thomas More and Anne
Boleyn, Elizabeth I's mother, who was accused
of treason and executed at the Tower with her
brother and others in 1536. Catherine Howard,
Henry VIII's fifth wife, met her end there
in 1542, as did Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset
in 1552 and Lady Jane Grey, the ‘nine days'
queen' in 1554. Elizabeth I was imprisoned
in the Tower for three months in 1554.
Tower of London was also used to store important
official records. Large quantities of records
were stored in the White Tower - above a
store of gunpowder. From the early 17th century
visitors could visit the Tower and consult
the records for a fee. During the 19th century
the records were taken to the new Public Record
Office in Chancery Lane in London. These can
now be consulted at The National Archives at
'Wiat'/Wyatt the Younger,
1521[?] - 1554. 'the
traitor Wiat' document 1, line 45. The
son of the English poet, Sir Thomas Wyatt the
Elder, Thomas Wyatt the Younger was said to
be of a ‘wild and impulsive temperament' ( Dictionary
of National Biography ).
In the spring of 1554, he organised an insurrection
against Queen Mary. Known as 'Wyatt's
this followed the announcement of Queen Mary's
plan to marry Philip, the future king of Spain.
Wyatt had supposedly received a vague promise
of help from the French ambassador and led
a force of 4000 men to London. He reached as
far as Ludgate before his forces began to desert,
a circumstance that forced him to surrender.
Wyatt was committed to the Tower of London
and sentenced to death for high treason. He
was beheaded on 11 April 1554, after having
fully exonerated Princess Elizabeth.