John Seymour (Tudor)

From Academic Kids

Sir John Seymour (c. 1474 - December 21, 1536). Member of the English gentry, servant to Henry VIII and best known for being the father of the king's third wife, Jane Seymour.


He was born to John Seymour (c. 1450 - 1491) and Elizabeth Darrell. His paternal grandparents were John Seymour, Sheriff of Wiltshire (born c. 1425) and Elizabeth Croker (born c. 1436). His maternal grandparents were Sir George Darrell (born c. 1451) and Margaret Stourton (born 1433), daughter of Baron Stourton and Margery Wadham.

John was married to the famous beauty, Margaret Wentworth, and by her had nine children:

Family activities and reputation

They lived in Wulfhall, outside Savernake Forest, in Wiltshire. Four of the Seymour children achieved prominence at the royal court - Edward, Thomas, Jane and Elizabeth. The Seymour family was not one of the greatest in the land, and their pedigree was significantly lower than the Howards, the Boleyns, the de la Poles or the Brandons.

Edward Seymour was briefly married to Catharine Fillol, but John embarked on a love affair with his new daughter-in-law. When it was discovered, the marriage was annulled, their children declared bastards (since their legal grandfather might be their biological father!) and Catharine was imprisoned in a local convent. The scandal damaged the Seymour family's reputation for many years afterward. A proposed marriage between Jane Seymour and William Dormer was rejected by the Dormers partially due to the scandal and because of the family's less-than-perfect pedigree.

Jane Seymour, the eldest daughter, was a maid in the household of Henry's first wife, Catherine of Aragon, and then later to his second queen, the brilliant and imperious Anne Boleyn.

Henry VIII stayed at Wulfhall with Queen Anne in Summer of 1535 for a few days. Later, he embarked upon an affair with Jane as his marriage to Anne fell apart in early 1536. The entire Seymour family were party to the plot which brought Anne to the scaffold, and left her daughter Elizabeth disinherited.

After Jane became queen on 30 May 1536, her family scaled the social ranks. Her brother, Edward Seymour, was later made an earl and briefly ruled England for his nephew Edward VI of England after 1547. John's other son, Thomas Seymour was made a baron and Lord High Admiral, he eloped with Henry VIII's widow Catherine Parr in 1547. Both the Seymour boys were beheaded for treason, only a few years apart from one another. John's other daughter, Elizabeth Seymour, was married to Gregory Cromwell, son of Henry's new chief minister, Thomas Cromwell.

John died on December 21, 1536, but his royal daughter did not attend the funeral, nor did she (or any of the rest of his children) seem to have been greatly affected by his death.

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