Sir John Seymour: Protector of the Realm

William Seymour introduces Sir John Seymour; an uncle of the King, and a favourite of the late Henry VIII, Somerset had an amiable character not strong enough for perilous mid-Tudor times.

The Seymours lived at Wulfhall, a pleasant manor house on the edge of Savernake Forest, which came to the family (together with the hereditary Wardenship of Savernake Forest) on the marriage of Roger St Maur to the Esturmy heiress in the middle of the fifteenth century. Here Edward was born, a little after 1500 (the exact date is not known), the second of Sir John Seymour’s ten children. He was educated at both Oxford and Cambridge and his first connection with the court was when he was made a Page of Honour to Mary Tudor on the occasion of her marriage to the King of France in 1514.

Sir John Seymour had received his knighthood from Henry VII on the field of Blackheath in 1497, and in the new reign was often employed on the King’s business. Hence we find young Edward accompanying his father in 1522, when the latter was in attendance on the Emperor Charles V during his visit to England, and a year later the young man was to win his spurs in France under the Duke of Suffolk, being knighted after the capture of Roye in November.

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