The Temptation of Elizabeth Tudor: Elizabeth I, Thomas Seymour, and the Making of a Virgin Queen by Elizabeth NortonEngland, late 1547. King Henry VIII Is dead. His fourteen-year-old daughter Elizabeth is living with the king’s widow, Catherine Parr, and her new husband, Thomas Seymour. Seymour is the brother of Henry VIII’s third wife, the late Jane Seymour, who was the mother to the now-ailing boy King.
Ambitious and dangerous, Seymour begins and overt flirtation with Elizabeth that ends with Catherine sending her away. When Catherine dies a year later and Seymour is arrested for treason soon after, a scandal explodes. Alone and in dreadful danger, Elizabeth is threatened by supporters of her half-sister, Mary, who wishes to see England return to Catholicism. She is also closely questioned by the king’s regency council due to her place in the line of succession. Was she still a virgin? Was there a child? Had she promised to marry Seymour?
Under pressure, Elizabeth shows the shrewdness and spirit she would later be famous for. She survives the scandal, but Thomas Seymour is not so lucky. The “Seymour Scandal” led Elizabeth and her advisers to create of the persona of the Virgin Queen.
On hearing of Seymour’s beheading, Elizabeth observed, “This day died a man of much wit, and very little judgment.” His fate remained with her. She would never allow her heart to rule her head again.
Did Thomas Seymour sexually abuse the teenage Princess Elizabeth?
They married in , but Arthur died five months later. In , she held the position of ambassador for the Spanish Court in England, becoming the first female ambassador in European history. Catherine was previously married to Henry's older brother, Arthur. That marriage would be considered incestuous according to the Bible, but incest was quite common among European royalty— " no outsider is good enough for our family. Henry wanted a male heir as he considered a female ruler an abomination. All the children that Henry and Catherine had together died in infancy, except for a girl, Mary.
During his marriage to Catherine Parr, Seymour involved the future Queen Elizabeth I then 14 years old , who resided in his household, in flirtatious and possibly sexual behaviour. He was the younger brother of Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset — He grew up at Wulfhall , the Seymour family home, in Wiltshire , a county in southwest England. The Seymours were a family of country gentry, who, like most holders of manorial rights , traced their ancestry to a Norman origin. Henry married Jane eleven days after Anne's execution in May , and the Seymour brothers saw their fortunes rise, as they became part of the royal family. Her two brothers, Edward and Thomas, were therefore uncles to the baby Edward, heir to the throne. In Catherine Parr established herself as part of Princess Mary 's household, where she caught the attention of the King.
Elizabeth I may have been the one of England's longest reigning Thomas Seymour asked the year-old Princess Elizabeth to marry him by.
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A favorite at the Tudor court, he was remembered for being handsome, swaggering, and charming, but ultimately shallow and too ambitious for his own good. Just how did he get there? In his prime, Thomas Seymour was a charmer, especially with women. Thomas owes his career to his younger sister, Jane Seymour. In fact, he only enters historical record in the early s, when he served as a messenger to his cousin, Francis Bryan, the English Ambassador to France. Unfortunately, Jane died of complications from childbirth in October
Elizabeth was thirteen-years-old when the admiral joined the household at Chelsea. Ashley was increasingly concerned that Seymour arrived barelegged and in his slippers each morning as well as trying to climb into the same bed as Elizabeth. Servants talked and Elizabeth could not afford to have scandal attached to her name given the charges that had been levied against her mother. After that Kat had no choice but to tell Katherine Parr who made little of the incidents — believing them to be nothing more than horseplay. Accounts include details of Katherine joining her husband in the early morning romps and on one occasion in the garden pinioning Elizabeth whilst Seymour slashed her mourning gown. Dunn argues that Elizabeth was a willing participant in these events.