|Born||22 May 1539|
|Died||6 April 1621 81)(aged|
|Title||1st Earl of Hertford|
|Spouse(s)|| Lady Katherine Grey (m.1560–1568)|
Frances Howard (m.1582–1598)
Frances Prannell (née) Howard (m.1601–1621)
|Children|| Edward Seymour, Lord Beauchamp |
|Parent(s)|| Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset |
Edward Seymour, 1st Earl of Hertford, 1st Baron Beauchamp, KG (22 May 1539 – 6 April 1621), of Wulfhall and Totnam Lodge in Great Bedwyn, Wiltshire, of Hatch Beauchamp in Somerset, of Netley Abbey, Hampshire, and of Hertford House, Cannon Row in Westminster, is most noted for incurring the displeasure of Queen Elizabeth I by taking part in more than one clandestine marriage.
Seymour was the eldest son of Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset (c.1500 – 1552) by his second wife Anne Stanhope (c.1497 – 1587), and was a nephew of Jane Seymour, a wife of Henry VIII. Although his father had sons by his first marriage to Catherine Fillol, these were postponed by special remainder to the succession of his dukedom behind the sons of his second marriage, due to her suspected adultery. The senior line did eventually inherit the dukedom in 1750, as the special remainder allowed, when the 7th Duke of Somerset died leaving no sons.
From 1547, when his father was created Duke of Somerset, his son Edward Seymour was styled by the duke's subsidiary title of Earl of Hertford. He was educated with the young Prince Edward, later Edward VI, and was knighted on the occasion of Edward's coronation.
On 7 April 1550, he was sent to France as a hostage, returning three weeks later. Following his father's disgrace and execution, his son was barred from inheriting his titles and most of his wealth. Some of his father's lands and property were restored to him by Edward VI, but he still seems to have been forced to rely on Sir John Thynne for some financial support.Under Queen Mary he was "restored in blood", but was not given back his title; Queen Elizabeth I created him Earl of Hertford, in the earldom's third creation, in 1559.
Between April and May 1605following the Treaty of London (1604) he was sent on an Embassy by King James I to Albert VII, Archduke of Austria, sovereign of the Spanish Netherlands between 1598 and 1621, at Brussels, to receive his oath of peace.
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His first wife, Lady Katherine Grey, was a potential claimant to Elizabeth's throne, and law established that it was a penal offence for her to marry without notifying the Sovereign. They were married by an anonymous clergyman at Hertford House in Cannon Row, Westminster, before 25 December 1560. The marriage was kept secret until August nearly a year later, when Katherine became visibly pregnant and she confided the reason to Lord Robert Dudley. Each was ordered to confinement in the Tower; Katherine was confined immediately, and Seymour imprisoned upon his return from a tour of the continent with Sir Thomas Cecil. While in custody, they were questioned about every aspect of their marriage, but they both claimed to have forgotten the date.
A commission was begun, headed by Archbishop Parker in February 1562. Under this pressure, Lady Katherine finally declared that they had waited for Elizabeth to quit the capital for Eltham Palace. Servants were questioned, and none of them could remember the exact date either. John Fortescue said it was 'in November'. The priest could not be located, but by consulting the accounts of the Cofferer of the Household the marriage date was decided to be 27 November.
His son Edward was declared illegitimate and the father was fined 15,000 pounds in Star Chamber for "seducing a virgin of the blood royal."
Despite all this, the Earl apparently found a way to continue marital relations with his wife in the Tower. In February 1563, Thomas Seymour was born. Lady Katherine died in 1568, and Seymour was finally allowed out of the Tower and allowed to re-appear at court. Officially his sons remained bastards. In 1576 he carried the sword of state at Elizabeth's procession of the knights of the garter.
Frances Howard, daughter of William Howard, 1st Baron Howard of Effingham, was a gentlewoman of the Privy Chamber. In May 1573 she and her sister Douglas, Lady Sheffield were said to be rivals for the affections of the Earl of Leicester.
In 1582, she married Hertford. Their union was in secret, and remained so for nearly a decade, while Frances continued at court. Hertford attempted to have this marriage set aside in 1595 (hoping to clear his still illegitimate sons' claim to the throne). He was arrested again, and Frances died in 1598. She was buried in Westminster Abbey.
In May 1601, he secretly married once more, to the wealthy widow Frances Prannell, also born Frances Howard, the daughter of Thomas Howard, 1st Viscount Howard of Bindon. The marriage was performed by Thomas Montfort without banns or licence, for which Monfort was suspended for three years by Archbishop John Whitgift.
His principal seats were as follows:
The arms of Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset (died 1552), quartered the original arms of the head of the family with a new grant of arms from his nephew King Edward VI.
Lord Hertford died in 1621 at Netley Abbey, Hampshire, and was buried in the Seymour Chapel of Salisbury Cathedral in Wiltshire, where his elaborate monument in white alabaster with effigies of himself and his first wife survives.
Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset, also known as Edward Semel, was the eldest surviving brother of Queen Jane Seymour (d. 1537), the third wife of King Henry VIII. He was Lord Protector of England from 1547 to 1549 during the minority of his nephew King Edward VI (1547–1553). Despite his popularity with the common people, his policies often angered the gentry and he was overthrown.
Katherine Seymour, Countess of Hertford was a younger sister of Lady Jane Grey.
Duke of Somerset, from the county of Somerset, is a title that has been created five times in the peerage of England. It is particularly associated with two families: the Beauforts, who held the title from the creation of 1448, and the Seymours, from the creation of 1547, in whose name the title is still held. The present dukedom is unique, in that the first holder of the title created it for himself in his capacity of Lord Protector of the Kingdom of England, using a power granted in the will of his nephew King Edward VI.
Charles Seymour, 6th Duke of Somerset, known by the epithet "The Proud Duke", was an English peer. He rebuilt Petworth House in Sussex, the ancient Percy seat inherited from his wife, in the palatial form which survives today. According to the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, he was a remarkably handsome man, and inordinately fond of taking a conspicuous part in court ceremonial; his vanity, which earned him the sobriquet of "the proud duke", was a byword among his contemporaries and was the subject of numerous anecdotes; Macaulay described him as "a man in whom the pride of birth and rank amounted almost to a disease".
The titles of Earl of Hertford and Marquess of Hertford have been created several times in the peerages of England and Great Britain.
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Anne Seymour, Duchess of Somerset was the second wife of Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset, who held the office of lord protector during the first part of the reign of their nephew King Edward VI. The Duchess was briefly the most powerful woman in England. During her husband's regency she unsuccessfully claimed precedence over the queen dowager, Catherine Parr.
Francis Seymour-Conway, 1st Marquess of Hertford, KG, PC, PC (Ire) of Ragley Hall, Arrow, in Warwickshire, was a British courtier and politician who, briefly, was Viceroy of Ireland where he had substantial estates.
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General Algernon Seymour, 7th Duke of Somerset, styled Earl of Hertford until 1748, of Petworth House in Sussex, was a British Army officer and Whig politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1708 until 1722 when he was raised to the House of Lords as Baron Percy.
William Seymour, 2nd Duke of Somerset, was an English nobleman and Royalist commander in the English Civil War.
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Edward Seymour, Lord Beauchamp of Hache was an English nobleman who had a theoretically strong claim to the throne of England through his mother, Lady Katherine Grey, but his legitimacy was questioned. He was an ancestor of the Dukes of Somerset.
Tottenham House is a large Grade I listed English country house in the parish of Great Bedwyn, Wiltshire, about five miles southeast of the town of Marlborough. It is separated from the town by Savernake Forest, which is part of the Tottenham Park estate.
Sir John Thynne was the steward to Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset, and a member of parliament. He was the builder of Longleat House, and his descendants became Marquesses of Bath.
Francis Seymour, 1st Baron Seymour of Trowbridge, of Marlborough Castle and Savernake Park in Wiltshire, was an English politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1621 and 1641 when he was raised to the peerage as Baron Seymour of Trowbridge. He supported the Royalist cause during the English Civil War.
Frances Seymour, Duchess of Somerset was an English noblewoman who lived during the reigns of Elizabeth I, James I, Charles I and Charles II. Her father was Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, Elizabeth I's favourite who was executed for treason in 1601. She was the second wife of William Seymour, 2nd Duke of Somerset, and the mother of his seven children.
Frances Stewart, Duchess of Lennox and Richmond, Countess of Hertford was the daughter of a younger son of the Duke of Norfolk. An orphan of small fortune, she rose to be the only duchess at the court of James I of England. She married the son of a London alderman who died in 1599, leaving her a wealthy widow at a young age. She became, for 20 years, the third wife of the ageing Edward Seymour, 1st Earl of Hertford, nephew of Jane Seymour, third queen consort of Henry VIII. Within months of Edward's death she married a cousin of James I, Ludovic Stewart, 2nd Duke of Lennox and 1st Duke of Richmond. One of the great beauties of the Jacobean court, she was also the patron of Captain John Smith of the Virginia Colony.
The feudal barony of Hatch Beauchamp or honour of Hatch Beauchamp was an English feudal barony with its caput at the manor of Hatch Beauchamp in Somerset. The site of the mediaeval manor house, to the immediate south of the ancient parish church of St John the Baptist, is today occupied by Hatch Court, a grade I listed mansion built in about 1755 in the Palladian style.
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