The Execution of Edward Seymour – 22nd January 1552

On this day in history, 22nd January 1552, between 8 and 9am, Edward Seymour, the Duke of Somerset and former Lord Protector, was executed on Tower Hill.

The chronicler Charles Wriothesley writes of his execution:-

“Fryday, the 22 of January 1552, Edward Seimer, Duke of Somersett, was beheaded at Tower Hill, afore ix of the clocke in the forenone, which tooke his death very patiently, but there was such a feare and disturbance amonge the people sodainely before he suffred, that some tombled downe the ditch, and some ranne toward the houses thereby and fell, that it was marveile to see and hear; but howe the cause was, God knoweth.”1

A note on that page of the Chronicle states that “Edward VI appears to have been perfectly convinced of his uncle’s guilt, and in that conviction to have given himself no further concern about the duke, only noting in his diary that ‘the Duke of Somerset had his head cut off upon Tower Hill between eight and nine o’clock in the morning.’ ”

Edward Seymour was the second uncle that Edward had lost in such a brutal manner; his brother, Thomas, had been executed for treason on the 20th March 1549.

You can read more about him in my post The Arrest of Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset and Lord Protector.

You can read more about Edward VI in the following article:-

Notes and Sources

  1. A Chronicle of England during the reigns of the Tudors, from A.D. 1485 to 1559, Charles Wriothesley, printed for the Camden Society, p65-66

3 thoughts on “The Execution of Edward Seymour – 22nd January 1552

  1. Thanks, Claire. I never have liked him very much–I think he was cruel to Edward VI and probably contributed to his death with his ridiculous educational regimen and lack of affection–I don’t think children can live and grow without love and poor Edward didn’t get much I fear. Happy weekend!

  2. Wow, between this and your article on Thomas Seymour a few days ago, January was a really bad month for the Seymour brothers, wasn’t it?

    Edward VI’s matter-of-fact reaction to the death of both uncles makes him seem rather cold and heartless, doesn’t it? But then, he’d probably been raised with a good deal of coldness, and didn’t know any better. He was a child, so I can’t judge him too harshly. Still, it makes me shudder a bit, thinking of what kind of king he might have been as an adult, seeing how cold he appears to have been as a child!

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