On this day in history, 16th January 1549, Edward VI’s uncle, Thomas Seymour, was alleged to have broken into the King’s apartments at Hampton Court Palace to kidnap the young King. As he entered the royal residence, it is said that he disturbed the King’s beloved spaniel who started barking at him. In panic, Seymour is said to have shot the dog, a noise which alerted one of the guards who then apprehended Seymour. Seymour was arrested and taken to the Tower of London.
Thomas Seymour was not only accused of trying to kidnap his nephew, he was also accused of plotting to marry the teenaged Elizabeth and put her on the throne. As her husband he would then have been made Lord Protector, just like his brother was for Edward VI. He was interrogated in the Tower and examined before the Privy Council and on the 25th February a bill of attainder was introduced into Parliament and lawyers argued that Seymour’s offences ‘were in the compasse of High Treason’. The bill was passed on the 5th March and Thomas Seymour was executed on Tower Hill on the 20th March 1549.
G W Bernard writes of how Seymour plotted right up to the end, allegedly sending letters to Mary and Elizabeth, encouraging them to plot against Lord Protector Somerset. “These papers had been found in his shoe, sewn between the soles. He had ‘made his pen of the aglet of a poynte that he plucked from his hosse’.”
You can read more about Thomas Seymour in the following articles:-
- The Execution of Thomas Seymour
- Catherine Parr and Thomas Seymour – Part One
- Catherine Parr and Thomas Seymour – Part Two
Notes and Sources
- G. W. Bernard, ‘Seymour, Thomas, Baron Seymour of Sudeley (b. in or before 1509, d. 1549)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004
- Thomas Seymour Breaks into the King’s Residence, Claire Ridgway, 2011